The Maytime Inn promises an indulgent night away in the charming Cotswolds. Emma Earnshaw paid a visit.
Nestled in the Windrush Valley, the Maytime Inn is situated in the picture perfect Cotswold village of Asthall, the original home of the Mitford sisters. Although this sumptuous retreat is only a short spin from Cotswolds hotspots of Burford and Oxford, you won’t have to contend with the crowds of tourists that these honeypots attract. This is a tranquil, hidden gem off the usual beaten track.
It was taken over in 2012 by Dominic Wood – and Alfie (his springer spaniel) – who renovated it into its current guise of a gastro-pub, with lashings of extra personality and comfort provided by its team of helpful, dedicated and friendly staff.
The building itself is a stylish Cotswold stone country pub that dates back to 17th century, at the heart of which is an impressively large bar area that opens up the room and makes it perfect for relaxing with friends. The room’s split-level also lends it a spacious feel – the raised mezzanine area (with the private dining/function room behind it) is separated by painted balustrade from the more rustic bar area, which features exposed Cotswold stone walls and a flagstone floor.
There’s also a welcoming log fireplace sits in between two further intimate dining spots, creating a welcoming country feel – albeit one that’s been brought up to date with quirky wallpapers and furnishings that’s also echoed in its six bespoke equestrian/rural themed en suite bedrooms. They are moderate in size, but certainly not in quality – each boasts a comfy super king-size bed, plentiful Cowshed products and home-baked treats on arrival.
Food and Drink
The Maytime’s restaurant is award winning – and we can see why – but before you even get started on the food there’s a bar featuring over 100 types of gin as well as fine wines, local ales and ciders.
We were a group of 8 for dinner, so decided to plump for a selection of starters and platters – too many classic English favourites to solely pick just one and not share, I recommend the mini chorizo sausages to get the flavours going.
Most went with steak as main course, but I was smug in ordering the sea bass, expertly cooked and beautifully presented on a bed of vegetables. It was delicious and light, made more substantial with the side order of thickly cut chips. All dishes were brought with equal care of presentation and taste – this is far from your average pub grub.
However it was the breakfast that really shone. Such a choice is offered and encouraged, we had the delicious crumbly home-made muesli and organic yogurts followed by oozing poached eggs with avocado on sourdough teamed with a bottomless cappuccinos.
The Maytime Inn is a lovely spot, ideal for those who want a comfortable overnight rural getaway with excellent service and food to match that won’t break the budget. But it’s the food that is the highlight – and all the better for the exemplary service in a beautiful setting.
- If you’re coming for lunch or dinner, bring the dog: this is a dog friendly place, and there are even dog treats at the bar. Dogs aren’t allowed in the bedrooms, though.
- The breakfast – it’s so great that there’s almost too much choice.
- Try the homemade shortbread, which is complimentary in the rooms or at the bar.
- Gin lovers – this is your Mecca. There are over 120 varieties at the bar.
- There are plenty of walks in the area to help work your big breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The Maytime Inn, Asthall, Burford, Oxfordshire OX18 4HW. Bed and breakfast starts from £95 per night; dinner, bed and breakfast from £135 per night. See more details and book via www.themaytime.com or call 01993 822068.
Bruern Holiday Cottages are the perfect place to spend a winter weekend curled up by the fire, discovers Victoria Marston.
Kate Green recommends the Budock Vean on the Helford Estuary.
In the heart of the beautiful spa town of Cheltenham you'll find this beautiful neo-Classical hotel where even the wallpaper
Helen Browning's organic food empire stretches to a farm, restaurant and a lovely country pub with beautifully-done rooms. Country Life
In one of England's most picturesque and unspoilt thatched villages is a glorious English inn and adjoining mill which offers