Stay the night: The feathers, Woodstock

The Feathers trades on history, but its refurbished style will suit modern tastes, says Adrian Mourby

The Feathers is a small reef of 18th-century buildings in one of Woodstock's historic main streets.

Different parts of this architectural agglomeration have variously been a sanatorium, literary institute, private home and a public library. In the 1960s, all five buildings were merged into one hotel, which was called The Dorchester. After Gordon Campbell Gray bought it and put his collection of stuffed birds on display, however, the place started to be known locally as The Feathers.

For the past 12 months, the hotel, now under different ownership, has been undergoing a major refurbishment by Trevillion Interiors of London. They've had their work cut out because this romantic, eccentric weekend getaway space was decorated until now with more than a passing nod to Wallace and Gromit land. Transformed by Trevillion, the new-look Feathers is a riot of fuchsia, lime, turquoise and purple, with comfy sofas and white, white sheets.

With its new Gin Bar, a "Master Suite" bedroom large enough to have its own six-seater table, and a new dining room nearing completion, The Feathers is now colourful and fun. It will still take you several days to work out where all the corridors and staircases go, but any hotel that provides guests with a jar full of jelly beans on arrival is certainly putting the customer first.

The rooms

There are 16 bedrooms and five suites. No two are the same. They're tucked in under beams and down dark spot-lit corridors. Funky with boutique twists was the designer's brief. Fabrics are lush, hunting prints and antiques contrast with black wall-mounted flat-screen TVs and bathrooms have free-standing stone basins. Toiletries are by Molton Brown and decanters of jelly beans come courtesy of Luc Morel, the manager. Touches of Churchill memorabilia crop up, too. Here a Toby jug, there a cigar-chomping brass. Winston Spencer is the local boy made good.

The food and drink

The bar stocks seven kinds of tonic and more than 60 gins. (More are being added all the time.) The most expensive G&T is made with Blackwood's Vintage Gin and costs £16.75. The restaurant has been created by combining three old shopfronts. Head chef Marc Hardiman offers two courses for £38.50 and three for £44.95. The five-course tasting menu is good value at £55 without wine (£99 with wines). You can also eat in the bar which, funnily enough, has also been created out of several rooms knocked together. Exposed Oxford stone and a huge fireplace make this a cosy space in winter. Bar snacks – such as omelette Arnold Bennett or terrine of ham hock – are also served in a courtyard garden beyond the bar, weather permitting.

The extras

Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel. The Feathers will provide two-person hampers (£35) if you're tempted to go off for a picnic in the grounds of nearby Blenheim Palace, Churchill's birthplace. The bottled water comes directly from the Blenheim estate.

The access

Children and small dogs welcome. There's no lift and steep narrow stairs, so wheelchair access is impossible.

The bill

B&B in a double from £115 per night.

The address

The Feathers, 16-20 Market Street , Woodstock OX20 1SX (01993 812291; feathers.co.uk).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Extras
indybest
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - Franchised Main Dealer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

    Recruitment Genius: Group Sales Manager - Field Based

    £21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Guru Careers: Email Marketing Specialist

    £26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Email Marketing Specialist is needed to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee