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Double Red Duke

Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

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The Premises 

Historic, honey-hued Oxfordshire hideaway the Double Red Duke is a rare breed. Owners Sam and Georgie Pearman have nurtured many a fine stay with their Lucky Onion and Country Creatures hotel brands, and for this latest they seem to have taken a cue from the Arts and Crafts movement (after all, William Morris did summer close by), creating colourful, characterful interiors using wallpapers, bathroom fittings, textiles and paints from heritage craftsmen across the country. And, securing two of the UK’s finest chefs, Richard Turner and Richard Sandiford, from the Hawksmoor, Pitt and Cue and other establishments with meaty reputations. Alongside spot-on steaks and spit-roasted turbot, there are retro starters (say, a zhuzhed-up prawn cocktail), nose-to-tail nibbles (pig’s head and anchovy pie) and desserts you’ll need to lie down after, like sticky-toffee-apple-pudding. Lucky then, that your super-soft bed is just upstairs.

Double Red Duke

Bourton Rd., Clanfield, Bmpton Oxfordshire, OX18 2RBUnited Kingdom


Compliments of the House 

A bottle of 100 Acres Apothecary hand wash

At the Hotel 

CHECK-OUT: 11am. Earliest check-in, 3pm; both are flexible, subject to availability and a charge that ranges from £30 to £50 (no early check-ins in before 11.30am and no late check-outs after 2.30pm).
Rates usually include the Continental breakfast, a counter full with bircher muesli, homemade granola, pastries, fruit and sourdough from a local bakery (cooked items are available for an extra charge and are worth the splurge).


Snug, living room, garden, wellies to borrow, free WiFi. In rooms: TV, retro-style phone, Roberts radio, free WiFi, tea- and coffee-making kit, bathrobes and 100 Acres bath products. All rooms, except some of the larger rooms, have air-conditioning too.


If you’re considering an interior revamp back home, then bring a pad, because you’ll want to take notes. Bring tweed accessories too, in case of a spontaneous shooting party.


The garden’s shepherd’s hut provides shelter and agrarian bliss, as it’s where nimble-fingered masseuses use all natural oils and lotions from 100 Acres, scented with heady botanicals, to work out knots and recalibrate post-ramble muscles.


If the heavens open while you’re here, head to the snug where there’s a stash of board games and a roaring log fire.
Intimate weddings can be held in the charming 13th-century church opposite the hotel, and if you’re yearning for a feast of straight-from-the-shore fish and lengthily-cured free-range meats cooked over an apple-wood fire, private dinner parties can be arranged. Keep abreast of the hotel’s events too – curry nights, guest spots from starry chefs, and sociable barbecues inject a frisson of fun into nights here.


Please note that continental breakfast is included with most rates (cooked items are available for an extra charge). Please note that although the hotel is pet-friendly, dogs are only allowed in five of the 19 rooms. Please contact the hotel in advance to confirm availability.


All rooms are so meticulously crafted using pieces from British makers, lucky vintage finds, Fermoie printed fabrics, bold Rapture & Wright wallpapers, Little Greene Paint Co’s colours and elegant bathroom fittings (and some beautiful rolltop tubs we’d love to be lying in right now) from Samuel Heath, that you’ll be pleased with whichever you pick. But, if you’re going by space alone, the Large Room certainly lives up to its name and has an attractive wood-beamed ceiling. Four-legged friends can stay here with you too.

Food & Drink 

Unforgettable Features 

With Hawksmoor steak-slingers Richard Turner and Richard Sandiford in charge, the dining room is one of the most exciting spaces in the hotel – not least for its lively chef’s table. This is trip-down-memory-lane cooking with a fine edge, served in either the brick-lined dining room with two fireplaces at either end or the sage- and sienna-hued Orangery Room. The menu stars throwback favourites like Dublin Bay scampi with lemony mayonnaise, Marie Rose-drizzled prawn cocktail, pie of the day (pig’s head and anchovy, perhaps, or a take on shepherd’s pie with duck), fish and chips and various steak cuts to be raked over the embers then slathered in blue cheese or ‘gentlemens’ relish’. But imaginative outliers include spit-roast turbot for two with lemon ketchup, milk and honey lamb chops with pea and haggis salad and asparagus with Cacklebean-egg salad cream. Desserts are of the immensely comforting sort, with toffee-apple pudding, brown-butter cake and molten carrot-cake cookies, so be sure to leave room. If you plump for the Sunday roast, may we suggest the ‘a bit of everything’ option, because it’s all good. Breakfasts feel delightfully retro too, with the likes of devilled kidneys; omelette with bacon, sausage and onion gravy; and curried and shirred eggs to start your day, plus a posher take on Maccy D’s muffins: this version has bacon, sausage, egg and Ogleshield cheese.

Liquid Bliss 

The struggle is real here while deciding what to drink – the wine list unfurls to reveal sippers from all top appellations, and pints from local breweries such as Rook Wood and Clavell & Hind’s prop up the bar. If you need something to soak up the pints, the bar snacks are a temptingly roguish lot, ranging from lobster rolls with chilli-garlic butter and cheese toasties, to smoked sardines and bacon with ‘angry’ sauce and local sausages with rhubarb mustard.

Experience the Extraordinary 

Whether you’re snuffling through the warren of inviting snugs and sitting areas looking for a good book-reading nook, getting slathered with 100 Acres lavender- and chamomile-scented lotions in the shepherd-hut spa, downing something local with a good head on it in the garden or watching the chef hold court over a flaming grill, the hotel caters for cosseting and carnal pleasures. If you reach your limit of either, there are genteel pursuits close by, say a trip around Kelmscott Manor (open Wednesdays and Saturdays from April to October), where William Morris retreated to dream up his intricate Arts and Crafts patterns, to see his prints in situ. Key scenes in Downton Abbey were filmed just down the road in Bampton Village, and if you want to see how IRL blue-bloods live, Blenheim Palace – still home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough – sits in sprawling grounds a 30-minute drive from the hotel. On leafy Sherbourne Estate keep your eyes peeled for roe deer, foxes and the odd badger, and use the cherry blossoms at Batsford Arboretum for a colourful backdrop. And, the Cotswolds’ constellation of honey-hued villages make for a quintessentially British day of tea-shop cruising, antiques hunting, duck feeding and drinking with the locals – hop from Roman-settled market town Cirencester to Chedworth, Bibury, Bourton-on-the-Water and Burford. Each has its own lures, say Bibury’s trout farm and museum, Bourton-on-the-Water’s miniature village, and cream teas at Burford’s Huffkins Café (who also supply cakes to Fortnum & Mason). History buffs can trip along the Ridgeway Footpath to get a good view of the prehistoric Uffington White Horse, carved into Oxfordshire downland, or journey into Oxford proper to delve into old-school miscellany at the Ashmolean or Pitt Rivers museums, take the Oxford University and City Walking Tour and toast its literary darlings (CS Lewis, JR Tolkien) at former haunt the Eagle and Child pub. Want to kick it with the locals? Get to grips with a gun at the Oxfordshire Shooting School, then show off your newfound marksmanship at a shooting party on one of the surrounding estates (the hotel only works with the best reputed) capped with a meaty feast in the hotel’s private dining room. The largest inland lake area in the UK, the Cotswolds Water Park, and the South Cerney Sailing Club offer aqueous opportunities aplenty: swimming, waterskiing, kayaking, windsurfing, sailing, stand-up paddleboarding and more. For those with more stamina, the hotel’s a stop on the Carter Company’s 10-day Thames Sea to Source cycling tour, and the Country Creatures Cycling Tour, which traverses the Cotswold Hills on the way from the Thames to Clanfield, via the Double Red Duke’s sister properties. Or follow the trail on foot with the four-night Country Creatures Walking Tour, which covers four-to-seven miles a day. Westgate and Bicester Village shopping centres both have a wide array of designer and indie wares, but if you would prefer to up your liquid assets, dive into the offerings at Hook Norton brewery, Abingdon Gin Distillery or Bothy Vineyard.


The Double Red Duke reigns in the bijou Oxfordshire village of Clanfield, set by a 13th-century church and opposite a 17th-century tavern, just a short drive from Cotswolds villages.


Heathrow is the closest major international airport (around a 90-minute drive away via the M40) and Gatwick and Luton are both around a two-hour drive away, and limited services from Amsterdam and major cities in the UK arrive direct at Oxford International Airport, a 40-minute drive from the hotel.


Shipton and Oxford are the closest stations to the hotel, both a 30-minute drive away; for Shipton, trains from London Paddington arrive direct in just over an hour and for Oxford, catch the train from Paddington or Marylebone to arrive in an hour.


The hotel is easily accessed using the M40 or M4 motorways, and there’s free parking onsite. You can choose to pass through the Chiltern Hills or North Wessex Downs – either way you’re guaranteed a glimpse of green. And there’s free parking onsite.


Bourton Rd., Clanfield, Bmpton Oxfordshire, OX18 2RBUnited Kingdom

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