The county of Berkshire may be most famous for Ascot Racecourse and Windsor Castle, but it’s also home to a community of craftspeople who are passionate about promoting the quality of the area’s local workmanship. While visiting Ascot, follow this two-day itinerary and discover the best local artisans and producers in the area.
Start the day with a 20-minute drive to Robyn’s Nest Café.
Robyn's Nest Café
The British are known for their love of tea, so there’s no better place to sample a steaming cup than on a trip to the countryside. Robyn’s Nest is a café in Moss End Garden Village serving an exceptional selection of fair-trade coffee and loose leaf teas, which pair perfectly with Robyn’s homemade cakes and all-day breakfasts.
Then, take a 20-minute drive to Rosie’s Chocolate Factory.
Rosie's Chocolate Factory
Discover the art of the chocolatier at Rosie’s Chocolate Factory. The factory specialises in bespoke luxury chocolates that are designed to suit individual customers’ tastes and crafted in-house using the finest ingredients. Chocolate enthusiasts can also take part in workshops and make their own bars to take home.
Next, it’s a one-hour drive to the Bombay Sapphire Distillery.
Bombay Sapphire Distillery
Bombay Sapphire is one of England’s most treasured British gin brands. Visit the distillery at the historic Laverstoke Mill for a tour and witness the intricate production process that goes into making this English favourite, followed by a tasting. Dedicated gin connoisseurs can go one step further and test their mixology skills in gin cocktail-making masterclasses.
From Bombay Sapphire Distillery, it’s a 70-minute drive to the next destination.
Tucked into the foothills of the South Downs National Park, Blackdown Distillery has been producing small batch, finely-crafted spirits since 2012. Visitors are invited to visit the distillery and sample highlights of the collection including Sussex Dry Gin, Silver Birch Vermouth, Elderberry Port and Christmas Pudding Vodka.
Walk over to the Lurgashall Winery, located on the same site.
While at Blackdown, don’t miss the opportunity to sample heritage Lurgashall products from Lurgashall Winery next door. Book a tour or a tasting and sample the portfolio of fruit liquors, meads and botanical wines. All products are handcrafted and flavoured with ingredients plucked fresh from the English countryside, from silver birch tree sap (tapped from the surrounding forest) to brambles, honey and walnuts.
To return to the hotel, it’s a one-hour drive.
Begin Day Two with a 20-minute drive to the heart of Windsor.
The German Bakery of Windsor
Start the day right and pick up some breakfast from The German Bakery of Windsor. Every day, the boutique bakery crafts a fresh selection of authentic, artisanal German breads, rolls, cakes and pastries. Catering to current food trends, it bakes plenty of healthy gluten-free alternatives too.
Then, take a 10-minute drive or a 15-minute walk to Tom Brown Tailors.
Tom Brown Tailors
Tom Brown Tailors makes some of the finest suits in the county, and has supplied the famous Eton College school uniform for over two hundred years. The shop also designs and makes made-to-measure and bespoke suits using high-quality British cloths. If you’re short on time, opt for the made-to-measure option and, after a 20-minute fitting, expect to receive your suit in just four to six weeks.
Choose between a seven-minute drive or a 20-minute walk to reach the next destination.
Windsor & Eton Brewery
Proving that there’s more to the area than castles and colleges, the Windsor & Eton Brewery makes small batch brews with traditional floor malted barley. The craft brewery’s beer is bursting with flavour and aroma, with many types using unusual ingredients to add unexpected undertones. Take a tour of the brewery or sample their collection in the onsite bar.
Next, take a 10-minute drive to The Royal Farms Windsor Farm Shop.
The Royal Farms Windsor Farm Shop
Located a short distance from Windsor Great Park and Windsor Castle, The Windsor Farm Shop is a traditional delicatessen that supplies Berkshire residents with excellent local produce. The store stocks a wide array of British products and also features a butchery, and a coffee shop serving traditional cream teas, handmade sandwiches and hot dishes.
From here, it’s a 35-minute drive to Petersham Nurseries.
Discover the work of local artisans in this bohemian garden and homewares boutique. In the Nursery and Garden Shop, visitors can browse a colourful selection of plants and flowers, as well as elegant outdoor furniture, accessories and gardening equipment. The interiors section stocks an eclectic collection of unique treasures for the home, including beautiful antique furniture.
To get back to the hotel, it’s a 40-minute drive.
All journey times are approximate and subject to variation.