This week our intrepid Pub Spy ventured to Sheepscombe to ‘have a butchers’ at The Butcher’s Arms, a much loved local watering hole.

THE Butcher’s Arms at Sheepscombe is one of our area’s most popular pubs and it’s easy to see why.

Nestled in the most picturesque of settings with views over the rolling hills, it exudes an understated style and flair.

I approached from the north through leafy woods and endless fields to arrive to see contented patrons enjoying hearty meals on outside picnic tables.

Once inside, I was greeted by an undeniable homely, welcoming feel with staff of a variety of ages hurrying about.

The decor was tastefully done, embracing the traditional without too much of the modern with the exception of the toilets that looked to have been recently renovated in a contemporary style and slate floor.

The good-sized side dining-room through the bar was perhaps a former small outbuilding with its high ceiling and exposed stone wall. Elsewhere, exposed beams, a chiming clock above the fireplace and collectibles hung on the walls – all details you’d expect in a historic pub such as this. All was clean and tidy too.

Greeted by a young hostess, she listened attentively and advised me accordingly as I explained a wheat intolerance.

She said there could be a wait for food due to a large party of students who occupied most tables in the main dining areas, but who were not unduly rowdy.

Upon my hostess’s recommendation as to the bread served by the pub, I ordered a goats cheese, pesto and pepper panini and a side dish of cheesy chips.

She offered me a table in plum position at the window table opposite the bar but I demurred, instead creeping away to be alone in the so-called ‘snug rooms.’

From a delightful window bench, I observed the room’s traditional wooden pub furniture, coordinated scatter cushions and rustic tables -plus a lovely flower bed and log store through the window outside.

To my surprise, my food came within minutes, served by a very sweet, school-aged waitress who told me, with a shy smile and good eye contact, to ‘enjoy’.

I did. The panini was served with crisps and a small salad; all were excellently presented and nicely proportioned. I drank a tasty Angostura Bitters tonic water from Fever Tree.

Dessert was Marshfield ice-cream and out of this world. My only whinge was that the sundae glass in which it was served was brought to the table without a serviette and plate, which I needed, as I devoured it messily.

But regardless, this pub is a class act. A quintessential, dependable Cotswold pub which knows how to serve classic pub fare and do it well.


  • Atmosphere 10
  • Decor 10
  • Staff 9
  • Food 9.5
  • Prices 10
  • Overall 9.75