We are so blessed in the Cotswolds with wonderful village inns, local cafés and restaurants offering mouth-watering hospitality to suit all pockets and occasions. They pride themselves on innovative, quality cooking, and what joy to procure local, seasonal ingredients from the Cotswolds fertile escarpment and valleys.
Tuck into succulent, sweet Gloucestershire Old Spot pork - the black spots on the pink pigs are said to be bruises from apples falling onto them as they go scrumping in the orchards! Artisan bread, so many local cheeses, and great delis to mooch into and sample some goodies. And of course, the Vale of Evesham, with its fruit trees lined up in military precision, glasshouses bulging with soft fruits and berries, field upon field of green vegetables and of course our very own English asparagus with its short butter-dripping season from early May to mid-June. All to be washed down with local wines, beers, artisan gin, hic, I could go on……hic!
The following favourites are within a 6-mile radius, 10 to 15 minute drive. Listed in no particular order:
- The Red Lion, Long Compton. A consistently good, friendly busy local, a good seasonal menu and a daily specials board. Serves food all day later into the week / Sat. and Sun. I believe there is plenty of parking. They have mastered the fine balance of wide appeal here!
Tel: 01608 684 221 www.redlion-longcompton.co.uk
- The Red Lion, LITTLE Compton. With a warm welcome from Jayne and Martin. This is a proper understated village inn, locals propping up the Bar, some playing pool, and nothing is too much trouble. The landlords are also super at hosting summer BBQ’s and Bank Holiday live music. Owned by the Arkle family at Donnington Brewery, the beer is good and local! Nicely cooked food with some specials each day, portions are huge, so be prepared! A 5-minute stroll from us to a relaxed, friendly inn.
Tel: 01608 674 397 www.theredlioninnlittlecompton.co.uk
- Wild Thyme at Chipping Norton. A great award-winning restaurant and unpretentious, Nick procures locally and cooks seasonally and oh so skilfully. His wife Sally manages the 30 or so covers (amongst other jobs that go with the territory!) and tables are always well booked up, so you will need to jump on as soon as you can if you fancy top-notch food in a lovely relaxed restaurant.
Tel: 01608 645 060 www.wildthymerestaurant.co.uk
- The Fox Inn, Lower Oddington. We have a great affinity with this pub as it is where John and I met over twenty years ago, even though he was an hour late! Nothing much has changed with John, or thankfully the Inn which is a very pretty, quintessential old Cotswold inn, always bustling with a great atmosphere, great food and friendly staff, who seem to be getting younger me thinks! Can be tricky parking.
Tel: 01451 810 555 https://thefoxatoddington.com
- The Chequers at Churchill. A great village inn, popular with locals too for a pint whilst visitors can dine in style. A wonderful menu and a good reputation for steaks too; there’s a fab curry night on a Tuesday, or you can take your own wine with free corkage on a Monday!
Tel: 01608 659 393 www.thechequerschurchill.com
- The Salford Inn. Just down the A44 from us is a proper village inn. Friendly, no frills, a good mainstream menu, piping hot, simply served, great value, well-cooked … a nice 3-mile walk from here.
Tel: 01608 642 631 www.thesalford.co.uk
- Whistlers and Bitter & Twisted. Neighbouring bistro/cafes in Chipping Norton and again lively; good variety of food, grazing boards, pizzas etc.…relaxed…good for pre-theatre supper too.
Whistlers, Tel: 01608 643 363 www.whistlersrestaurant.co.uk
Bitter & Twisted, Tel: 01608 644466 - Website: www.bitterandtwisted.pub
- The Kingham Plough. Infamous for its owner Emily Watson’s apprenticeship under Heston Blumenthal and her innovative cooking. Think the ‘country set’ in a most sought-after village and with rooms, lots of weekenders escaping the city! Great for people watching and superb food.
Tel: 01608 658 327 www.thekinghamplough.co.uk
- Daylesford Organic. This is my nearest shop! It has The Trough, a smart cafe serving brunch through to afternoon tea and The Old Spot restaurant. It’s a must to visit, even if only to ‘people watch’ with a take-away coffee … love it! You can also visit their hotel The Wild Rabbit, a mile away from Daylesford in Kingham village that has a smart, high-end restaurant and a bar serving drinks, small bites and delicious coffee.
Tel: 01608 731 700 www.daylesford.com/locations
- The Horse and Groom, Upper Oddington. This has changed hands and to be honest I need to re-visit now all seemingly settled as never easy to take over from an ‘old hand’. Lovely staff and comfortable surroundings and beautifully presented food. Plenty of parking.
Tel. 01451 830 584 www.horseandgroom.uk.com
- The Kings Head Inn. This inn stands on the most idyllic village green in Bledington. Popular with locals too, plenty of space for seating and parking!
Tel: 01608 658 365 www.kingsheadinn.net
And slightly further away, within 20 to 30 minutes drive:
- The Feathered Nest Inn. Located in Nether Westcote, Oxon. Smart, high-end food and a haunt for the local stables and racing fraternity. Between us and Burford as the crow flies.
Tel: 01993 833 030 www.thefeatherednestinn.co.uk
- The Ebrington Arms. Near Chipping Campden this lovely old inn is popular and has good food. Nice for a Saturday late lunch if mooching in that area or out walking.
Tel: 01386 593 223 www.theebringtonarms.co.uk
- The Halfway House, Kineton. Not far from Adam Henderson’s Cotswold Rare Breeds Farm and en route to Winchcombe, nestling in a great area for walking. Well-known and friendly, with great roasts too.
Tel: 01451 850 344 www.thehalfwayhousekineton.co.uk
Some others to ponder on:
- The Royal Oak. A proper pub in Burford that has great pies and lunchtime grub.
Tel: 01993 823 278 www.royaloakburford.co.uk
- The Churchill. Located in the little Cotswold village of Paxford.
Tel: 01386 593 159 www.churchillarms.co
- Sitara. A great Indian restaurant in Moreton-in-Marsh.
Tel: 01608 651 015 www.sitaramoretoninmarsh.com
- The Porch House. Located in Stow-on-the-Wold.
Tel: 01451 870 048 www.porch-house.co.uk
- The Sheep. A new, brasserie style establishment with good reviews in Stow-on-the-Wold.