The awards are still flocking in for The Feathered Nest, reports Helen Peacocke

When a country pub, tucked away in the heart of a small Cotswold village on the borders of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, can boast gaining 37 different accolades since opening in 2010, it must be doing something right.

I’m talking of The Feathered Nest, Nether Westcote, one of three charming little villages bearing the Nether name. Found on the eastern side of the A424 between Burford and Stow on the Wold, and overlooking the Evenlode valley Nether Westcote is a very beautiful place.

Even the drive to get there proves a magical experience as the inn overlooks lush undulating landscape that includes sheep gently grazing, a medieval ridge and furrow fields. It’s a perfect place to walk the dog, who is as welcome at the inn as his master, providing he places his paws under a table in the second-level bar area or the patio.

The first time I encountered this inn, which began life as a malt house built from honey-coloured Cotswold stone, I was reminded of the house that Jack built, such is the mix of rooms that provide the intim-ate friendly feel that makes it so popular.

When proprietors Tony and Amanda Timmer first moved in during 2009, they were aware there was much to do if they were to turn a ramshackle building around.

Amanda still laughs when she remembers that, on opening the front door and entering the dining room that was to be theirs, they discovered that the previous owners had simply walked out, leaving everything as it was on their last trading day. This included a plate of mince pies that were several months old. It was rather like walking on to the decks of the Marie Celeste.

Fortunately, Tony and Amanda are professionals, both having trained at the Westminster Hotel School College. This is where they met, before going on to open a successful restaurant in the Algarve.

Despite the mess, they knew that once they had cleared the dust, the mince pies and the detritus, they had acquired something special. It was just a matter of recognising the building’s potential and thinking things through carefully, which they did, while also taking into consideration the staff they would need.

Staff, as far as Tony and Amanda are concerned, have to be as professional as them. Second best just will not do. Perhaps this is why their head chef Kuba Winkowski from Poland has been with them since they opened.

Having trained in several reputable establishments, including Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, it seems that Kuba’s food philosophy is similar to theirs. He too strives for excellence.

The freedom that they allow him to select local ingredients, both from their own garden and nearby farms, pays off, as it enables Kuba to follow the seasons and source hedgerow berries.

Tony and Amanda put the custom-er’s needs first. The standard of the food is important, but it’s the personal touch that customers don’t forget. We all like to be acknowledged when we enter an inn, after all hospitality is what it is all about, yet all too often bar staff can appear oblivious of one’s arrival, continuing to chat to someone.

The Feathered Nest’s most recent award is the prestigious Tourism Pub of 2014 from The Cotswold Tourism Awards. The location of the inn, the superb panoramic views from several vantage points and its lovely garden keep the tourists happy.

Since Tony and Amanda rid the interior of its stark white contemporary finish and installed gnarled beams that soften the acoustics and feel of the place, it now offers everything a tourist dreams of.

Other accolades include: a place on the Budweiser Budvar Top 50 Gastro Pub awards, The Beautiful South’s Flavour of the South East: Pub of the year; Outstanding Customer Service and Cotswold Life’s Best Pub Restaurant. The Feathered Nest has also been awarded two AA Rosettes for culinary excellence, 5AA star Highly Commended in rating for accommodation and an AA Breakfast Award. National recognition was also gained when the inn became AA Pub of the Year (England) 2011/2012.

It was a gold winner in Visit England’s Awards for Excellence in 2013 and their wine list, which features 240 bins combining the classic with a special eclectic selection from the Old and New world, won the AA Wine Award, having been chosen from a list of more than 1,000.

Next year will no doubt bring The Feathered Nest even more accolades.