Bull – A Coaching Inn

Need a little left brain respite? Try some mind-expanding courses at Matthew Freud’s new country house hotel venture located in his home town of Burford. Poker tuition, sushi roll making and ceramics included...

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Burford, the Oxfordshire town, known as the ‘gateway to the Cotswolds,’ has long been a draw: to Kate Moss and Nell Gywn included. Now, a new wave of visitors will be admiring the bucolic setting as Matthew Freud, chairman of Freuds Group, has opened Bull – A Coaching Inn, a country hotel with a mission to give our stressed-out left brains respite. 

Here you can book in for a two-day retreat of mind-expanding courses, delicious food and make some pals.  “We all need to reset sometimes,” says Freud, who founded The Freud Group 39 years ago. The program of activities include perfumery, sushi roll making, Padel tennis, bee keeping and ceramics (with his niece Martha Freud) programmed in one-hour sessions over a two-day retreat.  “When you distract left brain with a task – it could be playing the drums or a cross word – it occupies that annoying bit of brain that then allows your right brain to be dominant,” says Freud of the desired ‘flow state.’ 

Herd Private Dining Room at Bull

Bull Burford

Martha Freud art installation at Bull

@bullburford // Instagram

The soothing environment is conducive to opening up. Freud, who has lived in Burford since 2008, has transformed the 18-room premises with earthy tones and decorated in velvets and linens and provocative YBA  artworks. There are four dining options including Hiro, a sushi spot: Horn, a family style dining room and a library.  

The activities also take place off site in outbuildings called Coaching House, and in the grounds of Burford Priory. I signed up for meditation, textiles, Padel, book club and a poker session and by the end of evening, my mind was delighted making new learning buddies in the process. As a guest, all you need to do is start doing (the courses, food and soft drinks are included in the two-night rate) and it’s a great option for friends, or a work retreat. Bonding by learning? Why not?


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