After a sudden closure 3 months ago, The New Inn at Coln St Aldwyns has been reopened by experience chef Dominic Hewitt, formerly of The Wild Duck and The Bull Inn at Charlbury.
With a weekly changing menu full fresh seasonal food and the 15 en-suite bedroomrooms all all enjoying a refresh to include more modern comforts, the new owners hope to create a relaxed environment for customers new and old.
We wish them all the luck and will be visiting soon to take a proper look!
The music line-up day splits have been announced for the 2019 Big Feastival.
Friday will see the Fun Lovin' Criminals, Lewis Capaldi and Rudimental headline, Jess Glynne and The Zutons will draw Saturday to a close while Elbow and the newly announced Jonas Blue will wrap up the festival in style.
The Big Feastival takes place at Alex james' Farm in Kingham from the 23rd -25th August 2019.
We live in a weird world nowadays. Everyone with an Instagram account seems to be a blogger of some sort and feel entitled to free things everywhere they go. They bully businesses into believing that their 32 likes on a post and hyped up figures will get people flocking to their establishment. Believe me, they really don't. For businesses, this might be some cheap content to post on social media. A meal doesn't really cost that much and nobody will write anything bad if it's free so it's a win win.
Sadly for me the tide has turned. I am someone who loves eating out. A piece of me dies inside when I'm referred to as a "blogger" as that is the last thing I am. The Cotswolds Gentleman has taken 3 years to grow into what it is today and to gain the trust from my loyal readers. I now won't attend "launch events" who invite every Tom, Dick and Harry just to fill the place, most of whom will never return. I will no longer eat at restaurants that just throw free meals to "blaggers" (a term I stole from Koj). Why would you gift someone an event invite or meal who has no influence or following whatsoever? For me it dilutes your brand. I may be wrong.
Obviously in my line of work I am always offered complimentary meals, and yes I sometimes accept. However, I always pay for my meal with a tip of the value of my meal so the staff who worked so hard to produce my meal get something back.
Last weekend we returned to The Plough at Cold Aston for a roast purely for the fact that it was so good when we visited 3 weeks before.
"Please tell me you have the Truffle Cauliflower Cheese" was my only request. They did.
Cold Aston is one of those villages that you would never have any real reason to drive through unless you are going to the pub or to see the mechanic. It's about 3 miles from Bourton on the Water and the same from Northleach. But not really in the middle if that makes sense? Google it.
The pub is back to its best since Tom and Josie Hughes took it on (Tom was former manager at The Wheatsheaf in Northleach) and is quickly growing a big reputation. The busier the pub is, the more cars are dotted around the grass triangle out on the road forming a makeshift car park. Sunday was very busy. The sun obviously helped to with people eating outside. They are a lot braver than me.
Our table ordered Red Ruby roast beefs. It arrived under a Yorkshire and on top of orange and cinnamon carrots, a parsnip that could have done with another 5 minutes and 3 roast potatoes, along with the truffle cauliflower cheese, greens, extra gravy and horseradish cream on the side.
It was again very good and with a carafe of wine, a Guinness, a Cotswold Lager, Cotswolds Gin & Tonic, pint of coke and two lemonades our bill was a tiny bit over £100 which we all paid and we all also chipped in with the tip.
The Ebrington Arms and Killingworth Castle have joined just 10 other pubs and restaurants throughout the whole of the UK to achieve 3 stars or above in the ‘Organic Served Here’ awards scheme, run by The Soil Association.
This means that both pubs are committed to offering between 50-75% organic produce on our menus.
A recent Soil Association poll revealed that 50% of people are more likely to choose a restaurant that highlights its ethical and sustainable credentials and 43% of people think that having organic on the menu makes a restaurant more appealing.
Check out both pubs on our Cotswold Pub Guide!
Yes we know the 2019 Festival only took place last week but you can secure your tickets for next year already.
Tickets for The Festival™ presented by Magners are available from just £27 during the Magners Priority booking period until 10:59am on Friday 5th July 2019.
The Festival™ takes place at Cheltenham racecourse from Tuesday 10th March - Friday 13th March 2020.
It was announced this morning that one of Cheltenham's finest restaurants is to close its doors on Sunday 24th March.
Owner and head chef Chris White said in a statement on Facebook "It is with great sadness that Purdey & I are making the following announcement;
After three and half great years running our fantastic restaurant, Sunday 24th March 2019 will be The White Spoon's last service before we close permanently.
We have had such a fantastic time, creating, growing and running The White Spoon, a dream I have held for a long time. We are hugely proud of all that we have achieved.
Unfortunately, the challenges of running a business, especially in such a demanding industry, whilst trying to maintain a balance with a young family have proven too much of a stretch for us. As a partnership and a family, we have made the very difficult decision to move on and adapt what our lifestyle looks like.
We are thankful to you all our customers who have taken time to dine with us, in particular those of you who have become avid supporters, visiting regularly. Over the years there are those of you who have become less like customers and more like friends, to the whole White Spoon Team. We will miss you dearly.
We’d also like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you, to our staff, past and present who have shared our passion and shown great commitment. Whenever, the going got tough, we could always rely on certain people to dig deeper than ever asked.
Apologies, but this does mean that we will not be able to honour any bookings past the 25th March.
We hope that over the next week we will see a few of you to say goodbye. We have a number of tables available Thursday to Sunday, if you wish to visit us for one last taste of The White Spoon’s unique offering..… and I’m sure there will be a few bargains on our wine list this week!
All the best,
Chris, Purdey & Annie
The line-up for Barn on the Farm Festival is always one to look out for in the summer. Previous years have seen Ed Sheeran, Bastille, James Bay and Hozier all perform and this year it's no different with Lewis Capaldi, Sam Fender and Maggie Rogers attending.
The 10th anniverary of the festival takes place at Over Farm on 4th - 7th July 2019
You can find the full line-up and tickets at www.barnonthefarm.co.uk
The Little Bell Residency at Soho Farmhouse is launching next week on Thursday 7th March.
Peter Creed and Tom Noest from The Bell at Langford will be serving a menu of good, simple food with an organic and natural wine list in The Shack at Soho Farmhouse.
The menu will have hearty, classic, British dishes with wood-fired options, whole fish and joints of meat - including kid goat scrumpet & ketchup, whole lemon sole with monksbeard and calms, pigs head and potato pie, custard tart & rhubarb, and rollright, bread & mum’s chutney.
Monday: Lunch 12 – 3, Dinner 6 – 10
Thursday: Lunch 12 – 3, Dinner 6 – 10
Friday: Lunch 12 – 3, Dinner 6 – 10
Saturday: Lunch 12 – 3, Dinner 6 – 10
Sunday: Feast* 12 – 3, Dinner 6 – 10
Gin & Juice is launching tonight (Thursday 28th February) at No.131 in Cheltenham, transforming the venue into a bustling, late night destination every weekend with over 350 Gins that will amaze beginners and satisfy connoisseurs.
Skilfully paired with our original cocktail list and resident DJ’s, No.131 is sure to resume it’s social stature at the heart of Cheltenham's party scene.
During the day, Gin & Juice will also be offering an all day brunch menu, making it a perfect place to work from.
Jess Glynne and Elbow will be Saturday and Sunday headliners at this year's Big Feastival alongside Rudimental who will be doing a DJ set to close Friday night.
Lewis Capaldi, The Zutons and Fun Lovin' Criminals are all on the line-up.
Confirmed chefs include Raymond Blanc, Prue Leith and Gennaro Contaldo.
The festival takes place from the 23rd - 25th August on Alex James' Farm in Kingham.
Emily Watkins has announced today that she and husband Miles Lampson will leave the Kingham Plough after 12 years.
Watkins' journey as a chef began in the kitchens of Ristorante Beccofino in Florence before moving to work for Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck in Bray in 2002 and then to the Kingham Plough in 2007.
In her time at the Kingham Plough, Emily has featured on The Hairy Bikers, Tom Kerridge's Proper Pub Food as well as winning BBC's Great British Menu in 2014 with her fish course, going onto cook for war veterans at St Paulâs Cathedral in a banquet commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
The line-up for Wilderness has been revealed this morning with Bombay Bicycle Club, Tom Odell, Freya Ridings and Tom Grennan all featuring.
The festival takes place at Cornbury Park from Thursday 1st - Sunday 4th August 2019.
The line-up for the Cheltenham Jazz Festival has been confirmed with some big names on the bill including Gregory Porter, Jamie Cullum, James Morrison, Sergio Mendes and Radio 2's Friday Night is Music Night.
The festival takes place from the 1st - 6th May 2019.
Members tickets go on Sale on 27th February at 10am, 16-25 Members on Sale on March 1st at 10am and General Sale goes live on March 6th at 10am.
I have never been a "new year, new me" kind of person but I have been trying to eat less and get fitter in the last month or so. It's not nice, nor is it fun, it's more cutting down on any snacks so I can eat all the things I love without feeling any remorse. A Sunday roast is one of the things I love.
My previous two roasts out have both been in hotel restaurants. This isn't my usual style. I usually go in search of a cosy pub with with a log fire and all the other clichés associated with them. Turning down invites is also not my style and last week saw us head over Cleeve Hill to the beautiful Ellenborough Park.
The drive up to the hotel has the feel of entering a private country estate. The building is very grand as you would expect and a wire horse stands on the front lawn gazing out towards Cheltenham Racecourse which is just yards away. Inside is a cosy maze of stone, wood and soft furnishings and beautiful rooms at every turn. We were shown to our table in the corner of the lovely oak panelled dining room. It's the kind of room where my grandparents would have donned their Sunday best and visited on a special occasion and why the hell not?
It's customary before I go anywhere that I look at the menu online, and to my surprise the Sunday Lunch was £25 for two courses, the same price, if not cheaper, than some pubs in the northern reaches of the Cotswolds. I was expecting it to be more.
David, the Sommelier, introduced himself (The Ellenborough is well-known for the quality of its wine) and offered to pair our wine for each course. How could we possibly refuse? I'm used to a glass of house red to wash down my roast beef.
Our Rabbit and Duck starters arrived, beautifully presented along with a wonderfully fruity and light Domaine Harmand-Geoffroy Gevrey-Chambertin En Jouise and a New Zealand Dry River Gewürztraminer that got both thumbs up from the non white drinker the other side of the table.
In good time a man appeared holding a tray with two plates full of perfectly rare sirloin, roast potatoes, Jenga-style carrots and parsnips and a Yorkshire Pudding, along with two small pots of veg, a jug of extra gravy and incredible horseradish to knock your socks off. David paired a 2011 Clos du Val Merlot from Napa Valley which was a lot heavier than the first red but went down just as well.
We usually share a pudding but were torn between the Sticky Toffee Pudding and Apple Tarte Tatin so we ended up ordering both. I think David was pleased as he could pour us a glass of Patricius Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos from his native Hungary. I rarely eat pudding so rarely have dessert wine but this was heavenly sweet honey-finished golden nectar and the perfect way to end a meal.
Ellenborough Park is lovely in every way and although it may not be your usual setting for a Sunday Roast, it's the perfect place for a special occasion where the service is impeccable and everything is done brilliantly well.
Price: 2 courses £25. 3 courses £32
Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls will headline the Thursday of this year's 2000 Trees Festival.
The multi-award-winning festival is a 3 day extravaganza set Upcote Farm in the stunning Cotswold Hills.
He joins You Me At Six, Rolo Tomassi and former My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero and his Future Violents band.
The festival takes place on the 11th, 12th and 13th of July 2019.
The Dormy House Hotel launched their brand new restaurant, The Back Garden, today.
The Back Garden celebrates the finest ingredients from the Cotswolds including high-welfare rare-breed meats, veg grown in our own gardens and responsibly cultivated grains, all sourced and served in tune with the rhythms of nature.
Not one, but two Cotswolds Distillery whiskies have triumphed at the 2019 World Whiskies Awards.
Cotswolds Distillery Founder’s Choice Single Malt Whisky was the overall winner in the ‘English Single Malt’ category, and the distillery’s flagship Single Malt Whisky also took home a gold in the same category.
Founder’s Choice Single Malt Whisky, released in December 2018, is made using shaved, toasted and re-charred American Oak red wine barriques. The uniquely active casks provide the whisky with a rich and intense maturation with notes of toffee, oak and red fruits, giving a beautiful and deep colour.
Based in the heart of the Cotswolds, the Cotswolds Distillery has become a leader in English whisky production since the inaugural launch of Cotswolds Distillery Single Malt Whisky in 2017, the first-ever distilled in the area. It uses 100% locally grown, floor-malted barley and has been aged in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels and reconditioned red wine casks. The whisky is rich, fruity and sippable.
The World Whiskies Awards are global awards which select the very best of all the internationally recognised whisky styles; and promote to consumers and trade across the globe.
Dan Szor, Founder and CEO of the Cotswolds Distillery said: “We are delighted to win gold and the overall title for ‘English Single Malt’. Our whisky offerings come following years of hard work using the best-in-class Cotswolds ingredients to produce some truly remarkable whisky. We couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve achieved so far.”
The Specials and Keane will join The Beach Boys as headliners of this year's Cornbury Festival that takes place on the 5th/6th/7th July at The Great Tew Park.
The rest of the line up will be announced in March.
Legendary punk band The Stranglers will close the Wychwood Festival on the Sunday evening this summer.
Now in its 15th year, the festival takes place on 31 May – 2 June 2019 at Cheltenham Racecourse and is one of the leading family festivals in the UK.
The Stranglers will join funk and soul DJ Craig Charles, Geno Washington & The Ram Jam band, Scouting For Girls, T'Pau, Toyah +many more across the weekend.
The Churchill Arms in Paxford have joined pub line-ups for Tom Kerridge's Pub in the Park at both Warwick and Bath.
Taking place across 8 locations between May and September, Pub in the Park describes itself as the "biggest celebration of the best food and music the country has to offer".
For all tickets and info, please visit www.pubintheparkuk.com