Last Updated on October 10, 2021
An Escape to the Country – The Swan at Streatley
You may have heard of the Coppa Club. They first opened their doors in 2015 and now have eight restaurants spread across London and surrounding counties; Sonning-on-Thames, Tower Bridge, Henley-on-Thames, Streatley-on-Thames, Maidenhead, Brighton and Cobham Village. In several of their venues, they have igloo dining, those funky little pods which allow you to have your own personal dining space with great views of the outdoor world. Already a hit, the pods understandably became increasingly popular during the lockdown letting you dine in style in your own bubble.
I was invited to the Coppa Club’s first-ever event and supper club with an overnight stay at the Swan Streatley-on-Thames’ in Berkshire, which is about a 70-minute drive from London and about 10 miles North West of Reading. The Coppa Club is part of this lovely hotel which is situated in a prime tranquil location overlooking the River Thames.
The evening saw an “In conversation with” award-winning journalist and author, Rosie Green, who writes for the Telegraph and is also This Morning’s relationship guru and the entrepreneur and jean queen Donna Ida. Guests (a predominantly female crowd who undoubtedly were big Donna Ida fans) were welcomed with a glass of Piper-Heidsieck champagne, before taking their seats in the Coppa Club dining room looking out over the river.
Before dinner was served Rosie chatted with the denim sensation and brand queen Donna. She was born in Sydney, Australia, arriving in the U.K in 1999 to follow a career in marketing. She quickly knew that she wanted to make England her home, but with no money or connections, she temped until she got herself a good job in marketing. But, Donna wanted to work for herself, so left her job to freelance, buying and selling cool designer jeans brands. In 2006 Donna met her husband and opened her first jeans boutique in Chelsea. Frustrated by what was available at the time, she understood that woman’s bodies were all different and one size, one style didn’t fit all. Her concept was a bespoke service enabling women to find the right jean style and fit for them. Donna’s brand grew, going on to open further stores and finally in 2012 launching her own eponymous denim brand Donn Ida. Since lockdown, the business has been taken entirely online but continues to prosper.
It was great to hear about Donna’s journey to success in the fashion industry, along with the challenges and pitfalls she has met along the way; a real inspiration to other women running or planning to run their own business.
After the talk, Coppa club served an excellent three-course dinner designed by Executive Chef Dan. We started with a well-executed smooth and creamy Kiln smoked salmon pate, served with sourdough toast and complemented by slithers of piquant pickled cucumber.
For our main course, I enjoyed a tender roasted Barnsley lamb chop with juicy oyster mushrooms, peas and fragrant mint – a great combo. My companion’s vegetarian alternative of a Levantine influenced roasted cauliflower was deliciously spiced and served with sweet jewels of pomegranate, Tahini dressing and steamed rice, and on the side green beans and crispy roasted new potatoes.
During dessert, which was a luscious light and citrusy lemon tart with hazelnut praline and whipped cream, there was a Q &A with Donna, after which we retired to our hotel room.
The Swan at Streatley is located in idyllic quintessentially English countryside, about 10 miles northwest of Reading, straddled between two pretty Berkshire villages, Goring and Streatley.
This 47-bedroom property underwent an extensive 6-year refurbishment, completed in 2019. The result is a chic low level, contemporary, yet cosy countryside hotel, with parts of the original 17th-century section of the building, subtly blended in with the modern extension.
Our lovely large room, had a modern, clean and airy feel to it, with whitewashed walls, ash wooden floorboards, a rustic wooden desk and chest of drawers, a widescreen wall hung TV and a king-size bed with a turquoise leather quilted headboard. There was a small soft grey sofa and an armchair which was placed in the magnificent square bay window which was a perfect place to sit and enjoy the fabulous view of the well-kept gardens and the riverside below.
The room was equipped with a mini-fridge, tea and coffee making facilities and a good-sized shower room with Natural Spa Factory products.
The Swan bar and coffee shop and Coppa Club restaurant are open 7 days a week. An elegant and spacious area with upholstered furniture, wooden tables and cosy nooks by the fire with lots of seating areas looking out over the river.
There’s an outdoor terrace where food and drink can be served too. Breakfast was served in the Coppa Club’s large conservatory. furnished with wicker chairs and hanging lamps giving it an all-year-round summery feel. It is perfectly situated by the riverside, with a lovely view bringing the outside in.
The breakfast menu offered a good selection of pastries or yoghurt and granola – I tried a healthy-sounding spelt croissant for the first time. The cooked options included buckwheat and rye pancakes, with berries, yoghurt, dry-cured bacon and maple syrup, poached eggs with avocado and salmon, the Garden breakfast- a full veggie or the skillet breakfast- full English with black pudding. All served with the option of juices, fresh coffee and teas.
After breakfast we took a walk around the beautiful gardens which boasts manicured lawns, weeping willows and an ideal riverside location, the grounds also include the property’s own private island. It really is an impressively pretty setting. Sadly, on the day of our visit, the weather was not on our side and it was grey and rainy, but I can imagine it must be glorious here when the sun shines, perfect for a riverside sundowner and walks along the towpath.
The Swan is a great getaway for couples, families or business guests, and they also host weddings. They have onsite paddle boarding, exercise classes, high-spec meeting and events spaces and a hotel gym. If you are a dog owner, it’s good to know that they also welcome your four-legged friends.
I’d personally be more than happy to return here for an extended relaxing and leisurely stay. It’s a stunning location with plenty to do.
The Swan at Streatley offers Small Double Rooms from £80 per night. Larger Double Rooms are available from £100 per night.
The Swan at Streatley