In the midst of full-time employment, it’s easy to get caught up in the swell of modern day stresses. Work, money, relationships and health are all thoughts that zoom through our minds on a daily basis – and that’s usually before we’ve allowed ourselves time to sit down for breakfast. Although this 21st century hamster wheel is inevitable, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be put on pause from time to time – just for a little while.
For me, last month’s pause saw me (and my Mum) take a little trip to the Oxfordshire village of Ascott-Under-Wychwood, for an overnight stay at The Swan Inn – a recently renovated boutique pub with eight very tastefully decorated rooms to match. Winner of Inn Places 'Best Pub with Rooms' in 2017 and sister to the popular Bull Inn (located just under 10 minutes away), you can expect the same style and quality from this younger Pack Tavern addition.
Nestled among the Cotswold countryside, this retreat is the perfect escape from city noise and activity – and let’s face it, who can’t be allured by that these days?
The rooms at The Swan are nothing short of unique. With the help of interior stylist Willow Crossley, the bedrooms have been transformed into quirky, cosy and comfortable spaces – ready for your enjoyment.
Rich in colour, fabrics and statement art, you’ll be blown away by the care and attention that’s gone into making each and every one of these rooms so special in character. Greeted with statement beds dresses in luxurious linen, sumptuous mattresses that you’ll never want to leave and generously-sized baths and walk-in showers (complete with Bramley toiletries) – you’ve got plenty of little treats to help you switch off and unwind.
One thing to mention is this is not a hotel, so don’t expect the amenities of one. That being said, there are tea and coffee making facilities, fluffy robes and friendly staff on hand to deliver fresh milk when needed.
It’s a rarity that you find somewhere that gets a menu so spot on, but The Swan have managed it. Not over-promising on their offerings, but certainly over delivering – the menu inhibits all the classic comforts you’d wish from a countryside pub, with the addition of some modern enhancements.
Worried about small, fancy portions? Don’t be. All options are generously plated to leave you feeling well-fed, with delicious flavours coming from seasonal ingredients and locally sourced Cotswolds suppliers.
Plates from the dinner menu that are certainly worth a mention; Bruschetta with juicy olives, sour capers, basil and aubergine, Pan fried wild mushrooms with garlic and tarragon on toasted sourdough (to start) and the Coq au Vin and homemade spelt bread.
The ambient surrounding provides for a casual lunch spot or intimate dinner date, not to mention their breakfast menu too (featuring maple bacon pancakes and smashed avocado on toast) - open for overnight guests and lazy weekend wanderers.
With the addition of a cosy fire-side snug in the next room and a quaint garden space to enjoy crisp summer ciders, you can enjoy all this retreat has to offer come rain or shine. To view The Swan's full menu, click here.
So, if you're looking to hop off the wheel of working life or just fancy sampling some of the Cotswolds fresh air in your lungs - then be sure to seek out a stay at The Swan Inn. Small, but perfectly formed - you'll find everything you need in this chocolate box pub with rooms to treat yourself to that self-indulgence you've been hankering.
If you're interested in booking in with The Swan Inn, visit their website.