Slow Cotswolds

  • Places to Eat in the Cotswolds this Easter

    It's not all about chocolate. If you're looking for somewhere rather nice to visit and just might want to fill your tummy at the same time, I've put together a few great places to eat in the Cotswolds this Easter. But each suggestion has somewhere to visit tagged on so you can hide behind the mask of 'a day out'. Oh, what the heck! No use pretending, these places warrant going out for the food alone!

    Each suggestion is based upon the ten chapters within Slow Cotswolds, so you can find plenty of other places to visit within the locale if you wish to extend your stay to a full Easter weekend.

    1. Royal Shakespeare Theatre Rooftop Restaurant: Located on the 3rd floor of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (pages 5-7), you'll receive fine panoramic views over Stratford-upon-Avon from The Rooftop Restaurant. Opt for morning coffee, a pre-matinee light lunch, afternoon tea or even a cocktail as you watch the swans drift along the River Avon below.

    2. Broadway Tower: For something different, why not have breakfast on top of a hill? You can in the Morris & Brown Cafe at Broadway Tower (page 40). It could be a hazelnut hot chocolate or a lemon and ginger tea. Though to fill up, there's always smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on granary toast.

    3. Chipping Norton Tea Set: Chipping Norton (pages 62-3) was runner-up in the Great British High Street Awards 2015. Brimming with independent shops and boutiques for browsing (and buying!), you can rest your weary feet at Chipping Norton's most recent addition, opened just a fortnight ago. The tearooms, serving vintage afternoon teas with retro china, takes you back to yesteryear.

    4. Sudeley Castle: After you've explored the Tudor rooms of Sudeley Castle (page 97) and its pretty gardens, there's tea and cake to be had in The Terrace Cafe. If that doesn't sound grand enough, the cafe is actually located in the Banqueting Hall of the castle. Amongst the scones and cream you'll be able to read a letter from Charles I, thanking the county of Cornwall for its support during the English Civil War.

    5. Kings Head Inn, Bledington: It doesn't get much prettier than this and, if the weather is kind over Easter, you can sit outside on the village green in Bledington (page 135), beside the pretty stream. If not, no matter, for you can cosy up in the bar filled with character; low ceilings, beams, a huge fireplace - in fact spring may be here but you might just wish for one more day of winter to snuggle up in the bar. The seasonal menu uses free-range and organic produce that's as local as possible (you can count the number of miles on one hand).

    6. Trout Inn, Wolvercote: A firm favourite with the literary world of Oxford (including the fictional Inspector Morse) this 17th century pub (page 148) overlooks the River Thames - nay, it virtually hangs over it. There's a new spring menu launched just in time for Easter.

    7. Wild Duck Inn, Ewen: Quirky inside and very Cotswoldy outside, there's plenty to go at on the menu of the Wild Duck Inn (page 165) including the Wild Duck's Duck. Fill up well and you can make a start on tackling a walk along the Thames Path - the source of the Thames is a matter of fields away.

    8. Painswick Rococo Garden: You don't have to visit the garden to eat in the cafe at Painswick Rococo Garden (page 192), but I'd recommend it. Not least, you may well see what you're about to eat! For the home-cooked food will use produce from the Kitchen Garden whenever possible.

    9. Castle Inn, Castle Combe: I hate to use the cliche, but this is picture-postcard stuff (if picture postcards hadn't been lost to the digital age). There's a Sunday Lunch menu and classic, modern pub food but the decor and surroundings of the Castle Inn (page 215) are really rather comfortable for an afternoon cream tea.

    10. The Pump Room, Bath: Grand and decadent, you can celebrate Perrier-Jou√ęt's 200th anniversary with a special Champagne afternoon tea throughout the rest of March and April. And from 26th March and throughout the rest of the school holidays, there's a Little Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea that includes a "Drink Me" milkshake and Queen of Hearts jam tart amongst other goodies. Make a point of listening to the Pump Room Trio (page 237) while you indulge.

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