He had a good reputation, the duke. The story goes that in the 16th century a farmer gave away much of the double red corn he grew to the villagers of Clanfield, leading to his nickname.
Whether historical or folkloric, the Duke’s memory lives on amidst the flavorful flashes of red throughout this former farmhouse and inn, from the candy-striped parasols in the garden to his scarlet silhouette on the menu.
And it’s all pretty nice. So beautiful it’s hard to snag one of the 19 Cotswolds-chic rooms in the latest addition to Georgie and Sam Pearman’s Country Creatures portfolio of hotels and restaurants.
Jane Knight arrives at The Double Red Duke (above) in Clanfield and enters a world she “doesn’t want to leave”.
The Red Duke’s double rooms are split between the quaint old Tudor building and the newer addition just across the car park, Jane reveals
In categories ranging from cozy to intimate, the rooms “are all special,” writes Jane — “one with a red bathtub in a cozy corner, others with access to the garden for dog walkers, and a duplex room with an upstairs bathroom.” .
Divided between the quaint old Tudor building and the newer addition just across the car park, interior designer Georgie has outfitted the rooms with patterned wallpaper, fabric headboards, and wooden furniture.
Ranging from cozy to family, they all stand out — one with a red bathtub in a cozy corner, others with access to the garden for dog walkers, and a duplex room with a bathroom upstairs. Our family room has two bunk beds behind a floral curtain, delicious biscuits on the tea tray and a huge bathroom with a bath and two walk-in showers.
It’s a perfect pub, with a shepherd’s cottage spa in the garden and the delights of the Cotswolds on its doorstep.
The Double Red Duke is part of Georgie and Sam Pearman’s Country Creatures portfolio of hotels and restaurants
Jane writes, “The parking lot is packed when we arrive just after lunch and enter a world we don’t want to leave.”
Activities on offer at the pub include curling up with the newspaper by the fire and sinking into a sofa to sample a delicious cocktail
The star of the Double Red Duke menu is the flame grilled meat and fish, concludes Jane
The parking lot is packed when we arrive just after lunch and step into a world we don’t want to leave.
To one side of the tiled corridor, a row of cozy seating areas beckon for anyone who wants to curl up with the newspaper by the fire or sink into a sofa to sample one of the delicious cocktails on offer (we do both). On the other side is the pub proper, dimly lit with plush banquettes and low ceilings.
A lighter bar has been built at the rear, with bright red bar seats, wooden floors and beams under a glass roof leading to a garden room with an open fireplace.
Regular pub grub is on the menu, but the star of the show is flame grilled meat and fish. Warning: it’s easy to rack up a large food bill here, and a cooked breakfast costs extra. However, the continental spreads on the kitchen counter are decent, including overnight oats, yogurt, and sourdough.
You can eat at any of these convivial spots, but my son and I prefer the counter in the open kitchen, where we watch our dinner sizzles over charcoal, cherry, and applewood.
And relax: The shepherd’s hut spa in the garden of the Double Red Duke
The pub’s name comes from a 16th-century Clanfield farmer who gave away much of the double red corn he grew to the villagers. Rooms start from £120 per night
Food critics can’t get enough of this fodder, and you can see why, although the wood-roasted scallop appetizer turns out to be a disappointment. My son proclaims his recommended porterhouse for two as the “best steak ever” and keeps plowing through sticky toffee pudding.
My perfectly cooked turbot is complemented by deliciously tasty BBQ Hispi cabbage and miso butter, along with purple sprouting broccoli and vinaigrette.
It’s so good that the next day, after a two-hour hop down the Thames Path and a game of Scrabble by the fireplace, we’re left wondering at the Sunday roasts we saw being prepared in the kitchen.
Too late – again there is no more room in the inn.
The Double Red Duke, Clanfield, Oxfordshire. B&B costs from £120 per night (countrycreatures.com).