Chester House Hotel and The Croft Restaurant
Pubs and Bars with Restaurants
Bourton transforms magically at night. Lights twinkled and as the river and conversation flowed, we happily dined on delicious butternut squash, coconut and chilli soup, along with a shamelessly rich Camembert baked with garlic and rosemary, which we scooped up with crudit's. The menu caters brilliantly for vegetarians, but we both gave in to our carnivorous sides, and sampled the free-range Cotswold duck and a 28-day-aged fillet steak. The duck was marvellously tender and served with slow-roasted balsamic beetroots, wilted spinach, horseradish and creme fraiche. This is perfect comfort food for a chilly night. Certain that there was not an inch of room left for dessert, we were quickly persuaded when we glanced at the dessert menu and ordered a melt-in-the-mouth sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream and a surprisingly light Belgian hot chocolate pudding.
Dining so close to the river is a rare treat, but a poignant reminder of the 2007 floods, which spared only the restaurant's stone shell. Ever the optimists, Donna and Simon viewed a total refurbishment as a new beginning and created this comfortable, modern space, beautifully designed with natural woods complementing natural stone. There are various dining areas including outside tables to cater for extra guests in high season. In the summer months customers arrive from far and wide to soak up the sun and the atmosphere, and to sample the delights of The Croft's hugely popular ice cream parlour. Understandably, word is spreading about this fabulous restaurant, bringing Donna and Simon the success they so rightly deserve.