Enter your email to read this article
Read news on any topic, in one place, from publishers like The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more.

The Feathered Nest, Cotswolds: a Michelin-starred bolthole overlooking a luscious valley

Picture Kate Winslet’s cottage in The Holiday and you won’t be far off — except this one’s in the Cotswolds and comes with its own Michelin-star fine dining country pub.

Well, technically the pub comes with the cottage, but it certainly feels like the other way round when you’re lucky enough to stay at The Cottage at the Feathered Nest, an award-winning fine dining restored country inn overlooking the luscious green Evenlode Valley.

The cosy gourmet bolthole sits in the chocolate-box village of Nether Westcote in the heart of the Cotswolds, not far from Lower Slaughter, the main village featured in the latest adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma. Expect rabbits hopping across the lane as you pull up, and the sound of sheep, geese and horses hooves when you wake up in the morning — after a lie-in, hopefully, given how good the wine is on the six-course tasting menu.

There’s a sun-dappled terrace overlooking the garden and rolling hills for enjoying a drink before dinner (or dinner itself). Pick a summer’s evening and you could be in Tuscany, except it’s only a two-hour drive back to London afterwards.

From charmingly restored rooms to days out on the doorstep, here’s everything you need to know.

Where is it?

Slap bang in the middle of two of the Cotswolds’ most beloved towns, Burford and Stow-on-the-Wold. The pub itself sits in the village of Nether Westcote (think pub, church, and that’s about it) and overlooks the rolling hills of the Evenlode Valley.

(Adrian Sherratt)

Chipping Norton, Bruern and Kingham are all within a 20-minute drive.

Style

There’s no reception when you arrive but this is exactly the point. The Feathered Nest isn’t a hotel; it’s a luxury country pub that just happens to have rooms — think bar stools made of riding saddles, olde English pub vibes and charming little nods to the fact that the building was a malt house 350 years ago.

Outside, there’s a glorious terrace with tables overlooking a luscious green garden and quaint rolling hills, and there are plenty of indoor spots for hunkering down next to a roaring fire — time your visit right and you might catch a wine tasting evening or a live music night by a local artist.

(The Feathered Nest)

Just duck into the beamed bar area and a member of friendly staff will show you to your room.

Which room?

There are four en-suite rooms upstairs if you fancy rolling straight into bed from dinner: a cosy double called the Cockerel’s Roost (think double bed and walk-in shower), and three king-sized rooms called the Cuckoo’s Den, the Pheasant Nest and the Dove Cote, each with a bath and a separate shower. Expect classic country inn vibes, from hessian floors to old antique furniture. In a nod to the name, there are bird-themed soft furnishings added in for good measure.

Each room has a Nespresso machine and bathrooms are stocked with marine-based Algotherm products.

(The Feathered Nest)

For super-king luxury, pick the Cottage or the ‘Little House’ as it was known on the original deeds of the property, which opened last year. The cosy miniature house sits behind a quintissential wooden picket fence and farmhouse front door and boasts the best bits of staying at a country pub whilst giving you a feel of independence.

It’s just a few steps from the main pub and comes with a living room, dining area, kitchenette, bathroom with a roll-top bath and a double bedroom - perfect for couples looking for a slightly roomier stay (there’s space to keep the bikes indoors if you’re planning a cycling holiday).

Expect period features with exposed beams, open fireplace and original flagstone floors all combined with cosy modern furnishings and Farrow & Ball paint.

(The Feathered Nest)

Food & drink

You’ll see the certificates as you walk in: 3 AA Rosettes, AA Breakfast Cup, AA Notable Wine List, Cesar Award, Beautiful South ‘Pub of the Year’ 2013. The list goes on — and it’s fitting.

Don’t expect your bog standard pub grub; expect award-winning food served in an unpretentious, down-to-earth setting, from the hotel’s famed 8oz Nest Burger to locally-sourced, seasonal dishes (they handmake their butter and handbake their bread).

Michelin-star chef Matt Weedon, who’s worked at the likes of Glenapp Castle and Lords of the Manor, is behind the menu and the highlight is his six-course tasting menu with wine pairings.

Think roasted carrot and ewes curd with curried aubergine, loin and shoulder of lamb with asparagus and smoked mash, and blood orange and passion fruit desserts. The Chateaubriand is perfect for two to share and served to perfection.

There are five wines available by the glass at any one time, but you don’t have to go for wine pairings or fine dining if you fancy a taste of the food here. Locals still pop in for a pint and mix in with weekend minibreakers and foodies from afar who’ve read about the menu in all the guide books.

Choose from an a la carte menu, “long and lazy” sunday menu, plant based menu or six-course tasting menu, and there’s an afternoon tea option for £25 with the option of adding champagne for £35.

Facilities

Don’t expect exquisite subterranean spas, but do pack the bikes and the walking boots: the Feathered Nest is expertly placed for a quintiessential weekend of hiking, biking and wandering quaint Cotswold towns.

The pub itself comes with 45-acre grounds (most of it is open only to residents) and there’s an onsite wildlife reserve complete with a lake and newly-introduced badgers and foxes.

It’s family and dog-friendly and staff all muck in to make sure guests are well catered for (the Sommelier brought us an iron when we asked at reception). Book a stay soon and you can still enjoy the outdoor terrace (don’t worry, staff will bring you blankets when it gets chilly in the evenings).

(The Feathered Nest)

What to Instagram

The picket-fenced gate to your own Cotswold stone cottage, ideally as a passing Robin takes a perch.

Best for?

Foodies and couples with dogs. The Cottage comes with a dog bed, water bowl and treats and dogs are welcome at the bar and in the snug and terrace areas. It’s just £25 per dog.

How to get there

Jump in the car from London and you’ll be there in less than two hours. Trains are under two hours from Paddington to Kingham, then it’s a 10-minute taxi at the other end.

(The Feathered Nest)

When should I go?

All year round, depending on availability, but it’s an autumn-lover’s dream: cosy corners, roaring fires and dozens of quaint Cotswold walks directly on the doorstep.

Details

Related Stories
Montagu Arms hotel: Driving back in time - and into luxury - in the New Forest
Historic hotel matches classic cars with gourmet food
From analysis to the latest developments in health, read the most diverse news in one place.
The exciting Scottish restaurant in Robert Burns country that's just been added to the Michelin Guide
The restaurant at 'Robert Burn's favourite Howff' has been praised for its "creative, modern dishes".
King Charles' holiday cottage on remote UK island where you can stay too
The remote hideaway comes with sea views and is largely hidden from view by tamarisk trees to protect the royals' privacy
London’s best restaurants for a second date, from Bar Crispin to the Tamil Prince
The first date is an ice-breaker, but it’s the follow-up that counts. Clare Finney on the spots that get it right
Domes Noruz Chania: an adults-only wellness paradise in a calm Cretan bay
The five-star resort is an architecture haven, with striking two-floor rooms with their own private plunge pools, jacuzzis and outdoor baths. Katie Strick checks in
One place to find news on any topic, from hundreds of sites.
Hotel Review: Killarney’s ‘best-kept secret’ gets a €7.8m makeover
Does Killarney have the highest concentration of hotels in Ireland? With more than two dozen for a population of around 15,000, by my calculations, it certainly can’t be far off.