Recent Posts
  • Celebrating 408 years of history at the Bull

    Jul, 2018

    I’d like to start again by thanking the many people who have reviewed the Bull at Burford over the past month on Tripadvisor, Facebook, Booking.com or elsewhere.

    I find reviews fascinating. The vast majority of people who come and stay with us know what they’re going to get: a warm friendly welcome, great service, accommodation comfortably in the 3-star bracket, lovely food probably a bit above that and the odd creaky floor befitting a building first officially documented in 1473! Their reviews of the Bull and of Burford are based very much on those expectations.

    Every now and then we welcome a guest who is clearly more used to ‘modern’ than ‘historic’! Usually they leave days later totally won over by the charms of our historic coaching inn, but for others floors and walls simply need to be at a right angle, and I can’t do anything for them!

    Did you know: we moved in 1610!

    I recently stumbled over some historical dates and information and thought I’d share them. A house is first documented at 105 High Street from 1473, when the prominent Burford merchant John Pinnock left it first to his son and granddaughter, and then to the parish church.

    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 the 17th-century fireplaces and panelling.

    So as an inn, the building has been receiving guests ever since 1610 – that’s 408 years! Famous visitors have 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. And a few more in recent years.

    The only red brick building in Burford

    The striking brick and stone façade (the Bull is the only red brick building in Burford High Street) was added in the 18th century, probably around 1715 by the innkeeper William Tash. Half a century later, in 1768, £196 was spent on further building work.

    The inn was sold by the charity trustees in or after 1820 and by 1910 was owned by Clinch & Co. of Witney. The building suffered a fire in 1982 but it remained open as an inn until it was condemned for fire and safety reasons in 2007, at which point we bought it and took on and completed a major renovation project!

    Nine years after we re-opened it, the Bull is now once more a thriving inn with a friendly welcome, comfortable rooms, wonderful food and happy guests. But remember, no building over 600 years old doesn’t have the odd squeaky floor!

    Read This Post
  • Remembering Fawlty Towers and a terrine to die for

    Jun, 2018

    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.

    Read This Post
  • Summer specials at the Bull

    Jun, 2018

    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

    Read This Post
  • 5-star guests leaving 5-star reviews

    Apr, 2018

    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

    Read This Post
  • A perfect Cotswold Mother’s Day treat

    Mar, 2018

    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..

    Read This Post
Categories
  • 25 Jul 2018

    Celebrating 408 years of history at the Bull

    Written by Jean-Marie Lauzier

    The Bull at Burford hotel

    I’d like to start again by thanking the many people who have reviewed the Bull at Burford over the past month on Tripadvisor, Facebook, Booking.com or elsewhere.

    I find reviews fascinating. The vast majority of people who come and stay with us know what they’re going to get: a warm friendly welcome, great service, accommodation comfortably in the 3-star bracket, lovely food probably a bit above that and the odd creaky floor befitting a building first officially documented in 1473! Their reviews of the Bull and of Burford are based very much on those expectations.

    Every now and then we welcome a guest who is clearly more used to ‘modern’ than ‘historic’! Usually they leave days later totally won over by the charms of our historic coaching inn, but for others floors and walls simply need to be at a right angle, and I can’t do anything for them!

    Did you know: we moved in 1610!

    I recently stumbled over some historical dates and information and thought I’d share them. A house is first documented at 105 High Street from 1473, when the prominent Burford merchant John Pinnock left it first to his son and granddaughter, and then to the parish church.

    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 the 17th-century fireplaces and panelling.

    So as an inn, the building has been receiving guests ever since 1610 – that’s 408 years! Famous visitors have 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. And a few more in recent years.

    The only red brick building in Burford

    The striking brick and stone façade (the Bull is the only red brick building in Burford High Street) was added in the 18th century, probably around 1715 by the innkeeper William Tash. Half a century later, in 1768, £196 was spent on further building work.

    The inn was sold by the charity trustees in or after 1820 and by 1910 was owned by Clinch & Co. of Witney. The building suffered a fire in 1982 but it remained open as an inn until it was condemned for fire and safety reasons in 2007, at which point we bought it and took on and completed a major renovation project!

    Nine years after we re-opened it, the Bull is now once more a thriving inn with a friendly welcome, comfortable rooms, wonderful food and happy guests. But remember, no building over 600 years old doesn’t have the odd squeaky floor!

    Back To Bulletin