Country pub that mixes real ale and stardust

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iol travel dec 7 sanctum

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Screenshot of www.sanctumonthegreen.com

London -Sarah Turner checks into The Sanctum On The Green in Berkshire.

Star quality:

Diana Ross, Sarah Harding, Sean Wright-Phillips, Kimberly Stewart

VITAL STATISTICS:

Like a grizzled veteran of the rock scene who finds a new fan base by appearing at Glastonbury, Sanctum on the Green takes an English countryside pub and endows it with a coating of glitz.

Co-owned by Andy Taylor, manager of rock band Iron Maiden, and Mark Fuller, owner of the Embassy Club group, it has just nine rooms, mostly fashioned from a 17th Century coaching inn.

It’s a hotel with a full head of highlights including sofas upholstered in metallic fabric but it’s still enough of a pub to have a large flatscreen TV in the main bar.

Modish touches in the rooms include four-poster beds and seriously good bathrooms, each with a separate walk-in shower, while the diamante door handles provide a touch

Those with entourages can head to the pool house, which sleeps six. Within the pool house, the Sanctum Suite combines olde worlde charm and beamed ceilings with a 6ft bath and the sort of entertainment system that looks as if it could launch a nuclear strike.

Location

In the middle of the slightly unreal Midsomer/Middleton Berkshire countryside where historic half-timbered cottages are dwarfed by the vast, expensive cars parked outside them.

The Chiltern Way footpath runs alongside the hotel, children on ponies canter across the green outside, and the Thames threads through nearby

Maidenhead.

All is peace and quiet, even though Heathrow is nearby. Diana Ross stayed at the Sanctum when she flew to the UK, and footballer Shaun Wright-Phillips stopped off while doing a charity cycle ride with friends.

Key attraction

The Sanctum on the Green offers a British pub experience with a glam-rock makeover that manages to combine cocktails and real ales.

It is a country offshoot of the Sanctum Hotel in London’s Soho, complete with heated outdoor swimming pool, hot tub and sunloungers for added glam factor.

Girls Aloud’s Sarah Harding checked in with her boyfriend for a romantic date, and Rod Stewart’s daughter Kimberly uses it as a bolthole, hanging out in the small but potent spa where new anti-ageing guru Dr Neetu Nirdosh has recently taken up residence.

In the news

Chef John Burton-Race, erstwhile star of I m A Celebrity, has recently been appointed to oversee the restaurant, dropping in regularly in one of his 42 classic cars.

Good enough for the rest of us?

Rooms start at £99 (about R1 200) including breakfast in one of the crash pads , rising to £550 for the pool house. A people-pleasing Sunday lunch, including roast beef sourced from the nearby Hambleton estate, costs £15.95 for three courses.

Getting there

Forty miles by road or about an hour by train from London Paddington. More information: 01628 482 638, sanctumonthegreen.com. - Mail on Sunday

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