Dear tourist, please take a step away from London on your next vacation. Eton awaits and it’s a gem of a destination. Don’t worry about where to stay. I have a suggestion which will delight with its charm and comfort. You will likely not want to leave, so do your sight-seeing first.
Well, why would you be going to Eton anyway? That would evidently be a question posed only by those who have never been there. The land on which Eton grew once belonged to Queen Edith, wife of Edward the Confessor. The land was appropriated by the Normans after their invasion of 1066 and a village eventually developed.
Inns and pilgrims
But what of the celebrated Eton College? In 1440, Henry VI selected Eton as the home for his new college. All of the land surrounding the village was granted to the college, and it therefore stopped further development. The new college chapel made Eton a destination for pilgrims, and inns were built along the high street to serve them.
That High Street is now filled with small independent shops and some still cater to the Eton students. There are restaurants, pubs (probably not for the students) and antique shops. The road leads to the pedestrian bridge which takes the enthusiastic Instagrammer across the River Thames to Windsor and its castle.
But my reader won’t have to search for a room for the night. Gilbey’s awaits with a warm welcome. It isn’t a hotel but more of a restaurant (review to follow) with rooms. And those rooms are small, cosy and sumptuous, and marvellously appointed.
Gilbey’s isn’t very big and offers just 3 new double guest bedrooms, plus an extra-spacious Studio Suite. Each room is individually decorated and to the highest standard. Our accommodation had views over rooftops, as well as skylights for extra airiness. The amenities included: a hand-made luxury Extra-King bed with snowy white and silky soft linen, air conditioning (you will need that for at least 2 days per year), fluffy dressing-gowns, hairdryer, personal safe, free WiFi, flat screen HD Smart TV with a good selection of channels, a stylish Roberts digital radio, the indispensable Nespresso coffee machine, and tea-making station.
I would recommend the restaurant
Gilbey’s the bed-and-breakfast side of the business is accessed via an anonymous door next to the restaurant. The room rate includes Continental breakfast served in the restaurant. You won’t need a fry-up if you have dined at Gilbey’s the night before, and I would recommend that you do!
So many travellers stay in London and there certainly are enough attractions to last a lifetime. But there are many wonderful things to see and do close to the city and it would be a shame to miss them. Take a couple of days away and visit Eton! Windsor and Eton are served by two train stations. Eighty metres southeast of the aforementioned bridge is Windsor and Eton Riverside that is served by South Western Railway services from London Waterloo. Windsor and Eton Central is 200 metres to the southwest and served by Great Western Railway services from London Paddington. Journey times for the Riverside service are 56-78 minutes while the Central service takes 41-56 minutes with a change of train at Slough.
Phone: +44 (0)1753 854921
81-83 High Street