While you might think of major towns and cities as the place to go for fine dining, the Cotswolds has an abundance of great places to eat. This picturesque corner of rural England has everything right on its doorstep, including excellent local produce, not to mention idyllic surroundings and beautiful settings for restaurants and pubs.
The Michelin-Starred Choice
While London might enjoy the highest concentration of restaurants awarded a much-coveted Michelin star, the Cotswolds has more than its fair share of eateries worthy of the honour. The excellent Michelin-starred restaurant at Lords of the Manor offers a delicious menu of mouth-watering French cuisine, including a ragout of Salisbury plain venison and pot roast partridge, and has a near-legendary wine selection. Situated in the sinisterly named (but very picturesque) Upper Slaughter, stay at Bourton-on-the-Water or Stow-on-the-Wold.
The Horse and Groom in Bourton-on-the-Hill is one of the finest restaurants in the Cotswolds, using only the best of local produce to create food of the highest standards. The Horse & Groom offers you top class service in the most relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Chef and co-owner Will Greenstock is a wizard in the kitchen where he combines beautiful ingredients with as little fuss as possible, serving the diners fresh flavours on a plate.
Recent years have seen many of the traditional pubs and inns in the region up their game (no pun intended), offering locals and visitors alike top quality but affordable food in more informal settings. When it comes to gastropubs in the Cotswolds, you’re spoilt for choice. The village of Sapperton near Cirencester is home to The Bell, a country pub with a lot of charm and an excellent menu. Alongside old favourites like beer battered cod and a classic burger you’ll find more adventurous creations such as their saffron-infused stew of cod, mussels and tiger prawns or their chicory, pear and blue cheese salad.
If, however, you’re looking to take some of that amazing local produce home with you, you may also want to check out one of the region’s many excellent farmers markets. There are plenty to choose from, in towns and villages such as Cheltenham, Cirencester and Stow-on-the-Wold.