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Overview

Spread across several buildings at the bottom of Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury's famous street lined with independent shops, the striking Lion & Pheasant hides a historic sixteenth century heart behind an early eighteenth facade.

Old certainly meets new throughout this beautifully renovated building, which in 2010 was transformed into the place it is today by the architect/designer team of Rachael Chidlow and Paul Keogh. The minimalist-rustic design and décor comes as a surprise as you step from the street into the contemporary reception-cum-lounge and the cool and uncluttered bar, which have a distinct New England look and feel. Equally cool is Ernest & Co, a stylish wine bar created from an adjoining shop in 2019.

Think, sanded lightwood floors, pastel hues, big vases of fresh flowers, deep sofas, glass chandeliers, spotlights and trendy anglepoise lamps, and painted wall benches. Step into the dining room and back 200 years to a world of ancient beams, slate floors and a raised log fire in the huge stone inglenook. Wonky rustic walls, thick timbers and beams extend upstairs into the intimate, candlelit restaurant and many of the bedrooms.

Rooms from:

Doubles: £105

Good to know:

  • Amex not accepted; Visa/Mastercard accepted
  • Disabled access
  • Private & alfresco (lunch) dining
  • Limited parking; NCP almost opposite

Alfresco

The sheltered rear courtyard has a distinct Mediterranean feel, edged with lavender and box and dotted with potted olive trees, while suspended sail clothes provide welcome shelter.

Water & waves

Follow the path beside the River Severn to sister pub The Boathouse for a traditional pub lunch and a pint in the terraced riverside garden.

Rooms

Equally contemporary are the 23 smart bedrooms reached via a bespoke twisting staircase and winding corridors on two floors. Mirroring downstairs, rear rooms ooze historic character and charm, featuring wonky floors and exposed wall timbers and ceiling beams.

All have super comfortable oak or wrought iron Feather & Black beds topped with crisp White Company linen, down duvets and feather pillows, feature fireplaces and a cool, uncluttered feel - cord carpets, pastel tongue & groove dado, painted furniture, soft lighting and few paintings. Smart tiled bathrooms come with vast walk-in showers with five having showers over baths, and Cole & Lewis toiletries.

For that special night away, why not book the Loft Suite with its vaulted timbered ceiling, head-cracking beams, wood floors, hip-bath on a raised level overlooking the iron bed, and separate storm shower. Independently minded guests or those with kids can stay in one of three beautifully designed and kitted out self-catering cottages, with the open-plan Stables being ideal for families.

Restaurant & bar

Inventive modern British (with a twist) style of cooking has found favour with local diners and guests staying at the inn. The kitchen team are passionate about sourcing local ingredients and maintaining an innovative restaurant menu, alongside an lunchtime bar menu that features pub classics.

Arrive early to enjoy afternoon tea - finger sandwiches, traditional cakes & pastries, fresh baked scones with strawberries, clotted cream & preserves. Blackboards announce the day's cocktail and the gin of the week and closer inspection reveals that both are taken very seriously here, with boutique gins from Britain and abroad lining the shelves behind the bar, and there's a cocktail menu if you wish to kick off the evening in style.

Ale aficionados will rejoice as they sup tip-top ales from the Borders, including Wye Valley IPA, Salopian Shropshire Gold, brewed in an old dairy in Hadnall just outside Shrewsbury, and a brew from Ironbridge Brewery.

Things to do

Close to the Welsh Borders, Shrewsbury is one of England's loveliest and most historic market towns. The river Severn loops around it and a stroll through its quaint streets reveals a host of fine buildings and ancient landmarks - including the Castle (now a regimental museum) and the world-famous Abbey.

One of Shropshire's most popular visitor attractions, Ironbridge Gorge is acknowledged as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. With 10 museums to explore, there's always plenty to see and so do at this World Heritage Site - designated for its history, geology and cultural heritage.

After you've explored Shrewsbury's ancient streets, relax aboard the Sabrina and enjoy a 45-minute cruise on the river Severn, departing from Victoria Quay near the Welsh Bridge. Refreshments are available on board.

Getting here

Directions

Nearest train station: Shrewsbury

Taxi from station: 5mins

Drive: The inn is located at the bottom of Wyle Cop in the centre of Shrewsbury, close to the River Severn. Telford: 16miles; Wrexham 31miles

Address

49-50 Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY1 1XJ

Prices & availability