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An Inspector Calls... on the Michelin Pub of the Year 2018: The Pointer in Buckinghamshire is charming - and Bloody Marys are on the house

  •  The award-winning pub is located in the village of Brill near Bicester Village
  •  There are four bedrooms and the watering hole backs onto a butcher and deli
  •  The wine is reasonably priced and the Inspector was a fan of the suckling pig

Every now and again, a conversion comes along to make the spirits soar. This is one such triumph in the small village of Brill on a hill in Buckinghamshire, amid undulating countryside of the finest order and within easy reach of Bicester Village.

The Pointer used to be the Red Lion pub. It was bought in 2012 by David Howden — who owns a farm nearby — after he sold his London insurance company.

First, it was just a bar and restaurant. Then, last summer, four bedrooms were added in a building across the road, which used to be a garage.

Charming: The Pointer in Brill (pictured) has been awarded the Michelin Pub of the Year 2018

Charming: The Pointer in Brill (pictured) has been awarded the Michelin Pub of the Year 2018

But that’s not all. 

Behind the pub is a butcher and a deli, and on Saturdays, there’s a market selling produce from the Howdens’ farm. We moan about the demise of village pubs — but it’s not the whole story.

My room is on the ground floor (I’m upgraded without having to ask). Farrow & Ball’s Cornforth White (of course) is on the walls; there’s a free-standing slipper bath and walk-in shower, Nespresso coffee machine, sisal flooring and copious supplies of water and milk. And it’s wonderfully quiet.

Brill's 17th century windmill makes for a fascinating destination for visitors 

Brill's 17th century windmill makes for a fascinating destination for visitors 

Travel facts 

The Pointer, 27 Church Street, Brill, Buckinghamshire, HP18 9RT.

Call 01844 238339 or visit thepointerbrill.co.uk.

Rooms from £130 B&B.

Rating:

An open fire awaits back in the pub — parts of which date back to 1100. Some cyclists, and one or two smart-looking locals, are in. There are comfy chairs, no music. Bags of atmosphere. The kitchen is run by a Polish chef, who will surely be poached soon. His Scotch eggs are a tour de force, and my suckling pig is superb.

Wines are reasonably priced and the mainly British staff are charming.

Breakfast doesn’t start until 8am, which gives me time to walk around the village, with its pretty church and green.

On my return the fire has been lit — and nothing is forgotten. Bloody Marys are on the house, and there’s even a packet of Panadol for anyone suffering.

My scrambled eggs are a touch too salty, but that’s the only tiddly criticism I can muster. No wonder it’s the Michelin Pub of the Year 2018.

Tags Travel

ABOUT THE AUTHOR celebrityrave

Journalist, writer and broadcaster, based in London and Paris, her latest book is Touché: A French Woman's Take on the English. Read more articles from Agnes.

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