Combining the draw of a welcoming, dog-friendly local with that of a stylish Georgian country inn offering five well-appointed rooms, the Horse and Groom commands a fine view over Bourton-on-the-Hill’s downhill tumble of attractive stone cottages towards the ancient market town of Moreton-in-Marsh. Visitors come from far and wide to sample the best of the Cotswolds in this stunningly situated retreat, where locally produced ale and spirits and a varied wine list complement a menu that showcases the best local and seasonal produce available.
Wholesome dishes are prepared from scratch with flair, as our starters soon testified. I chose pickled mackerel with apple, kohlrabi and sultana slaw – a happy contrast of sweet and sour flavours. My partner savoured the local asparagus embellished with prosciutto, a perfect poached egg and Hollandaise sauce. Mains impressed too. The quinoa-stuffed pepper served with spinach, pomegranate and spring onion salad was a colourful and flavoursome dish, while the melt-in-the-mouth braised pork belly in cider sauce served with apple purée, mashed potatoes and spring greens was beyond delicious. Artfully presented desserts of vanilla panna cotta paired with toasted oats and mixed berry compote, and apple and rhubarb crumble with salted caramel ice cream were scrumptious. Further enhance the experience with the local culture, garden or gastronomy tours on offer.