AN Oxfordshire pub company has reached the finals of a national contest to find the best pubs in the country.

Brakspear, which is based in Henley and owns pubs across the county, has been shortlisted in the Publican Awards 2020.

The firm is nominated for the Best Pub Accommodation Award, with winners announced in March.

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Among the Brakspear pubs in Oxfordshire where guests can stay the night is the Lion in Wendlebury, near Bicester (above).

Brakspear also owns the Red Lion in Blewbury near Didcot, the Coachmakers Arms, Wallingford, and the Chequers in Charney Bassett near Wantage.

The Publican Awards, run by pub magazine the Morning Advertiser, are open to pubs across the UK.

The Best Pub Accommodation Award will be given to the pub group which offers guests the best overnight stay, with judges looking for first-rate comfort and design in the bedrooms, top customer service and a tasty breakfast.

The 13 bedrooms at the Lion, which were added in May 2018, are housed in a Cotswolds stone cottage attached to the main building.

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Rooms are decorated and furnished with en-suite bathrooms, beds with Egyptian cotton linens and Nespresso coffee machines.

Anthony Lee, general manager at the Lion, said: "We are thrilled to be shortlisted for the Publican Awards.

"We’re very proud of our beautiful, comfortable bedrooms, which offer our guests an overnight stay with a boutique hotel feel.

"And, because we’re still first and foremost a pub, they also benefit from the sociable, relaxed atmosphere, enjoying a pint by the open fire in our cosy bar downstairs, or a meal in our dining area before turning in for the night just a few steps away."

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on March 4.