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Overview

The Pointer is a handsome 18th-century inn at the heart of beautiful Brill, a fine jumble of cottages and grand houses set on a hilltop with a windmill, two greens and fabulous views over rolling Buckinghamshire countryside.

Local farmer-landlords have spent a small fortune rejuvenating the inn over recent years, sprucing up the interior, creating a butchers shop at the back selling Longhorn beef and other local meats, offering good pub food from an open-to-view kitchen, and adding eight comfy rooms.

It's a great story and despite its transformation into a foodie inn, the pub remains rooted in the local community, with a relaxed and informal atmosphere, villagers drinking pints of Vale Gravitas at the bar, a collection of deep sofas and armchairs around roaring log fires, and there's a simple, rustic feel to the décor throughout. The more formal dining area occupies a restored beamed barn and has views of the walled garden and open kitchen.

Rooms from:

8 doubles: £95

Good to know

  • All major credit cards accepted
  • Disabled access
  • Alfresco & private dining
  • Limited parking; village street only
  • Dog allowed overnight

Dog-friendly

Dogs are allowed in the bar (treats in a jar) and in all the bedrooms where they get a bed, bowl and treats.

Alfresco

Enjoy pre-dinner drinks in the pretty walled garden with its posh teak tables and blue brollies, flower borders, weeping wisteria and latch-gate leading to Brill's lovely parish church.

Butcher's Shop

Pop next door and visit Jon and Anna in the pub's Butcher's shop for a varied and seasonal range of locally reared meats, charcuterie, Cacklebean Eggs, locally-brewed XT beer, fabulous wines and other larder treats sourced from local suppliers and artisanal producers.

Rooms

Eight beautifully decorated rooms are split between the inn and a pretty brick cottage across the village lane - they are popular weekend boltholes as Brill is an easy drive from west London.

Kitted out in luxurious country-chic style using a trendy-cool palette of greys and whites along with exposed oak beams, they are soothing, peaceful and very comfortable boltholes, perfect for resting your head after walk around the village and a delicious dinner at the pub. Enjoy the amazingly comfortable Hypnos bed, topped with White Company feather and down duvet and pillows, the Smart TVs, the Nespresso machine and the big, rustic-contemporary bathrooms, replete with Bramley soaps and lotions, bathrobes and vast walk-in storm showers.

Modern wooden furnishings, under floor heating, leather easy chairs and quality lighting complete the pleasing picture. Breakfast at the pub is worth waking up for and if you fancy some retail therapy, then Bicester Village is 10 miles away, plus Oxford is close, or don your boots and explore the footpaths that criss-cross this beautiful area.

Restaurant & bar

Modern British menus change regularly, evolving with the seasons and the availability of the best local ingredients, which are sourced from local farms, including Longhorn beef and other artisan products from Jon's butcher's behind the inn.

Nibble on halloumi chips with spicy tomato sauce before sharing a whole baked camembert studded with garlic and rosmary and served with red onion marmalade. Alternatively, kick off with spicy pork meatballs, followed by roast pork belly with crackling and gravy, Jon's sausages with mash and red wine gravy, or bacon and cheese house burger with pickles and mustard mayonnaise. Book ahead for slow-roasted rump of beef with all the trimmings on Sundays. Puddings may include sticky toffee pudding and baked cheesecake with raspberry compote.

Wash down with a Pointer Pint, classic cocktails, decent fizz or a bottle of wine from the short, well-chosen global list - 22 by the glass.

Things to do

Waddesdon Manor (NT) is magnificent house built for the Rothschilds in the style of a 16th-century French château and containing a superb collection of French furniture and paintings. A landscaped park, a rococo-style aviary with exotic birds and the lure of Rothschilds wine to buy.

Walk the Ridgeway Path and follow the same route used since prehistoric times by travellers, herdsmen and soldiers. Through ancient landscapes, over rolling, open downland to the west of the River Thames, and through secluded valleys and woods in The Chilterns to the east. The iron-age fort at Pulpit Hill is close and can be incorporated with a ride on the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway.

Just like London, Oxford can hold your attention for days. There really is that much to see and do. A walk through the ancient streets of Matthew Arnold's '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: Haddenham & Thame

Taxi from station: 14min

Drive: Aylesbury 27min; Oxford 29min; London 1hr 22min

Address

27 Church Street, Brill, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP18 9RT

Prices & availability