Brakspear to reopen managed pub in Cotswolds

20th June 2016

Pub operator and brewer Brakspear is reopening one of its managed pubs in Stow-on-the-Wold after a major refurbishment. The site, renamed as The Sheep on Sheep Street, opens on 1 July.

Brakspear bought the pub - previously called The Grapevine - in January this year. The building dates back to the 17th century and the refurbishment, carried out by the company's in-house design team, has retained its historic charm while also creating a contemporary, relaxed atmosphere for dining, drinking and overnight stays in one of its 22 bedrooms.

The redesigned bar and restaurant area is dominated by a central, full length bar top that flows into a counter dining space in front of the open kitchen with its wood-fired oven. Customers can also eat or drink in the pub's remodelled garden and rear patio area, with the site offering 100 covers in total.

The Sheep's drinks offer includes a specialty gin menu featuring 10 classic British gins, such as the locally-distilled Cotswold Gin. Beers include 10 craft beers such as Brew Dog Punk IPA and Camden Hells, as well as a selection of Brakspear cask ales. Classic cocktails are also served, with an Espresso Martini as the house special.

Food at The Sheep is produced by head chef Matthew Houghton with direction from Brakspear's executive chef Antony Ely. The menu is based around the wood-fired oven, with a range of gourmet southern Italian-style wood fired pizzas including the Sicilian - Arrabbiata sauce, courgette, prawns, rocket, artichokes - and the Sheep Street pizza - spiced lamb with Berkswell cheese, pomegranate, mint and red onion jam.

Upstairs, the 22 bedrooms have been given a fresh, country townhouse feel using simple yet classic design.

General manager at The Sheep is Ben Fox, formerly of 131 in Cheltenham, and previously at The Angel Hotel in Bury St Edmunds. Head chef Matthew Houghton has also joined from 131.

Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said, "We're proud of the transformation at The Sheep on Sheep Street, which has turned it into a stylish yet accessible drinking and dining spot.

"We have invested significantly in our Cotswolds estate this year, with The Sheep following hot on the heels of The George Townhouse in Shipston-on-Stour, which reopened in May. We're confident that both these newly-refurbished venues will be popular with the many food and drink lovers who either live or holiday in the region."

Brakspear's eight-strong managed estate includes three other pubs in the Cotswolds: the award-winning Porch House, also located in Stow; George Townhouse in Shipston and Church Street Townhouse in Stratford-on-Avon. The other managed sites are: Bull on Bell Street in Henley-on-Thames; Running Horses in Mickleham, Surrey; Chequers in Marlow and Pocket Watch in Shepherds Bush.

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