A delightful country pub in the Cotswolds is the perfect location for a staycation, and for visitors from abroad, is about as British as you can get! The Bull at Fairford is the quintessential country pub and made for a wonderful January break for me and my family.
The pub is located in the market square of the charming village of Fairford which is found at the foot of the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire. The pub lies on the River Coln and we enjoyed a lovely little stroll down to the river; the stunning parish church, St Mary’s, is also worth a visit and is probably less than a minutes’ walk away! The nearest train station is Kemble with regular trains departing from London Paddington with a journey time of just 1hr 15 minutes, the pub is then a 20-minute taxi ride away. We spent a very pleasant day browsing the boutiques of Cirencester which is just 6 miles away, pausing only to sample a couple of lovely independent cafes. You are also just 9 miles from the Cotswold Wildlife Park and 11 miles from the Cotswold Country Park and Beach so there’s tons to occupy you locally.
Style & Character
The large atmospheric pub is one of those places with a maze of smaller rooms, there were about 3 rooms where you could sit and enjoy a drink in the bar and at least 3 different dining spaces plus a gorgeous function room with its own bar for up to 60 which was set out for a party when we were there. The building itself was a former 15th-century monks’ chanting house and is packed with little nooks and crannies, we loved the sloping floors, exposed brick and the real sense of history.
Service & Facilities
Car parking is available at the front of the pub and there’s also secure bike storage if you wish to explore this gorgeous area on two wheels. The Bull also has fishing rights to a stretch of the River Coln. There is complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the pub and the toiletries are locally-made toiletries by Wold Garden and available to buy. The staff were attentive, friendly and relaxed and were always there if you needed them.
The 21 ensuite guest rooms are very tastefully decorated with a shabby chic feel. They have TVs (ours had 2 to our children’s delight!) and tea and coffee making equipment. We stayed in room 17, the Penthouse and one of two family rooms and it was a wonderful space, with a separate lounge area (where the sofa bed had been very nicely set up for our children in advance) and a huge bathroom with his and hers sinks and an oversized walk-in shower.
Food & Drink
Food was definitely a highlight; our biggest problem was choosing from the very wide menu; everything simply sounded delicious! We all shared ‘The Bull Board of Italian cured meats, pickles and sourdough’ which was very popular for starters. I can never resist a soufflé so went for the ‘twice baked double Gloucester soufflé with spinach’ which was melt in your mouth heavenly! My husband enjoyed his ‘kelmscott pork and leek sausages with caramelised onion and sage gravy, mash’. One of the real highlights, funnily enough, was the ‘parmesan straws’, we could easily have eaten several portions and it was a generous portion at that!
Another treat awaited us at breakfast, a very well stocked continental breakfast is included with your room but we chose the cooked items which are additional, partly because of my love for Eggs Benedict!
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