The Inspector checks into a Cotswolds pub with ‘tasteful’ decor, nooks and crannies and superb food (the best he’s eaten all year)
- The Lamb Inn, in well-heeled Shipton-under-Wychwood, opened in June
- There are five ‘tasteful’ bedrooms reached by a steep staircase
- Remember… The Inspector pays his way – and tells it like it is…
On The Lamb Inn’s website, it recommends that guests should have a car during their stay. But I’m not so sure.
It would mean missing the chance to arrive at Shipton Station, where the platform is so short that the doors of only one carriage can open safely and the weeds are so tall that you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s been abandoned all together.
Off I step and immediately find myself in the yard of Matthews Cotswold Flour Mill, where I ask a man in overalls for directions to The Lamb. ‘Turn right and follow your nose,’ he says.
The Lamb Inn, pictured, opened in June and is jointly run by Peter Creed and chef Tom Noest
Which I do and it takes me through the well-heeled village of Shipton-under-Wychwood, past grand houses with names such as Shipton Grange, Shipton Lodge and Shipton Standing.
The Lamb opened in June and is jointly run by Peter Creed and chef Tom Noest, 30-somethings who both enjoyed success at the nearby Wheatsheaf.
First impressions are important. I’m greeted by the chatter of happy diners dotted about in various nooks and crannies, with gorgeous original flagstone floors; a creaking bar where you can sit with your dog and enjoy a pint; an outside terrace and young staff who rush about while seeming thrilled to see me. I bet they are all friends or friends of friends of Peter and Tom.
Most people are here for the food. There are only five bedrooms reached by a steep staircase. I walk into mine and the sash window is wide open, through which I can just hear the sound of church bells.
The Inspector says: ‘Anyone living within half an hour of The Lamb should count themselves lucky’
The decor is simple, but tasteful. Two antique tables either side of the bed; a dresser; one nude painting (of a man); luxurious linen duvet and pillows; black-and-white tiled floor in the bathroom.
Downstairs, I’m given a corner table with room for three people, although I am travelling solo. It’s one of those menus where you want to eat everything, so I start with superb olives, then some padron peppers, followed by vichyssoise and anchovy toast (the toast is the best thing I’ve eaten all year) before moving on to confit duck and chips with aioli on the side.
If you were served this in a French village, you’d bang on about it for ever more. Reasonable prices, too. But it’s here in the Cotswolds and anyone living within half an hour of The Lamb should count themselves lucky.
The Lamb Inn, Shipton-under-Wychwood, Oxfordshire, OX7 6DQ.
Tel: 01993 832116, thelambshipton.com. Doubles from £99.