Nestled in the picture perfect Hambleden valley, this pub hotel is ideal if you're shooting locally
If you’re shooting in the Bucks/Berks/Oxfordshire area and need somewhere to stay, then the Stag and Huntsman in Hambleden is ideal.
This pub with rooms has a secure gun cabinet and dogs are welcome. The atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming and if your party wants, you can take over the private dining room for a late shoot lunch or dinner.
The nine bedrooms are all named after drives on the local estate shoot – our room was called ‘The Pit’, which was much more comfortable and bright than it sounds, with traditional tasteful décor that has been updated recently.
We stayed here during the August heatwave and the temperature outside was around 35 degrees celsius. However a fan had been thoughtfully placed in our room and so we passed the night comfortably and quietly, with no noise coming through the open windows.
In the evening we sat in the cool of the garden and started off with an ice cool gin and tonic, made with the Stag’s own rosemary and lavender infused Gin. We skipped starters this time and my chap went straight onto mains, choosing classic fish and chips, the local Rebellion beer battered haddock which was satisfyingly delicious. I opted for crayfish and clam tagliatelle, which was an excellent combination.
Hambleden village has played its part in many TV series and films, including ‘Midsomer Murders’ and ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ and it really does look like an illustration on a chocolate box. It was owned by the WH Smith family for most of the last century and the early part of this one so has been almost completely protected from development. In 2007 it was bought by a Swiss financier but nothing really seems to have changed since then, the cottage gardens are still full of hollyhocks and delphiniums and there is still a red telephone box.
The Stag & Huntsman is about six miles from EJ Churchill Shooting Ground and there are many other shoots nearby. Your gun and ammunition can be safely stored by the manager Marius (who shoots and stalks himself) in the secure gun cabinet.
Rooms start at around £100, including breakfast, which we thought excellent value.