Summer might be coming to an end, but that’s no reason at all to be down in the dumps. As summer slowly transforms into autumn and the natural beauty of the Cotswolds changes its colour all around you, where better than a traditional English country pub to spend your evenings? Whether you’re warming yourself up with some hearty pub grub next to a roaring log fire after a brisk autumnal walk exploring the Cotswolds’ stunning countryside, or, when the weather is at it’s best, sat outside in a beer garden with a pint, soaking up the last of this year’s sun, you never need an excuse to get out of your house and support your region’s finest public houses.
To mark the recent release of our Cotswolds Food & Drink Guide 2019, here at Fed Up & Drunk, we’ve rounded up 8 of our favourite pubs in the region we think you should check out in the next couple of months. For a more comprehensive guide to the best restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, and hotels in the Cotswolds region, be sure to pick up your FREE copy of our Cotswolds Food & Drink Guide here.
Since the new owners took over The Shutters Inn in 2016, this superb pub has been completely transformed into one of Cotswolds’ must-visit establishments, oozing character and charm. With its new flooring, new bar area, and relaxed restaurant located at the back of the pub, and an airy interior which boasts oak beams and country-chic touches, there are few better places in the region to rest and refuel.
Known for its fantastic food and beer and wine at sensible prices, The Shutters Inn is the perfect pub whether you’re after a pint with your mates, light bites, or an incredible three-course feast with the family. Start with the likes of crispy salt and pepper squid or Brie wedges served with cranberry and red onion chutney before tucking into Shutters fish pie topped with mature Cheddar mash, or The Shutters 10oz minced steak burger. Finish with Eton Mess or a warm, gooey chocolate brownie paired with ice cream and you’ll be planning your next trip here before you’ve even put down your fork.
Where better to while away the hours with your mates than at the charming country pub that is The Royal Exchange in Hartpury? Whether you’re enjoying views of the stunning countryside surroundings from the heated decked area or you’re warming up next to the log burner inside, you won’t find a better pub in the Cotswolds region than this.
Established in around 1855 and now a free house that belongs to a local farming family, who have lived and worked in the area for over 95 years, one visit to this warm and inviting venue will be enough to make you want to be a regular here. The menu showcases the likes of spectacular pure-bred Hereford beef and lamb dishes, which have been home-reared on the pub’s farm in the neighbouring village. Seafood Saturday, at the end of each month, is a particular highlight and a perfect excuse to visit – not that you’d ever need one.
Perched on the banks of the River Severn in a beautiful spot near Norton, The Red Lion at Wainlodge is the quintessential English pub, known for its warm welcome, fresh home-cooked food, and fantastic selection of cider, lager and cask-conditioned beer.
Served al fresco on the expansive riverbank or inside in the refurbished pub, the locally sourced, seasonal food won’t fail to impress you, whether you order a dish made with pure-bred Hereford beef and lamb, which has been home-reared on the pub’s farm in the neighbouring village, or a classic dish such as beer-battered sustainable cod fillet or local ham, free-range eggs and chips.
Headed by Louis, the team at The Red Lion at Wainlodge will help you enjoy all that a trip to the captivating and charming Gloucestershire countryside has to offer – picturesque and relaxing riverside surroundings, great company and wholesome food and drink.
A finalist at Cotswold Life’s Food & Drink Awards this year, The Swan at Staunton, which is run by Chamberlayne Farms, who have two other pubs in the locality, is an exceptional gastropub that focuses on serving great quality, completely homemade, locally sourced food, including dishes which showcase pure-bred Hereford beef and lamb sourced from the neighbouring village farm. Located between Gloucester and Ledbury in Staunton, The Swan provides a bolthole for the local community and visitors to this beautiful part of the country, complete with a well-stocked bar that offers an exceptional selection of fine cask ale, a regularly changing selection of guest ale, and a wide range of great wine, cider, perry and lager.
Anthony, who heads up the team in the bar and restaurant, and Tamas, who manages the kitchen, guarantee that whether you’re looking to catch up with mates after work over a pint or two, searching for the perfect pub in which to enjoy a delicious lunch, or need an idyllic venue for a three-course feast you won’t soon forget, The Swan at Staunton is the perfect pub for you.
Since opening its doors three years ago, The Talbot, situated in the picturesque market town of Stow-on-the-Wold, has gone from strength to strength, quickly gaining the reputation as a charming and traditional British pub that always delivers. A popular watering hole among locals and tourists, whether you’re looking for a three-course meal with the family or a few casual drinks with friends, The Talbot gets it right every time thanks to its delicious local fare, welcoming atmosphere, and cosy and warming interiors.
While the roaring log fire, low-beamed ceilings, and varnished oak tables will welcome you in, it’s the impressive selection of cask ales, wine, lager, and spirits at the bar, along with the hearty British classic dishes on the menu, that will make you stay and keep you coming back again and again. Start with the likes of their delicious breaded Brie with cranberry dip before moving onto fresh fish and chips served alongside homemade tartare sauce or a sumptuous steak, and then finish with rich chocolate fudge cake or classic sticky toffee pudding – this is pub grub done right. Their Sunday roasts are also legendary.
There are many reasons to visit this idyllic British pub, whether you live locally or not. As one of the oldest inns in England, you’ll be immediately charmed by this traditional building’s low beams, which date back to 947AD, and beautiful renovated interiors boasting a unique sense of grandeur, but it’s the seasonal menu and relaxed atmosphere which will truly wow you.
Sit in the light and spacious conservatory or dine al fresco and dig into delicious starters like smoked mackerel pate served with paprika mayonnaise, pickled cucumber and grapefruit gel or venison and pork Scotch egg with crispy potato and beetroot ketchup. Then, move onto exquisitely presented mains like duck leg confit with thyme and garlic gnocchi, spinach, girolles and cherry and sherry jus or the 20oz côte de boeuf, which makes the perfect plate to share, a massive cut of the finest meat paired with a delicious green peppercorn sauce. Finish with the likes of their passion fruit parfait with brandy snap, chocolate soil and raspberry gel and you’ll be so delighted that you might even book one of their 13 individually designed stylish rooms just so you don’t have to leave right away.
After an extensive refurbishment, The Frogmill Inn reopened last year better than ever, and it was already one of the Cotswold’s finest establishments. Nestled in its peaceful and picturesque rural location in the quaint village of Shipton Oliffe just seven miles from Cheltenham, the restaurant really makes the most of its Grade II listed building’s 16th-century charm, with an interior that simply oozes history and character at every corner.
Managed by the family-run Brakspear Brewery, guests can look forward to a food offering boasting an enticing selection of traditional dishes with a modern twist, along with 28 stunning rooms where comfort and style are championed, giving you the chance to prolong your stay in the pub’s enviable surroundings.
Take a seat in the dining room complete with exposed beams, flagstone flooring and wood panelling, or opt for a spot in the beautifully landscaped gardens and dive into a three-course feast with starters including the peanut- and sesame-coated Josper oven-fired chicken lollipops, mains like their succulent tuna steak, and desserts including sticky salted caramel fondant, blood orange and grapefruit posset, and vegan mango baked Alaska.
With a brilliant menu just bursting with popular pub classics along with a lively bar complete with a dartboard and pool table, The Swan Inn in Moreton-in-Marsh – a delightful market town set within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – boasts everything you’d ever want from a traditional British pub and then some. From the wealth of locally brewed beer, hand-picked wine, and extensive selection of gin behind the bar to the menu featuring favourites such as flavoursome cottage pie, meltingly tender lamb shank, juicy steaks, succulent burgers, and a delicious selection of enticing vegetarian dishes, there is plenty to get tucked into at The Swan Inn. It’s also worth checking out the daily specials for the latest new flavours.
Surrounded by tranquil Cotswolds countryside and boasting eight newly refurbished rooms, The Swan Inn is the perfect affordable retreat. As well as a great night’s sleep, guests who choose to stay can also round off their visit with a hearty full English as part of their booking.