A family-friendly pub makes for a very relaxing addition to a holiday. A gourmet pub or inn with a...
When it comes to quality food, you simply cannot beat country dining. And the Cotswolds really comes into its own when it comes to serving up classic country dishes. In our little corner of the world, fresh local produce is extremely important. Its all about what we put into our recipes, and thats what makes Cotswold cuisine such a memorable experience. From spectacular seasonal menus and the best organic ingredients to locally sourced meat and sustainably caught fish, food here is truly second to none.
Fine dining, gastropubs and cosy cafes are some of the top highlights for avid foodies, but if you really want to experience authentic British gastronomy, you simply have to visit one of the many spectacular restaurants in the area. Here are 21 of our favourite restaurants to try during your stay.
1. The Wild Rabbit, Kingham
This modern British inn located in the beautiful village of Kingham is the place to go for great food and great atmosphere. Designed to feel like a cosy English home, with traditional furnishings and rustic décor; and made for everyone, from couples and groups to families with children. The menu features creative dishes made from the finest seasonal ingredients, and youll be pleased to know that the Wild Rabbits award winning kitchen supports British farmers and artisan producers. And their tasty grub is definitely made to reflect this philosophy.
2. The Porch House, Stow-on-the-Wold
With stylish rooms and a great bar, and serving from breakfast and lunch to dinner, The Porch House is a wonderful place to eat and drink at any time of day. Its just as popular with locals as it is with visitors to the area, and its one of the main watering holes in the pretty market town of Stow-on-the-Wold. For diners in search of the best local produce, the carefully created menu will not disappoint. From their dry aged fillet steak Rossini to their classic vanilla crème brulee, youll be able to indulge in family favourites and serious comfort food.
3. The Potting Shed Pub, Crudwell
The lovely village of Crudwell is home to a quaint little dining spot (and one of our all-time favourites), The Potting Shed. Book a table here to experience the timbered barn style restaurant with wooden beams and a roaring fire. A superb selection of meat, fish and local cheese dishes are always on offer, but expect it to change with the weather and season. Whether its the sumptuous potted pork rillettes, the elegant twice baked double Gloucester soufflé, or the hearty roast bone marrow with garlic and parsley crumb, theres always something to entice you back.
4. Lords of the Manor, Upper Slaughter
This hotel has achieved Michelin star status for eight years running, as well as being listed in the Good Food Guide for many years. More recently, the 2018 Good Food Guide has described Head Chef Charles Smiths CV as of the blessed, with his past experience in Thomas Kellers New York Per Se and The Westbury. If youre after fine dining with a top sommelier service, this is the place to come. Just be sure to book in advance if you want to secure a table for a special occasion.
5. Purslane, Cheltenham
If youre a fan of tasting menus, Purslane is a must and its rather reasonably priced too. This Michelin star establishment located on Cheltenhams Rodney Road offers a set menu for £60 per person (optional wine flight for £38 p/p) and you will get 8 courses. Right now, you can expect tasters such as hand-dived Oban scallop, Cotswold venison haunch and delicious Cerney goats curd. But expect this change throughout the year as seasonal produce is at the heart of their kitchen.
6. Le Champignon Sauvage, Cheltenham
Another top restaurant to check out in Cheltenham is Le Champignon Sauvage, but be sure to book months in advance if you want to get in. This is a two Michelin star gem in one of the Cotswolds most stylish spa towns. And Guardian restaurant critic Marina OLoughlin rated it 10/10 for food, scoring full marks for the first time ever in her career! For a place with so many accolades, the two and three course menus are very reasonably priced, and it makes a top spot for celebrations.
7. The Wild Duck Inn, Cirencester
One of our favourite pubs for a good old fashioned Sunday roast, and one of the cosiest settings for a relaxed evening with loved ones. The Wild Duck Inn in Cirencester is without a doubt one of the best gastropubs in the region, and the building itself is brimming with history. The restaurant is the winner of the Best of British Tatler Restaurant Awards, and theres an extensive lunch and supper menu to choose from.
8. Dormy House, Broadway
The Garden Room at Dormy House in Broadway delivers Scandinavian charm in its minimalist décor, and it promises to be neither too fussy nor too formal. So if youre looking for a place to relax whilst enjoying the most sophisticated flavour combinations, this chic little dining spot comes highly recommended. The menu by Head Chef Sam Bowser and Culinary Director Martin Burge features classic cookery with a contemporary twist, with interesting signatures such as Tamworth Pig with Sage & Onion Ice Cream.
9. The Feathered Nest, Nether Westcote
Another cosy country pub and inn with a restaurant set in an old Malthouse, surrounded by greenery in the picturesque village of Nether Westcote. It has been awarded with 3 AA Rosettes, and food lovers can enjoy a uniquely curated Nest menu with either four or six dishes. Theres also a set lunch menu available Thursday to Saturday, as well as an award-winning wine list. So youll be well fed and watered here, we promise.
10. The Royal Oak, Whatcote
A recently refurbished pub from the owners of The Chefs Dozen in Chipping Campden. What makes this pub so great is that it is managed by locals who grew up in the area and are passionate about using ingredients that are right on their doorstep. So fresh ingredients and good, honest food is always guaranteed. The key to the menu is working with small scale suppliers, and creating a chorus of dishes that change with the seasons.
11. The Wheatsheaf Inn, Northleach
If you have a sweet tooth, take a trip to Northleach near Bourton-on-the-Water. The desserts are to die for and the Sunday roast is a superb end to any weekend with the whole family. The lunch and supper menu is also extensive, with indulgent dishes such as Jerusalem Artichoke and Truffle Soup, Cornish Lobster Tagliatelle and Cornish Mussels with Chorizo & Sea Vegetables. Set in a honey coloured 17th Century building, The Wheatsheaf makes for a truly romantic hideaway for couples. But its also welcoming of families too, and kids will love sharing the Marathon Pudding, which is a calorific take on the Snickers Bar served with ice cream.
12. The Daffodil, Cheltenham
Want a dining venue like no other? The Daffodil is set in a former cinema, an art deco gem of the city that has kept its original Jazz Age charm. And today, transformed in to a modern grill, The Daffodil offers a relaxed and comfortable place to enjoy simple British dishes. The steak and chips is an all-time favourite and the herb roasted salmon is always a hit with fish lovers. Or push the boat out with a fresh lobster from the tank, or indulge on the chateaubriand for two. And to get into the speakeasy mood, youve got to treat yourself to something from the cocktail menu!
13. Wild Garlic, Nailsworth
Book a table at Wild Garlic in Nailsworth for brunch or dinner and youll have the opportunity to taste the very best flavours of the South West, from the menu curated by Chef Patron Matthew Beardshall. The kitchen team buys direct from the market daily, so all menus are subject to change, but freshness is always guaranteed. This is a great place to fill your belly with something unique and unforgettable!
14. The Bell at Sapperton
We simply could not create a list of great restaurants in the Cotswolds without mentioning The Bell at Sapperton. Located halfway between Stroud and Cirencester, this quaint pub is right in the heart of the region. Roaring fires welcome you in winter time, whilst the garden and courtyard prove to be inviting al fresco areas in the summer. And the food is unpretentious and honest, great for all ages and groups. If you ask us, this is one of the top pubs to grab a simple steak or a burger its comfort food central!
15. Cowley Manor, Cowley
Malt Restaurant at Cowley Manor is both elegant and comfortable, making guests feel welcome throughout the day. Serving breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, the service here is seamless and the kitchen is dedicated to sustainable cooking. So for eco warriors or anyone who is passionate about reducing food wastage, Cowley Manor makes a wonderful dining venue. You can also come here for a mouth-watering Sunday lunch (the roast potato servings are generous).
16. The Fox Inn, Oddington
The Fox Inn is a striking pub covered in ivy and featuring traditional décor inside. For those who wish to stay overnight, there are individually designed bedrooms and an intimate walled garden to be enjoyed during the summer months. But what we really want to rave about is the delicious food! With an award winning restaurant and with a cosy setting that makes everyone feel at ease, this is one of the finest places to fill your boots after a long day of exploring. The kitchen prides itself on seasonal British cooking, and a quality wine list to match. And the diverse selection of meat, fish or vegetarian-friendly plates, there will be something for everyone.
17. The Village Pub, Barnsley
The Village Pub is exactly what it says on the tin its a great village pub if you love good food and great tipple. The menu is simple yet elegant, and you will find everything from tasty pork pies served with piccalilli to traditional beer battered fish and chips. Theres a decent wine list too with champagne/sparkling by the glass or bottle (ideal for celebratory weekends) and the dessert list ticks off all the classic feel good puddings. For comfort food at any time of year, you cant beat it.
18. The Swan at Southrop
Enjoy locally sourced dishes and classic British cookery with a contemporary twist at this ivy covered 17th Century gastropub. In the past, family favourites such as homemade Scotch egg, ribeye steak and sticky toffee pudding have ruled the menu. But today, The Swan undergoes a big refurbishment (due to reopen Easter 2018), so there will be some culinary surprises to look forward to no doubt.
19. Wild Thyme, Chipping Norton
Wild Thyme in Chipping Norton is a no nonsense restaurant, serving the best British/Mediterranean dishes. Good food is what counts here and the thoughtfully devised menu will please all taste buds. The décor is relaxed and rustic, whilst the plates are beautifully arranged to provide a sensory experience as you dine. Throughout the year, you can enjoy two courses for £32 or three courses for £40.
20. The Lamb Inn, Burford
Burfords Lamb Inn is special year-round, but especially during the spring and summer months. The fabulous building is covered in vines and crawling plants, and theres a superb beer garden outside. For the winter months, its just as wonderful as diners and boozers can warm up by the roaring fire. Holiday makers always find The Lamb Inn to be incredibly family friendly, so youll be made to feel right at home.
21. Lumiere, Cheltenham
A 3AA Rosette award winning restaurant in the heart of the Cotswolds, with a menu that continues to be inspiring season after season. Located in our favourite spa town, Lumiere boasts a kitchen that offers the very best of British. Pop in for lunch or dinner, or tantalise your taste buds with the fantastic 6 course tasting menu for a little taste of everything. Lumiere is owned by Somerset born Chef Jon Howe and his wife, and is a stones throw from Cheltenhams famous tree lined promenade.