Gloucestershire is incredibly lucky to have a wealth of local food and drink producers on its doorstep. Artisanal cheeses, locally grown and fermented wine and even delicious local gelato – there’s something to suit all tastes.
But many producers also offer experiences to complement their delicious offerings, providing the chance for foodie fans to learn more about how their favourite tipples and tastes are created, and even getting the chance to learn the skills needed to recreate flavours at home.
In this hotlist, we round up 15 of the most fabulous foodie experiences in Gloucestershire.
Woodchester Valley Vineyard is a family owned destination for lovers of great tasting wine. Boasting 45 acres under vine, this Gloucestershire vineyard and winery was established in 2007. Visitors can enjoy year-round tours and tastings at the stunningly situated Woodchester vineyard, where guests can explore the world of winemaking, walk through the vines and learn about the life cycle of grapes, while guided by one of Woodchester Valley’s experienced team.
For more information visit woodchestervalleyvineyard.co.uk. directly.
Offering a selection of vineyard tours, wine-tasting events and overnight stays overlooking its spectacular Cotswold setting, Woodchester Valley Vineyard is a versatile destination for lovers of fine wine. Tours begin with an aperitif and introduction to the site, a tour of the vineyard and winery, a fully tutored tasting of five of Woodchester’s current wines, and the opportunity to meet the team, and purchase wine from the venue’s farm shop.
Lasting around 90 minutes, the experience can be extended with a stay in Woodchester’s vineyard barn guest rooms, or on-site farmhouse, which also has room for two dogs.
Offering a range of cheese making courses throughout the year, guests can learn the basics of cheesemaking with locally renowned cheese farmer, Simon Weaver.
Known for his delicious artisan cheeses, Simon Weaver is the tenant dairy farmer at Greystones nature reserve in Bouton-on-the-Water, where the courses take place.
The experience starts with a lesson on the art and science of making cheese, followed by a guided walk around the nature reserve and a chance to sample Simon Weaver’s award-winning cheeses.
If you’ve got a veggie or vegan in the family or are just looking to eat meat-free more regularly, The Natural Cookery School in Nailsworth offers a range of cookery classes to help enhance your recipe repertoire.
Known as The Natural Kitchen, the three-day vegetarian cookery retreat is set on an organic Cotswold farm, offering three days of cooking where guests will improve their knife skills, learn how to create healthy brunch dishes and develop a range of tasty vegan sweet treats.
Wholly Cow Gelato is a small-batch ice cream producer, with a shop on the Hobbs’ Family dairy farm in Elmore, in Gloucester.
Offering an ever-changing menu of delicious flavours, guests can enjoy a cone or tub of tasty gelato on site, while meeting the cows who produced the milk to make it – It’s a lovely experience to accompany a riverside walk or bike ride along the Sharpness Canal.
The venue also launched a catering trailer for events and weddings in 2019, where you can pick the flavours for your guests to enjoy.
One of Gloucester’s best-known fusion restaurants provides hot rock dining in the city centre, where guests can cook their own steak, with exotic meats such as kangaroo, buffalo and zebra on offer, alongside Angus sirloin, duck and lamb.
This interactive dining experience sees diners use the heated lava rock to sear in the natural juices and flavours of each cut of meat, before cooking it to their own liking.
Based within The Old Bell, Tiger’s Eye is also home to a fantastic cocktail bar, boasting the ‘best Mojitos in town.’
Set within a 2,350-acre organic farm in the Cotswolds, Daylesford offers an eclectic range of cookery courses from its own on-site school.
Equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, The Cookery School’s courses span full-day, half-day and evening courses, covering things like seasonal dinner parties, nose-to-tail butchery, artisan breadmaking and even children’s cookery.
Cake and Sugarcraft Boutique in Cheltenham has just launched a new range of bake, make and create classes for 2019.
Described as ‘start to finish baking and decorating courses’, the classes are ideal for people just starting to learn basic piping skills, or those looking to create beautiful sugar paste flowers to decorate their bakes.
This year’s classes include bake and decorate an eight-inch cake, vintage cupcakes, ice and decorate a two-tiered cake, beginners sugar roses, and ganache decoration for tall cakes, to name a few.
If you love sushi, book onto one of the Sushi School sessions at Yo Sushi in Cheltenham. Guests can enjoy sitting at the counter, armed with a rolling mat and all the ingredients to make your own perfect sushi wraps.
Taking on famous wraps such as avocado maki, salmon nigiri and kaiso gunkan, budding sushi makers will be given step-by-step instructions on everything from cutting the fish, through to making the perfect sushi rice, and then how to roll.
At the end of the class, your wraps will be cut and boxed to take away, along with a professional rolling mat, so that you can recreate your masterpieces at home.
Hillside Brewery is home to outdoor combat sports, beer tastings, brewery tours and even has its own camping facilities for those wanting to make a weekend of it!
Alongside its more sporting activities like archery tag and bubble football, Hillside Brewery offers guided tours of its family-run brewery, as well as tasting sessions from its huge bar and delicious cheese boards.
If you’re visiting for an activity weekend with friends, relax into the evening with plenty of drinks in Hillside’s fully stocked bar, before ending the night camping under the stars, in the rolling countryside of the idyllic Forest of Dean.
Boutique Cotswold Farmhouse, Tudor Farmhouse also offers group foraging trips, led by in-house forager Raoul van Den Broucke.
Guests can learn how to spot edible mushrooms, wild garlic and sorrel, wimberries and wild strawberries, amongst others.
The trips differ depending on the season and the crop available, so no two experiences will be the same. Courses run on Saturdays throughout 2019, with overnight packages available for those wanting to experience a farmhouse stay too.
Indulge your inner foodie with a cookery experience at Harts Barn Cookery School. Overlooking the stunning countryside in Longhope, the venue can offer different cooking themes to suit its guests.
Themes include profiterole heaven, Ready, Steady, Cook challenge, cooking with local beer and cider, exotic meats, outdoor cooking, chocolate making, and cheese and wine tasting.
Become a distiller with local gin producer, Brennen and Brown at the company’s laboratory in Cheltenham.
The experience begins by exploring the botanicals used within gin, before you create, measure and mix your own recipe for a 70cl bottle of gin to take home.
While your gin is distilling, guests are taken on a guided tour of the flavour nurseries, before taking your own blend of gin home to enjoy.
Tivoli Wines in Cheltenham is home to The Wine Library, where guests can enjoy a range of fine wines by the glass thanks to its enomatic wine dispensing machines, or take in a class at Grape School to learn more about wine in a relaxing atmosphere.
The venue is just a short walk from the centre of Cheltenham, and offers regular tasting events for wines and spirits. Private tasting sessions are also available for groups, with delicious cheese and charcuterie boards to accompany your session.
Enjoy an evening at the home of the world-famous Pudding Club, at Three Ways House.
Every Friday evening, and sometimes on Saturdays, this Cotswold hotel in Chipping Campden is renowned for offering a plethora of delightful desserts to its guests across seven courses.
Classic dishes include syrup sponge, spotted dick and custard, Eton mess and sticky toffee pudding. Those who complete each of the courses also get to go home with a certificate!
Distilling delicious blends since 2014, Cotswolds Distillery is the home of artisanal single malt whiskey, gins and liqueurs, and offers a tour experience to discover how these tasty local spirits are crafted.
The guided tours take in the distillery’s production areas, warehouses and give guests the chance to see and smell the processes in action. There’s then the opportunity to sample a full range of spirits and liqueurs after the tour.
A real must-do experience for spirit lovers.
By Melissa Hamblett
Monday 18 March 2019
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