The Five Alls at Filkins

Gloucestershire, United Kingdom Book from

A boutique inn-with-rooms in a gorgeous Cotswold village, offering excellent food, a great night’s sleep and a relaxed vibe
The welcoming atmosphere hits us as soon as we walk through the door: this is a place to enjoy good food, good drink and good times. There’s a group of friends lounging on fireside leather Chesterfields with a post-lunch bottle of wine, a hunting party laughing at the bar, and a steady stream of couples and families complimenting the staff on the food as they leave the buzzing dining room.

After forging his career in London and a successful stint at The Swan in nearby Southrop, chef Sebastian Snow and his wife Lana took over this 18th-century Cotswold stone coaching inn in the tiny village of Filkins in late 2012. They refurbished it beautifully throughout, and original flagstone floors and wooden beams sit comfortably alongside antler wall lights, jazzy wallpaper and contemporary art. Charming guest rooms have calming colours and rain showers, and super-comfy beds with duck-down duvets promise deep slumbers. But the food is the biggest draw: modern British dishes such as potted shrimp and roast lamb, all prepared with locally sourced ingredients and given a mouth-watering Mediterranean twist thanks to influences from Sebastian’s Italian mother.

Highs

  • Fantastic value
  • Dinner was sensational, and we were impressed by the lengthy wine list and seasonal cocktails like English garden mojitos and passion-fruit bellinis
  • A really warm ambiance. Nothing is too much trouble for the friendly, attentive staff
  • The eclectic décor: a stylish mix of period charm, modern touches and quirky details
  • Plenty to explore nearby: pretty market towns, stately gardens, walking trails

Lows

  • No tea- or coffee-making kit in the rooms. And although staff can bring up free hot drinks on request, you need to go to the bar and request them (no in-room phones)
  • A rather uninspiring breakfast buffet (carton juice, boxed cereals) but the cooked options are good
  • Bar chatter can travel - opt for a Garden or Family Room if you're a light sleeper
  • No food served on Sunday evenings and you'll need to drive to reach other restaurants
  • No bathtubs (though the walk-in rain showers are divine, with Ren toiletries)

Best time to go

Come at any time of year. The open fire, welcoming bar and comfy rooms make this a cosy option in autumn and winter, while the pretty village location, local walking and gorgeous garden tempt visitors in the warmer months.

Our top tips

If you’re curious about the name The Five Alls, have a look at the framed picture in the bar. It shows the original pub sign, which features 5 social groups (or “alls”): the lawyer who pleads for all, the parson who prays for all, the soldier who fights for all, the farmer who works for all, and the devil who takes all.

Great for...

Family
Foodie
Honeymoon
Wedding
  • Boutique Inn
  • 9
  • Restaurant (open daily except Sunday evenings) and bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Local maps
Room:

Rooms

Four upstairs guest rooms are beautifully decorated in neutral tones and accessorised with quirky detail such as vintage travel trunks, old photos and interesting paintings. Dreamy beds are cocooned in duck-down duvets and cloud-soft pillows, and the headboards are covered in fabric from Cotswold Woollen Weavers, located in the village. Bathrooms are limestone-tiled with big walk-in rain showers (no tubs) and Ren toiletries.

We stayed in Room 1 (the largest, at the front of the building) and slept like logs (no mean feat when you’re 7 months' pregnant). We loved the salvaged framed mirror, and the subtle accents of red in the armchair, blanket and cushions were perfectly offset by pale grey walls.

Also at the front overlooking the very quiet road are the slightly smaller Room 2, with its equestrian-themed paintings, and the pretty off-white and duck-egg blue Room 3. Set at the back of the building, with a step down (tall people will need to watch their heads), is Room 4. It has the smallest bedroom, but its bathroom is the biggest and there’s a cosy love-nest feel. Note that these upstairs rooms have little if any hanging space for your clothes, although there are hooks for coats

The other 5 rooms are set in an annexe at the bottom of the garden. We stayed in one during our most recent visit and loved the peace and privacy. They are less characterful in structure (being new build) and decor (spot lighting, and no antique trunks or hunting prints), but their classic modern look is attractive, with clean lines and classy colours, plus you get a wardrobe. Gorgeous bathrooms have underfloor heating, a walk-in shower and stunning mosaic tiles. One is a Family Room, which has a sitting area with a sofabed, in addition to the bedroom.

Features include:

  • Central heating
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Satellite tv
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

The restaurant is extremely popular with locals and visitors alike, so book ahead for lunch or dinner. There are 2 main dining rooms - one with bigger tables for groups and families, the other with a more intimate atmosphere . Private rooms can also be arranged.

The imaginative menu blends modern British food with Italian twists inspired by Sebastian’s mother. Ingredients are sourced locally wherever possible (Gloucestershire cheeses, Wye Valley smoked salmon), the bread is baked on site, and fresh fish is delivered daily from Looe in Cornwall. We were blown away by our shared starters - tuna carpaccio with avocado, lime, ginger and coriander dressing, and oven-roast peppers with anchovies, mozzarella and mint. For mains, beef shin with horseradish dumplings and celeriac mash was a perfect foil for the wintery weather outside, while the chargrilled stone bass was flaky and light. For dessert, a show-stopping baked Alaska (ask them to hold the saccharine strawberry sauce, if you have this).

There's a bar menu for causal meals or snacks - devilled kidneys on country toast, burgers and fries, sticky BBQ ribs, antipasti and olives. There’s also a kids’ menu for little ones.

Come morning, breakfast is served in the bar, along with the daily papers. We were a bit disappointed by the buffet (carton juice, lacklustre croissants and packets of Kellogg's cereals) but the coffee and cooked options were both very good. A Full English had perfectly herby sausages and crispy bacon, while the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs was well seasoned and delicious.

Note that no food is available on Sunday evenings, so you’ll need to head out to eat. Recommendations within a short drive include The Spice Lounge in Burford for Indian food and The Plough in Kingham for pub grub.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children meals
  • Restaurant
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity: Kelmscott Manor

Activities

  • Wander down the road to the Cotswold Woollen Weavers and browse the selection of tweed upholstery fabrics, clothes and beautiful blankets
  • Enjoy the fresh Cotswold air: walk the lovely stretch of the Thames Path near Kelmscott, go wild swimming and picnicking at Buscot Weir, or stride straight out from The Five Alls armed with a map of local walks (available to borrow from the bar)
  • Shop ‘til you drop in Stow on the Wold, where you’ll find everything from independent boutiques to chocolate makers, as well as great delis and a vintage shop selling a range of weird and wonderful items
  • Explore the Jacobean National Trust property of Chastleton House, visit Kelmscott Manor (the home of William Morris), or stroll through the leafy gardens of nearby Buscot Park (in spring, there are bluebell woods to admire)
  • Stock up on local produce at the Upton Smokery just outside Burford, which sells a great selection of smoked foods and other yummy goodies. Also worth visiting is the Daylesford Farm Shop in Kingham, where you’ll find a café, a cookery school, a spa, gardens and a kitchen shop
  • Take the kids to meet the animals at Cotswold Wildlife Park (just a few minutes’ drive), or try your hand at the many watersports on offer at the nearby Cotswold Water Park
  • Staff at The Five Alls can also point you in the direction of local stables, golf courses and clay-pigeon-shooting centres
  • Back at the inn, sit back with the papers and a drink in the bar, head out to the garden when the sun shines, or indulge in an invigorating deep-tissue massage or a relaxing facial from a visiting practitioner

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Clay pigeon shooting
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Kayaking
  • Kitesurfing
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Well being
  • Windsurfing

Kids

The relaxed atmosphere here is ideal for families, and children of all ages are welcome. There’s a kids’ menu, and babysitting can be arranged if you want a romantic meal. There are plenty of family-friendly attractions nearby, too, including the Cotswold Wildlife Park and the Cotswold Water Park.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

The Family Room can sleep a family with up to 3 children. Extra beds are available for children aged 10 and under, but if you’re coming with a baby you’ll need to bring your own travel cot. You'll have to book a separate room for kids over 10. Note that bathrooms have showers only (no tubs).

Babysitting:

Available on request.

Children's meals:

The restaurant has a dedicated kids’ menu featuring options such as fish fritters with fries and peas, Sunday roasts, and toasted cheese sandwiches with fried eggs and ham. Highchairs are available, too.

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Cotswold Wildlife Park
  • Cotswold Touring Circus (summer only)
  • The Lido at Chipping Norton
  • Horse riding
  • Sailing
  • Indoor climbing

Distances:

  • Airport: 1 hour's drive (Birmingham or Bristol)
  • Shop: 2 minutes' walk (Filkins)
  • Hospital: 20 minutes' drive (Swindon)
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

8/
Rooms
9/
Food
9/
Service
8/
Value
8/
Overall

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