The Fox at Great Barrington
"Pubs are about people. And The Fox, provides a setting for either general chit chat or a deep and meaningful evening followed by a night in one of their gorgeous bedrooms"
The Windrush Valley is home to The River Windrush, which winds through the rushes for much of its course, as a stream and river
The Windrush Valley is also home to many beautiful villages, renowned eateries and prize hostelries that offer the weary traveller not only good food but a range of tipples and a room for the night.
Not many of them, however, combine a magnificent riverside setting, fabulous food and beautiful rooms without pretence. In fact, not many of them offer everything that you may need in a wonderful country pub environment complete with roaring fires and a host that has spent the last 20 years serving locals and visitors alike, local Donnington ales whilst ensuring they are suitably replete by feasting on locally sourced food, whilst regaling them with tales of the Windrush Valley.
There is one of them that does all of the above in droves, and that is The Fox at Great Barrington.
You may wonder how I know this, and why I am so genuinely enthused about somewhere that is far enough away from Oxford to warrant a weekend away label, but takes under an hour to actually get there.
It’s simple. Having spent a Friday night feasting on sublime oysters, Bibury trout and a selection of magnificent local cheeses, I feel suitably qualified to sing the praises of this Windrush Valley gem. We are, of course, in an area that certainly has no shortage of places to eat, however the unique selling point of The Fox is the fact that it is essentially a typical country pub, and one that acts as a haven for the local villagers, as well as a pit stop for walkers and a weekend escape for those wanting to sample each of the delights that this lovely bolt hole has to offer.
Paul Porter has been the landlord at the Fox since 1993. He told us : “The aim of The Fox is to maintain its pub feel. As a Donnington House, from the Donnington Brewery based just outside Stowe, it is essential that our craft beers are top notch and caring about the quality of what we serve is essential.
On the food side our menu is a mix of simple sophistication without any pretentiousness. We want to be able to provide our customers with a choice of the freshest, locally sourced produce available, cooked to compliment the food and served in a relaxed setting.”
Pubs are about people. And The Fox, provides a setting for either general chit chat or a deep and meaningful evening followed by a night in one of their gorgeous bedrooms. The rooms, overlooking the river, are recently refurbished and mirror the whole Fox philosophy of simplistic design and gorgeous quality.
There are seven to choose from, and our room was magnificent. Wonderful beds complete with crisp white linen, complimented by a range of hand painted tables and décor, the pristine bathroom with shower à deux and gorgeous products allowed us to indulge perhaps a little more than we should, safe in the knowledge that the distance from bar to room allowed a slight stagger in safety.
Breakfast was more than welcome and continued the theme of simple, wholesome and served with a smile and set us up beautifully for a meander through to Burford.
In a world that seems to have left behind the old-fashioned night out in a wonderful atmospheric and traditional country pub behind, The Fox is certainly a welcome respite, that would be worth the journey just for that. However, coupled with the fabulous food and wonderful accommodation, and even Chester the beautifully behaved pub dog, it really is a must.
Reasonably priced and so relaxed, this pub should be on the agenda of anyone wanting an excuse for a relaxing night away or a perfect breakfast stop on your way to Cheltenham, whether it’s for a race day or a Christmas shop.
The Fox at Barrington- great food; great beer, great company but beware the hangovers.
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