“A wonderful, welcoming country pub with stylish rooms and lodges at great rates”
As an i-escape favourite, we’ve stayed in many of The Beckford’s rooms and lodges over the years. The décor is contemporary country, with lovely touches throughout. Walls are Farrow & Ball, carpets are seagrass. Kingsize beds, Egyptian cotton sheets and Siberian goosedown bedding guarantee a good night’s sleep.
Light-filled Large Double Room 7 stands out for its in-room rolltop bathtub - perfect for romantic getaways. We also loved Medium Double Room 1’s French windows and Juliet balcony facing an old magnolia tree. The long Attic suite is extra spacious and private - great for small families. In contrast, the Small Doubles are particularly compact and a little dark. This is reflected in the price, but they’re worth avoiding if you’re staying more than one night.
Ten minutes down the lane, the Splendens Pavillions nestle amongst Fonthill Estate’s woodland. A rural take on loft-living, they are light and airy with well-equipped kitchens, open-plan lounges and mezzanine bedrooms. Rolltop tubs gaze across the green and a wood-burner warms wintery evenings.
Some bathrooms are compact, but they're filled with divine organic Bramley products. Excellent water pressure (a treat in old buildings like this) makes morning showers a pleasure. There are fresh flowers, pretty water glasses, Roberts radios and knitted hot water bottles. And in true homely style, you get a teapot with a cosy; fresh milk is left outside your door each morning.
The relaxed restaurant’s food measures up to the hype; everything we ate was fantastic. The only problem was choosing... We were almost swayed by the chicken liver parfait starter, but we plumped for the Jerusalem artichoke with runny poached egg, Berkswell cheese and crunchy garlic crumb. Our main - a rich, hearty whole Cornish plaice with kale - had a delicious kick of lemon and tangy horseradish cream. Afterwards, peanuts added a satisfying crunch to the dark chocolate tart with crème fraiche ice cream. Drinks were no afterthought either, we washed everything down with cucumber-infused water and the Beckford Bottle Shop’s Picpoul de Pinet.
For lunch, there are pub classics like cider-battered fish and chips, or smoky chorizo burgers. It's popular with locals, so book ahead and make time to revel in the pub ambiance. At the bar, try the Beckford Phoenix ale.
In the morning, there's a hearty help-yourself breakfast table. We also ordered the Full English (the local sausages were superb) and the Nutella pancakes. When we return, we'll try the avocado on toast and a Bloody Mary...
If you’re staying in Splendens Pavillions, you can walk up to the pub for breakfast or make use of your cute little kitchen. The team will stock the fridge with ingredients - local Foots Farm eggs, smoked back bacon, Berkshire pork sausages, plus everything for tea, coffee and toast. In summer, you can whip up a lazy breakfast and dine al fresco on the lawn or terrace.
The Beckford Arms is great for families with a large garden and lots of room for kids to run around, so they don't disturb other guests. However, the rooms are small and only one is really set up to accommodate families. Travel cots are available to use.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
The Attic is the only room suitable for families; tucked in the eaves, it has a double bedroom, a sitting area, and a tiny extra bedroom with a small double bed (suitable for 2 children).
Baby cots can fit in Medium Double Rooms 1 and 3, and Large Double Room 7 only. There are no extra beds, but Medium Double Room 1 and Small Double Room 2 can interconnect.
Babysitting can be arranged on request
Baby monitors are available and extend as far as the restaurant
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
There's no official kids menu and there are no cooking facilities for guests, but there are child-pleasers on the menu like beefburgers and fish pie plus the option of a full roast chicken for you all to share for Sunday lunch. Kid-sized pizzas are also available from the wood-fired oven in summer
Noise from the bar can travel upstairs. Children are not permitted in the Splendens Pavillions