Located just two hours' drive from London, and short journey from the heart of Cirencester, The Stump is a welcome and affordable escape from city life. With cosy en-suite rooms, a roaring fire and raring pizza oven, this refurbished coaching inn has nailed countryside hideaway.
The Stump is run by childhood friends Baz and Fred (aka Harry Henriques and Fred Hicks) who started out selling stone-baked pizzas in London's Flat Iron Square. They grew up in the Cotswolds and have since moved back to fill a gap in the market with simple yet brilliant Italian food at this stylish pub with rooms.
There are 10 en-suite bedrooms detached from the pub, each benefitting from an outdoor terrace. They're low-key and comfortable - these guys aren't interested in being trendy try-hards, resulting in a wonderfully familiar home-away-from-home experience. Soak in the delightfully deep bathtub (making the most of locally produced Bramley products) before heading over to the pub for dinner. Sated by your Italian-style feast, roll into your heavenly king-size bed.
What's for breakfast?
Guests can enjoy a home-cooked breakfast by a roaring fire. Catch up on the morning papers over a cup of coffee in the cosy dining area. Choose from a menu of options including granola with yoghurt and berries, sourdough toast, scrambled eggs and bacon.
How about lunch and dinner?
While away the afternoon cosied up by the fireplace and feasting on rustic Italian small plates and pizza with a bottle of wine. The food is a hit among locals, so come evening the restaurant's atmosphere comes alive with a convivial buzz. Peruse an Italianate menu of small plates, stone-baked pizzas and pasta dishes. Standouts for us were the ragu with pappardelle and aubergine and ricotta pizza. Dunk your crusts in the fiery "death sauce", but be warned that it may make your tongue tingle - an ideal excuse to tuck into some creamy burrata.
Is there a bar?
The pub springs to life as the sun sets, with locals pouring in for drinks. We suggest kicking off the evening with a typical Italian aperitif - The Stump makes a mean negroni.
All rooms are equipped with Bramley bath products, a flat-screen television, Wi-Fi and a coffee machine.
Things I should know…
Room Nine has a freestanding bath so if that takes your fancy it's worth asking if it's available. While the pub is in a rural Cotswolds location, it is very close to a busy road which can be noisy if you're sitting out on the terrace.
Within a short walk I can find…
In the Cotswolds you're never far from discovering a lovely country walk which, no doubt, will culminate in a pub lunch. Stroll from the hotel to the nearby market town of Northleach and make a pitstop at The Wheatsheaf Inn.