When planning my trip to London I knew it would be a food adventure, but I also wanted to see as many friends as possible. This meant taking a trip into the country for the week end. I spent Saturday night in Berkshire with friends, and then an old college mate of mine persuaded me to travel to Warwickshire on Sunday to spend a night at the charming Fuzzy Duck Pub, a luxury bed and breakfast in the hamlet of Armscote near Stratford upon Avon. I was very glad I did.
Although my visit was a 16 hour whirlwind tour of the area, it was an absolute pleasure to to see the beautiful English countryside. Narrow windy roads through green pastures on rolling hills, and hedgerows with sheep perfectly dotted all over the place.
The Fuzzy Duck is situated a few miles away from the historic Stratford-upon-Avon, and a perfect place to stay if you are exploring the area. I managed a quick trip into town to check out where Shakespeare used to hang out and where he was buried.
You will feel very welcome at The Fuzzy Duck. They have Hunter wellington boots available for you to loan (in all sizes) in case you don’t want to get your shoes muddy. They have a DIY beauty box available with everything you need to make you feel gorgeous, as well as Baylis & Harding luxury toiletries on tap. Its cosy and luxurious and at the same time homely. They really get it all right.
Chef Richard Craven – who did a stint at Le Quartier Francais, heads up the kitchen. His philosophy aside from obviously being ‘fresh, seasonal, local’ is all about serving superior restaurant standard food in an informal setting. His cuisine is ‘Contemporary Cotswold’ and will feature interesting local flavor combinations such as hay-smoked lamb with creamy mash, sea purslane and black olives, and local estate fallow deer with heritage carrots. He takes the concept of Gastropub to a whole new level, and put a very memorable tasting menu together for our dinner. I tried a few ingredients I had never tasted before and enjoyed some truly sensational flavour combinations:
Rabbit ravioli – sweet cicely
Hand-dived scallop – turnip – Mallard – hazelnut – sea purslane – elderberries
Cotswald hare – beetroots – cobnuts – bitter chocolate – chubby goose – brambles
Hedgerow berry tart – gaden apple – juniper sherbet – meringue
Choclate ‘Watchamacallit’ – cobnut – caramle – damson
Monmouth coffee and financiers
Each of the four luxury rooms are named after a species of duck, and each is beautifully designed with art deco touches. They all have flat screen smart Tv’s, Lefroy Brookes en-suite, Frette linens and artisan woolen bed throws. Utter luxury.
Richards wife Sol manages the front of house and is a charming hostess. You literally want to kick off your shoes, curl up on the couch and hang around for a very long time.
Ilmington Road | Armscote | Stratford-upon-Avon | Warwickshire | CV37 8DD
T. 01608 682 635 |
- E. [email protected] | Twitter @Fuzzyduckpub
* Disclaimer – I was invited to stay at The Fuzzy Duck and enjoy a dinner in the restaurant for the opportunity to review both