When I need to indulge in an English countryside stay, I always feel the lure of the Cotswolds. There I seek out cozy, character-rich pubs where I can feast on steaming plates of deliciousness, enjoy welcoming service, and beautiful, relaxed surroundings. The Kingham Plough received a huge tick in all of these boxes and more on our recent stay.
Why We Love This Hotel
Aside from its picturesque location, The Kingham Plough is a large gastropub but with lots of separate spaces and areas, it retains that wonderful, cozy vibe. It rather had a reputation to live up to for me with its food and drink as I’d heard so many good rumors, and luckily for me, it more than delivered.
Located near Chipping Norton, within the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in West Oxfordshire, The Kingham Plough can be found in the heart of the Evenlode Valley village of Kingham. You are absolutely spoilt for choice for something to do, with natural beauty, charming towns and villages, and attractions all on your doorstep. We enjoyed browsing the boutiques of nearby Chipping Norton and also paid a visit to one of our very favorite towns in the region, Stow-on-the-Wold, for some more shopping and a bite to eat.
Best Time To Visit
I love the Cotswolds in all seasons; summer certainly brings the visitors, so perhaps Spring or Autumn are worth considering. The choice really depends on your preferred color palette, with Autumn bringing a sea of red, orange, and gold to the area, or there’s Spring, where the world is green as far as the eye can see, coupled with a floral abundance upon which to feast your senses.
How To Get There
Personally, I find that the Cotswolds are best enjoyed by car, and the pub lies just minutes from the A44, one of the main routes into the area from the East. However, this location is also excellent if you’re arriving by train as the village of Kingham has its own train station served by the Great Western Railway! Oxford is 27.3 miles away, with Stratford-upon-Avon 25.5 miles away. Gloucestershire Airport is the nearest airport, which can be found 28.6 miles from The Kingham Plough.
Style & Character
Housed in a beautiful Cotswolds stone historic building, you drive under a walkway to reach the car park that connects two of the bedrooms to the main pub. This quirky welcome set the tone for us, exploring the property and its architectural highlights. Outside, there’s a large terrace, and tucked further along, you’ll find a grassy beer garden. We soaked up one of the last days of summer sunshine with a chilled glass of wine on the terrace and felt day-to-day life just melt away. Inside, you’ll find a more traditional pub space complete with both an open fireplace and a wood burner, there’s a large corner bar, and up a short flight of stairs, a restaurant space awaits where breakfast is also served as well as a private dining area. The main restaurant boasts a huge vaulted ceiling, exposed brick doorways, and a collection of artwork and interesting artifacts adorn the walls.
Service & Facilities
The service here really stood out. After an enthusiastic welcome, all the staff we met were courteous, friendly, and very hospitable. We felt nothing was too much trouble, and while very happy to engage in a chat, they also left you to relax.
The facilities are excellent; the rooms have quirky layouts due to the original building’s wonderful character, but everything has been done to ensure you have what you need for a very comfortable stay. All the rooms have flatscreen televisions, the complimentary Wi-Fi is fast and easy to connect to, and there is a large free car park too.
There are six gorgeous guest bedrooms. Each is unique and individually decorated with locally found antiques. All have a country chic vibe, impressively comfortable beds, and are en-suite. Five include Super-King beds, and one had a King bed, with two of the rooms also being available with two Twin beds. Exposed brick walls, window seats, and freestanding rolltop baths were some of my favorite features when browsing the wealth of images on their website that show you exactly what you can look forward to in each of the rooms.
The little extra touches kept on coming too and were gratefully received. There was a large tower fan, homemade biscuits, fresh milk is left outside your door in the morning, complimentary Bramley toiletries, and fluffy robes.
We were lucky enough to be housed in the stunning Room 2, one of the larger rooms with plenty of space for our family to spread out. You enter the room to be greeted by the beautiful rolltop bath, there’s a large bookcase by the bed, and from the window seat, you overlook the village green across the road. I’d find it difficult to recommend other rooms as I loved this space so much, but to be fair, they all look wonderful!
Food & Drink
There is a creative British menu that features comforting favorites being given a shake-up as well as a specials menu. The use of fresh, local, seasonal ingredients is evident (the menu changes frequently. My starter of Heritage Tomato, Burrata, Basil Pesto, Crostini, and Aged Balsamic was absolutely divine, and I’m delighted I didn’t resist The Plough Cheeseburger with Caramelised Onions and their sensational House Fries! The only drawback being, we ate far too much on the first two courses to be able to enjoy much more than their rather incredible homemade ice cream for dessert!
Breakfast more than set us up for the next day too. My Eggs Benedict was one of the best I’ve tasted, and they were pleased to serve my children exactly what they wanted. The coffee and juice were free-flowing as the excellent service continued.
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