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Eversley restaurants

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The New Mill
(Modern European)
Address:
New Mill Road
Eversley
Hampshire
RG27 0RA
Tel: 0118 973 2277                                  
Rating:


(› Add comments/review)               your comments (1)

UPDATE: The New Mill has closed and is up for sale.

When the initial flush of excitement at getting engaged wears off and the work to actually plan the big day begins, youíll very quickly realise what a gargantuan task organising a wedding actually is.

Putting aside the queasy feeling that anything associated with the words 'wedding' or 'bridal' will automatically cost 25-30% more than it should do, you've got to wade through an almost endless stream of decisions which can put a strain on even the most harmonious of relationships.

Dress, suit, shoes, flowers, favours, food, cars and accommodation are just some of the things you'll need to arrange but generally all this comes after the key decision is made - venue.

For most people, picking the right location for your big day will be a time consuming and frustrating affair, during which you are likely to see the best and worst of what this aspect of the UK wedding industry has to offer.

But here's a tip that may save you some time if you live in the Berkshire/Hampshire area - the New Mill at Eversley is an exceptional venue which offers a beautiful setting, good food and excellent service. And no, this isnít an advertorial - this is based on personal experience.

After weeks of zig-zagging across the country visiting manor houses, hotels and even pubs in an increasingly desperate attempt to find something just a little bit different for our wedding away from the often clinical and formulaic country hotel model, we decided to check out the New Mill after hearing about it from a friend.

On arriving we were instantly struck by just how well looked after The New Mill is - we were transported to a bucolic English countryside setting complete with a delightful chocolate box building, pristine gardens and the River Blackwater which powers a working water wheel inside the venue, and all this just 15 minutes by car from Reading and even less from Wokingham.

The venue offers ample opportunity for some stunning wedding photos - either in its gardens or inside the genuine olde building with its low ceilings and real oak beams - and gives you a perfect place for you and your guests to relax, with an ample outside seating area and various rooms of differing sizes inside.

So struck were we that we decided on The New Mill almost instantly, and we didnít regret it.

Following a very generous pre-wedding wine and food tasting visit (included in the cost of our wedding package), we chose a pressing of salmon, prawns and smoked trout with dill and saffron Chablis jelly and watercress wasabi puree as our starter, a braised beef with red wine, garlic and thyme, and a horseradish mash and roasted shallots for our main and a raspberry and vanilla crŤme brulee with shortbread and berries for pudding.

Individual meals and mass catering are often alarmingly world's apart, but we found the New Mill sustained the quality of the food, despite the chef and his brigade cooking for our party of 80 instead of the pair of us at the tasting. In fact the food may have even been marginally better than first time round which is quite a feat.

Service was, on the whole, excellent. There were a couple of moments when the young contingent of staff could have upped their game a bit to match the level this venue is aiming for - more eye contact and engagement with guests would have been welcomed, but otherwise they were extremely efficient and made very few errors.

The one older member of staff present, who was Italian, was absolutely brilliant at chatting to guests, even to the point of giving some excellent advice to us as to honeymoon dining destinations in his home country which proved very useful.

The service ran like clockwork throughout the day - from post ceremony drinks, to the meal and evening hog roast. So top marks here for the military precision shown in making the whole event run smoothly for everyone present.

Outside of weddings, the venue operates as a higher-end modern European restaurant and features an interesting menu split between the classics and some more adventurous creations, all prepared with skill and excellently sourced ingredients.

The prices are on the high side for a venue with no Michelin accreditation which could prove off-putting for some, especially as you'll have to fork out for a taxi to get here if you want to properly enjoy the experience with a drink.

A few pounds off here and there would greatly improve the appeal of a visit to The New Mill outside of a wedding, especially given the competitive nature of top-end restaurant pricing these days. And perhaps a little work on atmosphere could be done, as on the night of our tasting the dining area was fairly empty and could even have been a little oppressive if it wasnít for a large party at one end of the room.

The New Mill offers a truly stunning location for your nuptials and within a reasonable price bracket for a venue offering such good food and service. And itís also worth considering making the effort to visit for a special meal out as the food really is very good and is of a standard rarely seen in this part of the country.


Visit: www.thenewmill.co.uk - website is no longer working


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Related: Warbrook House De Vere Eversley
Your comments (1 positive, 0 negative)                   › add comment
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"The New Mill looks deceptively small from the outside, but venture in and youíll find a cavernous area of rooms which will cater for almost any occasion. Situated in lush countryside on the banks of the River Blackwater, this Grade II listed building is proving to be a significant contender for top notch dining on the Hampshire/Berkshire borders. The modern European menu that changes according to the seasons offers a wide range of quality local produce cooked extremely well. The venue was taken over by Sean Valentine in 2006 and his influence has been significant - the New Mill has won several reputable accolades for its food since the takeover, most recently two AA rosettes. The staff are professional and ensure everything runs smoothly and to high standards, especially when the venue is used for large occasions, such as weddings. Excellent all round and well worth a visit."
JK, UK. July 10, 2011.