A Foodie Haven In The Cotswolds: The Swan, Ascott Under Wychwood – Review
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A Foodie Haven In The Cotswolds: The Swan, Ascott Under Wychwood – Review

There's a lot to love about this historic spot

With its abundance of local produce, traditional inns and Michelin-starred restaurants, the Cotswolds is rural England’s culinary capital – and The Swan is a charming pub with rooms that should be on any foodie’s radar.

Hotel Review: The Swan, Ascott Under Wychwood, Cotswolds

STAY

Bedroom with white linen and pink tartan blanket

The Swan is located in the heart of Ascott-under-Wychwood, a charming, honey-hued, typically Cotswolds village that’s located six miles from Chipping Norton

Dating from the 16th century, it has all the features you’d expect from a snug Cotswolds pub – beamed ceilings, exposed brick walls, roaring open fires – along with contemporary twists such as colourful patterned wallpaper in the dining room, framed artworks and smart olive green, studded banquette seating. 

Expect to find a mix of locals and weekending Londoners chatting over a pint of Hooky in the bar and on the suntrap patio in warmer months, or grazing on an indulgent three-course lunch.

And when it’s time to kick back and sleep off all that food, there are 11 individually designed rooms to stumble back to, located above the pub, in a garden annexe and in a new adjacent building. This includes the beautiful Cygnet Suite, which is decked out in neutral tones with smart pale green wood panelling, and which boasts a roll top bath, massive rainfall shower, retro radio and toiletries by plant-based brand Grown Alchemist.

One of the garden rooms can accommodate less mobile guests, but it is not fully accessible to wheelchair users.

EAT

Two plates of roast dinner on a wooden table

Like its sister gastro pubs The Chequers in Churchill and The Black Horse in Salford, The Swan is renowned for its food, with an impressive menu of hearty pub favourites with a twist, using seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. 

The imaginative all-day menu has starters such as twice-baked Oxford blue cheese souffle and poached duck egg, and the Kelmscott Farm Cumberland sausage ring is a must for main course. The highlight of the dessert menu is the peanut butter & dark chocolate sharing fondant (trust us, you won’t want to share). During our stay, we also sampled their epic Sunday roast chicken and Cotswold lamb with all the trimmings – a feast that leaves little room for anything else.

In summer, The Swan hosts foodie-themed evenings in the garden, highlighting different cuisines from around the world, and there’s also an outside pizza kitchen and grill; in spring and autumn, it is covered by an awning – but don’t worry, there are plenty of heaters, faux sheepskin and throws to keep you cosy. Afterwards, retreat to the fireside in the bar or head to the wine room, which doubles as a lounge.

Continental breakfast is offered in the B&B rate, which includes fruits, juices, freshly baked muffins and croissants and toast, with cooked options like porridge with compote and smashed avocado with poached eggs at an extra cost.

DO

Exterior of The Swan hotel in The Cotswolds

The pub is surrounded by some of the Cotswolds’ most jaw-droppingly beautiful countryside, and there are a number of walks from the front door that link into the 37-mile Wychwood Way around the ancient Wychwood Forest.

Alternatively, spend a leisurely morning browsing in nearby Chipping Norton or at the famous Burford Garden Company near Stow-on-the-Wold (15 minutes away). And though it can be crowded with tourists in peak season, Bourton-on-the-Water, with its meandering stream and tea shops, is a must visit.

Head for lunch in the village of Kingham, too, where you’ll find the award-winning Wild Rabbit restaurant with rooms.

THE FINAL WORD

A historic property in an idyllic spot with snug rooms and an impressive menu – there’s a lot to love about The Swan. It’s a wonderful spot for a wholesome countryside break.

BOOK IT

Double rooms at The Swan start from £95 per night including continental breakfast. lionhearth.co.uk

Kirsty Nutkins travelled by car, with a carbon footprint of 0.054 t.