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Overview

Set beside a babbling trout stream in the Cotswold village of Ampney Crucis, 3 miles east of Cirencester, the old Crown of Crucis pub has been lovingly restored and reinvented as a boutique country inn.

In December 2021 following a year-long refurbishment the doors were pushed open to reveal a cool, contemporary inn that successfully combines Wild Thyme & Honey, with it's 24 very stylish rooms and exclusive events/wedding space, and the Crown at Ampney Brook, a beamed country pub that's both the community hub and a fabulous foodie destination. The two are seamlessly joined together by a country-chic reception-cum-lounge area with wood floors, stone fireplace, deep leather sofas and smart upholstered chairs, and stunning flower arrangements. It's the perfect place to relax after a country ramble or with a drink before dinner, perhaps a glass of fine wine from the unique Enomatic dispensing machine.

The impressive refurbishment has been inspired by the beautiful Cotswold landscape, the ethos being to bring the idyllic surrounding countryside into the well designed rooms and spaces, notably a calming colour palette, honey-coloured stone and natural wood floors. Equally, the seasonal modern British menu draws on the rich larder of Cotswold produce available from local farmers and artisan suppliers.

A relaxing rural retreat oozing style and comfort - a great new Cotswold inn-hotel for wedding couples and the discerning traveller.

Rooms from:

10 doubles £150; 14 suites £200-£750

Good to know

Major credit cards accepted

Disabled access (toilet + Serenity Room)

Alfresco & private dining

Wedding venue

Riverside suites

Parking available

Dog stay: £30

Weddings

Wild Thyme & Honey is the perfect setting for a wedding celebration. Rooms & suites surround a private dining room seating 120 and adjoining courtyard space with open fire.

No.3 London Road

Stunning riverside suite oozing space, style and comfort - unique four-poster bed made from silver birch, deep copper tub, terrace with sauna and hot tub beside Ampney Brook.

Rooms

Time, money and meticulous attention to detail have been lavished on transforming the 24 bedrooms into stylish boutique boltholes for Cotswold travellers.

Wild Thyme & Honey comprises 10 beautifully refurbished double rooms and 14 rather special riverside suites, all set around an open courtyard in the cleverly designed extension beside the Ampney Brook. The inspired design ethos is to immerse you in nature and bring the soft colours of the serene Cotswold countryside into each room. Think, soothing natural colours blending with exposed Cotswold stone, wood floors, quirky bark edging around doors, plank panelled walls, stone-coloured fabrics and throws, and natural stone tiles in cosy bathrooms.

Rooms are very relaxing and ooze understated luxury - riverside suites have roll-top tubs in the room (with books and organic Bramley soaps and lotions); all feature contemperary lamps, hanging ceramic bedside lights, Nespresso machines, a decanter of sloe gin, Roberts radio (on at arrival), and fluffy bathrobes, mini Belfast sinks and huge walk-in showers in the bathrooms. Splash out and book No.3 London Road, a swish suite with oddles of space and a private waterside deck with hot tub and sauna.

Forgotten your wellies, then borrow a pair of Hunters (and a Wild Thyme & Honey umbrella if raining) and explore the surrounding footpaths.

Restaurant & bar

The ethos of showcasing the best of the Cotswolds extends to chef Jonathan Furby's (ex-Bell at Malmesbury) innovative and seasonally inspired farm-to-fork menu.

Jonathan makes sound use of top-notch produce from local farmers and suppliers, delivering well cooked modern British classics (with a twist) and an eclectic choice of Robata grilled meat, fish and vegetarian dishes (smoked celeriac with horseradish gremolate) from the open-to-view kitchen.

The winter menu offers plenty of interest - perhaps start with hot-smoked Bibury trout served on a sourdough crumpet with poached organic egg, wilted greens and a delicious caviar hollandaise, followed by unctious Sykes Farm ox cheek and port bourguignon with horseradish potatoes, or Bowood Estate venison cottage pie, crushed neeps and tatties, chargrilled hispi cabbage and crispy black pudding. Grills may include sea bass with fennel, lime and chilli, and a Gloucester Old Spot tomahawk pork chop. Great side dishes too - Wiltshire truffle mash; smoked goose fat, sage and onion terrine; bone marrow gravy. Leave room for lemon, thyme and honey cheesecake with Ampney Brook honeycomb ice cream.

To quaff - peruse the mind-boggling drinks menu for classic cocktails, hot winter pimms, craft beers and ciders, well-chosen wines and fizz (16 by the glass), and a raft of gins, whiskies and rum.

Private dining

There are two intimate private dining rooms upstairs at The Crown - The Hide and The Eaves - which are ideal for business lunches and family celebrations. Or, why not book one of the three afresco dining domes (seat 6) on the riverside terrace, replete with candleabras, beautifully laid-up tables and river views.

Things to do

Built from lovely mellow golden stone, beautiful Kelmscott Manor was the Cotswold retreat of William Morris and his family, friends and colleagues. Kelmscott is home to fascinating and important collections of textiles, furniture and paintings, spanning more than 300 years and reflecting the ideas and creative legacy of those who lived and worked here.

Situated in a secluded part of the Coln valley, the fascinating Roman villa at Chedworth dates from around AD 120 and was originally believed to have been a farmhouse.

Not far from Cirencester are several country estates and shooting schools where clay pigeon shooting regularly takes place, including Ian Coley's at Andoversford. With advice and guidance, this activity is perfect, whether you are an experienced shot or just a beginner.

Burford is a stunning Cotswold village, and it's worth spending time wandering up and down the historic streets, among the dignified old houses and cottages by the River Windrush. Burford is also well known for the quality and range of its antique shops.

Getting here

Directions

Nearest train station: Kemble

Taxi from station: 16min

Drive: Swindon 27min; Gloucester 32min; Oxford 58min; London 2hr

Address

Ampney Crucis, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 5RS

Prices & availability