Despite the noise of the busy A46 which runs through it, one can’t but agree that Painswick is an utterly glorious place.
Picture postcard perfect – chocolate box buildings amid rolling hills.
No wonder it’s so popular with our American cousins who frequent the village in droves.
After a charming walk around St Mary’s I strolled along genteel narrow streets before settling down in the Royal Oak.
There was a table of American walkers chatting excitedly about the beautiful landscape which made for a friendly atmosphere on a weekday lunchtime in September.
A young member of staff gave me a friendly welcome and I instantly felt at home.
Stepping into the pub – just a medium sized room and courtyard beyond, its open plan offered a spacious ambience, thanks to its pared back decor and open door onto a courtyard.
The decor surprises with a modern renovation.
Original features and furnishings have been stripped back to the bare minimum – it’s a very modern affair with contemporary yet stylish fixtures and fittings.
Creative uses of decorations add a fresh touch such as the wall wreaths made out of corks or the collection of ‘O’ lettering.
It has been stylishly done.
An open fire place sits empty at one side of the room – I bet that draws the crowds on cold, damp winter nights.
The menu is obviously carefully curated.
For lighter bites suitable for lunch, a sandwich selection entices, or there’s soup with sourdough (£6), squash salad with prosciutto, Parmesan and rocket (£8) and there is a chef’s specials board.
It offers an imaginative selection including moules marinieres, Cajun bean burger, pulled pork mac n’ cheese.
This is on the slightly more expensive end of pub food but the food is of a high quality.
I opt for squash Thai curry with cauliflower rice (£12).
It takes a grand total of five minutes to appear before me and was delicious and spicy.
Ice cream followed and it was gloriously creamy and indulgent – in fact I needed a second stroll around the churchyard to walk off those extra calories!