Ticked All The Boxes: The Sheep On Sheep Street
One of my favourite places in the world? Stow on the Wold, no question.
I have already written a blog post about The Old Stocks Inn (head over and have a read here if you haven’t yet, better still – plan a visit!). Hands down one of my top recommendations if you’re in the area, but in the last 6 months or so I have discovered yet another treat… The Sheep on Sheep Street. I mean, top marks for the name alone hey!
If you’re looking for understated & effortlessly chic interior design, with a cool Soho vibe perfectly mixed with the more rustic, traditional Cotswold charm then look no further. Their branding is cleverly portrayed with their use of chevrons and brass elements throughout, and their top notch service & ‘happy to help’ ethos is carried through the whole team, and met with only the most delicious & exciting array of food & drink on offer too.
Since the 1980s this beautiful 17th century B&B was known as The Grapevine Hotel and you could say it was in need of a little tender loving care! Luckily for us, in July 2016 Brakspear opened the doors to a very good looking new & improved Cotswold must-visit.
Although there are 22 beautiful en suite rooms, I am going to focus on purely the design of the dining room and bar because (a) I would only be going on what I’ve seen of the bedrooms on their website whereas I have been into the restaurant quite a few times already and (b) well, there’s plenty for me to witter on about before this blog post ends up being a short book.
What I will say however is that I fully believe them when they boast “All the rooms are decorated to a high standard, offering a comfy place to stay. Their sophisticated simplicity gives them a luxurious feel. They all have en-suite bathrooms and breakfast is always included.” (*Nice touch!) If the rest of the decor is anything to go by, I have no doubt that every single one of the 22 en suite rooms is nothing short of gorgeous!
So about this dining room and bar…
As soon as you walk in, you’ll notice cosy fires, pops of colour against a warm & slightly retro palette, the perfect mix of rustic and contemporary and the buzz of very happy customers. The open kitchen and wood-fired pizza oven are a real talking point (and if you’re anything like me, makes it very hard to resist trying the pizza even when everything else on the menu looks so tasty!). The bar is particularly striking, not just because of it’s length but also the tiled front and vintage lighting.
The main dining area has been cleverly designed to provide plentiful seating but in a way that remains on the right side of sociable! On my first visit back in the summer, a young family visiting from America spent most of the evening chatting with their neighbours on the next table, a very British couple in their 60s and it was just lovely to see them sharing their Cotswolds stories with each other. And yet, if you wanted to have a private dining experience, that was completely doable too. Some of the tables are even set neatly in a little corner so if you were having a celebratory meal out for instance, it might be nice to request one of these.
Now for a slight side note: If like me, you were fooled into thinking that perhaps not much thought went in to the renaming process, let me put you straight. I have since found out that the Cotswolds is famous for sheep farming, and there is even a breed of sheep named after the place. Not only that but “cots” actually means stone sheep shelters and “wold” means rolling hills. So being located on Sheep Street as well, it all ties in pretty nicely.
A sweet little nod to said sheep farming is their choice of room dividers (see below). My “nothing-gets-past-me” Mum actually pointed this out… possibly because she spent a fair bit of her childhood on a farm? But I just love how this is subtle enough to blend with the rest of the design, but for those eagle eyed guests, it provides a sympathetic homage to the heritage of the building.
Other points worth mentioning are the FABULOUS floor tiles sectioning the bench seating area from the main part which sits on chevron wooden flooring. These Baker Hexagonal Cement Tiles have been some of my favourites for a while now, so spotting them here only made me love it all the more!
This area also features a gallery wall (always a winner when there’s an expanse of blank wall like this). It’s a great idea to have a shelf running beneath the frames to display plants and ornaments, to soften the look slightly. You can definitely tell how much care and attention went into selecting every single decorative piece… ram’s horns casually sat on their upright piano is just one example!
The colour scheme is… ingenious. I don’t think I would have ordinarily put this palette together, but I think that’s what makes it so special. It makes you notice certain items, that perhaps would have slipped into the background, but it is in no way distracting to the overall style. Top marks!
And finally, I just wanted to quickly talk about the garden and rear patio area which beautifully complements everything on the inside… You’ll find an outdoor dining area, feature fireplace and in dry weather, the most gorgeous fabrics on the seat cushions!
Interesting fact: The main dining area you see today was at one stage a conservatory, built by the previous owners. It was built around a grapevine which at the time was over 120 years old (hence the inspiration for the name). A cutting of the original grapevine has been transplanted into the new garden area. I feel like this totally sums up the overall design brief for the renovations – nothing has been modified without first sensitively looking at what was there already.
I really do hope I’ve done this place justice. I have always had such a great experience here, and as a lover of interior design, the combination of stunning decor, delicious food & drink, and most of the time pretty decent company… it was a no brainer to add it to my ‘Ticked All The Boxes‘ series.
Thanks so much for reading. Have a wonderful day ♥
*All imagery has been taken from the Sheep on Sheep Street website.