Historic Cotswolds hostelry staging a comeback as boutique hotel and restaurant hotspot stow-on-the-wold, Gloucestershire.
In February 2014, just five months after re-opening, The Porch House was awarded the highest accolades by The AA Guide inspectors – Five Gold Stars for Guest Accommodation, two Rosettes for its restaurant, and a Breakfast Award.
Recently transformed from tired Cotswold hotel and boozer to stylish boutique retreat with restaurant and inn, The Porch House, formerly, The Royalist Hotel and Eagle & Child Inn, was taken over as a managed property by W H Brakspear & Sons earlier this year and the older name for the building that predates the name The Royalist, reinstated.
Claiming to be ‘England’s oldest Inn’, The Porch House Re-opened on 13th September 2013, following an extensive and sensitive restoration of its historical, architectural and decorative reference.
The hotel occupies a handsome, Grade II listed, Cotswold stone building (part of which dates back to 947AD) in the centre of the picturesque Cotswolds market town of Stow-on-the-Wold.
Formerly the Eagle & Child Pub, the light-filled bar with wood-burning stoves offers four Brakspear cask ales, including two Brakspear bitters brewed at The Porch House’s sister pub and microbrewery, The Bull on Bell Street, in Henley on Thames, alongside draught lagers, stout and cider, 15 wines by the glass and a 52-strong wine list offering old and new world wines. Beyond, a conservatory dining area, seating 25 with a regular changing menu of pub classics done really well.
The Porch House’ stunning dining room seats 50, is available for private parties and small weddings and exudes an easy, modern style within an architecturally splendid setting. Ancient, exposed oak beams, oak timber flooring and honey-coloured stone walls complement two working fireplaces, including a very fine 16th Century inglenook fireplace featuring incised symbols in its stone surround said to offer protection against witches and evil spirits.
The Porch House’s private dining area seats up to 12 people, with its own bar, lounge, garden seating and restrooms – an ideal space for shooting parties, family celebrations, or a gathering of friends.
The regularly changing seasonal menu, created by head chef, Stephen Small, features simple yet robust dishes using the best locally sourced ingredients.
Thirteen plush guest bedrooms offer single, twin and double occupancy offer total comfort (some with fabulous views over Stow-on-the-Wold or the surrounding countryside) with calming colours, crisp white linen, duck feather and down duvets and pillows, handmade Feather & Black mattresses, button-back headboards covered in bespoke wool weaves by Warwick Fabrics and pure wool throws by Cotswold Woollen Weavers. High-spec bathrooms offer high pressure walk-in showers by Crosswater and/or in-room free-standing slipper baths by The Cast Iron Bath Company. Underfoot, travertine tiles and on walls, plain and patterned tiles by Fired Earth.
Each room also features a desk made from an upcycled Singer sewing machine base with oak top and rustic bedside tables made by The Furniture Recycling Shop in Bourne End. Antique prints, illustrations and photography, glass wine casks and bottles upcycled as lamp bases by Northern Lights and lots of quirky objet sourced at vintage fairs, antique markets and auctions, add bags of character and interest.
All bedrooms feature: Free WiFi, Phillps and LG TV’s, Nespresso Coffee Machine, Alarm Clock, and hand-made toiletries by Noble Isle and the Cotswold Handmade Soap Company. Feature rooms also boast a Roberts DAB Radio.
Brakspear’s own head of design, Stephanie Dennett, carefully and sensitively handled all the glamorous, arty, vintage touches throughout the renovated interiors. Stephanie has drawn on a sophisticated palette of Farrow & Ball colours in muted greens and earthy tones in the bar and bedrooms, with dark blue and greys in the dining room, snug and parlour to create a striking impact as well as a sense of warmth throughout. These complement an eclectic mix of wallpapers and fabrics by Morris & Co, Lewis & Wood, Warwick Fabrics tweeds and plaids, and faded floral linens by Sanderson. Vintage and antique furnishings upholstered in wool tweeds, linens or aged leather add much to the country vintage vibe.
“Retaining the rustic feel of a historic Cotswolds country pub and hotel was really important to us,” explains Brakspear’s operations manager, Mat Aket. “We also hope that the opening of The Porch House will help put Stow-on-the-Wold back on the map as a food destination, to visit in its own right and from which to explore this beautiful part of the Cotswolds. Stow has many delightful attractions, not least its historic town square and its growing number of interesting and high quality independent shops, including a high-end fashion boutique, a vintage store, a fantastic butchers’ and bakers, organic food store and artisan chocolatiers.”
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.
She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.