The Cool Hotel Guide - The Swan Swinbrook


Thank you to Tom Chesshyre for writing such a lovely piece about about the Swan at Swinbrook in THE TIMES.


The Swan at Swinbrook, Oxfordshire
The Times, Saturday January 6th, 2018

In a nutshell
This pub with 11 rooms sits by a 13th-century bridge over the River Windrush in the picturesque village of Swinbrook. The Swan’s previous owner was the Duchess of Devonshire, nee Deborah Mitford, the last of the six high-society Mitford sisters who were were raised locally. David Cameron came for a drink with Francois Hollande, then the French president. Prince Charles and Prince Andrew have dropped by, as has the Sex Pistols’ lead singer John Lydon. All in all, quite a mix. The present owners, Archie and Nicola Orr-Ewing, lease the pub form the Duke of Devonshire.

What are the rooms like?
They are smart and unfussy, decorated in neutral colours. They are split between the Stables (six rooms) and the Riverside Cottage (five rooms). The cheapest, which are a reasonable size, are in the Stables (from £125 B&B). “Very Comfy” rooms are bigger. Of these, the Asthall room is great, facing a cow field by the river: expect a few morning moos (from £150 B&B).

Which is the best room?
Debo’s Room in the Stables is massive (from £200 B&B).

So what’s the food like?
The Polish head chef, Hubert Kosmala, has mastered English country cooking, serving juicy sirloin steaks, roast loin of roe deer and pheasant. There are four dining areas in the higgledy-piggledy interior; the best is by the fireplace with pictures of the Mitford sisters above.

My version, black pudding and hazelnut terrine with plum chutney was a perfect winter starter, and my main course of tender roast pheasant with lentils, streaky bacon, broccoli and thyme jus was spot-on. I can highly recommend the marvellous pear and apple crumble with cinnamon ice cream. Three courses cost from about £33.

Who goes there?
Walkers (the pub has local maps) and celebrities escaping the limelight.

The highs, the lows, the verdict
Eight out of ten
Great food, intriguing history and beautiful location down by the river, but the rooms are a touch dated.

Tom Chesshyre

Need to know
Tom Chesshyre was a guest of the Swan at Swinbrook (01993 823339, theswanswinbrook), near Burford, Oxfordshire OX18 4DY; B&B double rooms cost from £125; one wheelchair-access room; single room £100; dogs allowed in two rooms.


You can review and check availability of Accommodation at The Swan Inn at Swinbrook HERE.