Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

Artist Residence Oxfordshire

Rates from (ex tax)$105.96

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP100.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Country pub redub

Setting

Dreaming shires

NEW LAUNCH

Artist Residence Oxfordshire – the fourth boutique hotel for the creative group – has taken the quintessential English country break and shaken it up. The former farmhouse (a gift from the Lord and Lady of Eynsham Hall to their butler) is pretty enough to grace the pages of Town and Country magazine, with a mop-top of thatch, stone fireplace and wood-panelling. But, House of Hackney’s made-you-look wallpapers, reclaimed fairground signs and colourful custom artwork turn tradition on its head – just as we like it really…

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Facilities

Photos Artist Residence Oxfordshire facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Five, including one suite.

Check–Out

11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $105.96 (£83), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP100.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates usually include à la carte breakfast.

Also

The pub has a fascinating history, from the moment the lord and lady of Eynsham Hall bestowed it to their butler – as you do – to more modern times, when it had its own helipad, earned the favour of Marco Pierre White and was owned by Gerry Stonhill, a true character who flaunted Tony Blair’s smoking ban.

At the hotel

Expansive grounds, a herb and vegetable patch, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, Roberts DAB radio, minibar stocked with local goodies, Nespresso coffee machine and tea-making kit, and Bramley bath products.

Our favourite rooms

The hay’s been cleared, but the Farmhouse Lofts have kept an air of rustic romance. They’re set under the eaves, with original wooden beams and flooring, and furnished with a mish-mash of antiques, up-to-the-minute artwork, old-school rugs and Morris & Co fabrics, which somehow work when thrown together – such is the eye of talented owners Charlie and Justin. We’d also like to take a lengthy soak in the Farmhouse Suite’s cool copper bath tub.

Packing tips

Rather than khaki Hunters and waxed jackets, opt for some of the more outlandish Wellie colours and and a parka that’ll stand out amid the greenery.

Also

The restaurant and pub are wheelchair-accessible; however, the historic building doesn’t allow for a lift to the bedrooms on the first floor.

Children

Children are welcome and menu items can be adapted. Baby cots can be added to Farmhouse Suites and Lofts for free, but bedding isn't supplied. Buggies aren't allowed in the restaurant, and in the evening, neither are little ones under the age of 12.

Food and Drink

Photos Artist Residence Oxfordshire food and drink

Top Table

Pile into a banquette or get cosy in a battered-leather armchair by the pub’s fireplace.

Dress Code

Country radical.

Hotel restaurant

The Hanbury Dining Room is a country diner that went to the big city and came back bedecked in House of Hackney’s baroque-aping rose wallpaper and pugilist prints, and with an eye for colour. Pink-mohair banquettes look striking against powder-blue walls and wooden beams. Beyond the restaurant’s countenance, its food is local and incredibly fresh, hunted and gathered (so to speak) within a 25-mile radius of the hotel; some herbs and vegetables come from the hotel’s own backyard. The menu is a hearty feast with canapés, an apéritif and petit fours, topping and tailing three courses of dishes such as wild-nettle gnocchi with foraged sorrel, or venison and suet pie. As for the mysterious Mr Hanbury, he was created by the owners’ artist friends, the Connor Brothers.

Hotel bar

Mr Hanbury’s Mason Arms pub looks like the living room of a globetrotting time-traveller; original mahogany pews and panelling mingle with William Morris wallpapers and quirky fabrics by Andrew Martin. Dan Hillier’s gold-leaf-flecked stag presides over the space, Andy Doig’s light sculpture adds a shock of neon and gardening tools rub elbows with fairground ephemera. It may all look a bit surreal after a few of the local beers that flow freely here – or a fitting round of G&Ts – but it’ll attract more than one man and his dog.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 7.30am to 9.30am on weekdays, till a leisurely 10am on weekends; lunch from 12 noon to 2.30pm (till 3pm Saturdays, 4pm Sundays); and dining in the pub and restaurant runs from 6pm to 9.30pm.

Room service

If you're staying in a Farmhouse Loft or the Farmhouse Suite, you can have anything from the dining room’s menu served to your room during restaurant hours.

Location

Photos Artist Residence Oxfordshire location
Address
Artist Residence Oxfordshire
The Mason Arms, Station Road
South Leigh
OX29 6XN
South Leigh
United Kingdom

Planes

International airport London Heathrow is a 90-minute drive from the hotel; Gatwick is around a two-and-a-half-hour drive away. Flights arrive at these hubs from all over the world. The Smith24 team can help to book flights and transfers on request; call anytime on 03300 379 368.

Trains

Oxford Railway Station is a half-hour drive away. Trains arrive direct from Marylebone and Paddington in London (around an hour’s journey). Closer still, a 15-minute drive from the hotel, is Hanborough Station; trains arrive here direct from London Paddington in around an hour.

Automobiles

Oxford’s classically good-looking streets are lovely to stroll along, but if you plan to village-hop in the Cotswolds and take country drives through some of the UK’s leafiest, loveliest bits, pick up four wheels. Smith24 can arrange car hire for you on request. There’s free parking at the hotel.

Worth getting out of bed for

Filled with some of the world’s finest minds, and some very grand architecture, Oxford is well worth a visit; it’s just a 30-minute drive from the hotel. Aside from craning your neck up at the dreaming spires, nose around the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology and the curiosities at the Pitt Rivers Museum. Museum-dodgers can hire a punt for an hour or the whole day at Magdalen Bridge Boathouse and drift along the River Cherwell. Beginners might want to hire a chauffeur: the pole requires more pump-action than you’d think. Churchill’s family home, Blenheim Palace is a 20-minute drive away; take a tour of its Baroque, gilded and marble-lined state rooms. The hotel sits at the edge of the Cotswolds, so the area’s cluster of charming villages can be easily explored by car. For low-key thrills, ask the staff to map out a ramble for you in the nearby countryside. In August, pitch up to the free-spirited Wilderness Festival in Cornbury Park. 

Local restaurants

With such fine pub grub just downstairs, there’s little need to wander. You’ll need a car to explore the local dining scene: Eynsham Hall is 10 minutes’ drive from the hotel and chef Simon Bradley does wonderful things with the local produce – we like the smoker crafted from an old fridge. In the city, Quod Brasserie & Bar does classic fine dining for reasonable prices. Towards the Cotswolds, in Chipping Norton, The Wild Rabbit does a tempting 28-day-aged steak.

Local cafés

When you’re out and about in the Cotswolds, stop off at the legendary Daylesford farm shop in Kingham to try the superlative afternoon tea (and charcuterie platters, and wedges of cheese, and pastries…). Hopefully you’ve packed light, because you’re likely to leave with armfuls of souvenirs; cookery and floristry workshops are held here too. In Witney, there’s The Cogges Kitchen, a lovely farm café housed in an old milking-shed. The menu of generously filled sandwiches and slabs of home-made cake changes daily.

Local bars

Beyond sampling the local libations at the hotel, try the sommelier’s picks at 1855 on New Road in Oxford. Or opt for cosy traditionalism, right down to the village-green setting and families of ducks swimming by, at The Kings Head Inn in Bledington.

Reviews

Photos Artist Residence Oxfordshire reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this stone-and-thatch country-house hotel in the Cotswolds and shown off their new punting skills, a full account of their highly cultured country and city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the new addition to the Artist Residence family in Oxfordshire…

We like a reformed bad boy: the Artist Residence Oxfordshire, fourth in line for the burgeoning hotel dynasty (after Brighton, London and Cornwall), has settled into what was once the Masons Arms pub. This innocuously thatch-roofed, honey-hued stone building is where Dylan Thomas and Marco Pierre White spent a few rowdy nights (not together, unfortunately), and characterful preceding owner Gerry Stonhill flaunted Tony Blair’s smoking ban. With the Artist Residence team at the helm, it’s a little better behaved, but retains some of that punk attitude in custom artwork from Andy Doig and the Connor Brothers, and delightfully idiosyncratic interior design. House of Hackney’s bold prints and pink mohair banquettes sit side by side with double-sided inglenook fireplaces, flagstone flooring and lots of little nooks and crannies to poke into. This eccentric Brit is also a dab hand in the kitchen, a top pint-puller and a convivial host: as stand-out in the UK’s country-break scene as a pair of tartan plus-fours. 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Artist Residence Oxfordshire’s Guestbook below.
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