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

Prices from:
£90 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Classic Cotswold inn; boldly revamped
  • Quirky, fun vibe and décor
  • Great pizzas cooked in wood-fired oven
  • Crowd-pleasing pub menu
  • Summer terrace with feature fireplace
  • Rooms ooze style and detail touches

Sticky FingersMuddy PawsGood for WalkingOutdoor PursuitsGreen FingersVisit a Stately Pile

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Overview

The Sheep Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, GL54 1AG

The personal touch

Forward-thinking pub group Brakspear pushed open the doors to this uniquely renamed and stylishly different pub with rooms in July 2016, following the huge success of the refurbished Porch House, literally across the road in pretty Stow, which became their first managed pub with rooms 2013. In need of more rooms in the town, yet fully aware that the former Grapevine Hotel needed to have its own identity, Brakspear’s in-house design team set about transforming the dated 17th-century stone building into something vibrant and funky for this traditional Cotswolds town. Step inside and expect to be wowed by the bold colours and fun retro touches that create the quirky, contemporary vibe throughout the smart bar and dining rooms, the new garden area, replete with a bespoke feature fireplace, and the 22 super comfortable and boutique styled bedrooms.

Sticky fingers

Families can expect a big welcome throughout the pub and will love watching their pizza being cooked in the wood-fired oven located at one end of the long bar. The bespoke kid’s menu includes freshly cooked monkfish goujons with chips and crushed peas, and a 5-inch ‘build your own’ pizza. Cots and sofa beds are available for children staying overnight.

Muddy paws

Dogs are allowed in the bar and overnight the one dog-friendly bedroom (£10).

Alfresco

Secluded and sheltered terrace garden with smart tables, chair and cream brollies, plus cushioned wooden benches fronting a unique feature fireplace – perfect for keeping warm on cooler evenings.

What’s on?

Live music twice a month; piano on Sunday lunchtimes; Friday Fizz (4pm – 7pm) Tuesday 2 for 1 Pizzas 6pm – 9pm; £10 pizza lunch with drink Monday to Friday 12 noon – 4pm

What’s the Damage?

22 doubles/twin from £100

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access to bar & restaurant; some ground floor bedrooms
  • Parking: small car park to rear; pay & display car park nearby

Gongs

AA 4 Silver Stars

Sleep

The Sheep Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, GL54 1AG

Do not disturb

‘Cosy (snug), Standard, Superior and Premium’ bedrooms ramble across two floors and careful thought has been given to overall comfort, detail touches and understanding what guests want during their special time away. You can expect home-from-home comforts to come as standard – Nespresso machine, clock, colourful, retro-style phone, Roberts radio, hot water bottle, shaving/make-up mirror, up-to-date magazines, and generous supplies of Temple Spa Aromatherapy bathroom products, with Premium rooms having gifts packs to take away. Quality fabrics and furnishings, including very comfortable Feather & Black beds and mattresses; striking feature wallpapers; soothing heritage hues, big lamps, and colourful cushions and throws complete the picture. Most rooms have shower over baths, while larger rooms have original beams, with two have hydrobaths to soak in, and one has a private patio garden.

Creature comforts

King-size Feather & Black beds; Temple Spa toiletries; fresh milk; homemade biscuits; blackout blinds

Gadgets

Freeview 26” TV; retro-style phones; Nespresso machines; free wi-fi; Roberts Radios

What’s for Breakfast?

Impressive continental spread – fruit bowl; yoghurt & compotes; jars of cereals; fresh pastries & croissants; two loaves of bread and self-service toast. Eggs Benedict, Royale or Florentine; buttermilk pancakes, smoked bacon & maple syrup; the Full English with Todenham Farm sausages and dry-cured bacon

What’s the Damage?

22 doubles/twin from £100

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access to bar & restaurant; some ground floor bedrooms
  • Parking: small car park to rear; pay & display car park nearby

Gongs

AA 4 Silver Stars

Eat & Drink

The Sheep Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, GL54 1AG

Mastering the menu

Imaginative pizzas and comforting pub classics with a twist are the focus of the seasonally changing menu. Served all day, it’s a crowd-pleaser, with good burgers (wagyu beef, onion rings, Swiss cheese, bacon jam, brioche), quality Aberdeen Angus and South Devon steaks from Todenham Farm (up the road), served with peppercorn, béarnaise or blue cheese sauce, and great 10” pizzas – why not build your own and then watch it cook in the open-to-view wood-fired oven.

On the menu

(Starters: £6-£9; Main Courses: £12.50-£30; Desserts £5-£7)

Salt & pepper squid, rocket, watercress, aioli dressing

Lamb, cumin & coriander burger, mint & harissa mayo, crumbled feta

Hake, chickpea, chorizo, squid & mussel stew

Lamb leg steak, balsamic roast potatoes, olives, garlic & rosemary

Pain au chocolate bread and butter pudding, Cotswold ice cream

Caramel & macademia nut baked cheesecake, pomegranate ice cream

Pizzas & Salads

(£9-£10.50)

Pizza – spiced lamb, Berkswell cheese, pomegranate, mint & red onion jam

Pizza – slow-roasted tomatoes, spiced aubergine, peppers, goat’s cheese, olives & basil

Roasted beetroot, feta, orange & grain salad

Time to eat

Breakfast: 8am – 10am
Food all day: 12 noon – 9.30pm (10pm Friday & Saturday)

Local, local, local

Meat: Todenham Manor Farm, Moreton-in-Marsh (www.todenhammanorfarm.co.uk)

Ice cream – Dolcetti, Cirencester (see Food Trail)

Gin – Cotswold Distillery, Shipston-on-Stour (see Food Trail)

Behind the bar

The impressive long bar dispenses an impressive array of drinks beyond the Brakspear and Ringwoods ales on handpump. Look to the individual lists or chalkboards for the choice of cocktails, perhaps ordering a White Russian or an Espresso Martini, the range of 10 boutique gins, including locally distilled Cotswold Gin and Silent Pool, produced using 24 botanicals, and the craft bottled beer list – anyone for a glass of Punk IPA or Pistonhead. The short wine list favours France and there’s 12 offered by the glass.

Time at the bar

8am -11pm (10pm Sunday)

What’s the Damage?

22 doubles/twin from £100

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access to bar & restaurant; some ground floor bedrooms
  • Parking: small car park to rear; pay & display car park nearby

Gongs

AA 4 Silver Stars

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 Sheep

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 Sheep

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 Sheep is on 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:

Sheep Street, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, GL54 1AG

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