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
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
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.