Hung in funky bling, Elephant and Castle is glamorous and fabulous. Set in a one-acre slice of Warwickshire, it invites hens and stags to revel without a pause in a refurbished open-plan wonderworld. Outside, all is olde-worlde; inside, it’s a different story, yet Elephant and Castle still exudes period charm alongside the party promise.
It’s just 25 minutes by taxi to the buzz of Birmingham and a matter of minutes on foot to the village pubs. Back at base, the party continues, amid stone floors, white walls and beams, and refectory-style, all-in dining. The sitting room comes split: choose from formality or frolics in front of inglenook logs and TV shows.
At Elephant and Castle, everything is refurbished, replumbed and rewired. An Aga country kitchen offers heat and hearty meals or a bar equipped with wireless speakers. The views from the paddock across the rolling fields would clear any head. Six bedrooms including an en-suite annex or another with vaulted ceiling, Velux windows and stories to tell.
Cucumber sandwiches by the lake might not be on the agenda, but the grounds here offer plenty party potential. After a night on the tiles, you can sit under the stars in the hot tub that bubbles invitingly in the village stillness.
The yawning lawn that stretches out before you suggests a marquee, cricket or a kickabout. The terrace seats 18 for steaks and ale or Pimm’s in the country air, and there’s a pond with banks fit for a picnic.
From the paddock at the foot of the garden, the views of rolling fields and ancient oaks are forever England. Soak them up, enjoy the air, clear the head and do it all again tomorrow.
The log baskets are filled, the inglenook fireplace awaits and the exposed beams and timber frame remind you that this was once a pub. Back in 1751, the original owner bought it to put an end to the drinking that disturbed her walk to church. Raise a glass to Jane Ryland of Shakespeare Hall.
There’s a delightful double aspect from the sitting room over the expansive acreage and plenty space for kicking back and picking through the vast pile of DVDs. Choose well, put your feet up, burn some popcorn and break out the beers or cocktails.
Elephant and Castle is old only on the outside. Yet the modernity inside comes with plenty of nods to a distinguished past. There’s a rustic allure to the exposed beams and timber frame mixed with modern, sleek lines and quirky furnishings.
For cooks, the country kitchen’s on point, with an Aga supplying both heat and homely meals. Eat in here around the rustic table, in the dining room, refec-style for 16, or out on the terrace in the sunshine to the sound of the birds, the bees and the wind through the boughs.
If catering’s not you, it can certainly be us. If a special celebration or fully catered break is on the cards, call up our chef for a summer salad or a winter warmer. We’ll even wave our wands over the washing-up.
Eating out? Stagger back from the Tom o’ the Wood full of steak-and-kidney pudding or garlic-roasted pork chop, or potter over to The Boot for guinea fowl or Hereford ribeye topped off with fine wines and cask ales. In nearby Lapworth, The Punch Bowl combines beams and a log fire with modern British menus.
Make a night of it in bouncy Brum, with simply sublime British and European menus at Adam’s or a nine-course tasting menu at The Wilderness. Elsewhere, pick from French, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese and more. For the finest of fine dining, try Carters of Moseley, basking in the glow of its Michelin star.
Elephant and Castle sleeps 18 (and two pooches) in six bedrooms. Five are upstairs, the pick of the crop featuring a vaulted ceiling, Velux windows, exposed beams and an interesting tale to tell. Three bedrooms come with en-suite bathrooms, and a family bathroom serves the other rooms.
Need your own space? Stay in the sixth bedroom, a separate annex with an en-suite bathroom and cellar below. A private door makes this ideal for peace, quiet and personal space.