Ticked All The Boxes: The Old Stocks
For this month’s Ticked All The Boxes, I wanted to share with you one of my favourite Cotswold destinations in Stow on the Wold, The Old Stocks Inn. It has long been on my list of recommendations, but up until this week I had only been lucky enough to enjoy the restaurant and coffee shop (which are, in their own right, enough to warrant this blog post!).
A very good friend and I had arranged to meet there on a sunny Friday afternoon for a catch up (and perhaps a cheeky piece of cake!) and after months of gazing at the bedroom decor on their fabulous website, I decided this was my chance to ask the question… *hooray* one of their garden rooms was available to get a sneak peak! So I now feel far better qualified to rave about this little gem, but first I must set the scene…
Circa 2006, my family and I visited a fairly down at heel 17th-century pub, for a pretty average Sunday Roast. A few years went by, and funnily enough we hadn’t had the urge to return to the terracotta clad establishment for another mediocre meal, until 2014 when we noticed some hoarding appear in the market square and wondered what might emerge once the work was complete.
To say the inn needed a little attention was quite the understatement, but you would not believe your eyes if you saw the transformation! If you do get to visit, be sure to ask at Reception to see their book that logs the whole journey. It’s fascinating! You will be so shocked to see how it started compared to the finished article. The Old Stocks Inn is now an absolute must-visit if you’re ever in the area, if you are looking for great service, scrummy food, a home away from home in the centre of Stow on the Wold or, simply the reason it is on this blog, the bloomin’ marvellous interior design. The clever team behind the refurbishment has well and truly found the perfect balance, blending the building’s heritage and charm with a cool, contemporary flair.
You can read up about the full story on their brilliant blog, but I will include a few ‘before shots’ so you get some idea.
It would appear that the team ran into several obstacles throughout the process, with it being a Grade II listed building and the fact it hadn’t been touched for over 30 years. I was lucky enough to chat with Amanda (Guest Liaison Manager) on my last visit, who has been at the Old Stocks Inn for the whole transition start to finish and she mentioned that one day she came in and, from standing where the coffee shop is situated now, you could see right up into the eaves above the 2nd floor because the ceilings and floors were disintegrating.
So using a traditional technique of lime & horsehair, they found a local plasterer, Steve Saxton who was able to replace the ceiling above the restaurant and reception, and also source the lime & horsehair putty mix from a specialist producer in Cheltenham. As you can imagine, there are only a few craftsmen in the UK who have the skills to plaster using this method, so it is even more impressive that they were able to be so respectful of the building’s heritage and think about these small details that add so much value to the overall renovation.
Now this blog post could turn out to be a mini dissertation if I’m not careful so I’m going to jump ahead now and show you some of the gorgeous ‘after’ shots!
Each of the 16 rooms are unique, and graded into 6 different types (you can tell which is which by the colour coded retro telephones – I love this idea!): Amazing Great Rooms, Cosy Great Rooms, Garden Rooms, House Rooms, Cosy House Rooms, and a Family Room which was inspired by the owner’s three sons. Here you’ll find three cleverly designed bunk beds, a second TV and a games console – a very well thought out space if you’re travelling with little munchkins. Their website is genius because you can actually see the floorplan of every room, so if you are unsure which to pick you can have a really good browse before deciding!
I was lucky enough to see one of their Garden Rooms and boy, it did not disappoint. Upon entering the room, you hear the radio playing which instantly makes you feel at home, but there’s almost too much to take in at first, something unpredictable in every corner! Their ingenious designs and quirky touches, make the room feel so inviting. The fresh colours are warm and cheerful, but not too much to feel overpowering. The fabric choices give a nod to the inn’s past while putting comfort and practicality high on the agenda too. There are several furniture choices that also lean towards the traditional, but have been given the Old Stocks pizazz.
One thing I loved about this room was the bespoke headboard which allows the bed to easily be converted from a double to two twins, as the cushions can just slide along the rail. It looks so unusual, yet almost like it was always meant to be there, not to mention super comfy too! The ensuite was also very well laid out, managing to fit both a roll top bath and separate shower enclosure, into a relatively small space. I loved the tile picks, how they’ve used a ‘safe’ white subway tile, but laid them diagonally bringing a modern twist to the traditional sanitaryware designs.
I must also mention that the garden rooms (as you might imagine) are just off their beautiful walled garden, so in the warmer months you can enjoy easy access onto the terrace for some al fresco dining from their pizza oven, or apres fun with giant ‘Pass the Pigs’ and more! These three rooms are dog-friendly too – they will even provide you with a dog bed and bowl! *Oh, you also get complimentary gin in the mini bar… What’s not to love.
The restaurant, bar and cafe as I mentioned earlier, have been designed with such creativity and style, I almost didn’t need to ramble on about the bedrooms! The stone walls and oddly shaped rooms lend themselves to the unexpected, but little touches like light fittings and wall art compliment each area perfectly.
So as my friend and I sat by the window of the Little Stocks Coffee Shop, enjoying the sunshine beaming onto our faces, while munching on a naughty afternoon snack I realised their primary goal of making people feel at home while enjoying the beautiful Cotswolds, has been achieved in abundance. Each time I visit I come away feeling inspired by their imaginative design (standing ovation for Interior Designer, Jordan Littler), feeling more optimistic for having witnessed their enthusiasm in everything they do and definitely excited for my next visit.
Thank you for reading, have a lovely day ♥
Note: All photos are taken from The Old Stocks Inn website or Jordan Littler’s website