There are few places that are as alluring in the cold wintery months as they are in the summer, but the scenic area of the Cotswolds is one. With the thoughts of roaring fires, hearty meals and brisk walks too much to resist, myself and BFF Laila took a trip to check out two of its many hotels, and here’s our verdict.
A short journey from the nearest town of Lechlade (or slightly longer car/bus/taxi ride from Swindon), Filkins is located in a remote residential village. There’s nary a shop in sight, just a single post box, idyllic cottages and a hive of activity in its main pub, restaurant and B&B, The Five Alls. But like most remote inns around the Cotswolds, venture five minutes outside the front door, and you’re surrounded by English countryside and fields. Then step in again and have an ale.
General room vibe
There are rooms within the inn building itself, but we were staying in the beautiful new chalets out the back, less than a minute’s walk away. Newly refurbished, the room was simple and immaculate, its high-standard interior design giving a zen-like ocean of calm. Imagine comfy, firm beds with mounds of pillows, unique antique pieces of furniture completing the space, plus little details like umbrellas in case it rains on the short stroll back to the main building. But we liked the complimentary local fudge the best.
Stealability of toiletries
Surrounded by full-sized REN products, they were obviously not meant for stealing. But it took all the willpower in the world not to nab the gorgeously-scented products. Still kicking ourselves, tbh.
No complaints on the WiFi connection out in the chalet area – perfect for when the peace and quiet gets a little too peaceful and quiet.
The bathroom was bigger than a Londoner’s living room – complete with underfloor heating below the top of the range tiles. As for the huge walk-in shower cubicle, well calling it a cubicle does not do it justice. It’s what home improvement dreams are made of.
Nearby dinner options
There’s no other place around, but the restaurant offers plenty of choice, with great wines to match. We tried The Five Alls’ house red wine which was a robust blend. Medium to full bodied, it was perfect for a couple of glasses with dinner.
To start, we had the Vacherin Mont d’Or for two, a creamy round of baked cheese served with bread and a sticky roast garlic bulb on top – a delicious indulgence.
Unfortunately the aubergine parmagiana arrived quite charred, but you can’t win em all.
After a pleasant night’s sleep (only non-complaint: the rustling of the starch-white sheets in the night causes you to stir if you’re light sleeper), we headed to the pub for breakfast. A choice of continental and hot breakfasts was available, as well as a table of fresh berry compotes, cereals and juices. A cafetiere of hot coffee was a perfect accompaniment to the local sausages, poached eggs and freshly baked croissants on offer. Just what’s needed before a brisk walk in the fresh country air.
With incredible detail to attention, the Five Alls proved a perfect break away from city life, whether to enjoy the English countryside or hide away in a blissful, relaxing environment. We’ll be back.
For more information, latest prices and to book, visit The Five Alls website.
Next, check out our review of nearby The Plough Inn.