The latest addition to Sebastian and Lana Snow’s family of Cotswold pubs, The Bull, is a bigger, more bustling affair. Situated in Fairford’s pretty Market Square, the building dates back to the 15thC (a monks chanting house-turned coaching inn). Inside, the Snow’s have executed their signature shabby-chic style with extra flair, bringing in BAFTA nominated film and TV set designer Corina Burrough to decorate the ground floor.
There are the usual alpine touches of cow-skin rugs and mounted antlers. Its expansive interior also has a muraled sitting room, and an elegant mustard-yellow morning room. Guests can eat in the intimate restaurant, or the sultry burnt-orange Stables (horse rails intact). Or, if they’re feeling fancy, the magisterial Bull Room, with its own bar, chandeliers, and a long oak table seating up to 40 – ideal for raucous dinners. And like any good pub, it’s cosy, with several roaring hearths and rich fir-green walls, with flashes of original stone.
Upstairs, the 21 rooms, decorated by Lana Snow and Joe Titchener, are proper Costwold affairs, with exposed beams and slanted walls – and complete with Wold Garden toiletries and Costwold Woollen Weavers throws. Painted in soothing creams and greys with judicious splashes of colour, they’re bright and well-equipped havens to retreat to.
With stiff competition from trendy pubs in the area, their forte is, undoubtedly, the food. Sebastian, who’s worked as a professional chef for over 30 years, oversees a menu of exceptional pub fayre with Mediterranean influences, full of robust flavours. Twice baked Double Gloucester cheese soufflé is a speciality on their A La Carte menu, but there’s also a pizza/pasta menu – even a sushi night.