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The Cotswolds According to Me - Favorite Places to Eat

Pauline Kenny

There is a rumor going around that the food in England is not good, that it is plain, boring, overcooked, and always fried. This rumor started thirty years ago and maybe it was true then, but it has not been true in the last decade or more. You can look forward to some excellent meals in the Cotswolds: morning coffee at the local tea room, a very good lunch in the pub, a gourmet dinner at a nearby restaurant (or an inexpensive but good takeaway).

We are not "foodies", but we enjoy well made food using local and fresh ingredients. I am a vegetarian and Steve eats fish. We have always found good food to eat in the Cotswolds. This page lists some of our favorite places, but there are lots more great places in the Cotswolds.

Recommended Food Guidebook

Forty Classic Cotswolds Pubs: For Lovers of Good Pub Food and Ale, G.M. Ball, Cottage Ventures Limited, 2005

Excellent book with detailed descriptions of good food pubs in the Cotswolds. We have eaten at several of the recommended pubs and they were great. Photo, prices, contact information. Take the book with you and use it to call ahead for reservations.

Not available in the US yet.

Pubs

It is no longer just about standing in a smoke filled room and drinking. Now pubs are THE place to eat lunch or dinner in the Cotswolds. You can still stand at the bar and have a drink (there is usually one room reserved for people just having drinks), and you can still smoke (but this is changing soon), but you can also use the pubs as restaurants. We had several good lunches in pubs and, if I had got the book "Forty Classic Cotswolds Pubs" sooner on our trip, we would have had more pub lunches.

Chedworth - The Seven Tuns
Near Cirencester. We have had a few lunches here. It is a good place to stop if visiting the nearby Chedworth Roman Villa or if doing a hike in the area. Good food, good service, large rooms with nice space. Recommended in "Forty Classic Cotswolds Pubs".

Eastleach St. Martin - The Victoria Inn
Near Lechlade and Burford. We stopped here for a lovely lunch when doing a hike in the area. Good food, good service, and a nice room. The pub is up off the main road. We had a hard time finding it, but only because we did not look up the hill (we drove back and forth, could not find it, finally parked then looked up and saw it). This is a beautiful village with two good churches and the River Leach. This pub is not mentioned in "Forty Classic Cotswolds Pubs".

Ford - The Plough Inn, www.theploughinnatford.co.uk
Near Stow-on-the-Wold. My favorite drive in the Cotswolds is on B4077, the road from Stow-on-the-Wold, through Upper Swell and Ford, to Stanway. In May 2006, we did this drive and stopped in Ford for a Saturday lunch. The pub was crowded and we got the last table. We had an excellent lunch in a very pleasant pub.

The Plough Inn, on the road from Stow-on-the-Wold to Tewkesbury, at Ford

The Plough Inn, on the road from Stow to Tewkesbury, at Ford

Great Barrington - The Fox Inn, www.foxinnbarrington.co.uk
Near Burford. We have not been to this pub, but spent over two weeks one mile from it. You would think we could have stopped in one day, but we didn't. The location is lovely, on a small road just off the A40, west of Burford, on the banks of the River Windrush. Outdoor seating. Recommended in "Forty Classic Cotswolds Pubs".

Ilmington - The Howard Arms, www.howardarms.com
A pretty village, north of Chipping Campden. Beautiful open countryside in this area. Recommended in "Forty Classic Cotswolds Pubs".

Sheepscombe - The Butchers Arms, www.cotswoldinns.co.uk
Near Painswick. We had lunch here years ago, so I don't remember much, but this is a lovely pub in a nice village near Painswick. Recommended in "Forty Classic Cotswolds Pubs".

Southrop - The Swan at Southrop, www.theswanatsouthrop.co.uk
Near Lechlade and Burford. We had an excellent lunch here in May 2006. This village and the nearby villages of Eastleach Martin and Eastleach Turville, are beautiful. Take some time to walk around these villages. Recommended in "Forty Classic Cotswolds Pubs".

Sapperton - The Bell at Sapperton, www.foodatthebell.co.uk
Between Cirencester and Stroud. This is my favorite pub in the Cotswolds. We have had many good lunches here, including a Sunday lunch sitting outside in the sunshine in May 2005. Great food, good service, lovely areas to sit inside or outside. There is a very good hike from this village along a unused canal. Recommended in "Forty Classic Cotswolds Pubs".

Winchcombe - The White Hart Inn, www.the-white-hart-inn.com
A good pub in the center of Winchcombe. The same family operates a pub in Stow-on-the-Wold. Good food with vegetarian selections. Recommended in "Forty Classic Cotswolds Pubs".

Restaurants

Broadway - Russell's of Broadway, www.russellsofbroadway.co.uk
Good small hotel with an excellent restaurant. We had a wonderful dinner here in May 2006. Vegetarian options. The seating is in a nice large room, with good space between tables.

Chipping Campden - Huxley's Restaurant & Bar, High Street, lunch and diner
This is a lovely restaurant in the center of Chipping Campden, at the end of the block from the Market Square. The restaurant is on the ground floor of a lovely old building. There is outdoor seating, but the times we have been there were too cold to sit outside. We had lunch here twice in 2004 and a very good Sunday lunch in May 2006 (£30.30 for lunch for two: I think we had soup to start, Pauline had mushroom risotto, Steve had Cod, both had wine and coffee). The service is good and the food is good (vegetarian and fish options).

Chipping Norton - Chef's Cottage, 4 Middle Row
Takeaway Chinese food, closed Tuesday, open for dinner, open for lunch on Thurs - Sat. Very good quality food with good vegetarian options.

Nailsworth - Mad Hatters Organic Restaurant, 3 Cossack Square
Expensive, but worth it. A very good restaurant in a small town south of Stroud. We have eaten here twice, once in 2004 and once in 2005, and had very good dinners both times. Food is good, service is good, the building is very pretty.

Winchcombe - Wesley House, High Street, www.wesleyhouse.co.uk
Very expensive (£35 - £38 per person for 3 courses), but one of the best restaurants we have ever been to. Read my review.

Stow-on-the-Wold - Daylesford Organic, Daylesford near Kingham, east of Stow, www.daylesfordorganic.com
Large organic farm shop, restaurant, garden shop, clothes. Very chi-chi. Very crowded the day we were there (rainy Saturday on a Bank Holiday weekend) and we did not get to eat in the restaurant (too long of a wait), but it looked worth trying.

Tea Rooms

For comparison purposes, where possible I have noted the cost of a Cotswolds Cream Tea from our May 2006 trip (usually between £4 and £5 - includes tea/coffee, two scones, clotted cream, jam).

Broadway - Tissanes, on the Main Road
Good tea room. We have been here a few times. Excellent cakes.

Burford - Huffkins, 98 High Street, www.huffkins.com
Large tea room with attached bakery. This is the best tea room in Burford. Try to get a seat in the small front room with a bay window out onto the High Street. The floors are so sloped that you think your tea will slide off the table. The tea is good, so is the coffee. (The Copper Kettle Tea Room on the other side of the street and at the top looks nice, but they have an automatic air freshener in the room and we had to leave before ordering.)

Minchinhampton - The Kitchen
Lovely small tea room with excellent food. We ate there several times when we spent a week in Minch in September 2005. Good for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. Good food, lovely women who run the tea room.

Moreton-in-Marsh - Tilly's, 18-19 High Street
Very nice tea room and bakery in the center of town. Cotswolds Cream Tea £4.35.

Stow-on-the-Wold - Treebus Tea Rooms, Digbeth Street (just off main square)
Very nice small tea room with very good food. Home baked cakes, cream teas, lunches. We have had lunch there twice, on different trips. Cotswolds Cream Tea £4.55.

Tewkesbury - The Abbey Tea Rooms, across from the Abbey
Not officially in the Cotswolds, but if you go to Tewkesbury to see the Abbey, these tea rooms are across the street. We have been here twice in 2004: once for an excellent cream tea (very good scones) here and the other time for a very good Sunday lunch.

Winchcombe - The Old Tea House, 6 Hailes Street
There are three tea rooms in Winchcombe and during the month we spent here in September 2004, this was our favorite. A small tea room in an old building on the main street, run by a friendly husband/wife team. Cakes and scones are made by a local woman. Great breakfasts - we went there many mornings. See their menu from 2004.

Winchcombe - Juri's The Olde Bakery Tea Shoppe, High Street, www.juris-tearoom.co.uk
Very nice tea room on the High Street next to the White Hart. Good lunches, good cakes. Run by a Japanese family, but they make perfectly English cakes and food.

Winchcombe - Lady Jane Tea Rooms, High Street
This was closed for most of the month we spent in Winchcombe in 2004, so we only went here once, but it was a good tea room.

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