Fancy a night away? Get Foxy!

Don’t tell anyone, but me and Mr C just got back from a sneaky mid-week overnighter in one of the new rooms at The Fox at Willian.  And it was bliss.  (The room, people — the room! What are you like?)  Big cheers to grandma for looking after the Mudlets — and huge love for our new favourite place to eat-and-stay.

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The Fox has had a great reputation as a pub and restaurant for ages — I had lunch there several months ago and have been meaning to tell you all about it ever since.  The food is cracking and with the menu changing every month, there’s always something new — and seasonal — to try.  The restaurant is elegant and relaxed, and the bar is cosy and friendly.  Oh, and they have a whole shelf of gins for you to choose from.

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But a couple of weeks ago, the Fox opened up 8 rooms behind and above the pub.  So now you can eat, drink, be merry — and then wake up the next morning to a delicious breakfast.  Genius.

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There are 5 chalet-style rooms at the back of the pub — each with their own door opening out onto a little patio where you can enjoy your morning coffee, or sip your drink and watch the sun go down come the summer.   And then there are 3 upstairs, including the Room at the Top — which is the one we checked into.

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And it is gorgeous.  Nowhere near your average B’n’B bedroom — or even a hotel room.  It’s a proper, stylish boutique escape from the everyday.  Everything was perfect.  Like, actually perfect.

The Room at the Top, with its triple-aspect shuttered windows, not only has a walk-in monsoon shower — with lashings of steamy-hot water — but a roll-top bath right in the bedroom, which you can lie in and watch the telly.  Or anything else you might want to do in the bath…

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Sounds a bit obsessive, but it filled really fast.  We had a roll-top bath in a holiday cottage this summer and it took more than half an hour to fill about halfway up.  Mr C was, hence, a little skeptical when I suggested a bath but — hoorah! — it was full in a flash.  Little thing, maybe, but it was lovely not to have to wait.  (I’m so impatient…)

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Our meal in the restaurant was delicious — I went for the oysters, which come from Norfolk every day, and Mr C tucked into the slow-cooked blade of beef, which was glorious.  I had a slow-cooked mutton dish with Moroccan spiced cauliflower, which was so tender and literally falling apart, and Mr C had bream with squid, capers, spinach and more.  Mr C’s vanilla panna cotta wasn’t my cup of tea (but panna cotta never is) but he loved it — and I was too busy stopping him nicking bits of my hazlenut chocolate tart and espresso ice cream.  Seriously, did he really think I wanted to share?

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There was something utterly lovely about then being able to sidle off upstairs to the most gorgeous, stylish room — rather than hop in the car on a chilly night and drive home.  We were talking about how lovely it would be to have a special occasion there — lots of you all eating together, relaxing knowing that you’d all be staying over.

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The breakfast, served up along the bar, was lovely.  Mr C didn’t let me try his full English — how rude — on the grounds that it was too good to share, so I didn’t even offer him any of my Eggs Royale, with its thick smoked salmon and perfectly runny-middle poached egg.  Good coffee, too.

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We’re smitten.  And we’re already plotting our return, trying to come up with some excuses… I mean, special occasions so we can book in again.  The rooms have only been open a few weeks so don’t leave it too long to book in — they’ll be filling up fast once everyone realizes who fab they are.

foxatwillian.co.uk/TF-Rooms

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Hertfordshire