The Three Horseshoes in Asthall

The fire was roaring when we entered The Three Horseshoes In Asthall near Burford, its welcome immediately apparent during this wet, windy 2024, a wonderful antidote to the dreadful prevailing English weather. Who’d have thought we’d still need it?

The Three Horseshoes has a smart new outdoor area when the sun finally does comes out, where you can imagine customers enjoying a more summery outdoor dining experience, but we were happy to sneak inside from the cold to enjoy some home comforts.

The Three Horseshoes in Asthall

Having been to all the Daylesford pubs recently, The Three Horseshoes has a more relaxed demeanour, all hygge with sheepskin rugs on the chairs, lots of blankets and lamps, a really intimate and comforting interior that makes you want to settle in for the afternoon as soon as you arrive.

We were there for lunch, Daylesford having recently given what was The Maytime (it was originally named The Three Horseshoes but was renamed The Maytime in 1977) a spruce up. So while the same layout survives – the long bar and numerous dining areas – it feels a bit more insouciant and relaxing.

We were hungry though, so once seated perused the menus with an urgent curiosity, so many dishes jumping out, begging to be tried.

Pork bites then to stave off the hunger and a baked Camembert with garlic and truffle oil to share (£18) which was so good we continued until the last scrape of cheese was gone.

The irresistible Camembert – to share we might add!

But then the Daylesford ingredients are always allowed to shine, and the cheese certainly held its own. The pork belly bites (£6) were equally as naughty, deep fried and crackly, to be dipped in a spiced date and apple sauce.

We also snuck in a small bowl of the soup (£8) – rich with carrot and coriander and served with homemade bread which had a wonderful depth of flavour.

Jerusalem artichoke salad at The Three Horseshoes

It meant that the mains were slightly more abstemious, if equally as enticing. The Jerusalem artichoke salad (£11) a wonder of textures and tastes complete with nuts, asparagus and a creamy dressing which really hit the spot.

The fish – a pan-fried fillet of cod with roasted salsify, crammed leeks and Jerusalem artichoke (£24) was pretty as a picture on the plate, but still offered some hearty flavours, the fish itself cooked beautifully.

Cod at The Three Horseshoes

As for desserts, they were irresistible; the orange creme brûlée (£9) calling out to be eaten with that wonderful burnt top and a French creamy custard filling imbibed with citrus.

The red wine poached pair with creme fraiche (£9) was equally refreshing, served on the embossed crockery, no details left to chance.

The orange creme brûlée

The time sped by as we finished our reviving coffees and had a chat with the lovely staff, sinking ever deeper into the comfy chairs. And it struck me that Daylesford has hit the nail on the head with The Three Horseshoes, all the Daylesford pubs building a really credible reputation amongst such stiff competition in the Cotswolds.

The flagship The Wild Rabbit READ OUR REVIEW HERE continues to impress with its gourmet bent, The Bell in Charlbury READ OUR REVIEW HERE attracts more of a country set while The Fox in Oddington READ OUR REVIEW HERE is well heeled and offers that wonderful glass fronted restaurant. All different but unmistakably Daylesford, and all pubs that have been brought back to life, which can only be applauded.

Poached pear

So if you fancy a cozy, friendly gastropub with some impressive food, then The Three Horseshoes is one for you. And if lunch turns into dinner, you can always stay over in one of its six rooms. Next time!

The Three Horseshoes is at Asthall Manor, Asthall, Burford OX18 4HW