The Fox, Lower Oddington, Gloucestershire

The Fox, Lower Oddington, Gloucestershire

Make tracks for Carole Bamford’s new Cotswolds pub with rooms, The Fox, where organic living and old-school boozing make fantastic bedfellows

weren’t the only ones to prick up our ears on hearing that,
following a meticulous, 16-month restoration project, Carole
Bamford’s latest offering, The Fox, was ready to throw open its
doors this summer. Sporting nature-inspired, rustic-luxe interiors
and hyperlocal menus, the property bears all the hallmarks we’ve
come to associate with the sustainability pioneer – Bamford’s first
Daylesford Organic Café and Farm Shop marks its
20th birthday this year – making it a shoo-in for those seeking a
good place to go to ground within a couple of hours’ drive of

Nestled amid the rolling Gloucestershire fields and hedgerows,
The Fox’s Lower Oddington setting – all honey- and buttercream-hued
limestone houses huddled around the pretty St Nicholas Church – can
appear so utopian as to initially disarm the urban visitor (“I
didn’t pack enough stripes/florals!”; “Why am I the only one
without a well-behaved working dog at heel?”). But the pub with
rooms’ warm hospitality and abundance of modern creature comforts
promise to quickly put even the jitteriest of city escapees at

An armchair in a bedroom
A stone-walled parlour

The parlour, left, and a cosy corner of The Hedgerow

In common with that of its 2013-opened sister property, The Wild
Rabbit, in nearby Kingham, The Fox’s ethos is one of championing
the region’s close-knit farming community and its associated
heritage craftspeople – smiths, carpenters, wheelwrights. It is set
apart, however, by a greater playfulness in its approach: stamped
across the bar are the words “For fox sake”; and above the open
kitchen pass, “Foxylicious”; topiary foxes roam the garden; there’s
a jumble of brightly coloured gymkhana rosettes overhead; and
quirky artworks run rampant.

The food is – naturally – superlative, with menus that celebrate
best-in-class ingredients from the farms at Daylesford Organic and
Wootton estate. Throw in the subtle scent of those much-coveted
Bamford toiletries, and you have a glorious Cotswolds stay from
which you’re sure to leave feeling at your bright-eyed and
bushy-tailed best.


Country living gets a Zen makeover in a clutch of half a dozen
individually designed and beautifully appointed bedrooms, their
decor inspired by the surrounding countryside and designed to
reflect rural habitats. Raw materials are showcased to winning
effect, with glimpses of bronze, here and there, a nod to the
area’s equestrian history. Sumptuous natural linens and tactile
soft furnishings in a pale, earthy palette are all of the finest

Our room, the Masters, is up in the building’s eaves, which has
a towering vaulted ceiling and beams strong enough to swing from.
The head of a handmade four-poster bed is framed on one side by a
recess filled with chopped logs and, on the other, a pale-wood
wardrobe, atop which sits a life-sized figurine of a
friendly-looking bull terrier. Elsewhere, a pair of sculpted wood
pigeons perch in a nook, while contemporary prints bring pops of

A four-poster bed draped in blue curtains
A light-filled bathroom

The Wild Meadow bedroom, left, and bathroom.

The bathroom is big, with a magnificent freestanding roll-top
tub and a full complement of Bamford products, including a little
green bottle of headily perfumed bath salts.

Visiting in winter? Snag The Den. Split over two rooms, it has
an open fireplace and a view over the walled garden to enjoy while
toasting marshmallows. Travelling with cubs? Book the Hunting Lodge
room, which comes with a king-sized bed and two twins.

What’s for breakfast?

Farm-to-fork deliciousness. While the spelt sourdough with
Daylesford creamy salted butter and strawberry jam was simple
perfection, those looking for a more adventurous culinary start to
the day might plump for the cinnamon crunch French toast with
poached apricots and crème fraiche, or one of The Fox’s brioche
rolls, which come toasted and stuffed with the likes of portabella
mushrooms, streaky bacon or smoked salmon.

Lunch and dinner?

An elevated pub menu is served in the bar and the garden-facing
Saddle Room (and in the garden itself, too, weather permitting),
alongside a menu of wood-fired sourdough flatbreads and pizzas.
Start with the likes of wood-roast violet artichokes with salsa
verde, or a fiery ‘nduja Scotch egg with saffron aïoli, then move
onto a main of orzo with courgette, mangetout, broccoli, broad
beans, chervil and pea tendrils, or, for carnivores, perhaps a
Wootton estate Barnsley chop with peas, gem lettuce, buttermilk and
dill, and finish as though your horse has just come in at the
races, with the Daylesford strawberries and vanilla cheesecake or
an Aperol spritz jelly and raspberries.

Is there a bar?

It’s the beating heart of The Fox, serving cocktails and craft
beers (including an eponymous one), locally made ales (listed on a
chalkboard) and a well-curated list of wines produced by
independent vineyards. Grab a stool at the main oak bar, a seat at
a table near the fire or hole up in The Tack Room and Parlour,
tucked away in a quiet corner, all of which offer a cornucopia of
prints and paintings to enjoy as you sip your “the one we don’t
talk about” house cocktail – a blend of vanilla vodka, yoghurt,
pale sherry and passion fruit.

The Bottoms Up Bar – a signature Daylesford van – is parked out
back, on the parasol-dotted lawn, and opens from Thursday to

Out of hours, guests are welcome to call a number handily
provided outside their bedroom door, should they be seized by a
sudden thirst that requires slaking.


Free WiFi, a minibar, quality pod coffee machine, cutting-edge
TV and audio, hairdryer, fine linen sheets, organic cotton bath
robes and towels and high-spec mattresses, toppers and pillows.

What are the hotel’s eco-credentials like?

Five star – Carole Bamford was an eco-activist long before
Gwynnie had even met Brad, let alone founded Goop, remember – with
the restoration having used reclaimed and natural, locally sourced
materials across the board. The roof is insulated with sheep’s wool
from Daylesford, and food and drink come courtesy of both the farm
and Wootton estate.

A pizza on a wooden board
The Tack Room

A wood-fired pizza, left, and the The Tack Room

What about accessibility?

The bar and restaurant is wheelchair-accessible, but bedrooms
are not.

What’s the crowd like?

Mainly couples, both young and old, with glossy manes and dogs
smart enough to figure out their way to the dog bowl in the

Within a short walk I can find…

Daylesford Organic Farm – the mothership – is a 25-minute walk
away, through some of England’s most bucolic countryside, taking in
Enid Blyton-esque forest glades and skirting open fields edged by
honeysuckle and grazed by rare-breed cows and sheep. You can easily
lose a whole day exploring the farm’s retail, spa and dining
options, and more if you dive into the calendar of experiences on
offer, which include cookery and gardening classes led by expert

Things I should know

The Fox’s logo (as with The Wild Rabbit’s) was designed by
Brooklyn-based British illustrator Hugo Guinness, whose many fans
include Anna Wintour, Natalie Portman and Wes Anderson – Guinness
has collaborated with Anderson on several films. Amuse yourself by
playing a game of “spot the Guinness” around the pub and farm.
Spoiler: his Daylesford Organic Fig Leaf Gin bottle is so
beautiful, you just know you’re going to have to buy one to take

The Lowdown

Doubles cost from £225 a night.

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