First look: Inside Daylesford Organic's newest Cotswolds pub

Much loved by locals, The Three Horseshoes near Burford, has retained its community feel as it reveals a refreshing revamp this January 2024.

By Emma Luther  |  Published

Expanding the stable of Daylesford Organic-owned pubs to four, The Three Horseshoes in Asthall near Burford has had a facelift.

In a move away from The Wild Rabbit in Kingham, The Fox at Oddington and The Bell at Charlbury, this pub which serves five surrounding villages has very much retained its local community feel.

Trademark Daylesford elements have been pared back, with simple touches of fresh herbs and flowers in vases on tables and windowsills and sheepskin rugs on chairs as well as curved cutlery and traditional crockery, giving hints of its new ownership rather than the strongly styled design stamp that's showcased in the other pubs.

It's a local that feels well-loved and enhanced with a fresh lick of paint brightening the beams surrounding the bar, creating a lighter, brighter space than the older dark beams of the previously named The Maytime Inn, which has been family-owned for generations.

The pricing of the drinks is designed to welcome walk-in drinkers — getting a pint of Hawkstone lager for a fiver feels great value in the current climate of spirit-crushing inflation.

There are regular top-notch live music acts to add atmosphere to the really quite spacious pub, with three dining spaces surrounding the airy bar area.

The outside space has been smartened up with neat pots of herbs sitting on rows of tables and there are cosy, refreshed bedrooms for overnight stays, too.

It all combines to create a feeling of understated luxury, grounded in a place to relax, not show-off.

The menu is down-to-earth with nibbles including beetroot hummus with crudites and pork belly bites with spiced date and apple sauce.

Starters range from carrot and coriander soup to game parfait, pear chutney, melba toast with an average £11 price point. The vibrant chilli-flecked mussels in a bay broth are a perfect soul-soothing winter warmer.

Mains of pie of the day and ale-battered haddock and chips are priced slightly higher than your average pub, but aren't wallet crushing. The velvety rib eye steak is sublime, while the rich venison stew is enhanced with colourful crunchy picked red cabbage.

Nods to the surrounding countryside are reflected in boar burgers instead of standard beef burgers.

What makes the food stand apart though, is the creativity of the chef. He'll happily go off-piste and come up with suggestions for those who might be dairy- or gluten-free.

After meeting the newest member of the Daylesford Stays pub collection, the conclusion is that it's thoroughly worth visiting for the dishes, homely cosy atmosphere and heart-warming sense that local village life has been invested in and properly cherished. The Three Horseshoes is a solid addition to Cotswolds dining in 2024.

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