Join us on the River – Covid Update
As we emerge from lockdown VDO is now able to offer our luxury river experiences and wedding cars for the coming period. However, with the different regulations covering our partner venues, applicable from different dates, we regret that we will not be able to offer our full range of partner experiences in 2021. We hope you understand.
Idyllic Experiences and Days Out on and along the river Thames
Step back in time and join us to enjoy memorable experiences and days out aboard our beautifully restored vintage boats and elegant pre-war Rolls Royces as we take you out on one of the most idyllic stretches of the River Thames through Oxfordshire and Berkshire.
This stretch of the river is linked with the timeless classic ‘Wind in the Willows’ and Jerome K. Jerome’s 1889 ‘Three Men in a Boat’, and you’ll pass by (or visit on a private tour) stately homes, centuries-old riverside restaurants, historic bridges and locks.
While the river is the focus of our experiences and days out, our Rolls Royce fleet means that a diversion inland to a place of interest is also an option.
Price Guide: We offer a range of Vintage Days Out Experiences with the most economical starting at £225. For a larger group, a typical package for an afternoon for 8 on Lollapalooza with chef-prepared luxury champagne afternoon tea is £840, or just over £100 per guest. Please enquire as each Experience is tailored for each party, and prices will vary.
Let us Inspire You: 7 Vintage Days Out to Enjoy
1 – A Classic Vintage Day Out
Laze about on the river with friends
Relax aboard one of our vintage boats as you cruise along the river, taking in historic sites and the beautiful countryside, enjoying the company of friends and family, and even business guests or colleagues.
Depending on the boat chosen, catering options can include Brunch, Lunch, Picnics, Afternoon Tea and Dinner. Whichever option you choose, you can be assured your meal will be served on vintage tableware with crystal glassware.
2 – A Gourmet Cruise
Cruise to a selected restaurant on the river with canapés served en route.
What better way to arrive at one of the Thames’s most celebrated river-front restaurants than by vintage cruiser? Make a day of it with Canapés en route, then perhaps Afternoon Tea on the return trip – if you have room for it!
Popular restaurants include:
The Swan at Pangbourne
A beautiful 17th century listed building with traditional oak beams and open fires. For lazy summer days there is a beautiful terrace overlooking the river.
Shaun Dickens at The Boathouse, Henley-on-Thames
An unparalleled riverside setting featuring fresh, local British produce. Recently awarded a coveted AA 3 Rosette Award.
The Hon. William Stonor and/or Lady Ailsa Stonor will guide you on a private tour of their home, a majestic house that has been home to the Stonor family for 850 years.
Architecturally fascinating, discover art and treasures collected from across the globe and view historic maps and documents that reveal generations of service to the country. A private tour through this house is a vivid walk through history.
Lunch is served in a private dining room.
Built in 1666, Cliveden House has remained a pinnacle of intrigue and glamour for the elite.
The house has played host to every British monarch since George I and has been home to three Dukes, an Earl, Frederick Prince of Wales and the Astor family. A private Butler’s tour and talk will reveal the secrets and revelations from over 350 years of history.
Following the behind the scenes tour, lunch or afternoon tea will be taken.
Enjoy the truly stunning surrounds of Danesfield House, learn the secrets of the house and the history of RAF Medmenham which was stationed at Danesfield House during World War II and played a critical role in the war effort.
The experience includes a private tour, a wonderful 2-course lunch and the opportunity to enjoy the 65-acre grounds, with tea and coffee served.
Enjoy a private tour of The Private Apartments of Blenheim Palace with the Duke of Marlborough’s own Butler.
Blenheim Palace is the principal residence of the Dukes of Marlborough, the birthplace of Winston Churchill and the only non-royal, non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of palace.
Blenheim Palace is nestled in over 90 acres of formal gardens and is truly stunning.
- Tea/coffee and pastries on arrival
- Tour of the Private Apartments
- Guide book presented
- Chance to view other areas of the palace and gardens if desired
- Can be combined with lunch or afternoon tea served in the Orangery
Visit this absolutely stunning and history-packed manor house, built in 1300.
Martin, the eldest son of the current Lord and Lady Saye and Sele, will take you on a private tour where you will hear stories from the property’s hundreds of years of history including stories of the English Civil War, as well as of rather famous Fiennes family – you may already be familiar with a the names of a few members of the family. It’s no surprise that this picture-perfect castle has also featured in many historical movies, including Wolf Hall, Jane Eyre, Shakespeare in Love, The Madness of King George and Three Men and a Little Lady.
- Private chauffeured Rolls Royce
- An enhanced exclusive tour of the castle
- Presentation of two books by William Fiennes, the younger son.
- Can be combined with a lunch served locally.
Please contact us to learn more about these unique tours.
4 – A Celebration
An extraordinary venue for an anniversary, reunion, special celebration or even a proposal…
We love nothing more than celebrations on the River Thames during the day or evening. Our team will ensure that your cruise is more than special. We will happily dovetail our river cruise into your extended celebration plans but we like to think our private charter along the Thames will be the highlight of your day.
If we need to transport you from to and from the mooring, you only have to ask, and our vintage Rolls Royce will be there to meet you.
5 – A Traditional English Country Pastime
Experience the country life and history of Oxfordshire and Berkshire
6 – A Visit to a Winery
Visit one of England’s finest vineyards for a private tour and tasting
7 – A Classic River Event
What could be more prestigious and exciting than experiencing one of England’s historic events on the River Thames?
Britain is renowned for its pageantry and summer social events and the Thames does not disappoint. The following events are extremely popular and early booking is recommended.
Henley Royal Regatta
Founded in 1839 Henley Royal Regatta is undoubtedly the best-known rowing regatta in the world, and is famous both as a great sporting event and as a social occasion.
Vintage Days Out offers you an exclusive opportunity to experience Henley Royal Regatta 2021 in a style that embodies the glamour of the 1920s and 1930s. Your day includes collection by a Chauffeur-driven vintage Rolls Royce from a local pick up point, exclusive use of the beautiful Lollapalooza to cruise along the river to watch the races, and use of your own private riverfront marquee for refreshments and dining throughout the day with unrivalled views of the races.
Our Henley Royal Regatta Experience includes full hospitality throughout the day with private Chef.
We also arrange Vintage Days Out for Henley Women’s Regatta, the UK’s premier women’s rowing event.
Thames Traditional Boat Festival – usually July
This popular event features the largest display of traditional boats in Europe, a WWI air display, a gathering of ‘Dunkirk Little Ships’ who sailed to Dunkirk, amphibious vehicles and, in the past, highlights have included Her Majesty’s ‘Rowbarge Gloriana’ and Duncan Campbell’s Blue Bird to name just a few. A perfect family day out on the river!
Royal Swan Upping – usually mid July
Follow the journey of the traditional rowing skiffs of the Royal Swan Uppers and Swan Uppers from the Vintners’ and Dyers’ livery companies for a day as they carry out their annual conservation survey of Her Majesty The Queen’s swans and cygnets in the Royal Swan Upping.