The Cotswolds is filled with buildings that look as pretty as a postcard, beautiful scenery and a continually impressive foodie scene. It’s home to some real hidden gems, so why not hit the road and arrive hungry for our top pit stops?
Just off the A429 and a leap from River Eye, you’ll find Lords of the Manor (GL54 2JD) folded into the Cotswolds Hills. It lives up to everyone’s idea of a dreamy Cotswold manor house hotel and therefore shouldn’t be missed. From a foodie’s perspective, Lords stands out as Gloucestershire’s only Michelin-starred hotel and is the perfect place for special occasions, fancy-pants dining and weekends away. The team draws heavily on classic French influences, using light touches and the best ingredients from the British Isles. Add sumptuous rooms and manicured gardens to the mix and it’s a recipe for bliss.
Further down the road is The Slaughters Manor House, (GL54 2HP) situated in one of England’s prettiest villages. It’s a beautiful 17th-century manor house that combines contemporary interiors with country charm and attentive service. The restaurant is one of the most acclaimed in the Cotswolds and is proud to hold three AA rosettes. Celebrating the finest regional and seasonal produce from land and sea, the team of skilled chefs creates tantalising menus that are English and stay true to location.
Drive across the region towards Cheltenham, to the artistic and classy Suffolk Kitchen, (GL50 2AB), where you’ll find quality cuisine with personality, and an owner who delivers an exquisite dining experience every time. A brand spanking new small plate menu calls for lazy weekends and relaxed evenings with chums – think tapas with an English twist. If you can’t decide, most plates can be adapted, or you can create your very own. With an evident emphasis on seasonal produce, this shining star of a restaurant sources all ingredients within a 20-mile radius.
From here, head south along Painswick Road and reach Woodruffs Organic, (GL5 1AJ) – a totally organic café, serving an appetising range of locally sourced wholefoods. Find this foodie haven on a pretty corner of Stroud’s main thoroughfare, pop yourself on an outdoor chair and spend some time people-watching. Order an irresistible lunch of mezze and reintroduce the fun back into food.
Follow Bath Road until you reach The Canteen (GL6 0DU). Tucked within a little courtyard beside an old mill is this vibrant, energetic café that’s gained a devoted following of locals and tourists alike. If the sun is beating down, pull up a seat in the pleasant courtyard and sit among the flower pots, or snuggle up on one of the sofas inside. While the constantly developing menu is brimming with fresh and healthy food, the shabby-chic design also gives this gem distinct appeal.
Alternatively, a short drive away is The Hog at Horsley (GL6 0PR). The kitchen at The Hog is open-plan, allowing diners the opportunity to see their culinary feast in the making. Owners Caroline and Greg Saturley run regular themed nights with live music that can be enjoyed with a pint of local ale in hand, or glass of whisky or gin from the tremendous hand-picked selection.
Also worth calling in is Asparagasm (GL8 8EY). Asparagasm has introduced a fresh style of vegan and gluten-free dining to Nailsworth. With creative plates that look just as delicious as they taste, smiley service and an inspiring cocktail list, you’ll be more than happy to eat your greens here.
A short 40 minute detour (worth every minute) is Rose & Crown Inn (SN6 8NA) – a charming 16th-century coaching inn boasting oak beams and flickering fires. Offering a stylish bar for relaxed dining, this family-friendly inn is a winner with locals, tourists and walkers who stop by after exploring the nearby Ridgeway National Trail. The impressive menu showcases local and seasonal produce, and features classic British dishes alongside tempting daily specials.
You can view more delicious places to dine in our Cotswolds Food & Drink Guide here: