Just downstream from Windsor & Eton, Oakley Court has a homely feel – despite its grandiose make up. The hotel’s pistachio- and terracotta-hued flag waves boldly at full mast above the Victorian Gothic mansion house as you approach the main entrance – a welcoming start indeed.
Teaming up with her long-time friend and collaborator Sophie Hodges, Eagle has created a joy-filled space, with pieces from Eagle & Hodges debut furniture collection featuring throughout the hotel. Chintzy fabrics are balanced with old, Gothic bookcases, while punchy artworks and zany rugs lift more traditional spaces. While some aspects of the hotel require further TLC, the overall intention and sentiment of the place is clear, and the energy… infectious.
The Packing Edit
The private residence of your well-travelled, art-collecting chum.
Comprised of 118 bedrooms, Oakley Court is not shy of spots to bed down. All bedrooms have been designed by Eagle & Hodges, who specialise in fabric, furniture, and interiors; guests can expect a smorgasbord of colour clashes and vintage furnishings. Rooms are kitted out with Eastern rugs, antique lighting, and Pierre Jeanneret chairs. The Mansion House rooms take top billing, with views of the river and landscaped grounds. Bathrooms are basic, but functional, and every room is equipped with a hair dryer, ironing board, iron, and tea- and coffee-making facilities. You’re also likely to spot Alex’s Rizzoli book, More Than Just a House: At Home with Collectors and Creators , strewn about the place – an apt addition to a creative haunt such as Oakley Court.
The Little Extras
Bathrooms are stocked with Cowshed products, making bath time a delight (we’re suckers for their Replenish bath and shower gel, a fusion of red mandarin, bitter orange, and grapefruit).
Re the mini-bar situation (and snack hamper, comprised of popcorn, pretzels, jelly tots, and more…), it’s complimentary. Homemade choc-chip cookies, as well as teas and coffees are also free of charge, while pre-mixed cocktails, available in-room, are priced at £15 per bottle.
The Food + Drink
Breakfast is served every day in The Parlour from 7AM until 10AM, though not included in your room rate. Dine on fresh juices, pastries, and preserves, or more substantial offerings of porridge, avocado toast, a Full English and so on.
The Parlour, located inside the main house, also offers a relaxed lunch and dinner menu, with a focus on homegrown vegetables from Oakley Court’s kitchen garden, alongside locally sourced, fresh produce. Expect hearty salads and sides, Neapolitan-style pizzas, and scrumptious pastas. ‘Joanna’s Healthy Dishes’ account for a generous portion of the menu, spanning cornfed chicken breast served with a side of mushrooms and grilled peppers, the catch of the day ceviche, and a delicious heirloom tomato salad with XL capers. As for the dessert, we’d recommend the cheesecake, accompanied by a hefty dollop of raspberry sorbet.
For a change of scene, make tracks for the Summer River House, a new Soho House members space area (accessible to Oakley Court residents for the duration of their stay). It’s easy to spot, thanks to a display of fairy lights and navy-blue sun umbrellas lining the riverside – and the grandiose yurt housing the main dining space, ofc. Once seated at your preferred table, tuck in to a selection of house favourites, from choice cocktails to menu staples from the Soho House Group.
In the mood for a spot of tea? Head to The Green Room (or enjoy on The Terrace, weather permitting). Sit amidst a plethora of patterned chairs and high-gloss, olive-green walls, and indulge in a medley of sandwiches (think Coronation chicken and smoked almond, malt bread smoked salmon and chive cream cheese, and cucumber and mint) followed by a selection of homemade cakes and baked scones for £34.50 per person (or add a glass of Taittinger Nocturne for £13.50). Children’s afternoon tea is also available for £15 per head, and comprises of cheese and tomato, ham, or cucumber sandwiches (there’s also a selection of Nutella sandwiches thrown into the mix for good measure) and homemade chocolate brownie bites, fruit salad, and jelly and cream to finish.
The To-Do List
Make use of the hotel’s complimentary bicycles, head off on a nature trail, or hire a self-drive boat (costed at £60 per hour) for a jaunt along the Thames. Alternatively, make best use of the hotels swimming pool and gym facilities (which are undergoing a makeover just now) and sign up for Alex Eagle Sporting Club (currently in development) – to try your hand at fencing, tennis, and the likes.
Off campus, it would be remiss not to pay a visit to Windsor Castle – the largest occupied castle in the world. Don’t miss St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle – where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot.