The Olive Branch Pub with rooms in Clipsham, Rutland

Prices from:
£115 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Best A1 pit-stop for miles
  • Cosy interior with crackling fires
  • Sean’s food – well-judged flavours
  • Menu champions local suppliers
  • Rustic chic rooms across the road
  • Pub shop – wines, home-made goodies

PerkInn Places Perk

Local beers in the room on arrival

Sticky FingersMuddy PawsCandlelitVisit a Stately Pile15 Minutes from the MotorwayPrivate Dining

Call this inn 01780 429231

Real Time Booking Available

The Olive Branch Clipsham, Rutland, LE15 7SH

The personal touch

Among Rutlanders, the Olive Branch Clipsham is a legend in its own lunchtime. Chef-patron Sean Hope grew up in the village, returning in 1999 with hotelier Ben Jones to rescue his cottagey local from closure. Within a year or two the pair had transformed it into a dining tour de force, and Sean became only Britain’s second pub chef to pocket a Michelin star. The interior remains true to the inn’s 17th-century roots, however: fires crackle picturesquely, settles and sideboards creak, and sepia sunlight filters prettily through small-paned windows. Locals are very welcome to sup a pint of Olive Ale at the bar, while the community spirit extends to village-made crafts for sale – Petra Wright’s artful ceramics, Sheila Featherstone’s splashy oils. And the atmosphere? Cosier than Mrs Tiggy-winkle’s parlour.

Sticky fingers

One family suite in Beech House sleeps four, another bedroom has a sofa bed, a third can take a single day-bed. The kitchen prides itself on home-cooked children’s dishes using “the same fresh ingredients from the main menu”: Lincolnshire sausage, mash and veg £5.25; add a dessert for £7.25.

Muddy paws

The three downstairs bedrooms are dog-friendly, and well-behaved pooches are welcome in the bar area.


The garden out front is a sun-trap in summer, with eight neat patio tables under the plant-festooned pergola. A basket of blankets are on hand if the sun goes in.

What’s on?

Regular wine dinners and gourmet evenings to suit the season, plus Sean hosts occasional butchery masterclasses.

What’s the Damage?
6 doubles: £115-£195 (£30 for children if sharing)

What Else?

  • All credit cards (except Amex)
  • Private dining facilities
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access to restaurant and ‘Chocolate’ bedroomParking

Good Hotel Guide; Harden’s; Michelin; Waitrose Good Food Guide


The Olive Branch Clipsham, Rutland, LE15 7SH

Do not disturb

When Hope and Jones opened Beech House, adding half a dozen rustic-chic rooms just across the road from the inn, Olive Branch aficionados rejoiced: now there was never any need to leave. There is a country-rectory feel to the place, complete with shared coat hooks in the hallway, but the rooms are as luxurious as you could hope, individually arrayed with antique beds and country-French trimmings. Those downstairs each have their own mini-terrace, but for world-class winter wallowing choose ‘Double Cream’, its vast bathroom complete with claw foot bath.

Creature comforts

Hand-stitched mattresses; duck-down duvets; Egyptian linen sheets; and deep, double-ended bathtubs. There is mineral water in the room, and bar drinks can be delivered.


Roberts radios; free wi-fi throughout; tucked-away TV sets; and kettle trays with real coffee.


White Company toiletries in all bedrooms, and (coming soon) there’s a plan to develop a smallholding next to Beech House, and add outdoor hot-tubs to two of the downstairs rooms overlooking the grazing animals.

What’s for breakfast?

Everything you can think of from the full English to dippy eggs with soldiers, served in front of the cow barn woodburner.

What’s the Damage?
6 doubles: £115-£195 (£30 for children if sharing)

What Else?

  • All credit cards (except Amex)
  • Private dining facilities
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access to restaurant and ‘Chocolate’ bedroomParking

Good Hotel Guide; Harden’s; Michelin; Waitrose Good Food Guide

Eat & Drink

The Olive Branch Clipsham, Rutland, LE15 7SH

Mastering the menu

Sean’s cooking offers French finesse in pub-sized portions – not too titivated, but thick with well-judged flavours. You can trace where your lunch came from on the back of each day’s menu: a hand-drawn map throngs with local suppliers, including venison from Rutland estates; pheasant and pigeon from shoots across the Vale of Belvoir; and curious cheeses from local dairies including Colwick and Slipcote. The list extends right down to “Mrs Larkworthy’s Jerusalem artichokes”. Lunch and dinner typically run to eight or nine just-right starters and mains: warm tartlet of wild mushroom with wood-pigeon perhaps, followed by roast pheasant with pearl barley and roots. There are wholesome sides if you’re really famished (honey-roast parsnips, sauteed purple sprouts), or (at lunchtime) a trio of sandwiches if you’re not (salt beef with caremelised onions and horseradish). There’s a blackboard set lunch from Monday to Saturday (two courses £18.50, three for £22.50), and an even better-value gourmet five-courser on Sunday to Thursday evenings (£32.50). Whenever you visit, you’ll find down-home gingham napiery, hefty wood-handled cutlery, and a young waiting crew in crisp navy aprons who can’t do enough for you. What more can we say? Even Giles Coren liked it.

On the menu

Pan-seared red mullet fillet, griddled leeks, orange and rosemary
Warm terrine of confit duck leg, quince and pickled walnuts
Haunch of venison, juniper fondant, braised red cabbage, honey roast parsnips
Fillet of salmon, polenta fritters, saffron mussels
White forest gateau and black-cherry sorbet

Sunday roasts

3-course set lunch £27.50. Corn-fed roast chicken breast; roast thick rib of beef; roast chump of lamb.

Foodie Extras

Party dining and business lunches for up to 20 in the charmingly converted cow barn that adjoins the inn. On your way out, nip into the inn’s own shop, peddling homemade pickles, chutneys, jams and patés, plus local-grown eggs, honey and butter. Oh, and wines galore. The team will even create their dishes as ready-meals for you to wow friends with at your next dinner party!

Time to eat

Lunch: 12 noon – 2pm (3pm Sunday)

Dinner: 6.30pm – 9.30pm (from 7pm Saturday; 7pm-9pm Sunday)

Local, local, local

Goose – Botterill & Son, Croxton Kerrial (
Pork – Grasmere Farm, Deeping St James (
Stilton – Cropwell Bishop Creamery (
Ales – Grainstore Brewery, Oakham (

Behind the bar

The inn’s commitment to quality imbibing is every bit as powerful as its love of great food, with own-label Olive Ale bitter from Oakham on the bar and a bottled-beer menu that stretches from Brewsters Brewery (Grantham) to Barcelona and beyond. There is homemade strawberry vodka in summer, sloe gin straight from the hedgerow in winter; while the bespoke cocktail list includes the zingy Clipsham Cooler (gin, apple juice, elderflower, mint and lemon). Try it with Burleighs gin, distilled up the road in Leicestershire. The wine list is full of surprises, with red and white “wines of the month” instead of dull house staples, and a dozen offered in handy half-litre carafes. No fewer than seven champagnes, too. Why not jot down your own tasting notes and add them to the rack beside the bar?

Bar snacks

The bar-snack blackboard says everything about the inn’s commitment to quality food: local Grasmere Grunta salami, padron peppers, pickled cockles, chorizo cooked in cider, and more. And what could be toastier than hot chestnuts roasted on the fire in winter – just help yourself.

Time at the bar

12 noon – 3pm and 6pm – 11pm (12 noon – 11pm Saturday; 12 noon – 10.30pm Sunday)

What’s the Damage?
6 doubles: £115-£195 (£30 for children if sharing)

What Else?

  • All credit cards (except Amex)
  • Private dining facilities
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access to restaurant and ‘Chocolate’ bedroomParking

Good Hotel Guide; Harden’s; Michelin; Waitrose Good Food Guide

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 –

1 Inn Location - The Olive Branch


Nelsons Butchers, Red Lion Square, Stamford PE9 2AJ

Nelsons High Class Butchers have been baking in a purpose-built pie factory in Stamford since 1959, and it's the home of authentic Melton Mowbray pork pies, as well as Lincolnshire sausages. Their pork pie recipes use meat sourced direct from nearby farms or through the local market and their sausage rolls are filled with Lincolnshire sausage meat. The range has now expanded to include their own cooked hams, roast meats and local delicacy haslet.


The Wheatsheaf, Greetham LE15 7NP

Grade II-listed stone-built village inn run by chef Carol Craddock, who used to work with legendary chef Simon Hopkinson at London's influential Bibendum. Not surprisingly, the philosophy is all about seasonality and the very best local produce.


Lord Nelson, 11 Market Place, Oakham LE15 6DT

Dating back to the 1500s and in the heart of Oakham, this lovely old inn is one of the Knead Pubs group and specialises in local ales, stone-baked pizzas and beef and lamb from the owner’s nearby farm.


Berkeley Arms, Wymondham LE14 2AG

Seven miles from Oakham, this award-winning pub is well positioned for walkers exploring the nearby Wymondham Heritage Trail. As well as sandwiches and light meals served in the bar, the restaurant serves a full a la carte menu.


Northfield Farm Shop, Cold Overton, Oakham LE15 7QF

The shop at Jan McCourt's award-winning farm stocks a diverse range, from their award-winning meat, to honey, jams and sloe gin and damson whisky, which is made on the farm. Other alcoholic treats include Bitter, Mild & IPA from The Grainstore Brewery in Oakham, while a variety of cow, goat and sheep's cheeses can be found here, along with pork pies, pickles and preserves.


Grainstore Brewery, Oakham LE15 6RA

Currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Grainstore Brewery has won several awards for beers like Rutland Bitter and GB Best, as well as its ciders. Enjoy them in the brewery tap, which hosts regular live music and beer festivals. Brewery tours also available.


Grasmere Farm Butchers Shop, Market Deeping PE6 8DL

One of three traditional butchers shops owned by Grasmere Farm, which supplies its range of sausages, bacon and cooked pork products to the Olive Branch. They also make their own pork scratchings from slow cooked crackling and oak-smoked pork snacking salami.


All Saints' Brewery, 22 All Saints' Street, Stamford PE9 2PA

All Saints is a steam-powered brewery that was established in 1825; it was restored in the late 1990s. The site is open for guided tours and tastings by prior arrangement and inside you’ll find a brewery shop, restaurant and coffee lounge.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Olive Branch



The Nene Valley Railway, Stibbington PE8 6LR

In operation as a visitor attraction since 1977, this railway was originally a vital cross-country route linking East Anglia to the Midlands. The line closed to passengers in 1966 but today offers enthusiasts the complete steam train experience.


Burghley Horse Trials, Stamford PE9 2LH

Burghley has been staging this famous three-day event on its estate every autumn for more than 50 years - no other international horse trial has hosted as many championships. The prize money for first place is £50,000.


Tallington Lakes Leisure Centre PE9 4RJ

Over 200 acres of clean, spring-fed water offer plenty of fun and water-based adventure a short distance from Stamford. In these spectacular surroundings you can water-ski, jet-ski, canoe or windsurf.


Ballooning PE9 2RE

Savour the freedom and tranquility of drifting over Rutland Water, Oakham Castle and the surrounding landscape in a hot-air balloon. Balloons launch from sites near Edith Weston and at Stamford Meadows near Stamford.



St Martins Antiques Centre, High Street, Stamford PE9 2LF

Here, you'll find the largest collection of antiques in Stamford. Founded in 1993, the centre leases space to many knowledgeable exhibitors and the experts are always on hand to discuss your requirements and assist you in your search for antiques.


St Mary's Books, 9 St Mary's Hill, Stamford PE9 2DP

Browse among the thousands of books at Stamford’s premier bookshop. Here, among the crowded shelves, you’ll find many rare and unusual books on a host of subjects, as well as a few familiar old favourites. A real treat for book lovers.

Places to visit


Easton Walled Gardens, Easton NG33 5AP

Lincolnshire's nationally acclaimed 'lost gardens' are a must for all serious horticulturalists as well as those who simply like to visit grand gardens to admire all the hard work done by other people. Here, 400 years of gardening have produced stunning results - carpets of snowdrops in February, for example - and a tranquil atmosphere.


Stamford Museum, Broad Street PE9 1PJ

With displays, galleries and exhibitions, Stamford's museum explains the fascinating history and archaeology of the town from its origins to the present day. Its archives are available to view for students and researchers and the museum also organises a series of annual public lectures.


Rockingham Castle, Market Harborough LE16 8TH

Perched on the edge of an escarpment with spectacular views over five counties, Rockingham Castle, near Market Harborough, is noted for its fine period furniture and impressive works of art. Charles Dickens was a regular visitor, inspired to include Rockingham Castle as one of the settings in Bleak House.


Burghley House, Stamford PE9 3JY

With appearances in highly successful movies such as The Da Vinci Code and Pride & Prejudice, Burghley House at Stamford is one of the region's most famous visitor attractions. It's also one of the largest and grandest houses of the first Elizabethan era.


Woolsthorpe Manor, Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth NG33 5PD

Sir Isaac Newton, born here in 1642, made many of his most important discoveries about light and gravity here during the plague years of 1666-7. The manor house is furnished as a 17th-century farmhouse, and you can still see, from the bedroom window, the famous apple tree that inspired his thoughts on gravity. The Science Discovery Centre allows you to explore some of his ideas for yourself.

There are numerous enjoyable walks of different lengths around Clipsham and Stamford. Close by is Rutland Water, Europe’s largest man-made reservoir, with its lakeside paths and picturesque views. The Lincolnshire Wolds have plenty of gently undulating routes and to the south of Stamford is sprawling Rockingham Forest with its visitor centre, café and network of woodland trails. Try also a walking tour of Stamford, a charming town of ancient streets and handsome buildings that was chosen as one of the main settings for the 1990s BBC adaptation of Middlemarch.

Lincolnshire and Rutland’s essentially flat terrain and pleasant countryside make this region cycle friendly. Around Stamford and Clipsham you’ll find plenty of enjoyable routes. Pedal beside Rutland Water and you’ll find peaceful paths and tracks well away from busy roads and disturbance. The route never strays far from the water’s edge.


At Bourne, a short drive from Clipsham, is a purpose-built auditorium in the grounds of Tolethorpe Hall, providing the setting for the annual summer season of outdoor Shakespeare plays. Prior to performances, theatregoers can dine in the Hall or picnic on the lawns. Tickets for the Stamford Shakespeare Festival are available from Stamford Arts Centre. The Corn Exchange Theatre in Stamford is also a popular arts venue for live music, drama and comedy.

Getting there

Location, location, location

By Road: Seven miles north of Stamford via the A1: take the B668 exit for Oakham and turn right under the A1, heading east on Stretton Road for two miles: the inn is on the left in Clipsham village.

By Train: It’s a 20-minute taxi ride from Stamford railway station.


Main Street,, Clipsham, Rutland, LE15 7SH

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