You don’t have to go all out and fork out hundreds of pounds for a stay in a hotel. There are some amazing rooms to be checked into, including country pubs. Luxurious Magazine’s Sabi Phagura went along to The Beckford Inn near Tewksbury, Gloucestershire, to see what it is like.
Pubs have come a long way in the last decade or so. There’s none of that ‘no rooms at the inn’ but more of a ‘come in and stay the night’ notion now. And why not? There’s nothing quite like a cosy British country inn offering good wholesome food, local ales, comfy seating and a decked-out garden.
Throw in a handful of rooms, and you can crawl into a bed after a good old knee’s up. And that’s exactly what is on offer at The Beckford Inn, which has recently undergone a thorough refurbishment. What separates this inn from most other common or garden varieties is it boasts twelve individually designed rooms, helping it to feel more like an English boutique hotel.
The 18th Century Cotswold Inn is set in open countryside in the tranquil village of Beckford, near Tewksbury. It’s an ideal place to explore the delights of the rolling hills of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. But before I ventured out into the great outdoors, I wanted to explore my immediate surroundings and what would be ‘home’ for 24 hours.
It’s always a good sign to see a car park packed, but it was lunchtime by the time I arrived. And although my room wasn’t ready, I was only too pleased to sit in the inn’s spacious beer garden and heated pergola terrace for a much-needed caffeine fix. There’s plenty of room to host a large party here in the garden, and the indoor open-plan restaurant, with its stone floors, three log burner fires and its cosy interior and traditional rustic charm, makes for a good backdrop for any occasion.
The 12 ensuite bedrooms at the Beckford Inn (including eight dog-friendly bedrooms) are contemporary, light airy and very inviting, and each is named after local areas. My ensuite – Aston Cross – overlooked the pergola terrace and was equipped with a seriously comfy bed, a Dyson air cooler, organic Bramley bathroom goodies a mini-fridge with soft drinks alongside the award-winning Butcombe beer.
The Beckford Inn is part of Butcombe Pubs & Inns, which is a collection of independent pubs located across the South West of England. And as the group’s passion extends to food, there were some homemade cookies in a jar by the tea and coffee-making facilities that didn’t last much longer than the room tour.
The outdoor enthusiast can find a plethora of walks to enjoy in the area, or you can drive a few miles away to find a different route. But if you’re looking for something to do locally, do visit the beautiful St John the Baptist Church. It’s a nice way to get some fresh country air, stretch those legs and is within walking distance of The Beckford.
On the menu, the focus is on locally sourced ingredients (Wiltshire, Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire, to name a few), seasonal dishes and various takes on pub classics. Think burgers, beer-battered fish and slow-cooked lamb. The decent-sized menu with a variety of dishes would suit even the fussiest of eaters, and given the portion sizes will leave you satisfied without being too full.
It made sense to order the green salad to balance out the main I had my eye on. Consisting of broad bean hummus, radishes, asparagus, pea shoots, lemon confit and almond dukkah, the plate of goodness could have come straight from a Michelin star restaurant. And very delicious it was too. Not so healthy but incredibly satisfying was the Burcombe beer-battered fish. With a good old pub fish and chips on the menu and I really can’t resist. Just as well, I was staying and was able to stagger up to bed.
When I said the bed was comfy, I kid you not, it was. And while I managed to sleep off my food coma, I was awoken by the murmur of traffic a couple of times during the night due to the location of my particular room just off the main road. So if you’re a light sleeper, a different room would suit, but earplugs are provided by the bedside.
One thing that can make or break a really good stay is the staff. And here I safely say the staff are warm and friendly. Waking up in the morning and heading to breakfast and there they were again to greet us with a smile. Pedro, I have to say, stood out for me. I even left him a little token of chilli sauce he saw me dip my chips in. Yes, I do carry my bottle because it adds a little kick to food. Well, it’s always good to spice things up in life.
The Beckford Inn – Where and how?
Lead in room rate is £130 for a stay at The Beckford Inn. This fine country inn can is located in Station Road, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, GL20 7AN. Visit their website for more information via www.thebeckford.com.
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