Stayed one night at the Bay Tree after previously having stayed at it's sister hotel the Lamb. Both are situated on the charmingly named Sheep Street in the very picturesque village of Burford in Oxfordshire. Burford is literally the gateway to the Cotswolds and is one of the most desireable places to live in England.
Anyway, on to the review. First impressions when arriving at the hotel are really good, the olde worlde look of the place is fantastic. Original features and brickwork etc along with ivy-clad walls give it a real Cotswoldy feel. The entrance to the hotel is by way of two pairs of tiny double doors which if you have luggage are not that easy to negotiate. The stone flooring is satisfyingly worn and polished due to it's use over many a year. Reception staff were charming, friendly and helpful and check-in was completed relatively smoothly and quickly. The young lady on the desk showed us personally to our rooms. The rooms are not traditionally numbered but have been given names of local flora, I was in Cedar. The room itself was very nice and also large with a massive double bed, flat screen TV, comfy chairs and ample storage space. Decor is very tasteful and in good order. There is an iron and board, a safe, a hairdryer and a very good selection of teas and coffee with posh Borders biscuits. Also there are two complimentary bottles of water and most endearingly a large teddy bear on the bed. The implication is that you will be so delighted that you will want to buy the bear to take home. Don't know hopw often the ploy works but I wasn't tempted due to the fact that our bedroom is chock-full of cuddly toys as it is. The bathroom is nicely appointed with a large bath and sink unit. There is an over-bath shower and a slightly smaller than average pedestal. Toiletries are from the Molton Brown range and very nice they are too. Don't think about taking some home though because they come in large bottles and are actually for sale at reception. Another money-making ploy that, I guess, must work sometimes. There is even a rubber duck in the bathroom for you to play with while soaking away the stresses and strains of the day. Don't know if he's for sale, he wasn't saying much. The view from my window was of the extensive beer garden and the rolling hills in the background, very pleasant. The olde worlde Cotswold theme is perpetuated throughout the building and there are several quiet nicely furnished areas for relaxing. The bar comprises two rooms both with real fires that, despite it being mid-June, were both lit making the bar very hot indeed. There is a decent selection of reasonably priced draught and bottled beers extensive enough for most tastes. I did not sample either the wines or spirits so cannot comment on their range or quality. A sample price from the bar is Peroni £4-50 per pint and Bulmers No.17 Cider £5-20 per 500ml bottle. Not too far in excess for what I would expect tp pay in this area and in a hotel of this quality. There is a nice restaurant at the hotel but we opted for a bar meal on this occasion. The menu was quite impressive and I opted for Ham Hock Terrine served with Piccalilli, rocket salad and crusty bread for a starter. This came served on a lump of slate, a bit pretentious for my liking but very contemporary. For main I opted for The Bay Tree burger served with fries, side salad and bbq sauce. Both courses were very nice and of a good standard. My colleagues selections included soup, wild mushroom risotto and welsh rarebit tart served with smoked haddock. All looked excellent. The price, with a drink and two courses each, for four people, was just shy of £70. Very reasonable considering the location and the quality.
After a good nights sleep on a very comfortable, and large, double bed we breakfasted and checked out. Breakfast was superb. All the usual items were present on the buffet eg breads, cheeses, meats, croissants, serial, yoghurts, meusli, fruit, fruit juices etc etc. Special mention must go to the fresh berry compote which was fantastic. Cooked items on the main menu were also as expected along with extra choices of kippers, smoked trout or salmon with scrambled eggs. In fact anything you would want for breakfast was available. I opted for the full English which promised both black and white pudding. Unfortunately it arrived without the white pudding with no explanation as to why not. Just a small gripe really as everything else was excellent.
Check out was easy and thanks to the generous company discount we received, the bill was pleasingly small. In all a great hotel in a great location. Unfortunately we only stayed one night and it was a business trip but I would not hesitate to bring my other half here for a romantic weekend or even a week.
- Also Known As:
- Bay Tree Burford
- Hotel Bay Tree
- Bay Tree Hotel Burford, Oxfordshire
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