Things have been a little quiet on the travel front around here this year and with a busy year behind us, I thought it was about time we took a little staycation to celebrate the end of 2018. Every year Toff and I like to try and take a little pre-Christmas trip to the Cotswolds and this year we were kindly offered an overnight stay at The Lion pub and hotel in Wendlebury at my favourite time of year.
If you’ve seen my previous post on our weekend away in the Cotswolds (catch up HERE), you’ll know that I love to hide away in a cosy boutique bolthole and The Lion certainly delivers all of the charm you’d expect from a sleepy village pub. We arrived on a misty, dark Sunday afternoon after 2.5 hours on the road, revelling in the passing fields and rustic farmlands until we arrived in the small and quiet village of Wendlebury.
Unlike many of the Cotswold villages we’ve stayed in before, Wendlebury is smaller, unassuming and not without its Pinterest-worthy manor houses. Sitting opposite the picturesque streams and quaint bridges, The Lion is everything you imagine a local village boozer to be. Open fires, beamed ceilings and a quiet hubbub of locals propping up the bar, it’s generously decorated with a more sophisticated decor than your typical spit-and-sawdust open house.
After a brief welcome and a nod to the mulled wine on offer at the bar, we make our way to our room. This is the main reason why we’re here as The Lion have opened 13 brand new suites in a purpose-built, L-shaped, Cotswold stone cottage adjacent to the main pub. With stylish down-lights paving the way, we open the door to our ground-level room and are taken aback by our new little home for the next 24 hours.
Vast in size and homely in decor, the room is dwarfed by a huge French-style bed that could be straight out of a Loaf catalogue (I’m later told they’re actually Feather & Black), complete with luxe throw pillows and the type of expensive-looking throw that you’ve been in search for. But it’s not the buttery soft sheets and generous walk-in wardrobe (that’s right) that catches my eye, it’s the thoughtful attention to detail that litters the room.
From the welcome basket full of local fudge, herbal teas and gourmet crisps to the Temple Spa sleep spray on the bedside table and retro antique phone on the console table. Don’t even get me started on the Nespresso coffee machine and blackout velvet curtains. The bathroom is trendy in a domestic way – with tube station brick tiles, waterfall shower and enough Temple Spa beauty products to give yourself an impromptu spa evening. Although, unfortunately there isn’t a roll top bath or shelving to place my (sizeable) cosmetic case, the en suite is spacious and comfortable.
After a much-needed nap (I told you those sheets were lethal!) and a lot of Googling to find a stockist for the best pillows I’ve ever slept on, we were ready for dinner. With the option of plenty of dining areas, we were thankful to our waiter for ushering us away from the rowdy Christmas party to a cosy nook in the restaurant.
As self confessed foodies, we opted for a three-course feast of terrine, roast chicken and sticky toffee pudding with the latter sadly being the saviour of the former. A bottle of red in front of the fire and a crisp, chilly wander around the village inevitably led to one of the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a long time, despite the 11pm fudge binge!
Although the surrounding village is small, I have a sneaky suspicion that if we swapped our shoes for wellies we would have discovered plenty of footpaths to take us on a countryside jaunt. But sadly, we didn’t have time – with Blenheim Palace and Bicester Village a mere stones throw away, there was some serious shopping to be done before we headed home. Alright, maybe one more hot chocolate before we hit the road…
With thanks to The Lion for hosting us
An overnight stay at The Lion ranges from £130 a night on a B&B basis. Supplement for dogs, £20 a night each.
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