“A boutique inn-with-rooms in a gorgeous Cotswold village, offering excellent food, a great night’s sleep and a relaxed vibe”
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.
- 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
- 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)
- We've heard reports of lacklustre service and uninspiring breakfasts
- 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
Our top tips
- Boutique Inn
- Restaurant (open daily except Sunday evenings) and bar
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Local maps
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.
- Central heating
- Extra beds
- Satellite TV
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.
- Children's meals
- Vegetarian menu
- 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
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Museums / galleries
- Plantlife / flora
- Shopping / markets
- Well being
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.
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).
Available on request.
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
- Indoor climbing
- Airport: 1 hour's drive (Birmingham or Bristol)
- Shop: 2 minutes' walk (Filkins)
- Hospital: 20 minutes' drive (Swindon)