The Horse & Groom

Pub with rooms in Charlton, Wiltshire

From £90 per night

Curator's notes:

  • Refurbished 16th-century coaching inn
  • Traditional bar; cosy dining rooms
  • Stylishly upgraded upstairs rooms
  • Close to Malmesbury & Cotswolds
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Speak to us on +44 (0)20 8161 0100

Overview

Fronted by a tree-sheltered lawn and surrounded by its own paddock, this elegant, 16th-century Cotswold stone house certainly embraces the genuine 'inn' experience as befits its history as a famous coaching inn.

The rustic-smart bar and rambling dining rooms retain an evocative air - you can quaff pints of Butcombe at scrubbed tables in the buzzy, flagstoned bar, with its exposed stone walls and log fire in the original fireplace, or feast on modern British pub food in one of the two dining areas, where rug-strewn floors and solid oak tables lend a civilised air. Retreat to the secluded walled rear garden on warm sunny days.

Butcombe reopened the Horse & Groom following a full refurbishment in 2021, so expect a stylish and cosy feel throughout, five luxurious bedrooms, and a new, additional rear dining room and event space - The Stables. With Malmesbury, Cirencester, Cotswolds Water Park and Bath all within easy reach, the inn makes an ideal base for exploring the area.

Rooms from:

5 doubles: £90

Good to know

Major credit cards accepted (not Amex)

Disabled access (not rooms)

Alfresco & private dining

Parking available

Dog stay: £20

A touch of culture

Beautiful Castle Combe is one of England's prettiest villages, occupying a snug spot amid trees and hidden valleys, with handsome houses, chocolate-box cottages, several inns and a tearoom. Once an important weaving community dotted with fulling mills, the village is now one of Wiltshire's key attractions.

Rooms

The five beautifully revamped upstairs bedrooms are full of charm and personal touches - thought and attention to detail has been given to refurbishing them with style and comfort.

Both the cosy and charming Snug rooms and the larger Superior rooms sport soothing Farrow & Ball colours, big beds with colourful headboards, crisp Egyptian cotton linen, feather duvets and pillows, blanket throws, relaxing upholstered armchairs, antique furnishings, and big lamps.

Welcome detail touches include fresh coffee and home-made biscuits, Roberts radios, digital safes, Smart TVs, and a fully-stocked mini-bar with complimentary bottle of Stateside Session IPA and a small bottle of Prosecco. Expect, also, spotlighting, jazzy tiled floors, claw-foot baths or power showers and organic Bramley soaps and lotions in spacious, brightly painted bathrooms. Front rooms overlook the tree-sheltered front lawn.

Wake up to a delicious breakfast, perhaps scrambled egg and Chalk Stream Farm trout on sourdough, and spend the day exploring the Cotswolds or nearby Malmesbury.

Restaurant & bar

Food is a cut above the pub norm - seasonal dishes and innovative takes on pub classics are freshly prepared using local produce from the West Country larder.

Typically, tuck into a pub favourite, perhaps Butcombe Gold beer-battered fish and thick-cut chips or try the whole baked Cornish sole served with shellfish bisque, Fowey mussels, fennel, samphire and saffron potatoes, or an interesting vegan dish like salt-baked carrot risotto - pickled heritage carrots, crispy kale, vegan Gouda, pine nuts and sage.

Expect also starters like Keralan caulflower soup, coriander chutney and spiced chickpeas, alongside 28-day dry-aged ribeye steak with peppercorn sauce, interesting lunchtime sandwiches (chicken Milanese ciabatta), and decent Sunday roasts (slow-cooked porchetta, fennel & herbs, hog's pudding and apple sauce). Find room for the likes of sticky date and toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce.

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Private dining

With direct access to the garden, The Stables is a very flexible space for celebrating special occasions and for private hire events, from birthday parties to wedding receptions and meetings.

Things to do

One of the region's most picturesque towns, Malmesbury lies between two branches of the River Avon and is dominated by the remains of a Benedictine abbey, founded in the 7th century. One of the oldest boroughs in England, the town is packed with handsome buildings and quaint streets. Noted for its costume collection ranging over three centuries, the Athelstan Museum also has a famous Malmesbury lace exhibition, along with early bicycles, fire engines, toys & games.

Located three miles to the south of Stroud, Woodchester is one of the region's lesser-known gems. The mansion, in High Gothic style, has never been lived in yet stands more or less intact after more than 130 years. The surrounding park has five lakes that resemble Scottish lochs.

Westonbirt Arboretum is one of the largest in Europe, where the specimen trees represent all continents except Antarctica. Spread over 600 acres, there are miles of footpaths through glades and beneath 'champion' trees, the greatest of their species; in all, more than 18,000 trees. At their best in autumn; spring colour comes from the shrubs and woodland flowers.

Getting here

Directions

Nearest train station: Kemble

Taxi from station: 13min

Drive: Malmesbury 9min; Swindon 30min; Bath 44min; London 2hr 8min

Address

The Street, Charlton, Malmesbury, Wiltshire SN16 9DL

Prices & availability