How To Have a Relaxing Christmas, Pub-Style

You can escape from the rush and expense of towns by celebrating Christmas at a traditional country pub this year.

The Wiremill Pub, Lingfield
Photo credit: The Wiremill Pub, Lingfield / http://www.thewiremill.co.uk.

Picture open log fires, menus brimming with seasonal, local dishes, real ales, extensive wine lists and the most important ingredient of all – a warm, festive atmosphere.

And, at the busiest time of the year, it couldn’t be easier to find a local ‘Great Country Pub’. From Wiltshire and Dorset, across the south east to Suffolk and Norfolk a hand-picked selection of more than 200 country inns can be found at greatcountrypubs.com.

The website features party events, country walks, places to stay and information on Christmas packages including spa breaks, shopping breaks and family-friendly inns where there’s a range of entertainment and menus.

There’s also an itinerary planner – where menus can be requested, rooms reserved and all the work of Christmas planning wrapped up in just a few simple clicks.

With so much to do at Christmas why not let a traditional country pub do the entertaining?

12 BUSY DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Party Plans

The season begins with festive parties and from simple sit-down lunches to large celebrations with coachloads of friends there’s an endless choice of options.

In the beautiful Cotswolds setting of Witney, guests of the Old Swan and Minster Mill can book a private house party. Tailor made celebrations and dinner are presented in this 600-year-old Cotswolds inn, where rooms and a spa complete a stay. Or why not join one of the pub’s lively ‘Open Christmas House Parties’ complete with party favours, table magicians and a disco to dance the night away?

Old Swan and Minster Mill, Witney
Old Swan and Minster Mill, Witney (Photo credit: Great Country Pubs).

FAMILY FUN

Woodland Walks with Winnie the Pooh

Believe it or not, but you can combine a Christmas walk with a search for Winnie the Pooh. The lovely red-bricked Griffin Inn sits in the East Sussex village of Fletching, just on the edge of the Ashdown Forest, aka Winnie’s Hundred Acre Wood. A winter ramble offers the chance to visit Pooh Bridge and play Pooh Sticks, discover the Enchanted Place and spot Galleon’s Leap. And once your ‘expotition’ (as Pooh would say) is done, the Griffin Inn is serving a Sussex-inspired Christmas menu, with specials for younger guests and family rooms.

Santa Claus is coming to lunch

It’s not just Santa Claus who is arriving for two special family lunches at The Bell Inn on Sunday 15th and 22nd December. There’s a magician and balloon modellers on hand to keep every member of the family entertained as Christmas dinner is served in this charming inn, nestled in the pretty village of Ticehurst in East Sussex. And when all the celebrations are over every child receives their own Santa gift.

LUXURY ESCAPES

The Feathered Nest Inn in Oxfordshire is Visit England’s national champion and the luxurious surroundings of this charming Cotswolds retreat are the perfect place to escape the festive rush. Combine leisurely walks of the Cotswolds with visits to nearby Oxford and enjoy a special mid-week break offer. A special overnight package in December includes a three course a la carte dinner, breakfast and Bollinger champagne, starting from £150.00 per person.

NEW YEAR’S EVE

There’s a magical theme to The Wiremill in Surrey’s New Year’s Eve party. The 15th-century mill, overlooking its own lake, is hosting a Mad Hatters Tea party, where fancy dress is optional but enjoying yourself is not. Follow the party’s ‘eat me’ and ‘drink me’ theme and enjoy an evening full of swing music and magic. The Wiremill also features six boutique style rooms for those who want to stay.

To get full details of pubs and events visit www.greatcountrypubs.com.

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