We first called in here for lunch on the way back home in July 2009, having found the pub listed in our Michelin guide. It has its own web site with photographs, together with sample menus and lots of other information. See http://www.horseandgroom.uk.com/
The place is clearly popular for lunch (in this case Sunday) and we were lucky on a glorious summer day to obtain the last available table outside. The welcome was warm, courteous and attentive, without being overbearing or stuffy - a fine balance that not everyone gets right. Drinks came quickly along with the menus, and our meal was served in nice time afterwards. My pint of Hereford Pale Ale was one of the best and most enjoyable beers in recent memory; too bad I was driving!
Our food was uniformly excellent, from starters through to dessert and coffee; all was well and freshly prepared using obviously fresh ingredients of good quality. A thoroughly enjoyable meal, helped out along the way by the wonderful setting, fresh air, sunshine and far-reaching views from the dining terrace.
We didn't stay overnight on our first visit, but based on our positive lunchtime experience, we did return in September 2009 to dine and stay overnight. On this occasion we were en route home from a week's holiday in Devon, accompanied by my partner's 80-year-old mother. As before, we received a very warm and friendly welcome from the owner, Simon, who showed us to our rooms and helped carry bags.
As others have noted, our bedrooms were quite small and whilst perfectly comfortable, it has to be said -- if any fault is to be found here -- that they are not the "star feature" of the place. Each was equipped with a tiny en-suite bathroom and shower, with barely room to turn around: but then you must remember that this is an historic Cotswold hostelry, and not the Holiday Inn! The rooms have lots of charm and character, and are in fairness of a size that the old building permits. The only valid minor criticisms, in my opinion, are that they could perhaps do with a bit of "refreshing" or updating; and a little more attention to maintenance and detail wouldn't come amiss. (I recall one or two small things like a wildly flickering table lamp on the landing, and a dead bulb in a bedside lamp which although cheerfully and immediately replaced on being mentioned, could've been avoided by a bit of preventative care). Also, as others have said, a few extra small in-room comforts like coffee/tea facilities would be nice.
But the main reason for visiting the Horse & Groom is to enjoy the superb food and drink in homely and welcoming surroundings: on our second visit, we sat by a roaring fire enjoying once more the wonderfully fresh local produce, cooked and served with obvious enthusiasm by Simon and his team. He has long experience in the catering & hospitality business, and it shows. This was one of the most enjoyable meals in a long time for all of us, and was accompanied by excellent local beer to start, and a decent, individually-selected wine list (none of your pub-chain one-size-fits-all pap here). Simon unstintingly helped us choose courses, proffered several samples to help me choose a whisky after dinner, and generally made us all feel appreciated and welcome.
Breakfast was every bit as good as dinner, and was served at the time of our choice -- no barrack room law about coming down before nine here. Our lie-in was much appreciated after a long drive the previous day, and we left late morning feeling relaxed, refreshed and looking forward to our next visit.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- To avoid confusion, please note there are two "Horse & Groom" accommodations in the Moreton-in-Marsh area. This one is in Upper Oddington, not Burton on the Hill. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Horse And Groom Village Inn
- The Horse & Groom Village Hotel Oddington