The Elephant Hotel

UK England South East England Berkshire Reading

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Wifi
  • Walking
Quirky dog-friendly former pub and manor house near the Thames in Berkshire.

Consistently a hive of activity for locals of Pangbourne village for the last couple hundred years at least, The Elephant Hotel is a quirky former pub and manor house near the Thames in Berkshire. As you drive along the main street in Pangbourne, you can’t miss the huge, striking metal elephant sculpture that greets you outside on the front porch. There’s an equally impressive elephant inside, too, carved from wood and dressed in Indian festival regalia.

Elsewhere it’s all antiques and intrigue as the décor throughout bears more resemblance to an Indian Raj-era home than a countryside hotel in Britain, but it’s all the more lovely for it. It's dog friendly too, and although dogs will be disappointed to be banished from the restaurant, but they’re welcome everywhere else, including the cocktail lounge.

Bedrooms are wildly charming, with heavy antique beds (the mattresses are modern, thankfully) and Indian art that’s been collected from the sub-continent itself. Bathrooms have rain showers over bathtubs for a soak after a long walk, and the modern, industrial-chic bar has a decent gin and whisky menu for post-stroll tipples. There’s also a cocktail lounge for something more sophisticated.

But the main event here is by far the steak restaurant just beyond the lobby, where the huge stone fireplace has been converted into a log-burning grill, and a box on each table displays a choice of razor-sharp knives for all cuts of meat. They are serious about their steaks here, with a daily changing menu of sharers like chateaubriand and porterhouse, plus regular favourites like rib-eye and fillet. It’s all cooked before your eyes on the log-fired grill and served up with comforting roast potatoes and grilled mushrooms. After an evening here you’ll be grateful to have those big old sturdy beds to collapse into.

Price

Standard double rooms with breakfast from £85 a night, or dog-friendly superior doubles from £105 per night. It's an extra £20 per dog, maximum of two dogs per room.

Opening Times

Open all year.

Rooms

Location

The Elephant Hotel, Church Road, Pangbourne, Berkshire RG8 7AR

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