The scent of cinnamon and a roaring fire provided a warm and inviting welcome as I arrived with my partner and our one-year-old at the Wheatsheaf Inn on a drizzly afternoon.
Nestled in the heart of the market town of Northleach in the Cotswolds, the Grade II-listed historic coaching inn blends rustic 17th century charm with modern and contemporary comforts.
Living at what often feels like 100mph in a city, an escape to the countryside is exactly what was needed and the Wheatsheaf Inn did not disappoint.
The Wheatsheaf Inn features 14 uniquely designed bedrooms with exposed brickwork and statement wallpaper. We stayed in one of the inn's bigger boutique rooms overlooking its beautiful garden, adorned with twinkling fairy lights.
Our toddler promptly made himself comfortable on the emperor-sized bed, while I was delighted to discover that our room featured a very spacious ensuite bathroom, complete with a freestanding rolltop bathtub. I highly recommend adding a spoonful or two of the lavender-scented Bramley bath salts and finally reading a couple of chapters of that new book you've been meaning to dive into, as you soak in the tub.
There are plenty of lovely little touches, including fluffy bathrobes, a generously stocked mini-bar and a Nespresso coffee machine.
Travel cots are available if you have little ones in tow and some rooms have space for a dog bed or two, so you don't have to leave your four-legged friends at home.
The Wheatsheaf Inn prides itself on producing a British seasonal menu, from steamed Cornish mussels to a classic Sunday roast.
The staff were friendly and knowledgeable, particularly when my partner was torn between dishes on the menu. I'm told that the salt marsh lamb stew, recommended by our server, was "absolutely banging" as he himself described.
I opted for the twice-baked cheddar souffle to start, which I instantly wanted more of, but it was soon time for the main event. I tucked into the celeriac & winter pithivier (a fancy-looking vegetarian pie encased in puff pastry) with creamy carrot puree and a rainbow chard 7 gravy – washed down with a glass of Malbec.
Wine connoisseurs are spoilt for choice with the bar's extensive selection, as well as craft ales and local ciders. And if you do have any room for dessert, go for the sticky toffee pudding or the decadent dark chocolate tart.
Smaller diners are not forgotten, with a broad selection on the children's menu, including vegetable-based side dishes.
And in the morning, the Wheatsheaf Inn offers a continental breakfast spread as well as home-cooked options including avocado and poached eggs on sourdough toast, pancakes and a traditional English breakfast.
Explore the area
Whether you're spending a long weekend in the Cotswolds or making a stopover, there's plenty to explore nearby.
If you can pull yourself away from the cosy confines of the Wheatsheaf Inn, you're just a short drive away from hotspots including Cirencester, Bourton-on-the-Water and Stow-on-the-Wold.
If you've felt nervous about bringing your little ones to a boutique hotel, you needn't worry at The Wheatsheaf Inn.
The staff were very welcoming and accommodating throughout our stay. Despite being armed with a plethora of books to keep our toddler entertained between courses, there were already crayons and a special menu for him to colour in on our table as we sat down for dinner.
The hotel's patrons were a mix of locals, couples enjoying a date night and young families.
We will certainly be returning to enjoy its stunning garden terrace next summer.
The Wheatsheaf Inn, Northleach, open seven days a week with rooms starting from £170 per night.