18th-c inn with sympathetically modernised character bars, a two-storey restaurant, excellent modern cooking and thoughtful choice of drinks; bedrooms
The good pub guide review
Following a major refurbishment in early 2020, this former Georgian coaching inn is now a Brunning & Price pub. The large bar area and many different sized rooms cleverly manage to create a contemporary feel while incorporating some original features such as beams and standing timbers. The cheery staff serves three regular ales ' St Austell Brunning & Price Traditional Bitter, Purity Gold and Hook Norton Old Hooky ' and four changing guests on handpump, real cider and around 25 wines by the glass including champagne. Comfortable furnishings include a mix of old wooden chairs and tables, upholstered sofas, cosy armchairs, high bar chairs by the counter, rugs on polished wooden floors, a double-sided open fire and a woodburning stove; background music. The stylish and modern restaurant is on two levels. The lower floor, with stunning chandeliers, is decorated in soft pastels and silvers and has folding doors leading out to the terrace, while the upper floor has chairs around polished copper tables on dark floorboards, seats on a balcony and panoramic views across the Stour Valley; there's also a private dining room with its own decked area and lawn. Outside, the appealing courtyard and garden have seats and tables looking over water meadows and the valley. The eight bedrooms are well equipped and comfortable.
The good pub guide food review
Rewarding food includes nibbles and 'light bites', a meze plate, crispy baby squid with sweet chilli sauce, rump steak sandwich, Malaysian chicken curry, cauliflower, chick pea and squash tagine, king prawn linguine with chilli, pork and leek sausages with mash and buttered greens, grilled sea bass with potato and chervil terrine, and puddings such as summer pudding with clotted cream, and hot waffle and caramelised banana with honeycomb ice-cream. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are available.
Bell, Alderminster, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 8NY
Pub Group: Brunning & Price