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There is a lot more to Chipping Norton than the Chipping Norton Set (we wrote about Fighting the Bad Press in the Cotswolds in March) – in fact we slightly regret bringing it up again but it is one of the first things people think of when they hear the towns name. The residents barely knew the set existed until the kerfuffle started earlier this year, and why should they? With the wealth of great restaurants, bars and pubs in Chipping Norton, they would never let bad press get them down! We’re going to run through a few of our favourites, which if you decide to find yourself a holiday cottage here in the Cotswolds, will soon become yours too.
Bitter & Twisted is a modern and upbeat bar/restaurant with as central a location as you can get in Chipping Norton. It (along with Whistler’s below) would feel just at home in central Oxford as it does in the town of Chipping Norton. It also sports what is perhaps the best garden/patio area so expect it to be busy when the weather’s nice (in fact, expect it to be busy even when it’s not).
It serves food throughout the day, with a menu resembling those of other gastro-pubs and is cooked very well. The drinks selection is pretty good too (so long as you’re not the sort to be put off by only a selection of two or three ales), with an impressive cocktail menu making it great for nights out.
Whistler’s is located just a few doors down from Bitter & Twisted and is very similar in some regards; it is a modern, bar & restaurant that prides itself on good service and quality decor, but the focus here tends to be much more on food. While Bitter & Twisted can get quite packed (and quite loud!) on a Friday or Saturday night, Whistler’s is a quieter, more refined affair.
The menu consists of a mix of the classics as well as more extravagant delights such as whole sea bass with chorizo and caper butter, or wild mushroom aranchini (risotto balls with a truffle aioli dressing).
The Thai Shire holds a very special place in the hearts of those who eat out in Chipping Norton (and is good enough to warrant coming here on holiday). The Thai Shire is a restaurant located only a minute or two from the centre which serves a selection of Asian dishes, from Thai to Malaysian to Chinese. It is one of those restaurants that while it does serve takeaway, it’d be such a shame not to eat in. The service is warm and courteous, and is decorated in a way that suggests itself as a place to spend a few hours.
The main menu is expansive but if you’re having trouble deciding, their set menus have a pick of the very best and are served in three courses – the starters being separated from the mains with some of the best crispy duck in Oxfordshire.
So – there are our three picks, but there is much more to see, do, eat and drink here than what we’ve covered in this article. So if you fancy getting away to somewhere a bit closer to home, why not see our special offers on cotswold holiday homes to see if you can snap up a bargain?