Stay The Night: The Wheatsheaf, Gloucestershire

Check in at the bar, fill your belly, then rest your weary head at this new take on the traditional roadhouse, says Adrian Mourby

When Georgie and Sam Pearman took over The Wheatsheaf, they wanted to create the feel of a Cotswold coaching inn on the road to London.

So, there's no reception; guests tip directly into the bar, where the welcome is warm and you sign in over the counter.

The redecoration and rebranding of The Wheatsheaf is Georgie's doing, along with some help from the moodier end of Farrow & Ball's paint range. Grey, green and dark blue walls provide dramatic backdrops for Victorian prints, oil paintings and modern art. A large grungy portrait of Kate Moss with a Coke tin presides over a refectory table straight out of Henry Fielding's Tom Jones. Recessed spotlighting in the ceiling turns each table into a dramatic highlight.

There's a small lounge – with enormous wall-mounted TV and huge sofa – at the far end of the inn. Outside, the stables have been converted into the Game Bar with a small brasserie and wood-burning drums. This mixture of raffish affluence, good food and a warm welcome has made The Wheatsheaf a trendy new reason for Londoners to get on the motorway on a Friday night, but the inn is also doing plenty to keep local custom. There is a book club, "mark the card" evenings with jockeys and racing buffs, clay pigeon shooting and cocktail competitions, parties on any pretext, and dinners for shooting parties.

The rooms

There are 14 rooms in various sizes, each graced with original artwork. Georgie and her team have had a lot of fun with the rooms. Baths, when possible, are gargantuan and fill noisily in just a few seconds. Bedside lights are chunky steampunk accessories. Beds are by Hypnos and very comfortable. The wall-mounted TVs are by Bang & Olufsen. Novelty chocolates – some disguised as quails' eggs or even olives – placed in every room are by Curious Chocolate, a local company. Room service is quirky. When we asked for ice it was brought up in a large milk pail by a pleasant young man who explained they didn't normally do room deliveries. Bath products are by Compagnie de Provence and lavender features prominently. You're sleeping in a pub, so don't be surprised to be woken at 1.30am because someone's decided to have an impromptu Johnny Rotten meets T-Rex party down below.

The food and drink

Most of the ground floor is given over to food. One restaurant is decorated with portraits of the Wills' Tobacco family; there's a bar/diner, a private dining room that majors on antlers, and the secluded Poker Room which seats just six. An eclectic choice of chairs and creaky tables runs throughout. While attracting a lot of weekenders, The Wheatsheaf has managed to retain its local clientele by keeping prices low. Eggs Benedict at £6 is very good breakfast value while local rib-eye steak is a snip at £16. Service is friendly, confident and efficient. This is obviously a fun place to work. Expect to pay £35 a head for three courses, excluding wine.

The extras

There is a treatment room in one of the old outbuildings where a gent's haircut will cost you £20, a manicure £25 and a pedicure £27 (prior booking essential).

The access

Children aged up to 12 stay free if sharing their parents' room but Z beds cost £20 to hire. Pets are welcome in the ground-floor bedrooms. There is a £10 charge for a dog bed but you get a generous-sized basket, bowl and doggie treats. Wheelchair access is possible from the garden to the downstairs bedrooms, but there is a step to the dining room. Ground-floor rooms have large walk-in showers but are not specifically adapted for wheelchair access. Wi-Fi is free and strong throughout.

The bill

Rooms from £120 per night.

The address

The Wheatsheaf Inn, West End, Northleach, Gloucestershire GL54 3EZ (01451 860244, cotswolds.wheatsheaf.com).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
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
  • Get to the point
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: Technical Supervisor

    £24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...

    Recruitment Genius: Centre Manager

    £14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Guru Careers: Accountant

    £28 - 45k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Accountant is needed to take control of the ...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Assistant Manager

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This hotel in Chadderton is a p...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living