From sunbathed terraces to riverside hotspots, head to a Gloucestershire pub or restaurant offering alfresco dining options.
With warmer weather on the way and the government’s roadmap out of lockdown revealing that hospitality venues can reopen in April, there’s never been a better time to eat outside.
Please check local restrictions before travelling and making reservations.
The Bathurst Arms in Cirencester is a rustic country pub and is the first of its kind to ever achieve five-star organic status awarded by the Soil Association – which means that at any time, more than 95 per cent of ingredients are sourced from certified organic farmers, producers and suppliers, or grown in the pub’s own allotment.
Offering riverside dining in the pub’s garden, which has a tepee offering shelter on rainy days, guests can enjoy its beautiful organic food alfresco too no matter the weather.
For more information, or to book a table, visit bathurstarms.co.uk.
Located in the picturesque Cotswold countryside beside the River Churn in North Cerney, just outside Cirencester, The Bathurst Arms is a rustic country pub with a beautiful riverside garden where visitors and well-behaved dogs can enjoy a menu of modern British pub food with European influences.
With a selection of small plate dishes and sharing platters, there is something for every occasion and appetite at The Bathurst Arms, where friends and families can dine together to enjoy a real food experience.
Dishes include conference pear and walnut salad with Bath Blue cheese and walnut vinaigrette; Kentucky fried pheasant tenders with autumn slaw; dirty burgers; tacos; kebabs; and traditional roast dinners too.
Make it an adventure and explore the local area on one of the walks provided by The Bathurst Arms. What’s more, you can make a night of it with a stay in one of pub’s six comfortable guest bedrooms.
Visit bathurstarms.co.uk .
Enjoying far-reaching views of the Cotswold countryside, the AA rosette award-winning Maytime Inn’s gorgeous garden makes the perfect setting for enjoying a spot of alfresco dining which intends to open on Monday 17 May 2021. The sun-soaked space has plenty of tables for leisurely lunches or early evening drinks and dinner, while the grassy area, complete with picnic tables, is ideal for families or visitors with four-legged friends. The pub also benefits from an outdoor bar, and if you’re feeling competitive, you can challenge your mates to a game of pétanque. And, while you’re there, make sure you get someone to take a picture of you in the giant chair!
The Maytime Inn’s seasonally-changing menu is comprised of locally-sourced food, meaning diners will enjoy an authentically Cotswold culinary experience. Choose from traditional pub meals to à la carte dishes – or why not enjoy a sandwich or perhaps a sharing board in the sunshine with a nice bottle of wine?
There’s nothing quite like a drink in the sun and The Maytime has plenty of real ales, bottled craft beer and ciders to sample – along with more than 150 different types of gin, including many local brands. There’s also a very good wine list (with almost all wines available by the glass).
If you fancy a summer getaway, The Maytime also has six individually-decorated en-suite rooms that offer a delightful base for exploring the Cotswolds.
The Sheep on Sheep Street, in the heart of Stow-on-the-Wold, is a modern take on the Cotswold countryside inn. The 17th century building has a fresh, modern interior, spacious dining room with views of the open kitchen and a newly refurbished rear garden with a wood burning fire pit.
Wood-fired pizza is a Sheep on Sheep Street speciality. Choose from options like the classic Margherita with The Sheep’s own signature pizza sauce, buffalo mozzarella and fresh oregano; the funghi with its garlic and truffle butter base, portobello mushrooms and spinach; or the house pizza, topped with barbecue pulled pork. For vegans, the giardiniera features olives, artichokes, cherry tomatoes and vegan mozzarella.
There’s also a selection of tempting sides, including skin on fries; halloumi chips with jalapeno ketchup; and garlic buttered doughballs. For something lighter, The Sheep on Sheep Street also offers grazing boards with hummous, flatbread and olives, with a selection of add-on dishes to create your own dream dish.
Fans of a G&T will love The Sheep’s specialist gin menu, which features 21 different varieties of the tipple. There’s also a cocktail list, which includes a house special espresso martini that comes highly recommended as an after-dinner treat.
Egypt Mill is a cosy hotel and restaurant in Nailsworth, housed inside a 16th century mill – with original features throughout, including a working water wheel! Sit back in the expansive waterside seating area and enjoy its wide ranging food and wine menus in the sun.
The outdoor dining menu at Egypt Mill is packed with delicious options. Choose from a signature grazing board with olives, hummous and flatbread, then add on a selection of your favourite extras, like cured Italian meats. You can also get stuck into one of Egypt Mill’s tasty pizzas, with everything from a classic Margherita to the hot and spicy Diavolo, with pepperoni, n’duja sausage, crushed chilli flakes and jalapeno.
Or keep it classic, with a selection of pub favourites including dry aged sirloin steak, ale battered haddock and chips or dry aged rib cap burger with chips and house slaw. Plus, there’s also a children’s menu with options like grilled beef burger or battered haddock, with each child’s meal also coming with an activity pack aiming to keep little ones entertained.
When parties and get-togethers can be booked into the diary, Egypt Mill is also available for private hire. With rooms to suit any celebration, the hotel and restaurant also boasts a dancefloor and curated function menus.
Cowley Manor’s alfresco dining terrace overlooks its gorgeous Grade II Listed gardens, lakes and woodland and has recently been covered, with blankets to keep diners cosy on cooler days. While Cowley Manor’s now famous picnics have been given a stylish upgrade for 2021, with the chance to be enjoyed in the picturesque grounds – or inside one of its new private bell tents.
When dining on the terrace, enjoy nibbles like focaccia served with local Cotswold Gold rapeseed oil or pork pie with homemade piccalilli; larger dishes including a ginger and chilli crab and cod cake, a vegetarian-friendly sweet potato hash topped with a poached egg, or a classic beef burger; as well as decadent desserts.
Meanwhile, Cowley Manor picnickers can build their own hamper from a range of small plates, from gourmet scotch eggs and lamb sausage rolls to seasonal salads and local artisan cheeses – not to mention pizzas and the option to add a bottle of Pimms or fizz. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a quintessentially English picnic without scones, jam and clotted cream!
For an extra special alfresco dining experience, booking one of Cowley’s private bell tents is a must. Available for hire from £25, the luxurious spaces give friends and family a place to get together for a gourmet feast, kitted out with fun games, deck chairs and blankets too.
The Frogmill, situated between Andoversford and Shipton Oliffe, near Cheltenham, is a luxuriously renovated 16th century inn surrounded by countryside. The Frogmill’s spacious outdoor dining area, with a new heated canopy, is an ideal spot to enjoy a sunny lunch or relaxed alfresco dinner.
The Frogmill’s outdoor dining menu offers grazing boards, a selection of pizzas and classic main dishes. For a light meal, the signature grazing board includes tomato and pepper hummous with Lebanese flatbread and marinated olives, with a selection of extras available to add on, including cream cheese stuffed cherry red peppers; cured Italian meats; salt and pepper squid with lemon aioli; and smoked ham hock and cheddar bon bons.
For something more substantial, choose from options including the dry aged double rib cap burger with house slaw; ale battered haddock and chips with crushed peas; and dry aged native breed sirloin steak with truffle and parmesan chips. There’s even a dark chocolate tart with fresh raspberries for dessert.
Make it a weekend break with an overnight stay in one of The Frogmill’s 28 boutique rooms, some of which have freestanding roll top baths and their own private patios. Breakfast is complimentary when you book direct. And you can even bring your pooch too.
Dating back to the 16th century, Gloucester’s oldest ale house, The Fountain Inn, has all the charm of a traditional country pub, plus a gorgeous courtyard garden, bang in the centre of the city. It’s dog friendly too!
Fans of proper pub grub will be in their element with a host of hearty dishes including beer battered cod and chips with homemade tartare sauce; homemade steak and ale pie; and horseshoe gammon steak with fried eggs.
For a lighter option, there’s fresh seasonal soup with homemade croutons; prawn and smoked salmon salad; or creamy garlic mushrooms with the option to add stilton. The Fountain also does a cracking two course Sunday roast with a choice of three meats and three desserts.
Being just a stone’s throw from Gloucester Cathedral, The Fountain Inn is the perfect place to stop for a pub lunch while exploring the cultural sights of the city. Dine out in the courtyard garden on warm days or cosy up next to the log fire when the weather is cooler.
With a large heated outdoor marquee furnished with a vintage twist, as well as a sheltered patio area and a stunning ‘sunset garden’ to watch the sun go down over the Cotswolds countryside with a G&T in hand, the Foston’s Ash Inn near Stroud is the perfect place to head to for a spot of alfresco dining.
Proud to source its produce from family-owned businesses within 30 miles of the pub, the Foston’s Ash Inn’s spring menu will deliver a proper taste of the Cotswolds – using free range and organic ingredients.
The menu features grazing dishes such as Gloucester old spot sausage rolls or crispy halloumi with homemade harissa yoghurt dip, to main courses like lager-battered fish and chips or succulent steaks from Todenham Manor Farm – as well as a range of delicious desserts. There’s a dedicated ‘little ponies’ menu for kids too.
On top of that, the Foston’s Ash is also planning to offer a bank holiday Argentine Asado as well as gin and rum tastings from its stable mates, British Polo Gin.
For anyone celebrating a special occasion, or just wanting some special treatment, the Foston’s Ash Inn has a heated cabin for private alfresco dining. Reserved for VIPs, the cabin can only be booked over the phone and is already proving popular! It’s also ideal for anyone wanting a Covid-secure dining experience.
Call the Fostons Ash Inn on (01452) 863262 or visit thefostonsash.com.
To celebrate lockdown restrictions easing, Tewkesbury Park will be firing up its pizza ovens for a series of alfresco pizza weekends.
On Friday 16 April 2021, Tewkesbury Park will be offering wood-fired pizzas made the traditional Italian way, using the best locally sourced ingredients, from 5 to 7pm out on its terrace – so family and friends can meet in a safe, outdoor setting.
The pizza terrace will then be open every Friday from 5 to 7pm, and every Saturday and Sunday from 12 until 3pm, with an extra pizza feast event on bank holiday Monday 3 May 2021 from 12 until 3pm.
The delicious-sounding pizza menu includes the Absolutely ham-tastic with local spicy sausage, pulled pork, honey-glazed ham and pineapple salsa; the Tasty TP tikka with chicken tikka, halloumi and mint yoghurt; and the Bleats, brocs and cheese with Moroccan lamb kofta, Evesham broccoli and ricotta cheese.
There’s also excellent options for veggies, like the Easy cheesy with rich tomato sauce, mozzarella and fresh basil, as well as the Very vegan with roasted ratatouille veg, vegan cheese and olives – all costing £12 each. Plus, if the pizza isn’t quite enough, there’s also the option to enjoy tea and coffee with a miniature pudding for an extra £4 per person too.
Little diners can join in the pizza feast too, with half a pizza for £6 – meaning families can enjoy some quality time together over a delicious dinner. Just remember to mention how many children will be dining when booking online.
Monday 26 April 2021
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