We had the pleasure of attending a beautiful wedding at Ardington House in Wantage. To complete our experience, we stayed at The Bear Hotel, an old inn with a charming character. In this blog post, we'll take you through our delightful stay, sharing our observations and experiences along the way.
As we arrived at The Bear Hotel, we couldn't help but notice its rustic charm. While the establishment may have undergone refurbishment in the last century, it does bear a slightly tired and dated appearance. Nonetheless, the staff welcomed us warmly, and although the rooms were small, they were comfortable enough for our needs. However, the true highlight was the Full English breakfast, which exceeded our expectations. It's worth mentioning that cleanliness is a crucial factor for us when dining out or staying
We always check the taps in the bedrooms and bathrooms for signs of neglect. Fortunately, they were clean, reassuring us that attention to detail was given to cleanliness, a good sign for the overall hygiene standards of the establishment. A helpful tip we would offer is to bring an old toothbrush along to give the taps a thorough scrub for your peace of mind. Despite the heavy fire doors (which felt like a workout to open) and a somewhat inconveniently placed bedroom mirror, we found The Bear Hotel to be a good value for our money.
Ardington House, a renowned Georgian masterpiece, holds a significant historical legacy. Constructed in 1719 by the skilled stone mason and architect, Thomas Strong Jnr., it has changed hands multiple times throughout the years. One notable owner was Lord Wantage, a distinguished figure who received the Victoria Cross for his bravery in the Crimean War and later played a pivotal role in establishing the British Red Cross. Lord Wantage left his mark on Ardington House by displaying two cannonballs, fired by the Russian frigate Vladimir during the Battle of Inkerman in 1854, on either side of the grand front door. Since 1939, the Baring family has owned the estate, and their ancestral portraits and personal photos create a warm, familial atmosphere within the house.
Our visit to Ardington House and our stay at The Bear Hotel was a memorable experience. The wedding we attended, set against the backdrop of the majestic Georgian architecture, added to the charm of the occasion. Despite the inn's slightly dated appearance, the friendly staff, comfortable rooms, and delectable breakfast made our stay worthwhile. We left with fond memories and an appreciation for the historical significance of Ardington House. Stay tuned for more upcoming tales, and thank you for joining us on this journey!