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Fleece Inn, Bretforton

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user reviews of the Fleece Inn, Bretforton

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

If you love historic, traditional, real pubs this is a must visit venue. Absolutely stunning. A national treasure. Nice selection of ales as well. After a look around I was delighted to sit outside and enjoy the last (I think) musician of their weekend blues festival.
tarkatherotter - 6 Sep 2016 22:32
Probably way back in the mists of time another reviewer has mentioned that this pub is owned by the National Trust and with little reflection it is obvious that this pub clearly benefits.The priority is the upkeep of the beautiful building and its contents ,lots of pewter plate and mugs I recall.Much to my relief you pay no admission fee and cross the threshold for just the cost of a pint.If this isn't the best pub on BITE then it must be a pub i've never been to.
slerpy - 19 Jul 2016 20:06
Really busy on this Saturday lunchtime but excellent service for beers and food. There were 5 trad beers and 3 trad ciders on and we had beers from local(ish) breweries, Salopian and Wye Valley. The building is rambling and gorgeous. Well worth a visit to it and the village.
Steamer1 - 1 Jun 2016 15:32
Excellent pub but very busy on a late Sunday lunchtime. Good sandwiches with interesting range of fillings. Beers good but a local light bitter would have been preferable to one from Lees in Manchester.
Rocky53 - 14 Feb 2016 10:07
A real gem of a pub, kept in a very old fashioned way. Some fine pieces of traditional furniture.
Beer was well kept and a good variety.
Worth seeking out.
maybe - 29 Sep 2014 17:29
We had not eaten here before today and the food was quite decent although perhaps a little expensive in places for what is really no more than good pub grub. But then again, I guess the whole point of visiting the Fleece is to drink the ales and savour the historic atmosphere and this is where the Fleece does really well. Only 4 handpulls on offer today- Wye Valley Bitter, Uley Pigs Ear, Marston's Pedigree New World Pale and Dorothy Goodbody's Glorious IPA - but the 2 I tried were in excellent condition. 2 ciders from Thatchers and their own Ark Cider as well. You may need to wrap up warm because sometimes it is a little draughty in here even with the open fires.
paul_d102 - 23 Mar 2014 16:44
With such a high rating, I'm not sure why this pub doesn't feature in BITE's Top Ten...anyway The Shakespeare Branch of CAMRA has awarded the title of “Shakespeare Pub of the Year 2013 (Branch Worcestershire region)” to the “Fleece Inn” Bretforton.
paul_d102 - 9 May 2013 20:05
Excellent place full of history and charm - inside and out - and up there as one of the best public houses in the country. Lovely to sit outside of on a lovely summer's day with a pint of cider - or inside with a dark, strong beer on a cold day. Good food adds to it's charms too. Might have to come and stay here one time.
littledrummerboy - 29 Apr 2013 22:14
you almost hope you never find the perfect pub.
Thereafter everything else might well be an anti-climax.
I might as well stop looking.
This country has a wealth of truly wonderful pubs (and
some not so wonderful ) but this is quite simply
the best of the best.
My favourite pub has always been in East Devon
but has easily been relegated to 2nd after visiting this
utterly brilliant pub.
Go see for yourself, you won"t be disapointed.
westbound - 29 Apr 2013 15:27
I had to come to the number 1 pub in my county. Combined with a 7 mile walk, so the pint of pigs ear was very welcome. We got there around 12:30pm on a Saturday and you couldnt get in the door. Obviously, its reputation preceeds it. Didn't spend too much time inside and missed out on having a good look around. Sat in beer garden and food soon arrived to accompany a wonderful pint. On walk back to the car, we we stopped by a motorist. "Could you tell us where the Fleece Inn is please".
Mappiman - 27 Apr 2013 15:53
Thanks RogerB for the fascinating potted history.

It's many, many years since I was here and I'm pleased to read it's very much still as I remember.
eddybeer - 3 Apr 2013 20:02
this might be.. just might be.... one of the best pubs in the world.

the best pubs are in england (sorry but its true), and this is one of the best of the pubs in england, so by definition... a world beater.

the setting is just ridiculously beautifull. wonky beams, low ceilings and sinking floors with a totally preserved interior (not a plug socket or cable in sight). we were lucky enough to get a seat right in the fire place and on a cold evening it was just superb.

the beers are absoloulty perfect. 5 or so on the pumps, a well thought out variety, all of which the bar man knew about and were perfectly kept and poured. (on our visit the 'dodgy banker' was a wonderfull pint)

the food was top notch aswell, good portions and really well cooked. pork belly with black and white pudding on mash. what more cold you want?

yes, it does attract tourists from far and wide (us included) but it was wonderfull to see a really healthy and welcoming bunch of locals, young and old, are the heart of this place. a great atmosphere.

i may blive a few hours drive away but i know that we will be making trip back to gloucestershire JUST to visit this place again.

CHELSEA_on_tour - 21 Mar 2013 15:21
Gorgeous pub in fantastic picturesque surroundings. Been wanting to visit for a while and finally made it. Beer was excellent, tucked into the Gravedigger Mild and Asum Bitter from the Evesham Brewery. 4 ales on offre and similar number of ciders. Friendly, helpful staff and loking forward to going back to try the food.
peteyg - 20 Aug 2012 12:23
Yes it is a quaint olde worlde place, yes they do some good ales but I wouldn't write home about the service and a pint in somewhere resembling a creche with screaming infants and other assmebled kids running round ain't my idea of a pub. If it were a proper NT proerty the curator would be telling them to stop running round and hush. Okay to drop by and see but wouldn't fancy having more than a pint here if it is like this most of the time.
anonymous - 8 Aug 2012 19:12
I've stayed at this pub several times. I can't think of a better pub that I have been to ever( and that's coming from a rep who stays away regularly in the week for the last 25 years.) The beer is excellent, with a great choice on offer...."PIG'S EAR" is my favourite. Also, they ferment their own cider which is nice. The food is filling, well done and unpretentious.
A Fantastic building that is hidden in a lovely quaint village, with very friendly bar staff and locals. As a rep, they made me feel very welcome and I choose to stay there whenever I'm working in that area.
The landlord organises various events throughout the year as well as maintaining old and local aged traditions. Well worth a visit!!! A true gem.
nigeltherep - 27 Jun 2012 17:44
I'm surprised nobody has reviewed this pub for 2 years! It was Asparagus Festival Day today and there was also a small beer festival with I think 8 guest ales being served outside in addition to the 5 inside the pub. Some nice classic Triumph cars, Henry Sandon from the Antiques Roadshow, morris dancing, local Spot Loggins ice cream, quintessentially English!
paul_d102 - 27 May 2012 21:52
Visited while staying nearby, I've been before and loved it, but now it seems to be tring to cash in on it's reputation. Nothing annoys me more than a pub with reserved on every table, for pity's sake, if you sell people beer, let them have somewhere to drink it. The beer is very pricey, but all the pints we had were unsettled and over fruity, indicating that they are being released too early. The food looked decent enough if a bit pretentious. Really fairly disappointed to tell the truth, which is a shame as I was showing some people how good it was. It's gone downhill since its rebuild.
imdownthepub - 2 May 2010 16:17
Excellent write ups, so on one of my Jollys deided to give this a try,Lovely old charm pub with a wealth of antiques and history,And a good range of real ales,But, thats about it really, service quite good and pleasant.The open fires belching out smoke into the bijou rooms. The food is what seems to be a cross between pub grub trying to look al a carte.The chef must have a penchant for sweets as the acompanying sauces and salsa's were very sweet indeed,portion sizes not large. The homemade burger didn't look 6oz it claimed on the menu and ,the bun although well done was on the stale side/dry.The chips weren't of very good quality.And the new potatoes with the other meaals were minimal as were the veg.Get the food right and you have a goldmine, sadly though just trading on it's laurels.
james55westhead - 27 Nov 2009 16:13
As other reviewers - great beers, building, interior, location, music, even morris dancing - wholeheartedly recommended.
zeanard - 8 Sep 2009 18:51
Perfect Arround 5 ales always in perfect condition
guestale - 26 Jul 2009 16:42
I can only reitterate what previuos reviewers have said. Beautiful
peterladd - 31 May 2009 23:40
A genuine classic which has it all- the building, location, beer, everything here is top notch
pcummings - 30 Oct 2008 23:49
Great, great people and a fabulous place. I knew someone who lived in this village, and this pub is the icing on the cake. The landlord supports local music too, which is a big plus. He's obviously committed to the whole social aspect of running a pub, and it shows. I would totally recommend this to anyone - whether you're a real-ale afficionado, a family looking for a wonderful meal, a couple who would like a fab evening out. One of the best in the UK!
DaveSpraggs - 24 Aug 2008 20:43
What a wonderful pub. Great beer, lovely garden, beatiful building, friendly Landlord, delicious food and a pretty waitress. Doesn't get better than this, really.
Ok, you may have to wait a little for your food but so what? The longer you stay here the better and you know it is freshly cooked on the premises.

eveningall - 30 Jul 2008 07:18
This pub has a great "local" feel in an idylic setting in a small village. Good freshly cooked home made and adventurous food with a very welcoming landlord. About six real ales available, very good turnout. Can't fault it really, they'v managed to retain that local feel when it's such a world-famous pub now. Brilliant :)
slimgym - 10 Mar 2008 20:43
One of the best pubs in the country. Sympathetically restored after the devastating fire, as mentioned by previous reviewers - thank goodness we didn't lose this diamond!

A lovely building, nice grounds, nice atmosphere, good food and last but not least - great beer.

Can this be bettered? I don't think so, hence my 10/10 score.
Lilywhite - 10 Sep 2007 11:59
Absolutely wonderful place. I have been several times over the years and, despite the devestating fire, it's retained its character, locals and most importantly, the excellent beer! Highly recommended, in winter to escape the cold and especially in summer when the garden's sunny. Good stuff.
drinksandcanapes - 4 May 2007 16:09
Nigel has built up a good reputation for drink, food, and entertainment. Always has about half a dozen beers like Hook Norton. Uley Old Spot, Pigs Ear, Shropshire lad, Cannon Royal, and occassionally one of the best black country beers which shall remain nameless.(don't want to cause any trouble.) Huge garden which is very children friendly, good food, and is now a very popular venue for getting WED. Well you've got plenty of choice to drown your sorrows!!!!!!!!!!!. This is a National Trust house but unlike most we can all get in free here
daveandjeanetteforpubs - 29 Mar 2007 22:29
Not just a pub but a national treasure. This place is the real deal and a finer country village pub you will be hard pressed to find. Set just off a pretty village green the Fleece has probably adorned any number of chocolate boxes and Christmas Cards. Originally built around 1400, the interior has been virtually untouched since it was first used as a pub in 1848. The building was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1977 by the last private owner, Lola Taplin (who was a direct descendant of the person that built it) on the proviso that it is kept as a pub and, rather bizarrely, that no crisps are sold.

The pub is divided into 3 rooms with the bar in the centre, each room being crammed with antique furnishings and dripping with history. Each has its own characteristics and are worthy of taking some time in to enjoy. My favourite is the Pewter Room with its wonderful fireplace, flag-stoned floor, grandfather clock, plates, bed warmers, candlesticks and a magnificent display of 300 year old pewter that would not disgrace any museum. The huge curved settle is the ideal place to enjoy the glow of the fire but if there is no room, try the rocking chair in the corner. Prints of the Death of Nelson and an 1859 Parliament meeting add to the Englishness however one modern import that has infiltrated the pub is the budgie who chirps away in his cage near the doorway to the bar. As you would expect, the ceilings are held up by black gnarled beams and the walls are as wonky as they get without falling down. To the rear of the building is a larger room with a cheese press, more beams and flag-stones and another large settle in front of the fire by an antique grandfather clock. To the left of the bar down a couple of steps is what would pass as the public bar. A dart board near the window shows that the pub is not just a museum piece but a living community establishment although throwing a dart under such a low ceiling would present a few aerodynamic difficulties. Old plate racks adorn the wall and an old table is stacked with books. Dont be surprised to find yourself seated at an old sewing machine table. This room also has its own convenient serving hatch to the bar. The collection of medals belonged to the last owners brother, one of many family links throughout the pub.

As for the beers, on my recent visit they had 5 Real ales including Old Hooky, Pigs Ear and Uley and 2 ciders (Old Rosie and Thatchers). A selection of certificates for the various CAMRA Awards is on display in the Pewter Room if you need any evidence of the quality. There is a very reasonably priced menu (main meals 6-10) but service can apparently be slow as the kitchens were never built for catering on a large scale.

There are several interesting stories that surround the pub. One is that Lola Taplin herself has been reincarnated as an owl and watches over the pub from the thatched barn (available for hire free) in the beer garden. Note also the 3 circles painted in front of the fireplace. This is an old custom to stop witches entering the building via the chimney although what stops them going through the front door during opening hours is beyond me. My wife managed it.

The pub is a magnet for traditional English customs and events Morris dancing, classic car rallies, brass band competitions and even an annual asparagus auction. There are weekly folk evenings in the Pewter Room and there has even been a song composed to commemorate the major fire that nearly destroyed the pub in 2004. Thankfully, a major refurbishment programme has restored the building to what it was and everything is now as it was. Long may it continue.

RogerB - 12 Dec 2006 11:48

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