What do you get when The Pelican, one of Notting Hill’s hottest restaurants, renovates and launches a pub in the Cotswolds? Enter The Bull.

Returning to their childhood home, James Gummer and Phil Winser reopened The Bull last spring, and we were lucky enough to check it out. Every aspect of The Bull has been designed to make you feel right at home, from its picturesque exterior to its warm, inviting interiors – along with a handful of newly designed rooms so you can turn your trip into a mini getaway.

First Impressions

Having got the train from London Paddington, we made our way up to the hotel, a short 8-minute walk from the station, passing the picturesque Cotswold stone houses as you go.

Tucked away in the charming village of Charlbury, The Bull immediately captivates with its rustic charm and its cosy ambiance that sets the stage for a delightful countryside retreat as soon as you enter. From the inviting warmth of the bar area to the cosy comfort of the lounge and log fire, there are plenty of spaces to unwind with a glass of wine and bar snacks on arrival.

The Bull immediately captivates with its rustic charm and its cosy ambiance that sets the stage for a delightful countryside retreat as soon as you enter.

The Rooms

With a total of 10 en-suite bedrooms, each room offers views of the surrounding countryside and quaint town, and interiors that adopt a blend of historic charm with modern comfort. With no minimum stay, guests can book for one night, making it the perfect staycation.  

With no minimum stay, guests can book for one night, making it the perfect staycation.  

Rooms are complete with a super king, four-poster bed and open bathroom, featuring both a walk-in shower and freestanding bath. If you’re looking for a family or group stay, the Loaf Cottage is located just a couple of doors down, with two double bedrooms and a fully equipped kitchen, open-plan living area with log fire.

Food & Drink

One of the highlights of any visit to The Bull is undoubtedly the culinary experience, and if you’ve been to The Pelican, you know you’re in for a treat. Its commitment to locally sourced ingredients and traditional hospitality ensures a truly authentic experience for guests seeking a taste of quintessential English charm.

Working closely with local farmers allows the menu to change regularly and ensures they’re delivering the very best all year round. While it’s warm, you can enjoy dishes cooked on their BBQ, and if you’re there on a Sunday, you won’t want to miss the spit roast on the open fire (sorry, vegetarians). 

While it’s warm, you can enjoy dishes cooked on their BBQ, and if you’re there on a Sunday, you won’t want to miss the spit roast on the open fire

Our Saturday evening started with a drink in the lively pub area, which was clearly the place to be for locals alike. We then made our way into the restaurant area for a truly cosy and romantic candlelit dinner. As steak lovers, we couldn’t have stayed without ordering the Rib of Beef to share, and believe us, it didn’t disappoint. Other menu highlights included the Scallop in Langoustine Gravy and Salt Baked Celeriac.

Things To Do Nearby

Given its location, you can’t visit without exploring the surrounding area, from leisurely walks through the picturesque Cotswolds countryside and charming villages. Each room comes complete with a map, walking sticks, and Wellington boots so you’re covered no matter what the weather. Now that we’re (hopefully) entering sunnier days, The Bull can also provide a picnic to take with you, just be sure to ask a day in advance.

We’d also recommend popping into The Bell, another lovely pub just a stone’s throw from The Bull. Complete with a selection of board games, we enjoyed a post walk drink and game of backgammon. 

How To Get There

The Bull is only a 1hr 10-minute train ride from London Paddington and an 8-minute walk from Charlbury station, making it the perfect escape from the city. Alternatively, if you’re planning to stay longer and wanting to explore the surrounding area of The Cotswolds, driving from London is approx. 2hrs.

If you’re a fan of The Pelican, this is the Cotswolds spot for you.

The Verdict

Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway or a peaceful retreat, you’ll be charmed by the warm hospitality and timeless beauty of The Bull and certainly won’t leave hungry. If you’re a fan of The Pelican, this is the Cotswolds spot for you.

How To Book

For more information and to book your stay at The Bull, visit thebullcharlbury.com


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