The Cotswolds, every Londoner’s ultimate country escape. Four weeks ago on a dreary Monday morning I was kindly invited to stay in the quaint village of Duns Tew. To my delight this happened to be in the heart of the English countryside and close to the gorgeous outlet shopping in Bicester Village. Two birds and one stone? What a weekend that was coming my way.
|Zara Faux Fur Shawl, Topshop Shoulder Bag, Zaful Trench|
As predicted, this was something to gain excitement about. Christmas shopping errands, the cheeky self purchase and lunch with my other half, we began our venture into the heart of the countryside. In the picturesque village of Duns Tew lies the White Horse, conveniently situated on the Eastern side of the Cotswolds between Bicester and Banbury.
Over the last two years I have become fairly familiar with the country pub scene, especially with an upbringing in rural Kent. In keeping with tradition Ryan and I arrived at the gorgeous country tavern and celebrated our visit with drinks by the golden glow of the open log fire. A thoughtful touch after a chilly Winter’s day indulging at Bicester.
The charming 17th century pub has a unique character. The stand-out impression being the friendly, welcoming and informative hosts, who were ever-so dog friendly (great tick for country location!) Everyone shared a smile, we felt welcomed into the small and chatty community of Duns Tew through the central social hub of the White Horse. Each character had their own story or country walking tip to share, I certainly think Londoner’s could take a tip or two from these folks!
During the evening, we were invited to dine in the restaurant which to our knowledge was fully booked for the duration of the weekend. The White Horse had the upper hand of being the only pub in the village, but even so, it seemed like the ultimate gathering place for families, young farmers and city escapers.
I can safely say we managed to put ourselves into a state of food frenzy. The one starter that most tables had ordered seemed to be the ‘Korean style chicken wings,’ being so popular we did what was necessary. (See two photos up!) With a great Korean kick, the spice intensified the flavours and Ryan rated these some of the best chicken wings he had tasted. This is a big statement.
The main courses were also delicious, I decided to try the slow roasted pork belly and vegetable mash with beetroot. While Ryan jumped on the bandwagon with the buttermilk chicken burger accompanied by raunch hot sauce. The flavours were rich and meat perfectly tender, bravo to the chef!
When guided to our room, we were delighted to discover we were going rooftop! The vibes were incredible, as the sun was setting over the Cotswolds countryside, the fields and sky were illuminated by a golden gleam. The private roof terrace for the king and double premier rooms, allowed us to have a perfect location to view the sunset. In the summer months this would be a great area to enjoy the warm evenings, with a barbecue area and outdoor seating.
We stayed in the Double Premier Suite, with romantic English beams and country interior; the rooms were airy, fresh with a touch of modern. With old buildings, this modern twist is essential. Located at the end of the building, the room was ever-so peaceful and relaxing. The view from the bay window revealed the winding country road and local village that lie beyond!
Crisp airy sheets, polished bathroom and soft-cosy towels! Everything you need on a Sunday morning waking up in the Cotswolds. It was so wonderful getting ready knowing what awaited us on the other side of the door.
|White Horse Rooftop Bathroom, River Island Wash Bag (£5) bargain!|
|Missguided Bathrobe, Grazia Magazine|
Sunday morning was absolute bliss, being able to unwind and catch up on reading with a nice hot coffee. On route to checking out we were able to meet one of the owners Michael and chat about the village, future engagements and the overall stay.
The White Horse let us live like the locals. As much as we love the buzz of the city, the natural ‘buzz’ of the Cotswolds is becoming even more appealing, especially after having a taste of Duns Tew culture. We were pleased to discover that the owners are also developing another property in a nearby village. The property is currently being thatched which apparently is incredibly expensive but I’m sure will be worth every penny!
The White Horse
Dogs Welcome: yes.
Restaurant Rating: 4.5*
Accommodation Rating: 4.5*
Stay Again? Absolutely.
Address: Daisy Hill, Duns Tew, Oxfordshire OX256JS
Website: The White Horse