An Inspector Calls: Cosying up at the Castle Hotel, a Windsor bolthole fit for a queen (and entirely convenient for her as well)
- The Castle Hotel enjoys a splendid location on the High Street in Windsor
- The town’s famous, iconic castle is immediately in view from the windows
- Windsor is a pleasing hotspot for a weekend break or short stay
Windsor is a place we should all visit from time to time, because this is such a pretty town.
The noise of aircraft coming and going at nearby Heathrow might bother some of us (presumably the Queen has grown used to it) and the flow of tourists could grate, but to dip in for a night is thoroughly recommended.
No need to worry about the neighbours: The Castle Hotel occupies a splendid position in the centre of Windsor
The Castle Hotel is the place to stay, and if you can get a room on the third floor overlooking the High Street then you wake to views of the castle, with Sir Christopher Wren’s Guildhall (where Charles and Camilla were married) in the foreground.
The hotel is part of the MGallery by Sofitel group (itself part of Accor), but the chain mentality is not particularly evident.
We walk in off the street without having made a booking.
This gives a chance to negotiate vigorously with an engaging young Hungarian on reception.
She puts us in a superior room at the ‘classic room’ rate – with a request that we post something agreeable on TripAdvisor after our stay. Cheeky!
It’s a large, restful room, with muted colours, two windows and a smart bathroom.
Everything is immaculate, as though the decorators have just left.
Downstairs, we bump into Marco Pierre White in the bar and he’s everywhere in the restaurant.
Too much, actually.
The black-and-white photographs of the one-time godfather of modern cuisine seem to be trying desperately hard to impress, especially when everyone knows Marco has long since hung up his chef whites in favour of advertising stock cubes.
Even so, the Castle’s Marco Pierre White steakhouse does a good job, and we’re impressed by the enthusiastic and attentive service.
Happy birthday, Your Majesty: The Queen might have no need for the hotel, but it’s right on her doorstep
There’s no room in the main restaurant, so we sit near the fire in what used to be the lobby.
It’s like being in our own private dining room.
We ask for the lights to be dimmed, and everything seems right with the world.
There’s just time in the morning to wander around town.
The Queen was devastated when her castle caught fire in 1992, but to the untrained eye it looks better than ever.
Long may it, and Her Majesty, continue.