Winter blues? Curl up in a cosy romantic retreat and get in the pink.
Lydia Gard seeks out the most welcoming hearths

The Kings Head Inn, Bledington, Oxfordshire

People (and dogs) flock to the Kings Head, possibly the cosiest English pub there is, just a stones throw from Stow-on-the-Wold. Villagers tumble in as they pass, and townies roll up in their ‘authentically’ mud-splattered Land Rovers.

Far from being chintzy, owners Archie and Nicola Orr-Ewing have given the 16th-century stone inn a stylish revamp. Above the convivial bar are six wonky rooms, decorated with simple country elegance; the further six rooms in the courtyard are more modern.

Books are piled everywhere, low-lit lamps give a cosy glow, there is a big fire and a quirky mix of high-backed settles, little stools and heavy wooden armchairs pulled up to chunky tables. Don’t be fooled, though.

This is no banger-and-mash pub: it serves first-class food, which, alone, is worth the trip

The Quarterly – The Expert’s Guide To Good Living – Winter 2006


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