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Overview

This mellow Cotswold stone building was revamped in 2017 with 13 stylish bedrooms and a conservatory dining room added. The result is an inn which retains its 18th century charm, boasting modern features and comfortable, luxurious rooms as well as a delicious modern-meets-classic menu. In the traditional bar, expect rugs on flagged floors, hop garlands adorning thick beams, rustic stone walls and inglenook fireplaces, alongside an eclectic mix of tables and chairs, books and unusual objet d'art on shelves and walls. Soft heritage colours, tasteful pictures and jugs of fresh flowers complete this bucolic scene.

Enjoy dinner in the light and airy oak conservatory dining room, replete with dried lavender strung along the central beam. Or, while away the afternoon on the rear terrace with colourful flower borders, smart wicker-style furniture, posh cream brollies and a raised fireplace.

Rooms from

Doubles: £90


Good to know

  • All major credit cards accepted​
  • Disabled access
  • Parking available
  • Alfresco and private dining

Family favourite
Children are very welcome in the pub; there's a kids menu, board games to play, and two family suites with sofa beds for older children or cots are available, too.

Dog-friendly
Canine companions are allowed in the pub (treats and water bowls) and are welcome to stay overnight in the rooms.

A touch of culture
A half hour drive from Oxford, don't miss a day trip to the historic city of dreaming spires.

Rooms

All 13 rooms sport a fresh, contemporary feel and are kitted out with quality fabrics and furnishings. Expect super comfortable Feather & Black beds and mattresses, striking feature wallpapers from Cole & Son, soothing hues, tasteful lamps, fat radiators, velvet black-out blinds with bright cushions and throws adding an additional splash of colour.

Home-from-home comforts come as standard - Nespresso machine, retro-style phone, up-to-date magazines and generous supplies of Temple Spa Aromatherapy bathroom products. Smart bathrooms with white bevel-brick tiling complete the picture; all have thick towels and fabulous walk-in monsoon showers. Some have beams and glazed doors leading onto Juliet balconies.

Restaurant & bar

The seasonal modern British menus suits the informal atmosphere of The Lion with lunch and dinner menus being served throughout the bar, conservatory dining room and summer terrace. Using local Cherwell Valley produce, it successfully combines comforting pub classics such as steak and ale pie with quality rare breed Yorkshire steaks and more innovative dishes.

There are lunchtime sandwiches, a great value weekday set lunch and roasts on Sundays. Behind the bar you'll find top ales, a raft of boutique gins and a short list of wines (15 by the glass) which includes a few special and great value bottles of Bordeaux.

Private dining

Club Cottage is a fantastic private dining space - two floors allow plenty of seating (12 upstairs and 14 upstairs) as well as its own private patio off The Orangery.

Things to do

Top on any list for those in Oxfordshire, the incredible Blenheim Palace. One of Britain's largest and most famous stately homes, it offers a host of treasures to discover. There are guided tours of the staterooms and a chance to explore the estate's sumptuous parkland. A new Winston Churchill Memorial Garden and Footsteps Trail opened in 2015, taking visitors on a journey through the key achievements in the great statesman's extraordinary life and his early years in this area. Churchill's grave can be seen in the churchyard at nearby Bladon.

For something a little more understated, with the pretty River Cherwell flowing through the grounds, Rousham House & Gardens is one of Oxfordshire's loveliest mansions. Dating back to 1635, the house was remodelled over 100 years later and there is more than a hint of the Italianate about the garden with its cascades and ponds, groves, the Temple of Echo and the seven-arched portico known as Praeneste. A peaceful stroll along the tree-shaded Long Walk is a must.

The real star of the show is the city of Oxford itself, which can hold your attention for days. There really is that much to see and do. A walk through the ancient streets of the 'city of dreaming spires' is surely the best and most effective way to see this world-famous seat of learning. As well as the 12th-century Carfax Tower, with its memorable views, and the Botanic Garden - a quiet backwater in the heart of Oxford - there's the chance to visit many of the University's 38 colleges and even explore the familiar haunts of Colin Dexter's legendary detective, Inspector Morse.

Getting here

Directions

Nearest train station: Bicester Village
Taxi from station: 6min
Drive: 30min from Oxford, 36min from Aylesbury, 48min from Milton Keynes

Address

Wendlebury, Oxfordshire OX25 2PW

Prices & availability