Tetbury, at the Southern apex of Gloucestershire’s “Royal Triangle”, is an aristocrat amongst Cotswold towns. Many of its shops and businesses proudly display the Three Feathers motif, signifying patronage by the Prince of Wales who lives barely the length of a polo-field away at Highgrove.
A splendid setting then on a bright and breezy late April day for the latest get-together of the Cotswolds Burger Club, my lunchtime companions being Dr Simon Gillson of Concierge Medical, Tom Arkell the Cotswolds Gent and Marcus Green of Bowbridge Green Management Consultancy.
We convened at The Ormond on Long Street. A stylish 17th Century coaching inn with a comfortable blend of old and new, it has earned itself a reputation as one of the most popular places in town to stay, eat or just meet up for a drink. The place certainly has a fascinating history. For example, it is said that American forces top-brass met here to plan the Omaha Beach D-Day landings in June 1944.
The Ormond has a relaxed atmosphere with locals, day trippers and tourists all mingling happily in its friendly and informal bar.
All four of us opted for the Ormond Cheeseburger, which we ordered rare, and which came served with salad, coleslaw, hand-cut chips and a delicious tomato relish. The soft, lightly-toasted bun carried a generous dollop of mayonnaise and the succulent burger wore a golden crown of melted cheddar.
As is now tradition, the photographers within our party whipped out their cameras to record this splendid sight, and it was probably just as well since a few short moments later we had happily scoffed the lot.
We elected to repair to the Blue Zucchini, just around the corner on Church Street, for coffee and dessert. “Tetbury’s best and only bistro” is a perpetual favourite with its charmingly attentive staff and quirky and eclectic decor. I had found a week or two earlier that they do a very decent burger themselves, which I enjoyed along with an ice cold beer that was served in a recycled jam jar.
Somehow we resisted the pull of a truly titanic carrot cake which had been cut into slices each the size of a pillar-box. We chose to sample some Winstone’s ice-cream instead, and we weren’t sorry. The Winstone family have been making delicious ice-cream on the edge of nearby Rodborough Common for nearly 100 years. Simon went for Mint Chocolate, I chose Blackberries and Cream flavour. We took our seats outside, sheepskin rugs lay on the chairs for those of us susceptible to draughts, and contentedly nattered the early afternoon away.