From the moment you walk inside and are shown to your room, you feel as if you’ve walked into a family home…
That’s essentially what Fallowfields is; A family home turned into a warm and welcoming hotel that offers cosy and comfortable accommodation, gorgeous grounds, and a superb dining experience.
Located in the village of Kingston Bagpuize, in the gorgeous Oxfordshire countryside you’ll find Fallowfields country house hotel and restaurant. Sitting on 12 acres of grounds and farmland, the boutique hotel is over 300 years old and has been owned and managed by Anthony and Peta Lloyd for the last 20 years.
A short drive from both Oxford and the Cotswolds, Fallowfields makes a convenient base for exploring the city and the beautiful countryside of Oxfordshire.
After arriving at the hotel, we were warmly greeted at reception and shown up to our room. The hotel has ten rooms, each named after different towns or areas in Oxfordshire and each with its own character. The rooms are elegant and spacious, and free from frivolous amenities. We stayed in room eight, the Woolstone Room, which features a king-size bed, comfy sofa, windows overlooking the grounds and an ensuite bathroom. The bed was definitely a standout for us, with a brilliant mattress and high-thread-count linen. These touches made it clear that an effort had been made to ensure a comfortable and relaxing stay.
After settling into the room, we took a wander around the hotel and the grounds. Fallowfields rears a lot of its own produce, including cattle, pigs, and chickens. There is also a vegetable garden where they harvest fresh vegetables for the kitchen. We also loved the idea that games were provided for guests to enjoy outdoors, with equipment on offer for both croquet and giant Jenga.
Back inside, we noticed that around the hotel there was a regular elephant theme, with various elephant paintings and ornaments on display. Upon returning to our room, we read in the guest information book that the reason for the elephants was that Anthony Lloyd’s Mother had lived in India and that if you wanted to learn the full story you should ask him if you caught him around the hotel; we were definitely intrigued!
When ready for dinner, we walked down to reception where we were taken into the lounge area and offered a pre-dinner drink. We relaxed and enjoyed a cocktail and some gorgeous canapés before we were shown to our table. For dinner, we went with the tasting menu with a flight of accompanying wines. As the dessert advertised peanuts, a flavour I have never been able to appreciate, I asked if it was possible to have a substitute, and that was readily and helpfully accommodated.
The food we enjoyed was absolutely magnificent. A refreshing gin-and-tonic-themed amuse bouche was followed by a decadent starter of fresh asparagus with a poached egg with a parmesan crust. Following this was a mouthwatering pork belly dish, and then a gorgeous lamb and potato dish. Each of these was accompanied by a carefully (and impressively) selected matching wine.
When the desserts were brought out not only had my request for a change in menu been accommodated, but the matching wine had been altered from a sticky dessert red, which matched the original chocolate and peanut dish, to a sweet sparkling rose to match my rhubarb souffle. This small and considerate touch showed the caliber of management in the restaurant. In fact, the service from all staff was wonderful. Each staff member we encountered at Fallowfields was friendly, helpful and made the evening as enjoyable as it was.
Well and truly full, and thinking we could not possibly eat another morsel, we were then brought out a plate of small homemade sweets, along with a box of handcrafted chocolates to choose from… how could we say no?!
While an A la Carte menu is on offer, the tasting menu is spectacular value, and we’d definitely recommend it. The wines from the flight are also offered by the bottle at a 25% discount for anyone who takes a fancy to a particular glass and wants to take a bottle home with them.
Suffice to say, when we made it back up to our room, we very much appreciated the comfort of the bed to sleep off such a delicious, and decadent feast.
The next morning we leisurely made our way back down to the restaurant for breakfast. A spread of fresh continental breakfast options was laid out buffet-style to choose from, along with a selection of fresh juices. Cooked breakfast options included traditional full English, eggs Benedict, and porridge. Like at dinner the evening before, the quality of the food was obvious from both the look and taste of the food, and we thoroughly enjoyed every last bite.
After breakfast, we left Fallowfields well rested, relaxed and most definitely well fed.
It really is a wonderful country escape, and the love and pride that the Lloyds have for Fallowfields truly shines through in every way.
PS. if you’re still wondering about the elephants, you’ll just have to take a trip to Fallowfields and ask Anthony for yourself.