Smart old pub with handsome oak garden rooms, antiques-filled bars, local beers and contemporary food; bedrooms
The good pub guide review
The flamboyant Mitford sisters grew up in Swinbrook and this inn belonged to 'Debo', the youngest sister, who became the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire. She died in 2014 but it still belongs to the Chatsworth Estate ' look out for the Mitford family photographs blown up on the walls. It's a smart but cosy retreat in a lovely position by a bridge over the River Windrush. Some of the elegant and comfortable bedrooms are beside by the water, and the outdoor seats and picnic-sets share the same view. The little bar has simple antique furnishings, settles and benches, an open fire, and a stuffed swan (in an alcove); locals do drop in for a pint and a chat. A small dining room leads off from the bar to the right of the entrance, and there are also two garden rooms with high-backed beige and green dining chairs around pale wood tables and views across the garden and orchard. A new bar has been installed in the garden. Hook Norton Hooky Gold, North Cotswold Windrush Ale and Purity Bunny Hop on handpump, nine wines by the glass, farm ciders and local draught lager; staff are first class. Background music, board games and TV. The Kings Head in Bledington (Gloucestershire) is run by the same top-notch licensees.
The good pub guide food review
Excellent food includes lunchtime sandwiches, moules marinière, smoked ham hock terrine with piccalilli, salt and pepper squid with chorizo and tabbouleh, steak and red wine pie with chips and kale, fried polenta with courgettes, aubergine, halloumi and avocado, duck breast with peaches, parma ham, walnuts, raspberries, goats cheese and balsamic dressing, pan-fried sea bass with chorizo, fennel, samphire and crab bisque, and puddings such as vanilla cheesecake with poached peach and raspberry sorbet and lemon possett with plum and blackberry compote.