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Hotel review: The Great House at Sonning, Sonning-On-Thames, Reading in Berkshire

Caroline Cooper checks into The Great House at Sonning in Berkshire for some rest and relaxation.

By Caroline Cooper  |  January 1, 2022
great house sonning

Once described by Jerome K. Jerome in his book, Three Men in a Boat as ‘the most fairy-like little nook on the whole river’ it’s no wonder that A-listers like George Clooney decide to take up residence in the idyllic village of, Sonning-On-Thames. Its famous lock, built in the 18th Century is 40.5miles from Oxford and 72 miles from London Bridge via the river, and this quaint little village is also home to The Coppa Club, which offers the very best elements of a restaurant, bar and lounge combined into one setting. 

With eight separate locations currently found in the South-East and West of England, each of the venues aim to provide an informal and relaxed atmosphere but with stylish, slick, and modern décor. The venues are open throughout the day, so whether it’s a work meeting or place to hang out with friends, there’s something for everyone.


The Great House at Sonning restaurant

Around an hour’s drive, or indeed train journey from London, The Coppa Club Sonning, is hosted by The Great House at Sonning, a boutique hotel featuring 49 bedrooms nestled in the Berkshire Countryside positioned on the River Thames, boasting the ideal setting for an escape from the city.

The property itself is quite literally located on the Thames, with beautiful views spanning across where the property sits. With Henley-On-Thames around a 15-minute drive away there are plenty of places to visit should you wish to do so, but for my friend and I we just wanted to make the most of some well-earned R&R.


The Great House at Sonning room

We were booked in for a night’s stay on a winter’s evening, in a riverside deluxe double, and after a swift check-in we were excited to see what the room had to offer. The décor was clean and modern, with almost a loft style apartment vibe with a vintage fridge and old school telephone – it was cosy and neat. The beds were king-size with super soft bedding, making me want to crawl into it. The bathrooms were again modern in design, with deliciously smelling complimentary toiletries and a powerful and invitingly hot shower.

After a quick spruce up, my friend and I headed down to the bar at The Coppa Club for a cocktail before our dinner reservation. The restaurant was lively and busy – with a brilliant atmosphere with barmen making endless cocktails for diners which were expertly made.

We were seated in one of the booths giving us privacy for a good catch up whilst also being able to soak up the atmosphere. The venue also has ample outdoor dining which is glorious in the summer and winter igloos during the latter part of the year, who this year are sponsored by Laurent- Perrier.

Food and drink

The Great House at Sonning restaurant

Menus focus on thoughtful, unfussy European food from small plates and snacks to grilled mains, sourdough pizzas and healthy snacks. Having dined there on many occasions, I know that the pizzas are very good. However, we decided to share a couple of starters with the crispy fried squid with spicy ponzu dip, sriracha mayo and lemon and the seared king prawns with garlic, lemon, chilli and parsley. They were each utterly delicious.

For mains, I opted for the special which was the Dover sole with a side of truffle, pecorino fries. My friend had the sirloin steak which she assured me was cooked to perfection. Portions are large, so we could have easily skipped a dessert, but our waitress convinced us to try the crumble and custard which was equally delicious!

After a quick nightcap back in the bar, we headed up to our room for a peaceful night’s sleep. Curtains are heaving blocking out any light giving guests the optimum darkness.

We woke up to a gloriously frosty morning on the river and got ready slowly before heading down for breakfast. Once again, menus are simple and concise and range from pastries to smashed avocado to pancakes. Although tempted by the tantalizing menu, we were still full from the previous night’s dinner, so each enjoyed a coffee and granola as we watched the next day’s diners arrive for breakfast. It’s almost as though this little hub in this quaint little village never sleeps.

In a nutshell

The Great House at Sonning is the perfect little escape to the country. With its friendly staff, cosy setting with a constant ‘buzz’ it’s hard to leave, but should you wish to, there are plenty of walks and places to visit on its doorstep. 


A cosy double Room costs from £85 per night. Deluxe doubles are available from £115 per night.

Address: The Great House, Thames Street, Sonning, Reading, RG4 6UT
Tel: 0118 969 2277