the sheep on sheep street
This charming Cotswold hotel is full of character, and recently renovated too!
It has a ring to it, doesn't it? Like The Wolf of Wall Street. Except this isn't all screaming men in suits, buying and selling. This is a quaint, lovely hotel in the heart of Stow on the Wold in the Cotswolds. Just an hour and 50 minutes from London, the hotel, which has just undergone a major renovation from top-to-toe, actually used to be three houses, dating back to the 17th century. With the renovation has come an amazing mix of old and new interiors, a thriving restaurant and a super cute garden.
To be honest, the hotel had me when I walked in to discover two gold drinks trolleys in reception. And the silver car door, as artwork, behind the reception desk. Dhillon loved it too, straining on his lead to make his way through the hallways - all brick walls and deep, dark paint.
Dogs are allowed in all areas of the sheep apart from the main restaurant. There is, however, a small area at the front of the restaurant, near the bar, where dogs are allowed. So that's where we ate.
After checking in, we were lead through the garden to our room, which had all the quirks of the main building...
The room was everything you want in a small country hotel. Except it wasn't small at all. It was unusually roomy, with a big bathroom and, the pièce de résistance... an actual courtyard garden. Dhillon didn't know what to do with himself!
We've stayed in lots of dog friendly hotels in the past, and lots where dogs aren't welcome, and this is only the second one ever to have its own little patch of garden. It's a great touch, especially when you have a plus one (pooch). Just don't forget the poo bags!
The bed was big and inviting, the wallpaper printed and fun, the carpet soft and lovely under your feet, and there was nice artwork hung too. The bedside table lamps were amazing, if a little too big for the surface area they sat on - you have to have room for your phone, a glass of water and a book!
The furnishings make lovely touches. The stained glass window in the bathroom was a favourite quirk. There was a TV on the wall opposite the bed which was, if I'm being picky, a little too small for the distance, but there's nothing like lying on the bed the other way round with your feet in the air, like you're teenagers again.
After enjoying the room, and letting Dhillon enjoy his garden, we had a good nose around the town. Stow on the Wold is beautiful. It's FULL with oh-so-cute antique shops and local stores - it is a market town after all. There are popular tea houses too, and we chose Lucy's Tearoom, which is dog friendly (try the apple cake). There are others, Huffkins is said to be a favourite, but they aren't dog friendly. The town's architecture is amazing too - most of the buildings are constructed of that oldy woldy beige coloured brick. You can walk round all day and not get bored of seeing them!
After our little mooch, we headed back to the hotel for a drink in the garden which, by the way, reminded me half of a traditional English pub garden and half of a resort in Greece. Big round tables took up half the patio, the other half was occupied with cushioned seating in front of the what looked like an ancient part of a wall, equipped with big curved doors (see left). Fruit ciders were the drinks du jour. Dhillon had a big bowl of water too.
The garden, and restaurant, was full with residents and also locals, which was a nice change actually. It shows trust in the food, and drink!
Talking about food, the menu is fabulous. I strongly recommend the halloumi chips and chickpea chips with chilli jam to start. They were gone in about 3.5 minutes. I had the Thai fishcakes and Asian slaw to start (right), which were expertly cooked and not at all rubbery, which is often the way with this type of cake.
I had the grilled halloumi and spiced aubergine, and a side of sweet potato fries for main, and the other half had the Todenham farm steak, which he tells me was juicy and succulent. I could have easily had the sweet potato curry, or the whole baked seabass.
To finish, we shared the oven fired peaches - spectacularly tasty - and the pain au chocolate bread & butter pudding... a mouthful to say, excuse the pun, and as delicious as it sounds!
We got talking to a local guy, dog in tow, who said that the renovations that the hotel has gone through is remarkable, and it has bought a whole new clientele to the place. He said how much he loves it, which was good to hear.
This hotel is a great find, and a gorgeous out-of-town getaway for anyone looking to enjoy the English countryside. Although it was a slight fight to get two dog bowls - I just expected them to be in the room - we got there in the end, and all the staff were super friendly to us, and Dhillon. Check out the hotel website here.
We were very kindly guests of The Sheep on Sheep Street.