With a journey time of just one hour and 30 minutes from London (by car), we'd advise arriving at The Pheasant Inn a couple of hours before your dinner reservation - which will leave you time to drop your bags, freshen up and nurse a pint in a cosy pub corner - the Pheasant Inn's hearth.
Choose from four room types - Small Double, Medium Double, Large Double and Twin Room - starting from £115. Across all rooms (refurbished by London-based interior designer Flora Soames) you can expect certain design staples including plush fabric headboards, framed artworks and oversized lampshades capping urn-shaped bases. As beds go, these - dressed in luxury Egyptian cotton bed linens - near the top of our "cosiest" and "comfiest" lists - we suspect it's something to do with the duck-down duvets and mattress toppers. With that in mind, a lie-in is a near certainty. As a reminder: check out is at 11am.
What's for breakfast?
Ah, the perpetual breakfast dilemma: will it be the full English or the continental breakfast? It turns out both are equally tasty here - the former, including smoked streaky bacon, Kelmscott sausage and slow-roast tomatoes, while the latter offers fresh juices, pastries and granola topped with a hearty dollop of yoghurt from Normandy. The veggie breakfast - think potato rosti and creamy avocado - also makes a compelling case.
How about lunch and dinner?
Lunch is from noon to 5pm; dinner is from 6pm until 9.30pm. Both mealtimes offer a varied, well-priced menu that caters to vegans, vegetarians and pescatarians - try the moreish mushroom wellington with mustard creamed leeks and wilted spinach and the pan-fried halibut served with spinach and new potatoes. Finish with the lemon posset, decorated with raspberry coulis and crunchy ginger biscuits or the apple-and-pear tarte tatin to share (note: prep time is 10 minutes, but it's worth the wait). If you're visiting on a Sunday, avail of the sharing menu additions - the 16oz Wiltshire chateaubriand, served with Yorkshire puddings, garlic-and-herb roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables and red-wine sauce is scrumptious. If you're gathering with a larger gang, it would be wise to book out the private dining room, which caters to groups of up to 20.
Is there a bar?
The bar stocks 30 whiskies, 10 vodkas and nine beers, with wines sourced from Berry Bros. & Rudd, Bibendum and other specialist suppliers. We recommend ordering a Pheasant Ale, pulled from painterly, ceramic tap handles, and then hunkering in for the afternoon/ evening.
Perch on a vintage leather stool or plop yourself fireside with the pooch (dogs are welcome here), the papers and a pint. Alternatively, hunker down in the bar's adjoining cosy snug where you can play board games or catch the day's races on the big screen.
Modcons include free WiFi (though a little patchy), Roberts radios and smart TVs.
Things you should know
Book a room for a Sunday night, and you can stay for free if your restaurant tab is over £100. Free parking is available to all guests.
Within a short walk I can find
The Pheasant Inn is plotted just off a main road, so you'll need a car to travel towards more scenic pastures. Head to the market town of Hungerford for antiques shops and fairs or to neighbouring Marlborough for a spot of lunch and a stroll along one of the widest high streets in England.