Great British Boltholes: A wood-fired slice of Cotswolds heaven at The Stump – a 17th-century roadside inn
- The Stump has just opened outside of Cirencester and boasts 10 bedrooms
- It was snapped up by London Bridge-based pizza maestros Baz & Fred a year ago
- The menu is confident with just seven pizzas and four pastas to choose from
Decent gastropubs are ten-a-penny in the Cotswolds; you really don’t have to wind far through the region’s famous golden villages to find a thatched tavern that can serve up thoughtful food under ancient beams.
What you won’t often find scratched on the chalkboard at these toasty alehouses, however, is proper, wood-fired pizza.
And that’s where the newly renovated 17th-century roadside inn The Stump, just outside Cirencester on the A429, finds its niche.
The newly renovated 17th-century roadside inn The Stump, just outside Cirencester on the A429
Formerly the ailing but historic Hare and Hounds, The Stump was snapped up by London Bridge-based pizza maestros Baz & Fred a year ago and their neon-red branding now glows as brightly as the embers in the pub’s three roaring fires.
The two-man band, who grew up in the area, have renovated all ten bedrooms that are annexed behind the main building, and it’s a sort of rustic motel – with Farrow & Ball paint on the doors.
In the pub, The Stump’s menu is confident, pared down to seven pizzas and four pastas, with a handful of specials. Prices are reasonable, with a Dorset crab linguine the most expensive main at £14.50.
Discs of dough are puffed up and fired to perfection in a silver-domed oven and the genuinely enticing toppings – nduja (spreadable salami), raw honey and whipped ricotta, among them – breathe new life into the stone-baked artform.
The back of the oak-beamed pub, with the biggest of the open fires, is a natural dining area but should you want to eat pizza by the pool table in the front, that’s fine too.
The bedrooms range from a king-size master suite with a roll-top bath to small doubles, and are style-conscious but unfussy. Comfy beds, brand new bathrooms – with full-size products from Wiltshire-based brand Bramley – and a TV loaded with Amazon and Netflix make a date with the duvet hard to resist when you’re dozy on carbs and good wine.
In the pub, The Stump’s menu is confident, pared down to seven pizzas and four pastas, with a handful of specials
Breakfast, like dinner, is a simple but well executed affair: yogurt, berries and granola; sourdough and jams; or eggs and bacon.
So, who’s the clientele? Locals with their dogs chew the cud over a pint of Hooky, amber nectar produced by the nearby Hook Norton brewery.
There’s a good sprinkling of weekending Londoners, escaping the big smoke safe in the knowledge that, when they flick the mud from their boots, someone at the bar will know how to make a Negroni. And families too, delighted by a menu their brood will actually enjoy eating from.
The USP: An ancient Cotswold creamy stone pub now making sweet music with an Italian staple.
The rooms: Great value. Clean lines, good beds – bedecked in white linen – and swish bathrooms.
The food: Local ale, hipster cocktails and good house wines marry perfectly with killer pizzas and delicious pasta.