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A la Colthard/ Sanctum on the Green

The Sanctum On the Green is an old favourite of mine. I have been visiting regularly these past past 5 years. It’s part of the Sanctum Soho chain part-owned by Andy Taylor the manager of Iron Maiden whose records adorn the walls. A few years ago some of the Soho boutique hotels started opening country hotels. The idea was to bring metro chic to the country with better food, less country house chintz and make it all a cool experience. It’s an experiment that succeeded  in the case of the Sanctum.

It’s situated in Cookham Dean close to Cookham a place, made famous by the paintings of Stanley Spencer who was the son of the village church organist and painted many of the locals. To get to Cookham you follow the river from Maidenhead. On a clear winter ‘s day, with the sun setting and dappling the water of the Thames, this made for a glorious sight. You drive through Cookham till you turn up a hill and arrive at Cookham Dean. This has a cricket common where the Sanctum is situated.

It’s a small hotel and the staff of three, receptionist, waiter and bar lady were all in the bar. I always book room 5 which comprises a bedroom with large bath. A girlfriend of mine booked the room below. It’s discreet and discrete with both rooms having their own entrance. My naughty mind considered these two rooms at bottom and top of a staircase outside the hotel would make an excellent venue for an affaire … and I am sure has!!!

The restaurant is called Luke Thomas after the young chef. I overheard the waiter in the bar say “Luke trusts me with dishes”. Given that we were the only diners I doubted if the chef was in residence and it was a case of a regrettable practice where a celebrity chef gives his name, designs the menu, but is not always present to supervise the cuisine. The butter squash soup was delicious. I’m not the greatest fan of butter squash but with a curried ingredients it was rich and spicy. Less good was the ribeye steak as I ordered  roasted vegetables rather than chips which never appeared. The steak had a thick but rather cloying  peppercorn sauce. I finished with some sorbets. My friend and I struck to water. 6 points of 10.

The Sanctum befits its name. It’s a place which regenerates me. Most, including many brides to be, will head there in the summer as there is a pool, outdoor tub and it’s children friendly. It even has a gazebo, perfect for the ceremony. If ever my boys found anyone daft enough with whom to tie the knot I would happily make the wedding there and I would be similarly fantasising of Roger Moore in room 5!!!

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About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts