Whether you’re looking for Insta-friendly cafés or country pubs with a twist, the Cotswolds is full of unique places to eat and drink.
From coffee that gets trees planted to hotels that put puddings on a pedestal, discover 9 pubs, cafés and restaurants to visit on your next trip to the Cotswolds with SoGlos’s latest hot list – sponsored by Cotswold District Council.
With indoor hospitality venues now able to open, Cotswold District Council is encouraging visitors to return safely to its high streets and support local eateries in its towns and villages.
While discovering the pubs, cafés and restaurants the Cotswolds has to offer, visitors must remember to wear face coverings at all times except when seated at a table to eat or drink. People are also advised to complete lateral flow tests for Covid-19 twice a week.
Dating back to 947AD, there’s a millennium of history to discover at The Porch House, which is said to be England’s oldest inn. With ancient stone walls, open fires and a quaint lavender garden, too, it’s a picturesque place to enjoy a bite to eat in the Cotswold market town of Stow-on-the-Wold.
The characterful pub reopened in May 2021 with a new spring menu of light lunches, hearty mains and indulgent desserts. Ask for today’s flavours of sorbet and you might get the chance to taste its booze-infused Aperol Spritz special.
Totally unique to the Cotswolds, The Pudding Club is a celebration of all things sweet – championing classic British desserts in a parade of puddings, which are presented to guests with lashings of custard.
Based at the Three Ways Hotel in Mickleton near Chipping Campden, guests will get to try seven traditional puds before voting for their favourite. As well as tucking in to a light main course and toasting the Great British pudding with a glass of fizz.
Found on Cirencester’s Castle Street, Luxe is every Instagram lover’s dream – with a striking flower wall, neon signage and the most aesthetically-pleasing sweet treats that taste as good as they look.
The pretty-in-pink café offers way more than great photo opportunities though, with a menu of speciality hot drinks, flavoured teas and even post-12pm tipples, including a candyfloss topped G&T – as well as cream teas and light lunch options.
With historic jail cells and an old courtroom on-site, you’ll need to be on your best behaviour when visiting The Old Prison, a quirky dining spot in the market town of Northleach.
The café offers great brunch options, including sourdough toast topped with locally-sourced meats or smashed avocado, and a Sunday roast that changes weekly. Diners can also explore the 18th century prison at no extra charge, uncovering its history as the former Northleach House of Correction.
Right by Fairford Post Office is The Coffee Post, a quaint coffee shop serving homemade cakes, toasted sandwiches made to order and seasonal slushies that are sure to keep little diners happy.
The café also offers custom celebration cakes and the option to send its brownies, blondies and traybakes by post – perfect for sharing a local treat with long-distance friends.
The Trout Inn brings something special to Lechlade, with its very own resident theatre company that holds a programme of drama throughout the year. Audiences can expect big laughs at comedy nights or enjoy full plays in the intimate Marquee Theatre, with food and drink available from the pub.
The pub also benefits from a premium waterside location, with its scenic beer garden on the River Thames, and hosts live jazz performances on a regular basis.
Adorned with colourful prayer flags and doodles on the walls, The Blue Zucchini is a casual dining spot in the heart of Tetbury with a great food, a chilled atmosphere and even a mini ‘farm shop’ selling fresh produce.
Customers can also support the environment by visiting The Blue Zucchini. By using the RWRD app to collect stamps with each order, their coffee purchases will pay for a tree to be planted on their behalf.
Lord of the Rings fans can step into Middle Earth when visiting Moreton-in-Marsh, with a trip to The Bell Inn – widely believed to be J.R.R Tolkien’s inspiration for his fictional pub, The Prancing Pony.
In addition to its fascinating literary links, the venue offers hearty, homecooked pub grub and a vibrant programme of live jazz, folk and blues music.
The Old George Inn is a foodie’s paradise, with a recently revamped menu featuring stone-baked pizzas; loaded tacos; and a whole host of tapas dishes, from veggie arancini bites to sticky chicken wings and chorizo in red wine.
The family-run pub also has a newly landscaped beer garden, complete with an alfresco bar and outdoor cooking area, surrounded by the Cotswold’s impressive lakeland region.
By Annabel Lammas
Thursday 10 June 2021
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