Artist Residence / Oxfordshire


Nestled away in the countryside, down little lanes that resemble private access roads you discover The Artists Residence – Oxfordshire.

I must emphasise Oxfordshire as opposed to Oxford. This residence is much closer to the small country town of Whitney: nowhere near Oxford, which adds to the charm!


As someone from the Southern Hemisphere I couldn’t ask for more in terms of the quintessential English Countryside – narrow lanes, high hedges, tree-lined driveways, fields & orchards paving the way to this little thatched-roof pub and lodging which appear out of nowhere.


One minute it feels as if you are heading onto private property, the next you arrive at this charming local hot spot.

Like many other British holiday-makers Covid has made the prospect of travelling abroad impossible, so finding little gems like this is a godsend.


We arrived on Friday afternoon, and after a long week of work, were very much looking forward to a few cold ones in our separate little digs! Upon arrival it was quiet and the team seemed to be making preparations for upcoming bookings and a weekend of custom, but made the time to show us around our accommodation, talking through the amenities and giving us a tour.



We stayed in the Shepherds Hut – it was exceptionally well-equipped and stocked with everything you could imagine – the mandatory snacks and drinks with careful attention paid to local breweries + cookie and chocolate merchants. Unbelievably, a handy bag of phone chargers and adaptors for the rushed (aka disorganised) traveller such as myself! Slippers, robes, soaps, moisturisers (again, all made locally), plus an array of fluffy towels.


The “hut” itself was incredibly spacious: bed at one end with a TV mounted on the opposite wall, couch, log burner, coffee table, chair, closet, and a spacious bathroom at the other end. Although the hut was quite rustic, the interior was modern in the way it was set up.

Special touches like arriving to a retro radio already tuned to lovely summery jazz. We felt immediately welcome and special!


After settling in we chilled out in our own private garden which was situated just outside the hut overlooking the main pub; the beautiful vegetable gardens sat between – it was very relaxing.


Although the pub was relatively quiet on the afternoon we arrived, by 7pm there were loads more people adding to the vibe and atmosphere of the lively country pub. This place was clearly revered among those from near and far as somewhere to visit for special occasions as most of the clientele were couples enjoying a romantic weekend away: although in true English pub style, it wasn’t without the tradies out on the sun porch having their Friday afternoon beers and ciggies!

The locals added to the relaxed atmosphere helping us feel instantly at home.


The space in the pub was divided into various dining rooms and bar areas, yet although the pub maintained its original low ceilings, wooden pillars, wooden beams and flagstone floors, the Artist Residence Oxfordshire had taken special care to decorate the various areas differently.  Overall, it was shaping up to be one of the best boutique hotels in the district!

Each room celebrates a variety of local artists, accentuating Britain’s reputation for unashamed eccentricity, making for a fun and quirky experience.

The original Artist Residence located in Brighton, had owners Charlie and Justin invite local artists to decorate rooms in exchange for board.

No wonder we were surrounded by so much creative individuality.


The Mason’s Arms menu was exactly what the doctor ordered – fresh olives, beautifully creamy burrata served on top of the pub’s own home-grown tomatoes and accentuated by fresh herbs from the garden. We followed with a hearty burger and fries, once more made from the hotel’s garden-fresh ingredients.

These aspects added to the feeling of home-comforts, knowing you were eating product lovingly grown in the garden right outside the door.

(It has to be noted that I had put myself behind the eight ball regarding food intake on this lovely Friday night. Prior to the pub meal,  the home-made cookies in the hut disappeared as if by osmosis: thus making dinner a hard ask, what the…?)

I couldn’t help myself, a home-made cookie frenzy, if you will. I was overcome with all the homeliness and wholesomeness of the wood-fire, winking faces stitched onto the slippers… 

I digress. If I’d had room I definitely would have indulged in dessert too.

Full and content we headed back to our little slice of paradise in the back garden to enjoy some nightcaps next to the fire, pure bliss!


At the risk of cliche, I would summarise the Artist Residence as a home-away-from-home because that is truly how it felt! Not least because the service in general was excellent.

Plus, there’s nothing quite like waking up in a field next to a garden – the clean country air wafting through the open window; accompanied by murmurings from walkers as they passed on tracks nearby.

We went back to London truly refreshed and feeling like we’d gone home to Mum’s house to be looked after for the weekend.  With such a short journey home we weren’t full of that post-country-break dread you sometimes get when faced with reality after a holiday.  Instead, reflecting upon the quintessential country pub hidden within Oxfordshire replete with a unique culture of art brought a smile to my face.


All in all a real treat; I will definitely be staying there again when in need of some home-away-from home country nourishment!



For six years, guest writer Rosie Atherfold has lived and travelled extensively within the UK and Europe – liberal eclectic hopes to read more about the unique adventures of our roving reporter in the near future!


The Artist Hotel Oxfordshire

The Artist Hotel Penzance

Experience Oxfordshire

The Mason Arms South Leigh

Translate »




We look forward to sharing our latest news and tips with you.