It feels strange to be reviewing The Woolpack this week, after all I spend so much time in there it feels a little bit like reviewing my living room!

For those of you who have never visited this fantastic local with views across a valley so beautiful that it has inspired writers, poets and painters - well I envy you.

Because although a trip to the Woolpack is like slipping on a favourite pair of old slippers - nothing can beat the moment you first discover the quintessential English country pub that was famously Laurie Lee’s favourite haunt.

Stroud News and Journal:

Discovering the pub is a treat in it’s self, a small road winds it’s way out of Stroud heading a a leisurely pace into the North Cotswolds.

About a mile out of town, following a large loop in the road that forces drivers to slow to a snail’s pace The Woolpack appears on the right hand side.

After choosing a suitable spot to slot in your car - being very mindful of neighbours and other customers to ensure that you don’t invite an earful from other customers - a firm shove of one of the entrances reveals an absolute treat of a pub.

Opening the door reveals a pub unspoilt by gentrification - not one wall has been painted any shade of Parisian pigeon as far as we could tell.

Cheery bar staff are quick to take your order for drinks and arrange a table in the bustling pub - which is packed full of wet dogs and wetter walkers - alongside bantering locals and tourists keen to enjoy the bohemian atmosphere.

Stroud News and Journal:

After picking a decent bottle of red wine, which is more than reasonably priced we warm ourselves by the woodburner before being taken through to be seated in one of the dining areas - away from the howls of complaint being made a small television streaming live football.

With ravenous appetitie we order hearty beefburgers from the tempting menu, and tuck into a generous bowl of olives and crusty bread to soak up the wine and keep our stomachs contented.

Within minutes our food arrives, a safe choice from a menu which is update don a daily basis to include pub favourites like fish and chips, to mouth-watering treats such as duck breast or ray wing.

Stroud News and Journal:

The chips are exactly as they should be, the burger moist and tasty with a generous filing, but it’s the atmosphere, the service and the surroundings which really make this pub such a treat.

During the meal familiar faces pop into the room, warm hugs are exchanged and genuinely joyous greetings - because this is a pub which attracts people from far and wide.

If there is one pub in Stroud I could get snowed it would be The Woolpack - and I’m considering sitting it out in there until that happens.