We recently took a romantic weekend break. It's the perfect time of year for a trip into the countryside, the weather was neither too cold or too hot and all around us, stunning autumnal colours adorned the trees. We were invited to stay at the Maytime Inn and enjoy all they had to offer. It was picture perfect. Nestled in the quaint chocolate box village of Asthall in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, this place was lovely, homely and peaceful.
To start, we had the pork & black pudding scotch egg & homemade brown sauce and the parma ham, blue cheese & figs on rye with balsamic glaze. The scotch egg passed the test- runny yolk, crispy outer. It was delicious! The other starter was very nice too, and even though it didn't really demonstrate any skill, as a combination it worked well and the quality of the ingredients used was clearly high.
For our mains, we both chose from the 'mains' section although there was a second 'classics' section with more main course dishes on it. I had the braised shin of beef, potato & celeriac mash, savoy cabbage & chantenay carrots. The beef was soft and tender and well, I love cabbage. Eating this dish made me feel all warm and homely - a good autumn to winter dish! Dave had the pheasant breast, puy lentils butternut squash, leeks & jus. We both agreed that the lentil and squash mixture was lovely. As for the pheasant - the texture was soft and flavour delicate but unfortunately, we both felt it was overcooked and dry. If the pheasant had been in the sauce, it would have been just right.
For pud, we shared (I always fill up on the savoury end of the meal and just ask for a second spoon to steal mouthfuls from my fellow diners pudding!). We had the blackberry parfait with honeycomb & apple sponge. Dave loves honeycomb and devoured it all quick sharp. I managed a couple of mouthfuls and everything was lovely and fresh tasting.
Before heading to bed, we sampled a couple of the gins from the extensive gin menu (apparently 39 at the last count). As you know, I am a big gin fan and was excited to try two I'd never heard of - Jinzu, a Japanese gin served with tonic & an apple slice and Larios, a Spanish gin served with orange and mediterranean tonic. They came in big wine glasses and it reminded me of how they serve G&Ts in Spain! Lovely.
After a very comfortable night's sleep and the novelty of waving at each other from opposite sides of the king size bed, we headed back into the main building for breakfast. I, of course, went for my usual eggs benedict. Dave had the full english, toast, cereal, yoghurt.. etc.. (i.e. everything on the menu. Andy, the Assistant Manager, remembered us from the night before and was the perfect host.
Once breakfast was done, we spent some time getting to know Alfie, the pub dog and chatting with the owner Dom. Such a lovely guy and a fantastic team, everyone was helpful, chatty but also professional. We then enjoyed a quick five minutes sitting on the giant chair in the gardens before saying farewell to the Maytime Inn. What a lovely find, we really enjoyed ourselves and would definitely like to head back in the summer months. If you want to stay, their rooms start at around £85 a night for bed and breakfast. Dinner was reasonably priced if you're looking for somewhere in that area for a meal - around £25-£30 a head for three courses and wine.
Before going home, we headed off into the autumnal sunshine for a big walk. We downloaded a 6.5 mile circular walk (see it here) which takes in some of the pretty villages, parts of the National Trust Sherborne estate and the River Windrush, all very near to the Maytime Inn. Unfortunately, despite being a girl guide and a scout in our youth, we were (as it turns out) useless at map reading and got lost several times. We ended up walking 10 miles in the end but eventually found our way home, via afternoon tea in the very pretty Bourton on the Water.
Want to know some more?
The Maytime Inn is online here and on Facebook here. Call them on: 01993 822068
The Maytime Inn,
*We were invited to stay at The Maytime Inn and our dinner, bed and breakfast were complimentary. My opinion is my own as always, if I love it, I'll say so, and vice versa*