Surrounded by the unspoilt countryside of the Berkshire Downs is The Pheasant Inn, a cosy and secluded destination pub. The area, known as “The Valley of the Racecourse” is just a stones throw away from Lambourn and a 20 minute drive from Newbury Racecourse – just minutes off the M4. Perfect for Londoners looking for a mini break escape.
In 2016 it was taken over by new landlord Jack Greenall. Jack’s family has had a passion for brewing and managing pubs and hotels dating back to the 1750s.
A sensitive refurbishment has brought the bar and restaurant a new, relaxed elegance. With its claret tones and richly-textured wallpaper, you could easily snuggle up in one of its nooks with a good book and a large glass of wine.
Its open fire is the heart of the property, with soft leather banquettes and reclaimed wood furniture. You will also notice the colour scheme – of racing greens and dark blues – a gentle nod to some of Britain’s top jockeys and trainers, some of them still regulars here.
The Pheasant’s 11 rooms are unique in style, with luxurious fabric headboards, statement lamps and beautiful prints. Added extras make all the difference, a great Birchall tea and Mozzo coffee selection is perfect for the moment your cases hit the floor after a long journey, followed by a quick freshen up with great smelling Bamford toiletries and straight into fluffy bathrobes. There was even a travel cot waiting for our son Leo.
After settling in it was time to explore the local area. The stunning town of Marlborough is just 13 miles down the road. You may recognise it as the location for Downtown Abbey, its an area of outstanding natural beauty and very popular for keen walkers.
Upon our return we are shocked to see a completely full car park, the restaurant and bar areas were buzzing, it’s a very busy lunchtime service. From classic sandwiches and bar snacks to fresh fish dishes, this inn keeps both locals and visitors happy.
With regularly changing menus, which showcase the best in local produce and unfussy flavoursome cooking, we couldn’t wait until dinner. As ever popular as its lunch service, we sat by the roaring fire and browsed the restaurants popular menu.
Great minds think alike and to start we both decide upon the Garlic Marlborough Mushrooms with toasted Sourdough, cured Egg and Truffle. The flavours are incredible, we don’t murmur a word to each other during the whole duration of this course until every drop of sauce is mopped up by the crusty Sourdough.
For the main event my husband couldn’t resist the Scottish Halibut with sautéed sprouts and bacon, bubble and squeak and a herb beurre blanc and for vegetarians like me, there are many options and even a vegan menu to choose from. The Halloumi Burger cried out to me, served with flat mushroom, roast pepper, sweet chilli sauce and sweet potato fries.
For the finale, I finish lightly with the most amazing ice cream I have ever tasted, Black Coconut, not so defeated my husband indulges in the Belgian Waffle with chocolate sauce and ice cream.
The way to round up every good meal – a strong coffee, however this time we choose it to go, as it’s served in one of the Pheasants very own take away cups. In spite of the coffee, it wasn’t long until we drifted off under the duck-down duvet and Egyptian cotton bed sheets.
After a peaceful sleep, as peaceful as one can have with a three-month-old baby, we enjoyed breakfast. Boiled egg and soldiers for me, whilst hubby went for the full English, the breakfast choice is good from cooked options to the spread of pastries and homemade granolas.
No matter what the reason for your visit – you will find a warm welcome at The Pheasant, staff are friendly and very accommodating and the surroundings make it feel like a real home from home.
Address: Ermin Street, Shefford Woodlands, Hungerford RG17 7AA, England
Phone: 01488 648284