Last weekend the Sheep on Sheep Street in Stow-on-the-Wold invited us to check out their newly refurbished hotel, previously called the Grapevine. Innovative, family-owned pub and hotel group Brakspear, who’ve been in the business for over 200 years, clearly have put some thought into this refurbishment exercise. Their own in-house interior-design team came up with a very pleasant, modern, hip and artsy, but not too over-the-top decoration and furniture, with plenty of space, where possible (some of the hallways and staircases will inevitably be a bit less spacious, considering that the hotel is located in a beautiful 17th Century building).
Stow, founded in the 11th Century, is one of our favourite locations in the Cotswolds and a great starting point to explore this area of great natural beauty with its mostly 14th to 17th Century villages built from the warm, honey-coloured Cotswold lime stone. The market square of Stow used to be the biggest sheep market of the region. At 800ft it is one of the highest elevations here.
From London Paddington the trains to nearby Moreton-in-Marsh take between 1h30m and 2h, from there the short taxi ride will cost about £15. Coming by car takes a similar amount of time once you’ve left the city perimeters and you’re on your way. By car, all the other picturesque villages like Bourton-on-the-Water, Broadway, or Chipping Campden are just over 15 minutes away. We usually mainly focus on hiking, sightseeing, and eating our way through the local eateries.
The area is known for its great food and the Sheep’s restaurant is one of the best places we’ve eaten out at. We loved our dinner there on the evening of our arrival that weekend. Read our review here.
Staff at the Sheep are all very friendly, helpful, efficient, and professional. They make you feel at home as soon as you walk through the door.
We were very pleased with our premium room on the top floor just under the roof, which combined heavy wooden beams of the roof structure, bare stone walls, and some traditional antique furniture with state-of-the art elements and a modern bathroom with a giant bath tub. The large bed with its luxurious Egyptian cotton sheets was extremely comfortable.
Despite being next to Sheep Street, we found the room quiet and we enjoyed the view from our window across a small green patch that separates the Sheep from its sister hotel, The Porch House, England’s oldest inn, with parts of the building dating back to 947 AD.
Breakfast, which is always included in every booking, was delicious. You can help yourself from the generously stocked buffet and order a meal from the waiter. We went for a Full English and Eggs Royale, both of which clearly made with top quality local ingredients. It seemed that this spot was not just frequented by hotel guests like us, but also by locals and visitors staying at other hotels.
We’ll be back as paying customers during our next stay in Stow-on-the-Wold. Quote us on that. 5 out of 5. If you’re looking for the perfect getaway weekend from London, look no more.