The Wheatsheaf Inn
- Style Chic coaching inn
- Setting Northleach market town
A 17th-century stone inn brought up to the present time with oodles of rustic modern style and good taste, the Wheatsheaf Inn hotel is a country charmer in the Cotswolds. Paintings – historic and contemporary – grace the walls, the just-coiffed-enough gardens are the perfect place to hide with a book, the regional cuisine is superb, the ales and ciders are well-chosen and the cocktails are spot on.
Need to know
- Rooms 14 suites.
- Rates Double rooms from $190.54 (£117), excluding tax at 20 per cent.
- More details Rates include Continental breakfast and snacks (Curious Chocolate goodies, nuts and crisps). Full English breakfast £9 a person. Z-beds for adults are £50 a night.
- Facilities Small spa, snug/TV room, private dining room, poker room, wine cellar, board games, cinema club, free WiFi throughout, gardens. In rooms: flatscreen Bang & Olufsen TV with free Sky channels, Bramley bath products.
- Check–out 11am. Earliest check-in, 3pm. Both are flexible subject to availability.
Children Welcome. Baby cots can be supplied for £20 a night (or the bedding only, for £15), or fold-out Z-beds for older kids for £25 a night (£50 for over-16s). Babysitting with a nanny can be arranged for around £7 an hour, with a week's notice.
- Also Canine companions can stay in the three larger ground-floor rooms (10, 11 and 12) for £10 a night, with dog beds, bowls and treats provided.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms Once a piggery, Excellent Room 9 flaunts high ceilings and original stone walls. Very Good Room 6, in the former stable block, mixes masculine black suede and tweed, and Excellent Room 1 boasts a blissful freestanding bath. For garden access, opt for feminine Excellent Room 11. Tip: if you're lugging lots of luggage, ask for a room with a wardrobe or chest of drawers – they don't all have them.
- Packing tips Shooting – of the real and clay-pigeon variety – is up for grabs near this rustic retreat, and if you bring your own rifle there's a gun cabinet for storing it safely. Pack country clobber for hearty walks, although the hotel can provide handy Hunter wellies.
- Also The Wheatsheaf doesn't host weddings but would make a swell spot for a reception dinner, with bespoke banquets including whole hogs for a rollicking rural send-off. Guests at Cotswolds-fan Kate Moss' nuptuals bedded down here, and it would also be stylish for a stag or hen do. If you’re staying here on New Year’s Eve, you’ll be expected to attend the hotel’s Arabian-themed shindig (tickets are £50). Expect booze, food and a lively crowd.
Food and drink at The Wheatsheaf Inn
- Hotel restaurant Chunky wooden tables and leather-backed chairs tempt you to linger in the Inn's inviting dining room, where paintings of historic Brit tobacco barons add to the olde worlde feel. By contrast, German artist Sebastian Krüger's pop art portrait of Kate Moss factors in the funk. Nosh is rustic and regional, with seasonal produce the star in a daily-changing menu. Chef Anthony Ely's signature devilled kidneys on toast take some beating but the Colchester rock oysters and chocolate 'Balthazar' dessert give them a run for their money. The full cooked English breakfast is a must, and the all-day brunch at the weekend is best washed down with a Bucks Fizz. Make dinner reservations when booking – the restaurant is packed every night (but please note you can't book an 8pm slot, only before or after).
NB: Christmas Day lunch is £75 a person (£20 for children) and an evening buffet is included in the room rate. A limited menu will be on offer on Boxing Day, and on New Year’s Eve, a gala supper is included in the rate.
- Dress code Informal gastropub gear, but a tad of tweed will tally with the hunting, shooting and fishing crowd.
- Top table Park yourself at a cosy table beside the long banquette for top people-watching. The private dining room, which seats 18–24, is pretty magical, should you be in party mode.
- Last orders Lunch in the restaurant is served from 12pm–3pm, tea from 3pm–6pm, and dinner from 6pm–10pm. The pub pulls pints until 11pm, and the back-garden bar keeps the same hours.
- Room service Available through the day, with cracking breakfast and tea (think scones and cake), but the team will try to accommodate any requests.
- Hotel bar Beside the dining room, the Wheatsheaf Inn's convivial bar is a relaxed affair, popular with loyal locals. As well as a changing roster of regional beers, including Cotswold Lager and Festival Pride bitter, you'll find delicious Dunkertons organic cider on tap. The staff also mix killer cocktails and have taken out the title of Cotswolds Bloody Mary champions. Miss the mean Bellinis, glammed up with rum-flambéed peaches, at your peril. Expect a backing track of Pavarotti in the morning, segueing to Johnny Cash come the afternoon.