Culinary Hotspots to visit in the Cotswolds
Awash with independent delis, artisan bakeries, cosy country gastropubs and fine dining restaurants, the Cotswolds boasts some of the finest culinary hotspots in the country. There’s plenty to discover in this fertile region, from Gloucestershire Old Spot pork to fresh fish from Bibury Trout Farm, local game from Upton Smokery and a rich variety of organic fruit and veg.
Holidays in the Cotswolds offer a great selection of Cotswolds breaks which you can use as a base to explore the fresh produce and seasonal fare on offer in the beautiful villages of the area. Here’s a guide to some of the best places to eat in the Cotswolds during your stay.
Start the day with a hearty breakfast
If you want to get your day off to a splendid start, retreat to the stylish setting of Cheltenham’s No. 131 and treat yourself to a delicious brunch. With views over the Imperial Gardens, you can tuck into a decadent full English with dry cured back bacon, Stornoway black pudding and Cumberland sausage, or sample one of their more unique breakfast options including devilled lamb kidneys on sourdough toast, and smoked haddock kedgeree with poached egg and sultanas. Or perhaps opt for a warm bowl of porridge with honeycomb to kick-start your morning. Enjoy with a refreshing glass of juice or go for one of their signature Bloody Marys.
Enjoy a relaxed pub lunch
When it comes to pub lunches, the Cotswolds is simply bursting with cosy country inns where you can dine in front of a roaring log fire or alfresco in a sunny garden. The charming Oxfordshire village of Kingham is a popular hotspot with two exceptional gastropubs to choose from.
is part of the Daylesford estate and serves only the very best organic, seasonal and local food. Sink into one of the deep leather sofas by the fire or pull up a chair in the rustic comfort of the dining room and sample the likes of butter poached cod with potted brown shrimps, Côte de bœuf with horseradish crème and caramelised apple tartlet with Evenlode cider.
The Kingham Plough has received notable recognition and many awards for its highly creative take on traditional British cuisine. Both family and dog-friendly, this much-loved Cotswolds pub offers a relaxed atmosphere and superior cuisine. Dishes currently featuring on the menu include hake with palourde clams, and Tamworth pork loin with asparagus and pomme mousseline. Leave room for a white chocolate and lovage magnum with pistachio and lime, or a plate of local cheeses.
Indulge in an afternoon tea
Nothing feels more indulgent than a leisurely afternoon tea and, in the Cotswolds, there is an abundance of tearooms where you can savour a warm pot of Earl Grey with a wonderful combination of sweet and savoury refreshments.
Huffkins has been creating homemade treats since 1890 and is a firm favourite with locals as well as visitors. They currently have five tearooms dotted around the Cotswolds where diners can delight in a classic three-tier stand full of freshly made sandwiches, fluffy scones served with lashings of clottedThe Wild Rabbit cream and preserves, and a cornucopia of cakes. Add a touch of sparkle with a chilled glass of prosecco.
Treat yourself to an ice cream
On the edge of the rolling green hills of Rodborough Common in Gloucestershire, you’ll find Winstones Ice Cream Parlour who have been churning out award-winning ice cream and sorbets since 1925. The perfect way to cool off after a day exploring the Cotswolds, Winstones offer everything from a traditional scoop of vanilla to indulgent combinations like rhubarb crumble, spiced plum and butterscotch chip. On a sunny day, pick up a cone and soak up the breathtaking views of the common.
Have a casual dinner
For British classics with an elegant twist, book a table at The Five Alls in Filkins. With several awards to its name and the likes of Kate Moss dining here, this chic Cotswolds inn is a great spot for dinner. If you can, grab a cosy table beside the fire and peruse the menu of both traditional pub food and à la carte delights.
Generous brasserie creations include chargrilled flat iron steak with thrice cooked wedges and stuffed mushroom, and mallard two ways with rosti potato, red cabbage, and apple and cranberry gravy. And if you’ve still got room for dessert, the sticky toffee pudding with caramel sauce and salted caramel ice cream, or the rice pudding with mixed berry compote and coconut biscuits are sure to go down a treat.
Special occasion suppers
When only the very best will do, Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons is the culinary pièce de résistance of the Cotswolds. This two Michelin star dining experience lies within an extravagant 15th-century Oxfordshire manor house, Raymond Blanc’s ‘country seat’. Begin with pre-dinner champagne and delicate canapés before choosing deliciously indulgent dishes from Blanc’s imaginative tasting menus.
Using ingredients from the on-site two-acre kitchen garden that produces 90 types of vegetable and 70 varieties of herb, this modern haute cuisine meets every conceivable culinary desire. Spiced ravioli of Cornish lobster, sea herbs and oscietra caviar, or roasted duck, almonds, spiced cherry and pickled turnips are some of the enticing plates you might encounter. And the desserts – from gariguette strawberries, meadowsweet and custard mousse to Linzer sablé, pink grapefruit, lemongrass and lemon basil sorbet – are nothing short of sublime.
Stay in and cook something delicious
Although it’s a joy to discover the many culinary hotspots in the Cotswolds, sometimes you might just fancy a night in with a homecooked meal. For these occasions, there are some great places where you can fill your bags with fresh, local produce including farm shops, markets and food festivals.
Daylesford Organic Farm near Kingham is a firm foodie favourite with all manner of mouth-watering fruit, vegetables, meats, dairy and baked goods. There is also an award-winning café if you fancy a mid-shopping bite to eat and a cookery school if you need to pick up some professional tips.
Broadway Deli and The Cotswold Food Store and Café in Moreton-in-Marsh are two more gems, both with a treasure trove of fresh local produce, succulent meats and jars of tasty jams, chutneys and condiments. Plus, Stroud, Chipping Norton and Stow-on-the-Wold all hold regular farmers’ markets where you can source a variety of local treats.
Time your visit right, and you can enjoy the delights on offer at some of the Cotswolds food festivals. Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival and Tewkesbury Food Festival both have a delicious selection of local food and ale stalls along with cookery demonstrations, while The Big Feastival and the Wilderness Festival offer a unique celebration of food, drink and music.
If these fantastic culinary destinations have whetted your appetite, have a browse of the relaxing Cotswolds breaks on offer from Holidays In The Cotswolds and start planning your next foodie getaway.