Let's face it, the weather is pretty crap at the moment and the only thing that cheers us up is food and alcohol, correct?
Last Wednesday was no different, rain in the morning, grey skies in the afternoon. The only thing keeping us sane was an evening with the Cotswolds Distillery taking place that night at The Churchill Arms in Paxford. If you are familiar with the pub then you will know that the food is always of the highest quality. If you have never been then we suggest you try it soon.
Chef and proprietor Nick Deverell-Smith had created a menu featuring some of the distillery's finest tipples. For starter there was Cornish Pollock cured in Cotswolds Dry Gin, grapefruit and black pepper salad and some grapefruit bitters. I really don't like grapefruit. I thought it was just it was just my immature palate as a child but I have tried and tried and still find it utterly repulsive. Luckily there were some orange segments on the plate whose sweetness worked perfectly with the slight sharpness of the fish. There was also a slug of the gin to wash it down with which again, if you have yet to try it you are really missing out. You can always tell a good gin when you can drink it on its own over some ice. This is one of those gins.
The fact I love beef meant that I was looking forward to the main course. Local Todenham Farm beef, local broccoli, broccoli puree, Cotswolds single malt whisky oat crumb. The beef was perfectly pink (unless you wanted it a little more well done) and the crumb was packed with whisky notes. This was "The Cotswolds" on a plate with all the ingredients being sourced within a 10 minute drive of the pub. The whisky is the first ever single malt made here in the Cotswolds and if you don't think you like whisky then give this one a go. With notes of butterscotch, apricot and a hint of treacle, it is a fabulous introductory dram and truly exceptional for a 3 year-old.
For dessert there was The Churchill's take on an Affogato served with the distillery's Figgy Liquor. Now this stuff is the difference between remembering your night and not. It's made in small batches and sold exclusively at the distillery, apart from 4 bottles that are at The Churchill. It's 41% ABV and absolutely delicious. It literally is, as described, a "figgy fruitcake in a bottle". It should however have a warning on the bottle like you get when you go on long-haul flights to take a lap of the pub every now and again to make sure your legs still work. The dessert was light with one scoop of ice cream. We were recommended to pour our figgy liquor into it but that would have been a waste!
When you're passionate about supporting local, it is wonderful when two fantastic businesses come together to create something special. The Churchill Arms is the only pub to stock a full range of Cotswolds Distillery spirits and liquors. You can also try these on a tour of the distillery that you can book on their website. If you are thinking about doing either of these, we highly recommend getting somebody else to drive!
Two awesome Cotswolds businesses are coming together for a night of amazing food and drink.
The Churchill Arms in Paxford will host a 3-course dinner on Wednesday 4th April with a menu devised by top chef and Churchill Arms proprietor Nick Deverell-Smith featuring spirits and liquors from the Cotswolds Distillery.
This is going to be very good and spaces are limited so don't hesitate to call The Churchill Arms 01386 593 159 to book!
We all know the real way to someone's heart is through their stomach and award-winning Cheltenham fish and chip shop Simpsons, has created the perfect Valentine's Day bouquet.
The world's first fish and chip bouquet consists of a dozen potato roses leaf-shaped fish goujons all wrapped in traditional newspaper.
This is available for one day only on February 14th (Valentine's Day) and is a snip at £15.
The Cotswolds Distillery has been awarded the title of Best Craft Producer 2018 by the highly respected Whisky Magazine in the 'Rest of the World' category.
They now go up against the other winners from Scotland, the United States, Ireland, and India for the overall title.
The Cotswold Distillery launched the first batch of their highly anticipated whisky in October 2017 - the first single malt to have ever been created in the Cotswolds. It is now available to buy on their website.
The Kingham Plough has been named in the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropub Awards. The list celebrates the very best gastro pubs and pub food in Great Britain.
Votes are cast in a poll of hundreds of industry experts, including top chefs, food writers, pubco chiefs, pub-guide editors and top suppliers to bring you this definitive list of the best gastropubs in the UK.
The Sportsman in Whitstable in Kent took top spot
You can see the full list by visiting www.top50gastropubs.com
There is something fishy going on at The Fish Hotel. It's currently enjoying a makeover and will reopen in the first week of March and will launch Hook, a brand new restaurant offering a menu of the finest, freshest responsibly sourced fish, sustainable shellfish and a few timeless classics from the land.
The vision of culinary director Martin Burge, Hook will be a laid-back but luxurious celebration of seafood focusing on quality while creating an authentic and original restaurant delivering culinary excellence for all.
Visit www.thefishhotel.co.uk/eat/hook/ to book.
The highly anticipated Ivy Montpellier has officially opened its doors in Cheltenham.
Situated in the stunning Grade 1 listed Rotunda building, the restaurant offers a sophisticated and friendly all-day dining experience including breakfast, an fantastic à la carte menu, afternoon tea, a weekday set menu option and a dedicated weekend brunch menu.
You can also enjoy a pre-dinner drink and a wonderful cocktail at the beautiful circular bar that sits below the spectacular domed ceiling.
You can find out all menu information below.
MONDAY - FRIDAY 8AM - 11.30AM
SATURDAY 8AM - 11AM
SUNDAY & BANK HOLIDAYS 9AM - 11AM
A LA CARTE
MONDAY - FRIDAY 11.30AM - CLOSE
SATURDAY, SUNDAY & BANK HOLIDAYS 4PM - CLOSE
SATURDAY & SUNDAY 11AM - 4PM
MONDAY - SUNDAY 3PM - 5PM
MONDAY - FRIDAY 11.30AM - 6.30PM
TWO COURSES £16.50 THREE COURSES £21
The Ivy Montpellier Brasserie in Cheltenham will officially open its doors on Wednesday 13th December 2017.
Bookings for the restaurant will go live to the general public at at 10am tomorrow morning (Thursday 16th November 2017) but readers of The Cotswolds Gentleman can secure their spot now by clicking HERE!
The Dining Room at Whatley Manor, near Malmesbury has been awarded its first Michelin Star this morning.
Less than a year since joining, executive chef Niall Keating launched his own style of tasting menus in February 2017 and has brought a fresh vigour to the entire food programme at Whatley Manor, with a modern British cooking style that also draws on his international experience and diverse cuisines.
He is thrilled that Michelin have recognised the restaurant so quickly and went on to praise his kitchen and front-of-house colleagues. "I am incredibly proud of my team’s achievements in such a short space of time - winning a Michelin star in the 2018 guide, and continuing Whatley Manor's relationship with the most respected industry guide in the world, is testament to the non-stop focus, hard work and determination we instilled from day one.”
Visit www.whatleymanor.com to book
This Friday (8th September), The Tavern in Cheltenham is bringing their highly popular "under counter" menu, "over counter" and have created an incredible new menu which includes some amazing new dishes as well as keeping some Tavern Classics on there with the Tavern Burger, Buttermilk Fried Chicken Burger, Mac 'n' Cheese and Chicken Wings all still available.
There are actually too many new additions to mention.
There are nine starters.. yes nine, including salt ‘n’ pepper squid, the amazing spicy pork & fennel meatballs, Raw chopped hanger steak, radishes & Wiltshire trufﬂes and 1/2 pint of prawns.
There are eight new main courses which include whole brown crab, Loch Duart Salmon, Wiltshire Lamb Chops and Westcombe ricotta malfatti (v) plus four choices of char-grilled steak all from west Country rare breed cattle and dry aged for a minimum of 30 days.
If you loved the great sides from the old menu then fear not as you can still order the Tavern Slaw, Chilli Cheese and Sweet Potato Fries!
For those with a sweeter tooth, the pudding selection is immense. Choose from Peanut butter & chocolate tart, Banana split, Caramel burnt cream, Lemon & cherry posset and Cheese & crackers.
The Tavern started with a simple mission…to deliver delicious food at reasonable prices and their mission remains the same!
After weeks of anticipation, The Old Stocks Inn in the heart of Stow on the Wold has revealed that Ian Percival will be its new Head Chef.
With over five years as a head chef all with two AA rosettes throughout that time, Ian has been in the Cotswolds area for the last four years most recently at the Kings Hotel in Chipping Campden. Previous to that his career was spent in Cornwall working at the St Moritz Hotel in Rock and two restaurants in Padstow.
With his early career being spent in Cornwall, Ian brings a love of fish and shellfish to The Old Stocks and describes his style as "modern, British". With his passion for using fresh, local produce and enjoying the creativity of cooking, he is looking forward to cooking great food, building on the reputation that he has developed in the Cotswolds and aiming for another two AA rosette in the near future.
The Old Stocks is a recently refurbished 17th-century coaching inn in the heart of the Cotswolds and the perfect base to explore the area or to just enjoy a delicious lunch, dinner or cocktail.
The line-up for this year's Great British Menu has been announced and includes Nick Deverell-Smith, head chef and owner of The Churchill Arms in Paxford near Chipping Campden (below), who will compete in the Central region.
Chefs will be trying to create dishes good enough to serve at the All England Lawn Tennis Club banquet held at Wimbledon and must celebrate the 140 year old championships and a 'Taste of Summer'.
The programme will be aired leading up to Wimbledon later this spring.
Today is a good day for anyone living in Cheltenham. The Tavern in Royal Well is now live on Deliveroo. This means you can get all of their delicious burgers, wings, fries and shakes delivered to your door!
Click TAVERN ON DELIVEROO to see the full menu and please eat responsibly!
It was announced tonight that Andrew Kojima, the Masterchef finalist behind the eagerly anticipated new Japanese restaurant coming to Cheltenham next month, has reach his target to fund the new venture.
This is great news for Cheltenham to add to its growing portfolio of top eateries in the town!
Former Masterchef finalist Andrew Kojima has begun a Kickstarter campaign to bring a permanent casual Japanese dining experience to Cheltenham on the same site as his hugely popular pop-up before Christmas!
After being impressed by the town, he thinks that it is the right place to open his first restaurant bringing a new style of Japanese dining, combining a modern atmosphere, good music, Japanese-inspired cocktails and beers with tasty Japanese food and needs your help!
You can pledge any amount of money for something in return from a £20 donation to get your name on the wall to a more generous £300 to enjoy dinner for 6 during one of Cheltenham's festivals in 2017.
For more information click KOJ KICKSTARTER and get involved!
Cheltenham restaurant The White Spoon is honouring British Beef at its next special dining event on Thursday 2nd March.
Enjoy a stunning 'Nose to Tail' menu which celebrates the rural British tradition of using every part of the animal.
For more details and the full menu visit http://www.thewhitespoon.co.uk/nose-to-tail
Choose a knife, choose a beer. Choose a f**king big salad bowl. Choose BBQ Wings, shakes, Green Chilli Slaw and some salt and pepper squid. Choose Chilli Cheese Fries and wondering how the hell you're going to eat it all. Choose starring at the menu picking mouth-watering, flavour loaded burgers, thinking you want it all. Choose walking away at the end of it feeling stuffed and impregnated with a food baby. Choose a knife.. I chose not to choose that, I chose something else..
I chose the undercounter menu.
The undercounter menu I here ask? This is a shorty daily menu that sits alongside the normal menu and offers something a little different but just as incredible as I found out last night.
To start, I choose the grilled octopus & chorizo. Six pieces of deliciousness on a stick followed by some mighty Hereford beef & pork meatballs in a spicy tomato sauce. When I say mighty, I mean mighty in size and taste. The sauce had a good kick now and again and was immense with the side of Mac 'n' Cheese that I ordered from the normal menu. You cannot go to The Tavern and not order Mac 'n' Cheese, it's law! This was all complimented by some Sprout Slaw. The name as it suggests is a sprout based dish but if it was called something different, you would never know so don't be put off by its name! It was mixed with carrot, onion and walnuts and a cracking dressing.
Other items on the undercounter menu include quince glazed St Louis pork ribs, devils on horseback and an incredible sounding dirty mac 'n' cheese with short rib, jalepenos & black truffle. I was torn between that and the meatballs so will have to go again before too long!
Check The Tavern out. It serves food from midday - midnight everyday! theluckyonion.com/property/the-tavern
For any of you who thought this was going to be a T2 Trainspotting review then all we can say is that it is possibly the best movie we have seen for years. For any fan of the original film, you will not be disappointed as it genuinely feels like you have just stepped back into the lives of Renton, Sick Boy, Spud and Begbie - the latter being just as mental and screwed up as you remember him. The acting has moved on a level as has the style of the movie which is everything as stunning as you would expect from Danny Boyle, yet keeping its roots around Edinburgh city center and Leith with a subtle nod to the original and even further back in the lives of the 4 main men . It's a modern masterpiece and just truly beautiful.
We are delighted to be working alongside the brilliant Relish Events as their selected blogger at many of their of their events in 2017!
Based in Cirencester, you will find the specialist events catering company creating culinary magic at many venues around the country such as Badminton Horse Trials, Cheltenham Literature Festival, The Royal International Air Tattoo and The Game Fair to name but a few. They also specialise in weddings, corporate and private functions working to budgets that suit but still wowing your guests!
Take a look at their site relishevent.co.uk and look out for lots more about them on The Cotswolds Gentleman!
People of Cirencester, prepare yourselves for the "hottest" new restaurant coming your way next week!
Loaded Grill is replacing Le Beaujolais on Castle Street and will be serving delicious burgers, steaks, platters and salads as well as lots of peri-peri Chicken with the option of going extra hot! Can you take the heat?
Look out Chipping Campden, you have a brand new deli style farmshop stocking fresh meat, fish, cheese, charcuterie, fruit and veg and bottles and jars of lot of lovely things coming to the high street in the spring. Fillet and Bone is set to open its doors in March!