Spring clean your skin

Facials at Donninton Valley Hotel and SpaWe spring clean our homes at this time of year, so why not take some time to spring clean your skin. There are different reasons for wanting to do this, for example a break out on the skin, the skin feeling tired and lacklustre or just you feel your skin needs a bit of tlc.

For the body:

Body Brushing
For the body a fantastic way to stimulate the circulation and remove any winter dead skin cells is to body brush using a cactus bristle brush.

Tip tips for body brushing:

  • Always start from your feet and work in an upward direction.
  • On the abdomen brush in a circular direction.
  • Make sure you don’t apply too much pressure.
  • You can go over an area more than once if needed eg. The thighs and buttocks may benefit from this.
  • Boost your circulation by alternating water between hot and cold when showering.

Detoxifying Bath or Shower Time
Aromatherapy Associates Revive Morning Bath and Shower Oil is a great way to start off your home skin detox. Containing a blend of essentail oils including pink greapefruit, rosemary and juniper berry this oil is perfect to help awaken you for the day ahead. Aply to your bosy for a few minutes before showering or add a capful your bath water.

For the Face

Clarisonic Brushes
The Clarisonic Cleansing system uses a patented sonic frequency and is suitable for all skin types. Clarisonic can be included in your skin care routine as it is six times more effective than a manual cleanse. You can use it in conjunction with your existing skin care products, such as your favourite cleanser, serums and moisturisers for healthy looking skin. The cleanse is so thorough your other skin care products will be absorbed much better.

Plasmag Gel
The Plasmag gel is applied to the skin prior to the MMA (Micronised Marine Algae), it encourages sweating whilst symultaniously helping to replenish minerals. It helps to tone and detoxify the skin while softening and moisturising. It encourages the absorption of minerals and trace elements.

MMA (Micronised Marine Algae)
A 100% natural sea bath to enjoy a concentrate of thalassotherapy in the comfort of your own home! Ultra-rich in minerals and trace elements, these algae promote wellness and encourage figure refining. Or mix with a little warm water and apply to the face avioding the eye area for a deep cleansing and revitalising mask.

Spring Freshening Facial
To experience all of these products in one pampering treatment, we have launched a spring freshening facial. Spring Clean Your Skin with our new signature Donnington Valley Facial using the Thalgo skincare products to suit your skin. A double cleanse is carried out using Clarisonic brushes to start the purification process and thoroughly deep cleanse the skin. This is followed by an exfoliation to suit your skin type and extraction if required. The Plasmag Gel is then applied to the skin with the Marine Algae Mask, while this is on the skin a hand and arm massage is carried out to aid relaxation. The face is then massaged and the facial is completed with the moisturiser to suit your skin.

This facial throughout April is £40.00*.

Call us on 01635 551188 to book

Hannah Henley-Thrift
Spa Director

*Subject to availability Monday to Thursday excluding Bank Holidays and cannot be used in conjunction with members discounts.

Top Tips for Planning your Wedding Day

Top tips for planning your wedding day

Stay organised

Whether by using scrap books, pinterest or spreadsheets find a way that suits you to get organised. Keeping a plan of everything helps you to stick to your budget and prevent costs from spiraling out of control. Even a simple checklist will help you to keep on top of what could otherwise feel like an overwhelming list of things to do.

Keep calm and carry on

Planning your wedding should be an enjoyable experience for you both. Try not to let things beyond your control get on top of you, and remember no one can order the sun to appear on cue so just don’t worry about it.


Create a timeline and make sure your top priorities are in first and plan everything else around them. Things like venues, entertainment and florists can get booked up quickly so make sure you arrange the things that are most important to you first.

Listen to others.

But remember ultimately your wedding is a day to celebrate the start of the next chapter in your lives together. Trying to include everyone’s wishes can be stressful. Try to relax and listen to the ideas of family and friends as this will be appreciated especially if they are contributing financially. Listen and take on board what they are saying, but ultimately the decisions are about you as a couple. So if suggestions are being made about things that just don’t work for you both, make sure you mention this early on.

Budget, budget, budget

I really can’t say this enough. Setting a budget is a really important thing to do right at the beginning of planning for your day. You may have always known what your dream wedding will look like, or you may have only just started thinking about it since getting engaged. Either way creating a budget and planning your wedding according to what you can afford is really important. Don’t be tempted to overspend on credit cards or getting loans as this can make a stressful start to married life. Create your budget and make the decisions on where to splash out and where to economise together.

Please call us on 01635 551199 to book your VIP tour and to discuss how we can help you to plan your special day.

Find out more about weddings at Donnington Valley.

Katie Foulds
Special Events Co-ordinator.

Rosé Wine

Rosé Wines by the glass

Rosé wine

For a long time Rosé wine was associated almost exclusively with the summer months and mainly enjoyed by women. How things have changes, now rosé is widely enjoyed by both men and women alike.

Finding a good rosé can still be quite a challenge, with many being just too sweet and not well balanced at all. When I have been looking at rosé wines for the wine list here at Donnington Valley I have been careful to select well balanced wines with good fruit flavours.

As the warmer days are fast approaching, I am sure we will start to see more rosé being enjoyed, maybe even al fresco, once the weather starts to improve. I do have to admit a nice cool glass of anything on a warm day is a welcome treat.

We do have quite a large range of rosé wines on the list at the hotel. Take a look to see if any of these can tempt your taste buds and we hope to see you soon, sipping some on our patio.

2013 Bodegas Santa Ana, Malbec Rosé, Mendoza, Argentina – £23.00
2013 Gérard Bertrand, Gris Blanc, Languedoc-Roussillon, France – £23.00
2012 Docetañidos Clarete, Lezcano Lacalle, Cigales, Spain – £29.00
2012 Saint Clair, Pinot Gris Rosé, Marlborough, New Zealand – £29.00
2012 Planeta, Syrah, IGT, Sicily, Italy – £27.00
2011 Viña Leyda, Pinot Noir Rosé, Loica Vineyard, Leyda Valley, Chile – £31.00
2012 Sancerre Rosé, Domaine Serge Laloue, Loire, France – £47.00

N.V. Pinot Grigio Rose, Mirabello, Verona, Italy – £23.00
N.V A. Laurance, Collection Privée, Sparkling Rosé, France – £25.00
2010 Schramsberg, Rose, Napa Valley, Califorina, USA – £48.00

Happy Drinking

Chris Neeves
Beverages Manager

March Events in Berkshire

Girl with Mother's day flowers

March Events in Berkshire

Spring has sprung

2nd March – 29th March: 10:00 – 16:00
Basildon Park

Basildon park is a beautiful setting to get out and search for the first signs of spring by following a trail set out around the parkland.

For more details including entry prices. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/basildon-park/

Royal Shakespeare Company – Love Labours Won

4th March: 19:00
The Corn Exchange

Watch the Royal Shakespeare Company perform Love Labours Won on a live broadcast at the Corn Exchange

Tickets: £14.50, Concessions £12.50

Call to book tickets on 0845 5218 218 or book via the website


An Audience with Jon Snow

6th March:19:30
John O’Gaunt School, Hungerford

Join Jon Snow, longstanding presenter of Channel 4 News at John O’Gaunt School in Hungerford for what will be a fascinating evening.
Tickets are £10 and are available to purchase from John O’Gaunt School office (01488 682400 – please note these will be a 50p booking fee on card transactions) and Hungerford bookshop (01488 683480)


Photograpy Workshop with Bob Brind-Surch

7th March – 8th March 10:00 – 16:00
Wolf Conservation Trust

Learn more about your camera and at the same time take some fantastic photographs of wolves during this workshop with Bob Brind-Surch, professional wildlife photographer and retired teacher with 40 years experience. You will learn about aperture, shutterspeed and ISO and how to use them to really get the best out of your camera and take creative images.

The workshop starts at 10am until 4pm with a more formal classroom element followed by a practical session.

Camera requirements: DSLR, Bridge, Superzoom. Additional long telephoto lenses will be a distinct advantage.
Previous Experience: Suitable for beginners.

Maximum 15 in group – £120 per person. Pre booking required on 0118 971 3330
Website: http://www.ukwolf.org

Mother’s Day Sunday Lunch

Sunday 15th March 2015
Donnington Valley Hotel

Treat Mum to a three course Sunday lunch without lifting a finger.

Join us on Mother’s Day for a celebration Sunday Lunch in our stunning WinePress complete with a spa gift for Mum.

Plus enjoy the extra brownie points for not making a mess in the kitchen!

£28 per person
Children 5 – 16 years, £20 per person
Under 5’s eat free.

View the menu

Call us to book on 01635 551199

Andy Parsons: Live and Unleashed – But Naturally Cautious

19th March: 19:45
The Corn Exchange

Andy Parsons is back on the road and heading for Newbury with his fifth show” Live and Unleashed – But Naturally Cautious’. Having enjoyed huge success as a writer and performer on television, radio as well as on the comedy circuit. Andy’s fifth tour will be packed with laughs with his brand or sharp witted and edgy comedy.

Tickets: £15
Call the box office to book your tickets on 0845 5218218 or book via the website

Tuxedo Junction

31st March – 11th April
19:30 & 14:30, 18:30 & 13:30
The Watermill Theatre

It’s the 1940’s, women are wearing their hair in victory rolls and dancing with the GI’s whilst Hollywood is booming. The Music scene is booming with swing, Jazz and crooners and we’re off for a toe tapping ride across America.

Show Times:
Monday to Saturday evenings 7.30pm

Thursday and Saturday matineés 2.30pm
Saturday 11 April performances at 1.30pm and 6.30pm

Ticket Prices:
Monday evening, Thursday and Saturday matineés: £15.50 and £14.50
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings: £24, £22, £15
Friday and Saturday evenings: £26.50, £24.50, £16.50

Call: 01635 46044 to book tickets.
Website: www.watermill.org.uk

Matrix Climb Mill

Matrix Climb Mill

The Matrix Climb Mill

At Donnington Valley we are very proud of our brand new top of the range Matrix cardio suite; within this suite we have got all you need to have a great workout. One of my favourite pieces of equipment is the Climb mill; if you are unfamiliar with the Climb mill then it’s a set of 4 steps which rotate round to a speed set by the user; this provides the user to be able to keep climbing steps over and over again without reaching the top.

We all know how hard it is to climb stairs all day which makes this such a beneficial machine not only with cardiovascular benefits but also muscular endurance.

To some the machine may seem “scary” as it is larger than other pieces of cardio equipment, however there are many safety mechanisms and stop buttons on the machine which allows the user to be in full control at all times. I can imagine the first user of a treadmill found that a “scary” experience to start off with, it’s all about making yourself familiar with the equipment you use and that comes with consistency.

There are variations of workouts in which you can perform on the climb mill, you could increase the speed making it more cardiovascular or even keep the speed low and miss a step which makes the user lunge, lunging means there is a greater range of motion on the muscle which acquires a greater force from the user to return to a standing position, this promotes muscular endurance and strength.

If you have not used this particular machine before then I recommend starting with 5-10 minutes at a steady pace and work your way up for more challenging workout once you’re familiar with the technique, and of course you can always ask for guidance from the fitness team.

For more details on our memberships please see our website or call us on 01635 551188

James Beldam
Senior Fitness Instructor

Spoil your Loved one This Valentine’s Day

Treat your Valentine to breakfast in bed

Spoil your loved one this Valentine’s Day

You have by now of course bought your loved one that special gift and arranged something suitably romantic to do in the evening but how about starting the day in the most romantic day, a beautiful breakfast in bed. Surely there is nothing better than waking up with the special person and sharing a tray of lovingly prepaired breakfast with the morning papers?

Start with something elegant and healthy, breakfast trifles served in martini glasses. Cut up strawberries and throw into the bottom of the glass with blueberries and any of your other favourite fruits, spoon over some natural Greek yoghurt and then sprinkle with granola, then repeat, fruit, yoghurt, granola. Complete the dish by decorating the top layer with some of the fruit, some toasted almonds flakes, a good squeeze of honey and you are done.

My other favourite which will accompany this nicely is a classic; smoked salmon and scrambled eggs and the key here is nice fluffy eggs. Melt butter into a pan until it starts to foam and at the same time break eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk. Add the eggs to the butter and stir continuously with a wooden spoon over a moderate heat. When the eggs start to form turn the heat off, they will continue to cook in the hot pan so leave them a little bit underdone. Cut up smoked salmon and chives and add to the eggs with salt and pepper giving it one last good mix. You can then serve over your favourite toasted bread, my choice is always a hot English muffin dripping in butter.

To add that extra special touch you could garnish with a little salmon rose which is easy to do than it sounds. Cut the smoked salmon into long strips about an inch wide and then just roll them up, starting tightly for the centre and then loosening up as you go to create a petal effect. Use more chives or a piece of chervil for the green leaves and there you have a tasty, romantic breakfast.

And if you have nowhere to drive to serve the whole lot with blood orange mimosa’s, blood oranges are in season just now and will  certainly wake up the tastes buds when freshly squeezed and  mixed with cold prosecco.

All that’s left is to fight over who gets the washing up!

Of course if that all sounds like too much effort to go to first thing. You could really push the boat out andtreat your loved one to a night away and our Valentine’s break is just the ticket. We can even help you arrange a few extra surprises for when you arrive.

Kelvin Johnson
Head Chef

February Events in Berkshire

February Events in Berkshire

February Events in Berkshire

Snowdrops Walk at Welford Park

Open Garden, Wed 28 Jan – Sun 1 Mar 2015,

Enjoyed by thousands over
the winter months, it has become a tradition to open the gardens of Welford
Park so that those wishing to view the beauty of the snowdrops have the opportunity
to do so. After a walk through the gardens why not enjoy a light lunch or pot
of tea and cake in the Old Laundry Tea Rooms and browse in the Snowdrops Gift

An accessible path has been
built to enable wheelchair users to view the main display in the Beech Woods.
Although every effort is made to make all areas accessible but due to the
natural terrain this is not always possible.

Coach parties are welcome but please telephone in advance. Please no picnics in
the grounds and dogs are welcome on leads.

Please note that there are no credit card facilities at this venue.

For further details see www.welfordpark.co.uk


Adults £6, Concessions £5,
Children 4-12yrs £1, Children under 4 go free

Private guided tours are available at an additional cost of £5 per person and
must be booked in advance

Wildlife Art Exhibition and sketching workshop at Thatcham Nature Discovery Centre

Art Exhibition, Sat 7 – Sun 22 Feb 2015
10.30 – 16.00

Sketching workshop, Sat 7 Feb 2015 10.00
– 13.00

Local Artist Jonathan Pomroys latest
works including a number of wetland landscapes and bird studies will be on display.
Jonathan is a well known and collected wildlife artist who regularly exhibits
at venues across the country.

Jonathan will also be running a sketching workshop. Bookings essential.

Sketching workshop – £10 per person

For further details see www.bbowt.org.uk

The Secret Adversary at Watermill Theatre

Play, Thu 12 Feb – Sat 21 Mar 2015

In association with Eleanor
Lloyd Productions the Watermill Theatre present Agatha Christie’s The Secret
Adversary, a Tommy & Tuppence Thriller, adapted by Sarah Punshon and Johann

Following the adventures of Tommy and Tuppence through London in the 1920’s.
Home from war and broke this pair embark on a daring business scheme.

Coming to the stage for the
first time as part of the 125th anniversary celebrations of the author’s birth,
this new adaptation is complete with past paces action, comedy live music and a
hint of romance.

Monday to Saturday evenings
Thursday and Saturday matineés 2.30pm
(No matineé performance on Thursday 12 February)
Saturday 21 March performances at 1.30pm and 6.30pm

Monday evening, Thursday and Saturday matineés: £15.50 and £14.50
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings: £24, £22, £15
Friday and Saturday evenings: £26.50, £24.50, £16.50

For further details see www.watermill.org.uk

Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s weekend treat your someone special to a 5 course sharing menu in our WinePress restaurant.

£45 per person.

Call us on 01635 551199 to book.

Why not stay the night and let us personalise your romantic stay with as many little extras that you would like flowers, champagne, chocolates or some relaxing spa treatments we  can have it all ready for you.

Imagine the surprise when they discover what you have arranged.

Valentine’s Day Sharing Menu – £45 per person*

Starter board
Parma ham, baked figs, baked camembert

Passion fruit sorbet

Main to share
Served with either
hand cut chips or gratin potatoes and either a watercress salad or a selection of vegetables

Cote du beouf, served medium rare, grilled mushrooms and tomatoes
Whole roasted corn fed chicken with stuffing
Four bone rack of pork, apple sauce

Dessert platter
Salted caramel and chocolate cheesecake, French apple tart, lemon tart

Cheese Board
Selection of British cheeses, celery, apple, chutney & biscuits

*Minimum of two guests sharing each course.

Champions of Magic at The Corn Exchange

Sat 28 Feb 2015 – 19.45

For a night of magic and  mystery sure to keep you guessing join our award winning team of tricksters.

Stunning illusions and a heart stopping finale will make this a performance to remember.

For further details see www.cornexchangenew.com


Full price £21, Concessions
price £16.50 Under 16’s, Family of 4 £65

Jay Fairs at Hungerford

Antiques Fair, 28/2/15 – 08.30 – 16.00

Visiting Hungerford
Antiques market this small but perfectly formed antiques market of 40 quality
stalls is not to be missed my antiques enthusiasts. After browsing the stalls
take time to explore Hungerford which has a traditional highstreet packed with
independent shops.

For further details see www.jayfairs.co.uk


Admission £1

Golf Lessons

Donnington Valley Golf Club

Why golf lessons are important

Every golfer regardless of their level of ability can benefit from regular lessons with a PGA qualified golfing professional for the following reasons:

Bad habits:

All golfers pick up bad habits or forget over time what they learnt during their last lesson and often slip back into the way they used to play.

Regular lessons make sure that you keep doing things correctly and you continue to improve rather than take two steps forward and then one step back.

Different playing conditions:

Playing golf in the summer is very different to playing golf in winter.

There are a number of factors which make it different but in particular it is the ground conditions that change significantly.

In the winter the ball does not fly through the air as well or as far due to the drop in  temperature. The ball also sits down into the damper ground in winter, so playing an iron shot is far more difficult and may need a loftier club.

When the ball lands in the winter it does not run as far along the ground and in the damper areas it often plugs straight away or it only rolls forward a little distance.

In very cold and frozen conditions, hitting a wedge into a green may not be the best idea, as it may take a very big bounce and then end up over the back of the green.

As you improve as a golfer, you will probably find that as you strike the ball better, the ball now goes further and therefore your club selection may need to be changed so that you are then hitting a loftier club to reach the same distance, but with far more control.

Do as the professionals do:

The professional golfers you all watch on television like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and the like all have lessons and golf coaching, even though the are the best golfers in the world, so as a amateur club golfer, it is important that you do the same.

Here at Donnington Valley we have a team of PGA professionals at the MB Golfshop that can help you with lessons to ensure your game continues to get better and your handicap becomes lower.

Lessons vary from chipping and putting to having a 9 or 18 hole ‘on-course’ lesson. The latter of which are very useful and makes you really think about what you are trying to do with your next shot and why.

Give us a call on 01635 568140 to find our more about our membership options and cal lthe pro shop directly to enquire about lessons on 01635 568142.

Peter Smith
Director fo Golf

Weddings at Donnington Valley

Weddings at Donnington Valley Hotel and Spa

Weddings at Donnington Valley

At Donnington Valley Hotel we provide a diverse range of rooms to hold your ceremony and your wedding breakfast. We can cater from 4-140 guests, no matter the size, and we have a very experienced team who will look after you right through to your big day.

The hotel is surrounded by captivating views of our golf course which are perfect for photographs for your special day. From bridges and water features to stunning sculptures the photo opportunities are endless.

We still have some dates still available this year and we are offering some great deals if you book by the end of March 2015 – Act fast, you do not want to miss out.

Try before you buy!

We offer all potential couples a complimentary lunch for them to sample our cuisine before you make your decision. Our restaurant is both intimate but yet informal, with Head Chef Kelvin having over 20 years of experience there will be something that will get your taste buds going!

Wedding Fair

Come along this Sunday 25th January for our wedding Fair. This is a great opportunity to see the hotel dressed for a wedding and meet a range of suppliers. We will have some great offers on Sunday which you would not want to miss out on! Come take a peek at what Donnington Valley hotel have to offer for your magical day!

Katie Foulds
Special Events Co-ordinator

January Events in Berkshire

January wedding fair at Donnington Valley Hotel and Spa

Events in Berkshire this January

9th to 30th January – Basildon Park – Lift the January Blues

10am to 3pm
There are lots of January events in Berkshire that you can enjoy including this great trail to explore in Basildon Park. Blow away the cobwebs with a motivational trail around the 400 acre historic parkland as you get ready for the year ahead. Take a tour around the Georgian Manor that was lovingly restored by Lord and Lady Iliffe in the mid 1950s. And why not treat yourself to a cream tea and experience the nostalgia of their 1950s kitchen?

Suitable for all ages. Normal Admission Charges Apply.
Discover more 

23rd January – Lee Nelson – Suited and Booted at New Greenham Arts

National tour warm-up – 7.30pm
Lee Nelson is back with a brand new show and will be warming up for us highly anticipated nationwide tour with a series of intimate gigs! He’s hosted Live at the Apollo and you may have caught him trying to join the England Squad as Premier League footballer Jason Bent.
“Never lost for words, never less than ingenious… a seamlessly entertaining touring show” The Times.
Tickets – £15
Discover more

25th January – Wedding Fair at Donnington Valley

Join Donnington Valley and local suppliers for our wedding fair. Discuss your plans and find inspiration for your special day.

Time: 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free
VIP tours: Please contact our wedding co-ordinator, on 01635 568106 to book a VIP tour.

25th January – Bolshoi Live – Swan Lake at the Corn Exchange

This is a not to be missed January event in Berkshire. Live and Encore performances by the Bolshoi Ballet on screen at the Corn Exchange direct from Moscow. Swan Lake tells the tragic love story of Princess Odette and Prince Siegfried. With Tchaikovsky’s famous, lyrical score, Swan Lake depicts the tragic love between Princess Odette and Prince Siegfried, and will no doubt be performed to perfection by the unparalleled virtuosity of Russia’s great Bolshoi Ballet. This universal and enchanting masterpiece of love, deception and drama is a must.
Tickets from £12
Discover more