The Porch House Pub with rooms in Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire

Prices from:
£100 per night

David Hancock says:

  • England’s oldest inn; oozes character
  • Stylish refurbishment; traditional feel
  • Seasonal menus; classics & modern
  • Smart contemporary rooms
  • Historic base for touring Cotswolds

Sticky FingersMuddy PawsGood for WalkingOutdoor PursuitsGreen FingersVisit a Stately Pile

Real Time Booking Available
Overview

The Porch House Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, GL54 1BN

The personal touch

The striking, stone-built Porch House in the heart of Stow-on-the-Wold is reputedly England’s oldest inn, dating back to 947AD. In its time it has also been a hospice, a family residence, a sweet shop and almost a house of correction, too. In 2013, Brakspear bravely bought the former Royalist Hotel and the separate Eagle & Child pub and set about transforming the place into an informal and stylish modern-day inn without spoiling the ancient character and charm of the building. You can feel the history as you walk in – all worn flagstones, wonky walls and ceilings, head-cracking beams, exposed stone, and blazing fires in period fireplaces. It’s just one place now, a thriving inn with the timeless stone porch and ancient entrance hall separating the main dining room (all beams, stone and wooden floors) from the bustling bar and light-flooded conservatory, which offers a striking contrast to the dark wood. The Porch House oozes history and tradition and provides the perfect contrast to Brakspear’s vibrant and contemporary makeover of The Sheep (see entry) opposite – both appeal to a slightly different clientele as a place to stay but both feed off each other for food and drink.

Sticky fingers

Children are welcome throughout the inn; they have their own menu and two of the rooms interconnect to create a spacious family suite.

Muddy paws

Dogs are most welcome in the bar and overnight in one of the rooms (£15).

Alfresco

To the rear of the inn and accessed via the conservatory in the bar is a sheltered and secluded terrace with rustic tables, cushions on bench seating, smart wicker-style chairs, and planters with bay tree and summer flowers. A great place for a pint or a summer alfresco meal away from the hub-bub of the town.

 

What’s the Damage?

13 doubles/twin from £99-£150

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining (seats 12)
  • Disabled access to bar & restaurant
  • Parking: a few spaces to rear; pay & display car park 100 yards

Gongs

AA 5 Star (Gold) Inn & Breakfast Award

Sleep

The Porch House Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, GL54 1BN

Do not disturb

Thirteen rooms of vary sizes and types, from standard and superior to feature rooms and the luxurious suite, ramble across two wonky floors of the building, the rooms and general layout remaining largely untouched thanks to the age and listed status of the inn. Most showcase period features (beams, stone walls, old fireplaces) and all sport a fresh, contemporary feel, neatly kitted out with quality fabrics and furnishings, including very comfortable Feather & Black beds and mattresses, soothing heritage hues, big lamps, and bright cushions and throws add an additional splash of colour. Home-from-home comforts come as standard – Nespresso machine, clock, retro-style phone, Roberts radio, up-to-date magazines, and generous supplies of Temple Spa Aromatherapy bathroom products. Smart tiled bathrooms complete the picture; Room 9 has a tub in the bedroom; Room 1 has a claw-foot in a timbered bathroom. The quirkiest (and smallest) room sits above the porch, while the suite (Room 8) is spread over two levels with a separate living area and a big bathroom with deep tub and walk-in shower.

What’s the Damage?

13 doubles/twin from £99-£150

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining (seats 12)
  • Disabled access to bar & restaurant
  • Parking: a few spaces to rear; pay & display car park 100 yards

Gongs

AA 5 Star (Gold) Inn & Breakfast Award

Eat & Drink

The Porch House Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, GL54 1BN

Mastering the menu

(Starters: £4.50-£8; Main Courses: £10-£26; Desserts £5-£6)

The kitchen team deliver seasonal modern British menus to suit the informal atmosphere of the Porch House, the single menu being served in both the beamed restaurant, the relaxing bar and conservatory, and on the summer terrace. It successfully combines comforting pub classics with a twist (The Porch burger; Brakspear beer battered haddock), quality Aberdeen Angus and South Devon steaks from cattle reared at Todenham Farm on the edge of the Cotswolds, served with triple-cooked chips and peppercorn sauce, and more innovative dishes. Perhaps choose local chargrilled asparagus with poached egg and parmesan crisp, or twice-baked cheddar soufflé with spinach and grain mustard sauce to start, then follow with pea and mint risotto or duo of lamb (rump and braised shoulder croquette) with salt-baked celeriac, spinach and lamb jus. Round off with warm treacle tart or a platter of farmhouse British cheeses. Behind the bar you’ll find tip-top Brakspear ales, a raft of boutique gins and a short list of wines (15 by the glass), which includes a few special and great value bottles of Bordeaux.

Time to eat

Breakfast: 8am – 10am

Lunch 12 noon – 3pm

Dinner: 6pm – 9.30pm

Food all day Saturday & Sunday : 12 noon – 9.30pm (8.30pm Sunday)

Time at the bar

8am -11pm (10.30pm Sunday)

What’s the Damage?

13 doubles/twin from £99-£150

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining (seats 12)
  • Disabled access to bar & restaurant
  • Parking: a few spaces to rear; pay & display car park 100 yards

Gongs

AA 5 Star (Gold) Inn & Breakfast Award

Food Trail

Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.

Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know – gabrielle@innplaces.co.uk.

1 Inn Location - The Porch House

2

The Chef's Dozen, Chipping Campden GL55 6AL

Richard Craven's acclaimed restaurant offers bang up-to-date modern British seasonal food which relies on a small amount of local suppliers and gamekeepers who care about their produce. The restaurant may be small but it has gained rave reviews from national food critics.

4

The Cotswold Food Store and Cafe, Longborough GL56 0QZ

This family-run, award-winning farm shop and delicatessen on the A424 stocks a huge range of locally sourced produce such as bread, fruit and vegetables, meat, cheese and eggs. They also have a large and airy cafe where you can sample homemade cakes, light lunches or their famous Cotswold cream teas.

5

Daylesford Farm Shop and Cafe, Daylesford, Kingham GL56 0YG

Known locally as 'Fortnams in the field' Daylesford Organic is so much more than an award-winning farm shop, with a cookery school, cafe, clothes shop and spa. The farm shop offers the best in organic and food produced with the best environmental and livestock husbandry credentials. They have their own bakery and serve up vegetables from their own market garden.

6

The Big Feastival, Kingham OX7 6UJ

An annual party on the farm owned by local pop star turned farmer/cheese maker Alex James of Blur. This August Bank Holiday weekend event is co-hosted by Jamie Oliver and is a festival of food and music, with famous chefs demonstrating their cooking skills while you listen to live music from some of the best musicians in the country. A cracking day out for all the family.

7

Upton Smokery, Upton Downs Farm, Burford OX18 4LY

Located in the rolling Cotswold countryside outside of Burford, this family business smokes just about everything from game to fish. They also stock fresh game, paté, potted terrines, charcuterie and olives.

11

The Chequers, Churchill OX7 6NJ

Excellent gastropub where you can enjoy some fantastic modern British food from regularly changing blackboard menus. The beers are good, too, but you can also try a glass of wine from the very good menu or maybe a cocktail. The steak and chips is first class.

12

Made By Bob, 26 Market Place, Cirencester GL7 2NY

In the heart of Cirencester located in the former Roman Corn Hall building, this exceptional restaurant and deli attracts discerning foodies from all over the Cotswolds. Owner/chef Bob Parkinson previously worked under the great Simon Hopkinson at Bibendum restaurant in London and is regarded as one of the best chefs in the region.

13

The Organic Farm Shop, Cirencester GL7 5HF

Two miles from Cirencester on the B4425, this award-winning organic farm specialises in grass-fed beef, which is sold in the farm shop along with organic veg, local dairy products and much more. A daily-changing menu in the cafe includes lots of veggie options, with 'meat as a treat' Sunday lunches featuring beef from the farm.

14

Dolcetti Ice Cream Parlour, Love Lane, Cirencester GL7 1YG

If you've tasted the wonderful Dolcetti ice cream on the menu at The Wheatsheaf, why not pop into the factory's 'parlour', which serves 24 different flavours of gelato, sorbets and yoghurt ice cream, all handmade on the premises using milk from local pedigree Holstein cows.

16

The Old Butchers, Park Street, Stow-on-the-Wold GL54 1AQ

Chef Peter Robinson believes in nose to tail cooking and nothing goes to waste at his small, intimate restaurant in an old butcher’s shop. All dishes are lovingly made from scratch with flare and expertise – expect charcuterie, tapas and modern British cooking.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Porch House

Activities

2

Cheltenham Racecourse GL50 4SH

Cheltenham racecourse plays host to some of the best jump racing in the country. The Cheltenham Festival in March is the highlight of the jump season.

32

Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway, Toddington GL54 5DT

West of Stow, this is the perfect destination for anyone who still savours the unique thrill of steam travel. Though no longer part of the national rail network, these wonderful old trains have made a welcome return to the tracks and are a great way to discover the delights of the Cotswolds.

34

Cotswold Archery, Batsford Arboretum GL56 9AD

Deep in the Cotswolds, at Batsford Arboretum, near Moreton-in-Marsh, you’ll find this dedicated archery range. There is a wide choice of bows to use and expert tutors are always on hand.

Shopping

20

The Borzoi Bookshop, Stow on the Wold GL54 1BB

Based in Stow-on-the-Wold, this well-established independent bookseller stocks a vast range of books, including many of the classics. Out-of-print books, attractively designed greeting cards and wrapping paper are also available.

22

Burford Antiques Centre, Burford OX18 4JA

Loads of great antique furniture from the 17th to the 20th century, plus high quality reproduction refectory tables made to any size, chairs, sideboards and dressers.

23

Burford Woodcraft, Burford OX18 4QU

Promoting contemporary British craftsmanship for over 30 years, the shop sells an extensive selection of creative wooden objects, furniture, sculpture, bowls, kitchenware, jewellery boxes, games and toys.

25

Vintage & Paint, Stow-on-the-Wold GL54 1AQ

Nice interiors shop selling furniture, kitchenware, lighting, objet d'art and collectables They also sell Annie Sloan paint so you can have a go at creating this ‘look’ yourself.

26

Dale House Antiques, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 0AD

Dale House Antiques at Moreton-in-Marsh comprises seven refurbished showrooms arranged on several floors. Browse among a good selection of quality 18th- and 19th-century town and country furniture, paintings, prints, ceramics, glassware, wall lights, copper and brass, and a good deal more.

28

Rosie B Home & Interiors, Horsefair, Chipping Norton OX7 5AL

All the items in this eclectic shop are personally sourced and chosen by Rosie herself. Situated in Horsefair in Chipping Norton, it’s a good place to get ideas and buy special gifts; you’ll find vintage and antique pieces for the home, mirrors, kitchenalia, glass and ceramics.

29

Iona House Gallery, 4 High Street, Woodstock OX20 1TF

Founded in 2002, this highly respected Woodstock-based art gallery exhibits paintings, sculpture, ceramics, glass, craft and jewellery from established artists and burgeoning talents. More than 100 English, Scottish and Russian artists are represented.

30

Cotswold Woollen Weavers, Filkins GL7 3JJ

Not exactly a museum, and not exactly a shop, Cotswold Woollen Weavers is a bit of both. The wealth of the Cotswolds came from wool, and you can learn about that here, and the processes that change wool to cloth. They proudly say they make 'useful and desirable things', and you can browse a selection of unusual items, from clothing to furniture.

35

Cox's Architectural Salvage Yard, Moreton-in-Marsh, GL56 9NQ

This specialist supplier of architectural salvage is one of Britain’s oldest established reclamation yards. Called upcycling these days, expect to find an amazing assortment of items here – everything from Belfast sinks to stained glass.

36

Burford OX18 4QA

Burford is surely one of England's prettiest small medieval towns with some really beautiful buildings (the church is considered one of the best in the country) and is a busy and thriving community of about 1,000 people. The town merchants were granted a charter to hold their own markets over 900 years ago, and it’s still a great place for shopping, with loads of independent shops and galleries.

Places to visit

4

Hidcote Manor Gardens, Chipping Campden GL55 6LR

Hidcote is one of the country's greatest gardens, full of rare shrubs and trees, herbaceous borders and unusual plants from all over the world. In addition, there are superb views across the Vale of Evesham from the garden.

5

Batsford Arboretum, Moreton-in-Marsh L56 9AD

There are now more than a thousand varieties of trees on display at Batsford. The colours are especially striking in spring and autumn. Expect to find cherries, azaleas and rhododendrons among the species.

7

Chastleton House, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 0SU

Near Moreton-in-Marsh, Chastleton House is a fine Jacobean mansion with a striking south front. The house was built by a local wool merchant in the early 17th century, who purchased the estate from Robert Catesby, one of the conspirators of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

8

Court Barn Museum, Chipping Campden GL55 6JE

This popular site at Chipping Campden tells the story of the Arts & Crafts Movement from the start of the 20th century to the present day. It was here in this delightful Cotswolds village that some of the era's greatest craftspeople gathered and worked together.

10

Shakespeare & Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6QW

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust own and run various Bard-related buildings in Stratford-upon-Avon. The Birthplace itself, of course, is probably the most famous and significant. He was born here and lived here until he left for London. It’s been celebrated for hundreds of years, so you’re not only following in his footsteps, but those of Dickens, Keats, Scott and Hardy. Anne Hathaway’s Cottage & Gardens is the picturesque family home of the future Mrs Shakespeare. It’s a pretty thatched farmhouse and contains original furniture including the famous Hathaway Bed. The home of the Royal Shakespeare Company can be found on the banks of the Avon, with a range of live shows (it’s not all Shakespeare) and behind-the-scenes tours.

12

Rollright Stones, Chipping Norton OX7 5QB

An unusual circle of 77 heavily weathered, closely-set slabs of local Neolithic limestone, known as the King's Men, traditionally a monarch and his courtiers petrified by a witch. The Rollright Stones also include the Whispering Knights burial chamber, and single King Stone, which is on the other side of the road. They span nearly 2,000 years of Neolithic and Bronze Age development.

13

Cotswold Farm Park, Guiting Power GL54 5UG

Established in 1971 by the father of BBC Countryfile presenter Adam Henson, this popular farm park is home to over 50 rare breeds, many of which you can see if you take the 'safari' tour of the farm. Children can feed the chickens and pigs while grown-ups can listen to some of the talks about animal husbandry and general conservation.

14

The Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock OX20 1SN

Based in Woodstock, the Oxfordshire Museum celebrates the delights of this varied county by focusing on local history, art, archaeology and landscape. There are events and activities for children and adults, four galleries of changing exhibitions and attractive gardens to explore.

15

Sezincote, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 9AW

The distinctive dome of Sezincote is reputed to have provided the Prince Regent with the inspiration for Brighton Pavilion. Begun in 1805, the house was built by Sir Charles Cockerell, who made his fortune through the East India Company.

16

Bourton-on-the-Water GL54 2AQ

With its picturesque stone buildings and pretty river Windrush running through the main street, it's easy to see why this spacious Cotswold village is so popular. Nearby at Lower Slaughter is the Old Mill Museum, which explains the history of this former flourmill, a key industrial landmark in the Cotswolds.

17

Snowshill Manor WR12 7JU

A handsome Tudor building with later additions standing in glorious terraced gardens, Snowshill includes an impressive collection of items amassed by Charles Wade, its former owner, who gave the house to the National Trust in 1951.

18

Old Mill Museum, Lower Slaughter GL54 2HX

One of the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds, Lower Slaughter is famous for its Old Mill Museum, detailing the history of this former flour mill, a key industrial landmark in Gloucestershire.

19

North Leigh Roman Villa, Witney OX29 6QE

This English Heritage site at North Leigh, near Witney, consists of a large, well-constructed Roman courtyard villa with a historically important, near complete mosaic floor, which can be seen through a viewing window.

37

Oxford

Just like London, Oxford can hold your attention for days. There really is that much to see and do. A walk through the ancient streets of Matthew Arnold's 'city of dreaming spires' is surely the best and most effective way to see this world-famous seat of learning. As well as the 12th-century Carfax Tower, with its memorable views, and the Botanic Garden - a quiet backwater in the heart of Oxford - there's the chance to visit many of the University's 38 colleges and even explore the familiar haunts of Colin Dexter's legendary detective, Inspector Morse.

Walking

www.escapetothecotswolds.org.uk
www.oxfordshirecotswolds.org/walks

The 102-mile Cotswold Way National Trail takes in some of the best scenery the region has to offer. There are thousands of miles of footpaths and the area has a reasonable claim to be a walkers’ paradise. The Oxfordshire Way starts in Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire and takes you to the banks of the River Thames in Henley. The route passes through a variety of contrasting landscapes and settlements including two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty; the rolling Cotswold Hills and the Chilterns.

Cycling

www.escapetothecotswolds.org.uk

Let the train help take the strain and enjoy a combination of bike and rail, completing a day’s cycling coupled with a train journey or two on the pretty Cotswold Line. The nearest stations close by are at Moreton-in-Marsh and Kingham. Elsewhere the Cotswolds region offers many miles of exhilarating and scenic cycling along a safe network of quiet lanes and off-road routes.

Events

www.cotswolds.com/whats-on/festivals-events
The Cheltenham Folk Festival takes place in February; there’s the famous Cotswold tradition of cheese rolling in May; the Cotswold Show and Food Festival at Cirencester in July; Blenheim Horse Trials and Stroud Food Festival in September; and the Cheltenham Literary Festival in October. If you’re planning a visit to the Steam Museum at Swindon, bear in mind that it’s also the venue for the annual Swindon Railway Festival in September.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

By Road: Stow-on-the-Wold is located on A429 between Leamington Spa and Cirencester, at the junction with A436. The Porch House is just off A436 in the centre of the town, close to The Square.

By Rail: The nearest stations are at Kingham and Moreton-in-Marsh (Paddington line), a short taxi journey away.

Address:

Digbeth Street, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, GL54 1BN

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