The recently refurbished 17th century Old Stocks Inn in the Cotswoldshire town of Stow-on-the-Wold offers charming boutique accommodation for those attending the annual Longborough Festival Opera, just a short drive away and adding to the excitement of a memorable rural getaway. Having fallen into neglect during its previous ownership, the top-to-toe new look of The Old Stocks makes the most of the handsome original beams and period features whilst offering a bright, modern and stylish interior that makes it stand out from the other traditional inns you’re likely to find in the area.
Designed to be like home only better, with a small, friendly front of house team that can’t be more helpful, all 16 rooms (Cosy House Rooms, House & Garden Rooms, Cosy Great Rooms & Amazing Great Rooms) are uniquely designed and refreshingly quirky, none more so than our premium top-floor chamber (No.21) located in the oldest part of the building via a network of corridors and sloping staircases. The original low ceilings make for a cosy atmosphere when you get there, while the beams, restored to their former glory, are an integral feature of the room, even if they are a challenge to navigate on getting into the comfy super king bed.
Meanwhile, the slipper bath and stand alone rain shower, ingeniously squeezed into the small, beamed ensuite overlooking the square, makes it every inch a luxury, romantic stay, along with deliciously scented Aromatherapy Associates products. As for in-room entertainment, there’s a digital radio and you can access your Netflix account through the large screen Smart TV, while the mini bar is filled with complimentary soft drinks and a G&T. You’ll even find a drinks voucher for the Old Stocks bar offering you and your guest a favourite tipple between 5-7pm, a really welcoming touch.
Arrive in time for lunch and a Cotswold-inspired cocktail in the sunny courtyard. Featuring a wood-fired pizza oven and appealing open kitchen, it’s a hidden-away spot which offers a relaxing respite from the hoards of summer tourists. When you do fancy exploring the picturesque honey-coloured town, by far one of the prettiest in the Cotswolds, you’ll find countless antique, art and independent shops to browse, along with plenty of traditional tea rooms where you can satisfy your scone and clotted cream fix.
If, like us, you’re out for the evening and coming back late, the key to your room also opens the front door to the hotel, something else that adds to the homely feel. The church bells, which we could hear clearly from our room tolling on the quarter and the hour, are a wonderfully nostalgic sound I could certainly get used to. Served in the award-winning restaurant, a Continental buffet with freshly baked pastries and a hearty, Cotswold Breakfast featuring local produce set us up for the day the following morning, while the cute Little Stocks Café, adjacent to the hotel, is a great spot for a mid-morning coffee before heading home (reluctantly).
The Old Stocks Inn, The Square, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire GL54 1AF. Prices vary depending on season but always include breakfast and a choice of free tipple when booking directly with The Old Stocks Inn. 2-night minimum stays apply on weekends. Prices from £99 to £299. Dog friendly. For more information please visit the website.