From quality cuisine to picturesque walks, discover what the idyllic Cotswold village of Kelmscott has to offer
Set just off the Thames in Oxfordshire is a sleepy Cotswold village well worth exploring should you find yourself on that stretch of the river.
The picturesque Kelmscott, around 40 minutes west of Oxford, features idyllic limestone cottages and endless green pastures to admire by both foot and bicycle.
With only a few hundred habitants, this tranquil village makes for stunning walks, and is also home to both fantastic local pub The Plough Inn and a historic manor house.
There’s plenty of space for mooring on the riverbanks, with The Plough Inn also having their own mooring on the Thames for guests to use.
Boutique dining and accommodation at The Plough Inn
If you fancy indulging in some quality cuisine, during or after a hard day’s cruising, be sure to pay the rural hideaway a visit. Only a few minutes walk from the edge of the Thames, The Plough Inn is set within a gorgeous 17th century Grade II listed building and has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment.
The latest venture by renowned chef and proprietors, Sebastian and Lana Snow, The Plough Inn features a cosy, oak-beamed, spit and sawdust bar with wood-burning fire, an informal dining room seating 40, and a separate bar and dining space, The Hideaway Bar, housed in a refurbished stable block, overlooking the Inn’s attractive beer garden.
The daily changing à la carte menu offers an inspired take on modern British comfort cooking showcasing the best locally sourced Cotswolds produce available, including pork from Kelmscott, vegetables from Evesham and game from local estates.
Seasonal dishes range from starters of crayfish, avocado and cucumber cocktail with melba toast, to ham hock and artichoke terrine with piccalilli and mains include leg of lamb hotpot, a mixed grill, skillet roast whole plaice, with desserts such as steamed marmalade pudding and custard. Starters from £6, main courses from £14.
As well as both the restaurant and bar menu, the Hideaway Bar has a large selection of craft ales, lagers, ciders and juices. While the wine list includes some heavy-duty French classics and the best of the New world, all served by the glass, carafe and up to magnum size.
All the staff were extremely welcoming during my weekend visit and couldn’t do enough to ensure I enjoyed my stay. The restaurant was pretty booked up on both the Saturday and Sunday so if you do plan on exploring their fantastic menu, make sure you book in advance if you want to dine on a weekend.
There are also several luxury rooms available on a B&B basis, with a single costing £90 and a double £120. Each room has an elegant and boutique feel to it, with the feather and down duvet and pillows providing one of the best nights sleep I’ve had in a long time.
Indulge the historian in you
Also within this beautiful village is Kelmscott Manor, the former home of English textile designer, William Morris, now owned and managed by the Society of Antiquaries of London.
The manor features stunning gardens, with barns, dovecote, a meadow and stream, all of which provided constant inspiration for the textile designer until his death in 1896.
As well as its beautiful surroundings, the manor contains an outstanding collection of possessions and works of Morris, including furniture, original textiles, pictures and paintings, carpets, ceramics and metalwork.
Kelmscott Manor is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 1st April to 31st October, from 11.00am to 5.00pm.