A cosy country pub that has been brilliantly updated – plus it's close to London, serves great food and is dog-friendly!
Willian Hertfordshire SG6 2AE 01462 480 233
Situated in the pretty Hertfordshire village of Willian,The Fox is a revamped pub that does everything a country inn should do: it has a set of very comfy guest rooms, recently decorated in crisp contemporary style; it serves excellent food that's very moderately priced; and it;s not a bad place to pop into for a pint either. It's a pub that's at the heart of its community – it even runs the village shop next door – but luckily for us also makes it very easy for tired folk from the Smoke to recharge their batteries at the weekend.
The Fox's style is the same as its brethren in the excellent Anglia Country Inns group (for example the long-established White Horse in North Norfolk) – a village pub but one that's firmly of this century, with a stripped-down bar, good food and a set of contemporary
boutique-style rooms. Despite its extremely convenient location, you could be a
million miles from London.
There are eight rooms in all, all turned out with crisp, retro designs. There are 5 ‘garden rooms ‘accessible from outside, each with patio seating in front, and 3 rooms in the main building, one of which has a free-standing bath in the room. All the rooms have king-size beds, good wifi, Freeview TVs, digital radios, coffee-and tea-making facilities, air-conditioning and modern bathrooms with aromatherapy toiletries and rainfall showers. Dogs are allowed in the garden rooms, where they get treats, bowls and suchlike. They're also allowed in the bar, where you can eat either from either the simple bar menu or the slightly fancier restaurant menu – which they also serve in the spacious and airy restaurant behind. Both are relaxed places to eat, with stripped floors, Lloyd Loom chairs and lots of light; there’s an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients and it's nice to see that lots of things are in fact homemade.
As for stuff to do while you're here, there are lots of walks you can do in the surrounding area, a couple of which take in a decent pub or two along the way, plus you're just a short drive away from Hitchin, Cambridge and historical attractions like Hatfield House. Or you could just potter about the village; there’s an diary of events at the pub throughout the year and an annual beer festival. Whatever you decide to do, it's the perfect last-minute escape for a jaded Londoner.
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Eight double rooms in all – 5 ‘garden rooms', each with a small patio area in front, and 3 upstairs in the main building – 2 of which are on the cosy side while the third one at the front is larger and has a free-standing bath. One of the garden rooms serves as a family room, with a double bed and sofa bed.
Find a bed in a place to sleep near you
The smallest rooms start at £85 a night and rise to £115 for the most expensive, including breakfast. Dogs cost £10 a night.
- Car-charging points
- DAB Radios
- Dogs Welcome
- Family rooms
- TVs with Freeview
- Pub with Rooms
The Fox is a 5-minute drive from the A1M (and arguably less an hour’s drive from some parts of north London). You can also reach nearby Letchworth Garden City station in just over half an hour from London King's Cross, from where it's a 5-minute taxi ride to Willian.
Open all year.