Awarded Best Restaurant in the newcomer category at the Food and Travel Awards 2021, this wisteria-clad coaching inn close to Oxford is the most recent of Sam and Georgie Pearman’s Country Creatures collection of rural restaurants and inns (it includes The Swan in Ascott-under-Wychwood, andThe Chequers in Churchill). Guests can hunker down in one of the cosy sitting rooms for drinks before heading to the open-plan bar and garden room for – the biggest draw – the food. Henrik Ritzén (of Bluebird fame) cooks over live fire; book the Chef’s counter to be at the heart of the action. Think charred squid, smoked aubergine and miso dip, the best longhorn steaks and crème brûlée for dessert. Upstairs, comfortable rooms (the biggest sleep a family of four) with original wooden beams shine a spotlight on British artisans. Upholstered furniture is designed by George Smith, fabrics are from Fermoie and wallpaper is by Rapture and Wright. There is also a shepherd’s hut in the herb garden for massages using all-natural, botanical 100 Acres products. The garden room for up to 40 and a 12-seater feasting room can both be hired for parties.
Doubles from £120
+44 (0) 1367 810222; countrycreatures.com