The Artist Residence in the hamlet of South Leigh, Oxfordshire with its slick styling and cleverly chosen art, is a welcome antidote to traditional Cotswolds inns. Muddy loves.
The quiet, unassuming village of South Leigh, close to Witney in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, is the lucky recipient of one of the coolest boutique hotels in the county. The original Artist Residence started in Brighton with a hotel just back from the sea-front that needed decorating on a tight budget – hence an invitation for local artists to stay for free in return for their visual input. The results were modern, quirky and fun and caught on immediately, resulting in sister hotels in London, Penzance, Bristol (opening in March) and our own Oxfordshire outpost– a 16th century thatched inn, with just five bedrooms and three suites, including a converted Shepherd’s Hut.
The downstairs is a pub, The Mason’s Arms, but it’s probably one of the most instagrammable spaces in Oxfordshire – it’s a real traditional/modern mash up, with beautiful curved wood settles, heavy beams and fireplaces and William Morris wallpaper teamed with neon and modern art and humour (anywhere where you enter the first room to see a crooked neon cross on a wall and a sign for No Riff Raff gets my vote). It’s like the punk younger sister of Soho Farmhouse.
Food here is quality crowd-pleasy gastropub fare. It also ticks boxes beyond those staying with breakfast, afternoon teas, Sunday lunches and bar snacky/sharey options available. Although its style aesthetic will appeal to couples, the pub caters well for kids who have their own menus, including veggie options.
Artist Residence, Station Road, South Leigh, Oxfordshire, OX29 6XN