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I stopped for a cosy, fireside, pre-dinner cocktail at The Wheatsheaf Inn last weekend during my stay in the Cotswolds. Through its windows The Wheatsheaf emitted a warm glow as we arrived, already dark at 4pm in the afternoon. Upon first and second glances the image of the perfect country pub emerged. As I explored the pub, each new nook revealed an even cozier vignette than the last.
"The Wheatsheaf is a coaching inn, where in years gone by teams of horses and coaches would be kept in the stables below, and above blindingly drunken parties would be held where coachmen, travelers and mysterious highwaymen would drink, dance, tell tales, sing and generally be very badly behaved."
We settled into our velvet clad chairs by the fire in a room filled with Victorian paintings, warm paint colors, stone floors and wooden tables. I had their award winning Bloody Mary with fresh shaved horseradish on top. Delicious.
By all accounts, the food at The Wheatsheaf does not disappoint. Ingredients are sourced locally and the menu changes accordingly. I will definitely be going back at some point to enjoy a meal here.
There are also 14 well-appointed rooms upstairs that you can book should you want to stay at The Wheatsheaf Inn (Kate Moss accommodated her wedding guests here and there is an original Sebastian Kruger painting of her hanging at the inn):
To cap off our weekend in the Cotswolds we had traditional Sunday roast today at The Five Alls in Filkins before heading back to London. I was intrigued by the various newspaper reviews I had read about this gastropub, and the fact that its clientele includes Kate Moss and David Cameron. We were not disappointed.
The inside is everything you would hope for in a country pub: wood beam ceilings, stone walls, a roaring fireplace with a wooden slab mantel, big Chesterfield sofas, cozy alcoves, and darn good food. I particularly liked that some dishes had an Italian flair, owing to the fact that the chef has an Italian mother.
The focaccia was absolutely delicious and served with the Five Alls own homemade olive oil, which you can purchase a bottle of to take home for £7.50.
We started with shrimp, avocado and cucumber cocktail with melba toast:
Our mains were Roast Wild Duck 'two ways' with brussels sprouts, chestnuts, bacon and a potato fritter:
And the traditional Sunday roast of rump beef with yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, root vegetables and homemade horseradish cream:
In additional to their olive oil, they also sell various jams and homemade chocolate fudge.
On the other side of the restaurant is a very smart more informal bar that also serves the full dining menu. If you have one too many pints, there are four double rooms upstairs you can stay in designed by Miranda Snow, the chef and owner's sister.
And as for the name, The Five Alls, a glance at the cover of the wine list reveals: There’s a lawyer: “I plead for All”; a vicar: “I pray for All”; a peasant: “I work for All”; a soldier: “I fight for All”; and the central panel portrays the devil: “I take All”.
A boutique style hotel, but with 82 rooms, Berns Hotel was built as a restaurant in 1863; then reincarnated more than a century later as Stockholm's best-loved hotel and entertainment hot spot. The Berns Hotel sits in an enviable location right down on the harbor and within walking distance to all of the best shops and restaurants.
Asiatiska is the hotel's Asian restaurant, which is housed in the most fabulous 19th century baroque chandelier-clad room, and would, no doubt, be a stunning setting for a private party. Conde Nast Traveller proclaims Sunday Brunch in this room to be one of their top 25 reasons to go to Stockholm.
Our room at Berns was small and average (with no view), though I suspect their superior and deluxe rooms, designed by famous industry experts like Phillipe Starck, amongst others, are much nicer and more spacious. We could not, however, argue with the location.