As much as we’d all like to check into Soho Farmhouse, not all budgets stretch that far. Thankfully, there are plenty of charming UK boltholes an hour outside of London to satisfy our need for some country air. Enter the Bel & The Dragon, a charming pub with rooms that boasts supper clubs, cool interiors and a cellar full of vintage wines for a reasonable £115 per night.
SL went to check it out….
Where? Just over an hour from London, Bel & The Dragon sits in the postcard perfect village of Odiham in Hampshire. Trains run every ten minutes from Waterloo, making the Bel the ideal weekend break for city folk seeking fresh air and country walks.
The interiors… Are full of homely touches, from tartan throws in pastel hues to comfy arm chairs and exposed beams. But the free-standing bath, huge beds and a complimentary bottle of Sipsmith Sloe Gin make the Bel & The Dragon more than just a pub with rooms.
The food… With a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients – there’s a ‘Root to Table’ sustainability promise – you can enjoy hearty pub classics with a twist from the kitchen’s changing seasonal menu. An open kitchen and banquette seating creates an intimate yet laid-back vibe, so we recommend ordering the speciality sharing dishes. Start with the Devonshire mussels served with freshly baked crusty bread before opting for filet of beef cooked on a Josper grill or the mouth-watering salt baked lamb.
And for breakfast… Treat yourself to the indulgent blueberry pancakes served with crispy bacon, caramelised banana and clotted cream.
What is there to do? Scenic walks around the area give you the chance to work off that Sunday roast. For more of a challenge, spend an afternoon walking to the medieval ruins of Odiham castle before holing up in the bar with a vintage wine in front of the open fireplace.
Who goes? Couples looking for some London respite. The pub offers 15 generous rooms as well as a newly renovated coach house for group bookings and family friendly sharing rooms, but for its relaxed, romantic atmosphere, the Bel is perfect for a quiet getaway for two.
We’ll go back for… The little touches, from the complimentary whisky station (ideal for a night cap) to the cosy snugs where you can curl up with a good book.
Anything else? The food alone makes it worth a visit, but the seasonal supper clubs with Laurent-Perrier, local live music and cellar wine tastings mean there are plenty of reasons to book.
Rooms with breakfast start from £115 per night, with two-night weekend rates from £200. To book now call 01256 702696.