“ Address: Stow Road / Nr Burford / Oxfordshire / OX7 6HR / England „
My husband and I decided to visit the Cotswolds over the Easter holidays and the Merrymouth Inn was our chosen accommodation for two nights. We picked the inn because we were looking for somewhere with a bit of history and ideally we wanted a country pub with accommodation as my husband would be arriving quite late after travelling up from London after work. As this property dates back to the 13th century and could indeed provide food, wine, beer and bed under one roof, it seemed to fit the bill. We paid £75 per night for a double room with breakfast, which we thought was very reasonable for the area over an Easter break.
Merrymouth Inn is just outside the village of Fifield in Oxfordshire and just a few miles from famous Cotswold villages such as Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water and the beautiful Upper and Lower Slaughters. The inn is named after the Murimuth family who bought the village of Fifield six hundred years ago.
The plan was for me to drive to the inn and my husband would get a train from London to a neighbouring town. Arrival did not go quite to plan as my satellite navigation system announced my arrival on a deserted stretch of the A424. Fortunately I had an A to Z and with the help of road signs which pointed to villages all around except Fifield, I managed to work out what direction I ought to be heading and eventually arrived at my destination.
I was a bit surprised and concerned to find the inn was located directly on the main road, this had not been apparent to me at the time of booking, but I was here now so parked up and headed to the front door, which was also the entrance to the pub for non-residents. I found the pub closed and locked, but resident guests are invited to ring the bell and it was answered more or less straight away.
In no time at all I was provided with my room key and being shown to the annexed accommodation, formerly a stable block. As I had been worried about possible traffic noise, I was pleased to discover the rooms were in an annexe behind the main pub and were thus shielded from potential road noise. I am not sure how many rooms there were exactly, but it was perhaps eight, side by side and forming two sides of a square. Our room was second from the end. It was a decent size room containing bed, chair, small TV and tea / coffee making supplies, but I would have to describe it as being pretty basic, inexpensively furnished and a bit tired looking. The bathroom suite was peach, 1980's style, I think that says it all. Still, it was perfectly adequate, clean and tidy and I had received such a warm welcome that the dated decor really didn't bother me. And I can be quite a fussy person.
After a couple of hours, it was time for me to head down to the station to pick up my husband. I wandered back to the pub, which by this time was open, and the owner gave me directions as I decided not to trust my technology again. With husband duly picked up and freshened up, we headed over to the pub for drinks and dinner. The pub is quite charming, uneven wooden floor boards and beams on the ceiling, an open fire at one end of the room, a long bar and the decor deliberately old fashioned and in-keeping with the traditional country pub style.
We started our evening by having a quick drink sitting on a comfy leather sofa by the fire and then moved over to the table which had been reserved for us without our even asking. We were feeling quite hungry and decided to have a starter and a main course, we thought the food was delicious, although portions were enormous and we certainly weren't feeling hungry for long. We also ordered a bottle of wine with our meal and it too was delicious, we were pleased about that as pub wine can be hit and miss I think.
With our meal over, we relaxed in the pub for a little while and then decided to retire for the night. We had a good night's sleep, although the walls between the rooms are thin and we had heard the TV and noise from other rooms earlier on. Fortunately there were children staying and they went to bed sooner than we did.
Breakfast is served for guests back in the pub, we had been pleasantly surprised to be told that breakfast would be available at whatever time we wanted it so long as it was before midday! We wandered over at around 9am and as we helped ourselves to cereal we were asked what we would like on our cooked breakfast, we both asked for a full English and it was made to order and again delicious.
We spent the rest of the day exploring the lovely Cotswolds villages nearby and that evening we decided to go for dinner in a restaurant within a big country house hotel that we had come across in Lower Slaughter, one of those villages. After another comfortable night and a hearty breakfast, we said our goodbyes and were on our way.
I would highly recommend the Merrymouth Inn, a stunning property in an ideal Cotswold location. The bedrooms are admittedly a little tired but do represent good value for money, the food was excellent, the pub has a great atmosphere, but it is the friendliness, charm and warmth of the proprietor that is most memorable and sets this establishment apart.
Fifield nr Burford
Tel: 01993 831652