Picture of Kate Winslet’s cottage on The Holiday and you won’t be far away – except for this one in the Cotswolds that comes with its own Michelin-starred fine-dining country pub.
Well, the pub technically comes with the cottage, but it certainly feels the opposite when you’re lucky enough to stay at The Cottage at the Feathered Nest, an award-winning, restored country inn that overlooks the luscious green Evenlaud Valley. .
The cozy gourmet Bolthole is located in the Chocolate Box Village of Nether Westcote in the heart of the Cotswolds, not far from Lower Slaughter, the main village featured in Emma’s latest Jane Austen adaptation. Expect rabbits to hop across the aisle as you pull up, and the sounds of sheep, geese, and hooves upon waking in the morning — after lying down, hopefully, given how good the wine is on the six-course tasting menu.
There is a sun-covered terrace overlooking the garden and rolling hills to enjoy a pre-dinner drink (or dinner itself). Pick a summer evening and you could be in Tuscany, however it’s only a two hour drive to London after that.
From charmingly renovated rooms to spending days on the doorstep, here’s everything you need to know.
where is she?
Slap in the middle of two of the most beloved towns in the Cotswolds, Burford and Stow-on-the-Wold. The pub itself is located in the village of Nether Westcote (think pub, church, etc.) and overlooks the rolling hills of the Evenlode Valley.
Chipping Norton, Bruern and Kingham are all within a 20-minute drive.
There is no reception when you arrive but that is exactly the point. Feathered Nest is not a hotel; It’s a posh country pub that just so happens to have rooms – think bar stools made of riding saddles, old English pub vibes and charming little nods to the fact that the building was a barley home 350 years ago.
Outside, there’s a gorgeous terrace with tables overlooking a luscious green garden and inviting hills, plenty of indoor places to hang out by a roaring fire – time your visit right, and you can enjoy a wine tasting in the evening or live music a night by a local artist.
Just dip into the airy bar area and one of the friendly staff will guide you to your room.
There are four en suite rooms upstairs if you want to slip straight into bed from dinner: a cozy double room called Cockerel’s Roost (think a double bed and walk-in shower), three king-size rooms called Cuckoo’s Den, Pheasant Nest and Dove Cote, and each They both have a bathtub and separate shower. Expect a classic country inn atmosphere, from burlap floors to antique, antique furniture. In a nod to the name, soft, bird-inspired furnishings are nicely added.
Each room has a Nespresso machine, and the bathrooms are stocked with Algotherm sea products.
For ultra-luxury, opt for the cottage or maisonette as it was known on the original title deeds, which opened last year. Tucked behind the perfect wooden fence and farm front door, the cozy miniature house boasts the best parts of country pub accommodations while giving you a sense of independence.
It’s located a few steps from the main pub and comes with a living room, dining area, kitchenette, bathroom with pull-out bathtub, and a double bedroom – perfect for couples looking for a little more spacious accommodation (there’s room to keep bikes inside if you’re planning a cycling holiday ).
Expect period features with exposed beams, an open fireplace, and genuine stone floors mixed with comfortable modern furniture and Farrow & Ball paint.
You’ll see the certifications as you walk by: 3 AA Rosettes, AA Breakfast Cup, AA Notable Wine List, Cesar Award, and Beautiful South ‘Pub of the Year’ 2013. The list goes on – and it’s fitting.
Don’t expect your standard pub grub; Expect award-winning food served in an unpretentious, unpretentious setting, from the hotel’s famous 8oz Nest Burger to locally sourced seasonal dishes (they make their butter by hand and bake their bread by hand).
Michelin-starred chef Matt Whedon, who has worked on the likes of Glenapp Castle and Lords of the Manor, is behind the menu and the highlight is the six-course tasting menu with wine pairings.
Think roasted carrots and ewe curd with eggplant curry, loin and lamb shoulder with smoked asparagus and mash, and orange and passionfruit sweets. Chateaubriand is perfect for two people to share and serve to perfection.
There are five wines available by the glass at any given time, but you don’t have to go for wine or fine dining if you want to taste the food here. Locals still come in for a pint and mingle with the weekend pros and foodies from afar who have read about the menu in all the guide books.
Choose from an a la carte menu, the ‘long and lazy’ Sunday menu, a vegetarian menu or a six-course tasting menu, and there is the option of afternoon tea for £25 with the option to add champagne for £35.
Don’t expect great underground spas, but pack your bikes and walking shoes: Feathered Nest is expertly crafted for the perfect weekend of hiking, biking, and touring the quaint Cotswold towns.
The pub itself comes with 45 acres (most of which are open only to residents) and there is a wildlife sanctuary on site complete with a lake, badgers, and newly introduced foxes.
It’s family and dog friendly and the staff all take care of making sure guests’ needs are well catered for (the sommelier brought us an iron when we asked at reception). Book your stay soon and you can still enjoy the outside terrace (don’t worry, the staff will bring you blankets when it gets cold in the evening).
The picket-fenced gate to your Cotswold stone hut, ideally where the passing robin takes a seat.
Food lovers and couples with dogs. The hut comes with a dog bed, water bowl, treats and dogs are welcome at the bar and in the cozy areas and terrace. It’s only £25 per dog.
How to get there
Hop in the car from London and you’ll be there in less than two hours. Trains take less than two hours from Paddington to Kingham, then the journey takes 10 minutes by taxi at the other end.
When should I go?
Year-round, depending on availability, but it’s a fall-lover’s dream: cozy nooks, wildfires, and dozens of quaint Cotswolds walk right on the doorstep.
Rooms from £195, Nether Westcote, Oxfordshire, OX7 6SDAnd the thefeatherednestinn.co.uk
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