All posts by Jean-Marie Lauzier

Christmas hotel Cotswolds

Christmas & New Year 2019/20 at the Bull

We are already delighted to announce that we will be welcoming guests for special stays over Christmas 2019 and New Year 2019/20.

Christmas 2019 at the Bull

This year we are offering a minimum 3-night Bed & Breakfast stay over Christmas with standard, superior and four-poster rooms available, plus the ability to book Champagne and chocolates on arrival for that little extra treat.

Separately, for both staying and non-staying guests, we will offer a superb 4-course Christmas Day lunch for £69 pp.

New Year 2019/20

To bring in the New Year in style and comfort, book our minimum 2-night stay at the Bull, again with every kind of room available.

Contact us NOW for best rates

To book for either Christmas or New Year, please contact our friendly staff, either by email info@bullatburford.co.uk or by phone +44 (0)1193 822220.

The Bull at Burford

Celebrating centuries of history at the Bull

We recently came across over some historical research about the Bull, which dates the building back to 1397. Believe it or not, from being used as a buther’s shop, it also suggests that the building welcomed some notable guests later on in the 17th century, including Lord Nelson and even King Charles II.

As an inn, the Bull has been receiving guests since 1610 – that’s 409 years – and there’s also a reason why we have the only red brick facade in Burford.

A history of the Bull at Burford

1397 – A Papal Bull authorised the construction of a guest house on the site

1473 – Records from this year show that there was a building on this site called “The Bull” belonging to Burford merchant John Pinnock, who left it first to his son John, who owned the Angel next door on Witney Street.

1489 – John’s daughter signed the property over to the trustees of the Parish Church

1539 – Trustees leased the Bull to butcher Richard Dalby (and later to his son, also Richard)

1588 – The property was bought from the Crown by William Typper and Robert Dawe, but in 1595 it was reacquired for the town

1610 – Having been used during the reformation as a butcher’s shop, in 1610 John Silvester moved the existing Bull Inn from 111–113 High Street to 105 High Street and set about renovating certain parts of the building, including fireplaces and panelling.

1630 – The Bull appears to have been used by Royalist troops for a time during the Civil War. The innkeeper at this time was John Cooke

1670 – Famous visitors included Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton (the Trafalgar Suite is named in memory of their stay) as well as King Charles II and his mistress Nell Gwynne. In fact, Charles Beauclerk, the son of King Charles II and Nell Gwynne was created ‘Earl of Burford’ and later Duke of St. Albans.

1690 – The Bull is the only red brick building on Burford High Street and the facade was added at roughly this time, either by innkeeper William Tash or his son, John who died in 1747.

1750 – Burford was by this time a very busy stop on the route from London to Cheltenham and Wales, and the Bull prospered from this trade. The Market Room (now rooms 8 and 9) was in demand for meetings, sales, Auctions, plays and balls.

1768 – The princely sum of £196 was spent on further building work.

1784 – The Bull continued to attract the rich and famous but other tastes were also catered for, with cock-fighting at the Bull.

1793 – Now owned by John Stevens, former butler at Cliveden, the Bull hosted a ball after the annual Venison Feast.

1797 – The Bull suffered a serious fire, killing seven coach horses.

1802 – Stevens hosted a lunchtime visit by Lord Nelson and Emma Hamilton when on their way to Milford Haven. The party obtained new horses at the Bull.

1820 – Stevens died and the bull was run by his widow and son, James into the 1830s.

1873 – The Market Room ceased to be used for town business, the market ended as the town went through a period of decline.

1936 – By now owned by Clinch & Co. of Witney, Burford and the Bull saw a period of revival as it could cater for motorists and cyclists. The Bull was offered at this time as “a real old hostelry which has not been restored, yet abounds with possibilities for opening up old fireplaces, beamed ceilings and walls.”

1982 – The building suffered a fire but remained open as an inn

2007 – Condemned for fire and safety acquired by the current owners, who completed major renovation work

2019 – Ten years after being re-opened by the current owners, the Bull is a thriving inn with a friendly welcome, comfortable rooms, wonderful food and happy guests.

It’s worth remembering, though, that no building with over 600 years of history doesn’t have the odd squeaky floor!

Historic Hotel in Burford with great food

Reviews fit for a king!

Let’s start with an interesting fact: recent research has shed light on the fact that King Charles II may have passed through the Bull with his mistress Nell Gwynne in the late 1600s.

Burford gets busy in the spring and summer but nowhere near as busy, relatively, as it was in the late 17th and 18th centuries. Back then it was a thriving stop on the route from London to Cheltenham and Wales, and the Bull prospered from that trade. The “Market Room” (now rooms 8 and 9) was in demand for meetings, sales, auctions, plays and balls. I wonder what kind of ‘reviews’ the Inn used to get…

300-400 years on, thanks to everyone for an amazing selection of reviews in April 2019! It appears that our rooms, new all-day menu and new Sunday roast price have gone down a treat.

Here are the first few reviews on both Tripadvisor and Facebook – please read more for yourself, and also don’t forget to leave your own review if you have stayed with us recently.

Check our latest deals >>

Latest from Facebook (more >>)

Great food, chicken Sunday roast. Highly recommended. Nice atmosphere and hard working staff. Will be back. Very reasonable prices too”

Second to none! food is above average more of 5* restaurant. We stayed in room 18, boutique style, at the top of the house, attic, and took our dog cooper. Extremely clean, staff excellent, food excellent breakfast award winning! Couldn’t fault a thing. Will be a regular visitor there, without a doubt.”

Great room and lovely breakfast.”

Latest on Tripadvisor (more >>)

Marvellous visit, staff work above and beyond – Rooms were very clean and with comfortable beds. The building is beautiful. We dined one evening in the attached restaurant, I had the venison which was very tasty and cooked well, again with great service throughout. I would thoroughly recommend and would stay there again”

Easter Weekend – This place was fantastic. They were so accommodating, especially for the little dog we had with us. The girl on reception was just lovely and so helpful. Then the breakfast…..that is something to behold….. full cooked breakfast, huge buffet with cold meats, fruit, bread, cereal…..I could have stayed there all day….I wanted to.”

Mini Honeymoon – Cannot recommend this hotel enough. Staff are amazing, warm and friendly. It’s clean and welcoming. Food is fantastic. Dog friendly too. Will definitely be back. They are more than 5 stars I’d give them 10!”

Spacious quiet and well furnished courtyard room, perfect as travelling with a dog – Staff all extremely helpful, clean well stocked room which was lovely and warm on arrival. Much larger than it looks and although car park small a large free car park is about 4 minutes walk away. Good evening meal and excellent breakfast selection.”

Thanks again for all your reviews and we look forward to welcoming you to the Bull in the near future!

Bull at Burford hotel Cotswolds

Bull gift voucher: the perfect Christmas present?

I know the countdown to 25 December seems to get longer every year, but I think it’s OK to start talking about Christmas on the 1 November and I wanted to let you know about some great new offers at the Bull this year!

Gift vouchers

We recently launched gift vouchers on our website. These can be bought online HERE and basically mean that you can give someone a gift of staying or eating at the Bull, with the flexibility of redeeming whenever they want. They’re already proving really popular so take a look.

Christmas & New Year at the Bull!

We also recently launched our Bull at Burford Christmas and New Year’s Eve packages. These include a wonderful 3-night stay on 24th, 25th and 26th December from just £202.50 per person including a bottle of champagne on arrival and a New Year’s Eve 2-night stay from just £114 per person with extra nights available.

Both of these are really popular so get in there quick, and if you want to come to the Bull but already have plans over the festive period, we have lots of other deals available.

Christmas Day lunch & office parties

If you’re fed up with all the cooking and washing up and would prefer to go out this year, come to us for Christmas lunch, or if you’re a local business looking for a Christmas party our 4-course Christmas Party menu is perfect and great value at just £24.00 per person, leaving you more than enough spare to get taxis to and from Burford!

As ever, we can be flexible and cater for all kinds of needs so if you have any questions please give our friendly staff a ring on 01993 822220! We look forward to seeing you at the Bull.

We look forward to welcoming you at the Bull.

Bull at Burford restaurant

New menu of delights for the autumn

In my last Bull Bulletin I celebrated the fact that the Bull at Burford had been welcoming guests as a Cotswold inn since 1610! This time is slightly less grandiose but I wanted to let everyone know that our head chef Pablo has published a new menu this week, featuring many of the old favourites as well as some new wonderful dishes.

So what would I eat? A couple of my favourites from the lunch menu would be the sharing platter of whitebait, bravas, crispy aubergines and chicken skewers and also the fish platter of smoked salmon, dressed crayfish, pickled herring, mackerel pate, smoked gravlax and salmon tartare.

A lot of our lunchtime eaters go for the fish and chips, which is excellent with homemade tartare and chunky chips, and also the selection of sandwiches, which are all served with mixed leaves and also French fries.

On the dinner menu, among the starters I love the fish platter, which I could eat every day, the scallops and the beef cheek croquettes and from the mains I often go for the fresh fish, which comes in from Brixham every day.

Something a bit special

If I were to go for something a bit different, especially as the autumn draws in, it would be the venison which is wonderful. The steak is always good too and we’ve had great compliments about the curry, although I must admit that I’m not a big curry eater so I just smell the lovely aroma as it wafts past.

I’m not a big dessert eater either, but we get compliments on those all of the time! In fact someone ordered three last week!

What I can guarantee is that there is something to suit everyone’s taste and budget, including gluten free and vegetarian options right through the menu, which we’re also proud of.

We look forward to welcoming you in our bar, reception lounge or restaurant, or even outside if the sun comes out again. And remember, you can get even better value on our food by taking us up on one of our Cotswold Special Offers and our Burford dinner bed and breakfast rates.

fawlty towers

Remembering Fawlty Towers and a terrine to die for

This time of year always reminds me of Fawlty Towers and the Wooburn Grange in Buckinghamshire. Not many people know that the outside of the hotel used in the famous sitcom was not in Torquay but the Wooburn Grange, and at the time I was manager there!

This little quirk of history recently produced a funny moment for my oldest son while working at a sporting event. Standing by the side of a pitch, he was chatting with the television floor manager Tony about his first jobs in TV. Tony was about my age and explained that one of his first jobs in the 1970s had been on Fawlty Towers for the BBC.

He and a few of his colleagues turned up at the venue, the Grange, on the wrong day and were greeted by a young Frenchman who offered them a drink and explained it was no problem still to take a look around. After telling this story, Tony was amazed when my son replied: “Tony, that Frenchman was my dad!”

It was early on in my career, having only recently arrived from France, and I still remember back very fondly to those times, especially in the spring and summer months. Fortunately, none of the Fawlty Towers chaos rubbed off, BUT guests who stay with us and eat in the restaurant will sometimes talk with our head chef Pablo and get to sample his English accent, which is a little reminiscent of Manuel, Andrew Sachs’ immortalised waiter from Fawlty Towers!

Pablo’s Recipe & Top Tip

For this Bulletin, Pablo has offered up one of his favourite recipes, his salmon and crayfish terrine currently on our menu, and don’t miss the top tip: these ingredients will make a terrine to serve 12. Once you’ve put the ingredients together and made the terrine, the magic tip is to leave it in the fridge for at least eight hours before serving and eating. Happy cooking.

• 300g crayfish, sliced
• 200g fresh spinach
• 15g unsalted butter
• freshly ground black pepper
• 200g salmon fillet, cooked and flaked
• 200g prawns, cooked and chopped
• zest of 1 lemon
• 3 tablespoons lemon juice
• 3 pinches cayenne pepper
• 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
• salt to taste
• 4 level teaspoons powdered gelatine or use 4 or 5 sheets of gelatine
• 250ml double cream

Amazing Summer Deals

Remember to check out our amazing deals on mid-week stays and Sunday Lunch-Sleep-Breakfast, plus unbeatable prices for B&B and Dinner B&B.

Welcome to Burford

Summer specials at the Bull

We’re entering into a really busy part of the year when the Cotswolds area, including Burford, receives thousands upon thousands of visitors. The staff really enjoy this as there’s nothing better than a busy hotel and our Manager Kali and Head Chef Pablo have put together two really great offers, both of which have hidden benefits!

The Sunday Stroll

I love this deal and wish other hotels would do it. Arrive at the Bull for a delicious Sunday lunch, with the additional benefit of an early check-in. If you feel up to it you can then head out for a walk in the country – and remember dogs are very much allowed and welcome at the Bull.

Then come back to us in time for a light evening meal, for which you receive a voucher towards the cost. Then a good night’s sleep and a delicious breakfast on Monday morning to set you up for the week! At £74.50 per person, based on two sharing, I think this is a great deal on a standard room, or you can upgrade to a superior for a little more.

3-night Midweek break

If you want something a little longer, and can get away during the week, our three-night stay could be just for you. This is available from Sunday to Thursday assuming three consecutive nights stay, bed and breakfast, with TWO nights’ dinner included in our restaurant or bar. And to get things off to the best possible start, you also have champagne on arrival.

Knowing how good our food is, from £199 per person for the three nights including the two dinner allowances, I think this is great value and again I wish more hotels would do something like it!

Book one of these offers now! We hope to see you soon.

Jean-Marie Lauzier, owner, Bull at Burford

Cotswolds hotel

5-star guests leaving 5-star reviews

This month I wanted to return the favour and take a moment to thank all the people who leave great reviews for the Bull and its restaurant, whether on Tripadvisor, Facebook or anywhere else.

I am very proud of our staff, who work very hard to make your stay at the Bull as comfortable, enjoyable and delicious as possible, so naturally it’s extremely gratifying for all of us to hear that you’ve had a great time.

In the past week, for example, we’ve had a review by ‘Inspector1’ (whose name immediately got the pulse racing) who announced on Tripadvisor that he had enjoyed “an excellent stay at The Bull” and wrote of “a pleasantly warm and well equipped room. A hearty dinner, too, followed by a substantial breakfast. A quintessentially English experience!”

Another guest from Wales wrote: “So glad we chose the Bull. Weather was not so good but room was warm, welcoming and very comfortable. Bathroom had warm towel rails with huge fluffy white towels, lovely toiletries. Meals were exceptional especially the breakfasts which had such a variety of choices, one of the best we’ve ever had.” That was nice to read as we pride ourselves on our breakfast.

“Worth the drive from Yorkshire every time”

Trudy from Birmingham commented: “Can’t recommend the hotel highly enough. Lovely old room with bathroom, excellent restaurant and friendly, helpful staff.” Trudy, I must apologise if the central heating sounded like a ‘motorbike’ at times – thanks for letting us know, we will definitely look into it!

Meanwhile, on Facebook (where we average 4.7 out of 5 in reviews) Faith Harvey recently wrote: “Our favourite place. We keep coming back here because of the amazing staff and service, as always. Worth the drive from Yorkshire every time.” We are extremely proud and pleased to have so many return guests, and many are taking advantage of our special spring offers.

Reviews like these warm the heart and also make us want to improve even more. We don’t turn a blind eye to the occasional negative comment: parking is at a premium at the rear of the hotel, as pointed out by some reviewers, but in 99% of cases this is easily overcome, either by parking on the street outside the hotel or in the free public car park a couple of hundred yards away.

Dogs welcome!

And finally this time, as a dog lover, I can confirm that we DO welcome dogs at the Bull and our charge of £10 per night for a dog to stay is relatively low compared with other hotels. Understandably, dog are not allowed in the restaurant, however we can always set our guests up to dine in our bar, which has recently undergone another transformation!

We look forward to welcoming you at the Bull – we have a number of special offers currently on for staying and eating, which you can only book direct through our website. Please take a look, get in touch with our friendly staff and hopefully you’ll be the next to leave us a 5-star review!

One last thing: for all our latest offers and news, sign up to our newsletter.

Yours,
Jean-Marie Lauzier, Owner

Bull at Burford crumble

A perfect Cotswold Mother’s Day treat

I have just been reliably informed by our manager Kali that we still have a few tables spare for Mother’s Day, which can only mean that not enough people have heard about our special menu!

Head Chef Pablo has just changed the dinner menu for springtime, and at the same time he came up with a lovely Mothering Sunday menu, either two or three courses. You can take it from me that any of these choices will leave you – and more importantly your mother, daughter, wife, grand-mother etc – extremely happy with whatever you eat.

And for an extra-special experience, why not treat that special person to a night away too?

For this, you can either ring us up on 01993 822220 and ask about availability for the Saturday and/or Sunday night (I’m sure our reception staff will also do you a good package including the Sunday lunch), OR you can look at the Sunday Stroller that we already have in our current special offers.

If it were me, I would start with the fantastic fish platter, which I wrote about in my last Bulletin, and then I’d either go for the salmon or the pork. Or maybe the chicken, or the beef. Or the risotto! And I am not really a pudding person so would go for the cheese board, but all the desserts are made in the kitchen and absolutely delicious.

Make sure you ring soon or you’ll miss the last few tables..

Restaurant Cotswolds

The perfect spring starter

I love Burford in the springtime. The trees, shrubs and hanging baskets that line a large part of the high street come into full bloom and the hustle bustle returns to the town.

Outside the hotel our tables and chairs become very popular with people wanting to stop by for a morning coffee, lunch or a drink from the bar and the whole place just starts to feel alive again.

In the kitchen it also typically brings a new emphasis and our head chef Pablo will be bringing out a new menu in the next week or so for lunch and dinner in our restaurant and bar.

One of our more popular starters at this time of year – in fact it’s popular all year round – is the fish platter, pictured above. It’s a lovely combination of flavours: four peeled king prawns cooked in sweet chilli sauce, gravlax, smoked salmon, herring rollmops, red apple, crayfish in marie-rose sauce and tartare sauce.

The two sauces make all the difference so here’s a tip from the kitchen: For the Marie-Rose you need ketchup, mayonnaise, brandy, tabasco and Worcester sauce. And for the tartare, Pablo uses mini capers, smoked salmon, cornichons, gherkins, red onion, mayonnaise and a dash of English mustard. The taste combinations are wonderful and it makes for the perfect spring starter.

Keep you eyes peeled for our new menus and also our latest offers for weekend and midweek stays, with dinners included. Our guests have been raving about them all winter!