Alternative things to do in Ascot
The town of Ascot is best known for Royal Ascot Racecourse, but beyond the glamour of horse racing, there are plenty of captivating things to do in the local area. This corner of the country is brimming with independent, quintessentially English businesses, quirky watering holes and eateries that will open visitors’ eyes to a different world. Leave the top hats and tails at the racecourse and embark on an alternative exploration with this two-day itinerary.
Begin the day with a trip to Reading where the first stop is Workhouse Coffee, located 40 minutes away by car from the hotel.
Kick your day off with some expertly brewed coffee at this King Street café. Crafting your drink from impeccably sourced, single origin espressos, the baristas here can tell you which coffee to try based on whether or not you like yours with milk, sugar, or black. They also sell beans by the bag, so you can recreate the experience at home.
From Workhouse Coffee, take a three-minute walk to 58 Barbershop.
Make like a country hipster and book an appointment online at 58 Barbershop. Resurrecting the classic British barbershop concept, the Reading-based salon invites visitors to enjoy hair pruning like a true gentleman. Select from a menu of traditional hot-towel shaves, expert beard shaping and haircuts.
The itinerary continues with a five-minute drive or a 13-minute walk to The Castle Tap.
The Castle Tap
The Castle Tap is a favourite watering hole of local ale enthusiasts. The popular pub specialises in real ale and craft beer and serves a variety of cask, keg and bottled brews as well as tasty cheeseboards to soak up some of the hops. Adding to the bar’s homely ambience is a real fire, the focal point of the venue’s living room-style seating area.
Bombay Sapphire Distillery is located in Whitchurch, which is a 40-minute drive from The Castle Tap.
Bombay Sapphire Distillery
Gin is in the midst of a grand resurgence and Bombay Sapphire is a British gin with a world-class reputation. The distillery at Laverstoke Mill runs daily tours (pre-book only), offering aficionados an opportunity to witness the intricate production process and enjoy tastings. Aspiring mixologists can try their hand at a gin cocktail masterclass.
On the way back to the hotel, stop by The Crown at Bray, located a 50-minute drive from Bombay Sapphire Distillery.
The Crown at Bray
This unassuming 16th century inn in the pretty village of Bray is the perfect stop for dinner. It might resemble an ordinary English pub, but The Crown is owned by none other than quirky Michelin-starred chef, Heston Blumenthal. Tuck into traditional pub grub with a subtle, seasonal twist that looks just as exquisite as it tastes.
Coworth Park Hotel is a 25-minute drive away from The Crown at Bray.
Start the day with a trip to Reem Gallery in Camberley, a 40-minute drive from the hotel.
Begin the day with a spot of culture. Reem Gallery specialises in contemporary art and showcases pieces by emerging British talents and established, award-winning artists. Visit to explore a careful curation of original works, browse collectable limited editions, or order bespoke commissions.
Next, take a 45-minute drive to Windsor to visit Tastes Delicatessen.
Tucked away down the historic Eton high street, multi-award-winning Tastes Delicatessen is a foodie’s dream. Browse the ample selection of high quality produce including local honeys, handmade chocolates, cheeses, cold meats and fresh fruit and vegetables. Call up in advance to order a bespoke picnic hamper, and take it to one of the nearby greens for a quintessential English country lunch.
Walk or drive 12 minutes to Two Brewers Windsor.
Two Brewers Windsor
One of the charms of the English countryside is its traditional pubs. Two Brewers Windsor is a perennial favourite and offers visitors the chance to enjoy a relaxed lunch washed down with a glass of wine or a pint of local beer. The straightforward menu is typically British and features favourites such as fish finger sandwiches and ham, egg and hand-cut chips.
The next stop on the itinerary, The German Bakery of Windsor, is just an eight-minute walk away.
The German Bakery of Windsor
The German Bakery of Windsor is a treat for all the senses. Every day, the shop bakes a fresh selection of artisan German breads, rolls, cakes and pastries, many of which are made with wheat alternatives – ideal for those with intolerances. The onsite delicatessen stocks authentic meats, cheeses, condiments and other produce imported from Germany.
After visiting The German Bakery of Windsor, head next door to No5 St Leonards Road.
No5 St Leonards Road
Toast the end of a day well spent at boutique Champagne and cocktail lounge, No5 St Leonards Road. This stylish bar is open Wednesday to Sunday and serves creative cocktails and an excellent selection of Champagnes. Don’t miss the live gigs, cabaret nights and DJ sets that take place several evenings a week.
The drive back to Coworth Park Hotel takes 25 minutes.
All journey times are approximate and subject to variation.