William Morris’s local gets a facelift

Brothers Olly and Will Oakley have joined forces to launch a pair of revamped 17th-century village pubs with rooms on the fringes of the Cotswolds in Oxfordshire.

The Harcourt Arms in Stanton Harcourt, near Witney, and the Plough in William Morris’s village of Kelmscott, near Lechlade, were acquired last year by ex-Wadworth executive Rupert Bagnall’s Ebrington Collection, based in Chipping Campden.

Will is general manager of the two pubs, with head chef Olly running the kitchens. At the Harcourt Arms the menu reflects his training in Catalonia, with Spanish influences in  dishes such as Wild mushroom coal-fired rice. At the Plough, the emphasis is more on British pub classics such as a Double Gloucester soufflé or a 700g Porterhouse to share.

The interior of the Plough, a stone’s-throw from Kelmscott Manor, William Morris’s country house, is studded with classic Morris patterns and textiles, and its rooms are named after his floral  designs such as ‘Larkspur’ and ‘Meadowsweet’. 

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