The Kingham Plough
This 17th-century Oxfordshire pub with rooms has undergone quite a makeover in the last ten years or so. Just over a decade ago you couldn't get so much as a cheese roll in what was a typical village boozer; then Kingham's Plough became a gastronomic temple that drew people from far and wide, driven by Great British menu winner Emily Watkins. More recently it has reverted to being a bit more of a pub – albeit one that serves really good food and has half a dozen very comfortable rooms upstairs for those who want to stay over. Our kind of place in fact – welcoming and relaxed while making a big effort to make your stay extra-special.
Katie and Matt Beamish took over the place in early 2019 and want to retain the foodie heritage of the Plough but are also keen to put their own stamp on the place. It remains a gastropub at heart, however, and Matt and Katie, having worked with the likes of Raymond Blanc and Fergus Henderson, continue to source local, seasonal ingredients for both pub classics and more adventurous British dishes, which you can enjoy on an all-day bar menu or lunch and evening à la carte menus.
The food is splendid, and rates include an excellent breakfast, lots of it homemade, from the cereals to the baked beans, and relatively unusual options like kedgeree as well as an excellent Full English. As for the rooms, there are six in all, some above the pub and others in a two-storey annexe next door – each individually decorated and very comfy. All but one have super-king-size beds (the other is a king-size), with high-quality linen and duvets, tea and coffee-making facilities and minibars with fresh milk, good wifi and large Smart TVs and DVD players. Bathrooms have baths with showers (two have roll-top standalone baths), furnished with locally made Bramley toiletries. It's not deliberately a family sort of place but parents with small children will be pleased to know that two pairs of rooms share a landing so you can have two effectively adjoining rooms and a bit of privacy, and baby monitors reach the bar so you can (hopefully!) enjoy yourselves while the children are sleeping. Two dog-friendly rooms are also available, and include a dog bed, water bowl, treats and a towel for muddy paws, and the overall vibe is one of comfort and relaxation with a quirky twist – lots of grainy wood, flagstone floors and pubby nooks and corners, open fires in winter and a sun terrace for summer, and contemporary British art on the walls, some of which is for sale.
Finally Kingham is lovely, typically Cotswolds village, and the pub sits rather idyllically on the village green. There are lots of walks to be done in the surrounding countryside and to be honest you might have everything you need right here – KIngham even has a main line station just a 15-minute walk away so you don't even have to bring the car. If you do, though, the village is also a good base for exploring this part of Oxfordshire – Chipping Norton and Charlbury are a short drive away, as are the Rollright Stones and Daylesford, renowned for the original posh Cotswolds deli – Daylesford Organic.
RoomsSix en-suite double bedrooms, all but one with super-kingsize beds (the other is a king-size), two of which can be used as twins.
PriceDouble rooms with breakfast from £145 a night. Dogs £10.
Opening TimesOpen all year.
Kingham is around 90 minutes from London by car – follow the M40 and come off at junction 9 and follow the road to Chipping Norton. Kingham's train station is just a mile from the pub, and is connected with London Paddington by regular mainline trains – journey-time 90 minutes.
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