The origins of River Arts Club date back to 1892, when the Victorian mansion “Oldfields” was built as the Guards Club for the Grenadiers Guards at Windsor Castle. The property subsequently became a riverside gentleman’s residence, before eventually becoming the home of Mr Henry Reitlinger, a well-known art collector. The house was filled with beautiful artwork, and upon Mr Reitlinger’s death in 1950, his daughter converted the house into a museum, to allow the continued enjoyment of the collection so carefully curated by her father.
After 37 years the Reitlinger Museum was to close, and the house once again became a private residence. The current owners acquired the house in 2011 and began their labour of love to restore Oldfields to its former glory, and the River Arts Club was born.
The house itself is an enchanting mix of old and new, full of character with beautiful original features including ornate fireplaces, quirky windows, turrets, panelled walls, and beautiful chandeliers. The idyllic setting affords beautiful views from most rooms, with several of the bedrooms opening onto a private balcony or terrace. The house and grounds overlook the river towards Guards Club Island, a natural reserve for birds and other wildlife, and offers a haven of tranquillity.
The interiors are equally as stunning; full of elegance, yet warm, welcoming and homely. The heart of the house is the magnificent Drawing Room with its huge fireplace and sweeping wrap around staircase with gallery, comfy seating and beautiful artwork. This room is an ideal setting for relaxing with friends, entertaining guests or simply curling up with a good book in front of the fire.
There is a superbly equipped kitchen at your disposal, complete with a large 5 ring hob, two ovens, microwave, large fridge and freezer and a dishwasher. Housekeeping and breakfast are both included at River Arts Club, with a continental style breakfast laid out for you buffet style in the kitchen every morning from 7.30am, complete with homemade jams, breads, cereals and pastries along with cold meats, cheese, yoghurts and fruit. Cooked breakfast is available at a supplement.
The dining room is brightly decorated and is the ideal place to enjoy breakfast overlooking the grounds, or for dining for up to 20 – 22 guests. Whilst you are welcome to cater for yourself at River Arts Club, we can also arrange superb catering with bespoke dining experiences should you prefer. Whether you are looking for a gourmet tasting menu, a relaxed BBQ, a champagne reception with canapés or traditional fish and chips; the team are available to ensure your dining experience is truly special.
River Arts Club also offers a bar, stocked with a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, with an extensive cellar of French wines, dessert wines and champagnes available for guests’ use and charged as consumed. Particular brands can of course be offered with prior arrangement, or you are welcome to bring your own drinks with a corkage charge.
Should you wish to dine out, River Arts Club is located just a stone’s throw from the UK’s culinary capital of Bray, a beautiful village with two of the UK’s three Michelin starred restaurants, The Waterside Inn and The Fat Duck, along with the one Michelin starred pubs The Hind’s Head and The Crown. Also within the vicinity is the renowned Cliveden with its beautiful spa and superb restaurant, the Hand and Flower in Marlow with two Michelin stars and The Royal Oak in Maidenhead with one Michelin star.
There are plenty of restaurants and bars within walking distance of the house, and Bray is a leisurely 30 minute stroll. Guests have the complimentary use of Ophelia during their stay, a beautiful boat to seat up to 7 guests, offering an idyllic cruise down the Thames with a glass of chilled champagne – the perfect way to relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings or to arrive at your chosen restaurant in style. We can also arrange additional boats or a larger boat charter (additional cost) if required.
The beautiful garden is laid mainly to lawn with pretty flower beds and a large terrace perfect for al fresco dining. The gardens sweep down to the river with its own private river frontage and a private mooring, along with a lovely decked pavilion overlooking the water. We can offer drinks receptions for up to 50 guests on the lawn or for dining with the use of a marquee (additional cost).
Once you retire to bed, the 13 luxurious bedrooms await, each one individually styled and offering a supremely comfortable nights’ rest. There are three enormous suites, two of which are on the ground floor with direct access to the terrace, and one on the first floor with its own private balcony, all with super king size beds and spacious en-suite bathrooms. There are five further super king bedrooms and four doubles, each with an en-suite bath or shower room, along with a single bedroom with a private shower room.
Whether you choose the beautiful English Garden Suite with its romantic crystal chandeliers, beautiful views and spacious sitting area or the charming Turret Bedroom with its quirky turret window and pretty wallpaper, you will find beautiful artwork, luxurious Egyptian cotton bed linen, supremely comfortable beds, fluffy white towels, bathrobes, hairdryers, Nespresso/tea facilities, bottled water, fruit, biscuits and luxury Noble Isle bath products in every room.
River Arts Club is a truly unique venue, a beautiful historic property full of character and charm, with stunning interiors complemented by exquisite artwork, and an enviable location in one of the UK’s most exclusive areas. Whether you are looking for a weekend break, a gourmet getaway, a special celebration, corporate meeting or simply a family holiday, you can be sure that a stay at River Arts Club will be an experience you will never forget.