Properly good burgers have been hard to find in the North Cotswolds. There are pubs (The Chequers at Churchill) and restaurants (The Old Butchers) who have exceptional patties on their menu, but, until now, nowhere has ever offered a dedicated menu.
Smiths of Bourton (on the Water) is run by brothers Seb and Theo Smith. Seb fell in love with burgers while living out in America and Theo's passion for food saw him enjoy an inspiring stint at the much-acclaimed Mash Inn at Radnage. However, like all other restaurants, they've had to adapt to the COVID times in which we live and adapt they have.
They open every evening for takeaway, from 5pm - 9pm. The "Lockdown" menu features eight burgers with an extra unique special each week. There's everything from a classic cheeseburger, with extra pickles and bacon as optional extras, to the lively Chimichurri Burger and Triple B with goats’ cheese, blueberry BBQ sauce, bacon and crispy onions
On top of that there are 4 types of fries, including their incredible crispy bacon, house sauce and spring onion-donned Dirty Fries, truffle aoili, parmesan and crispy sage fries and Rosemary and Parmesan, as well as your regular fries which each burger comes with. You can up grade to any of the others which is most definitely worth doing.
We ordered last weekend for a Sunday night treat. The food was still hot after the 7-minute drive home and the 2-minute photo shoot for the gram... and this post.
The burgers were big, fat and juicy... and delightfully messy, the types where you walk to wash your hands with your arms in the air to avoid touching anything on your way to the taps, which you try turning on with your elbow.
The fries were equally incredible. The sauce on the "Dirty" ones tasted like it had just come out of a Big Mac and the Truffle ones disappeared before a bite of a burger was taken... they were that good.
The whole lot surpassed our expectations, although we had only heard very good things. Perhaps we're just not used to this kind of thing being available in the North Cotswolds. Let's just hope they're here to stay.
Now all we need is Deliveroo.
Heat after drive and photo shoot 8
Expectations surpassed 10
The Trustees of Blenheim Palace today announced that The Jockey Club has been awarded a five-year contract as organisers of the prestigious Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials from 2021, following a competitive tender process.
The Jockey Club, founded in 1750 and with Her Majesty The Queen as its Patron, is one of the largest organisations in British sport and stages more than 340 horseracing fixtures each year, along with thousands of other events at its 15 venues nationwide.
The Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials is a pinnacle of the eventing calendar and normally takes place over four days in September each year. The Covid-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 event.
The fixture includes FEI-accredited and internationally-recognised competitions; a CCI4*-L (four-star Long) and CCI4*-S for eight and nine-year-old horses (four-star Short).
The 2019 CCI4*-L competition was won by one of Britain’s leading event riders, Piggy March, with her then ten-year-old gelding, Brookfield Inocent. The 2019 CCI4*-S was won by Australian Chris Burton and his nine-year-old, Clever Louis.
Roy Cox, Estates Director, Blenheim Palace, said:
“The International Horse Trials is one of our most prestigious events, attracting world class riders to compete in this iconic competition.
“We are delighted its future has been secured and have every confidence The Jockey Club, with its rich history and wealth of experience, working alongside British Eventing, is the perfect combination to ensure this great event which contributes so much to the local area continues to thrive.”
Ian Renton, The Jockey Club’s Regional Managing Director, whose role includes the running of nearby Cheltenham Racecourse, said:
“It truly is a great honour to be appointed to organise the Blenheim Palace Horse Trials for the next five years. We look forward to working closely with Blenheim Palace and British Eventing to ensure the event has a fantastic future.
“As a company we welcome nearly four million people a year to events at our venues and our team are excited to put on a fantastic show at Blenheim in keeping with the international prestige of both the Horse Trials and the Palace itself.
“With the Home of Jump Racing just 40 miles away I’m also confident there are economies of scale and cross-promotional opportunities from this partnership.
“Overall we’re thrilled to be involved and thank the Blenheim Palace and British Eventing team for placing their faith in us.”
Jude Matthews, Chief Executive of British Eventing, said:
“Blenheim Place International Horse Trials is a key fixture in the British Eventing calendar, showcasing some of the most talented horse and rider combinations in the world. The event has been established over many successful years and we look forward to working with The Jockey Club to continue this development and to potentially bring our sport to a wider audience.”
The Blenheim Palace Horse Trials will take place from the 16th -19th September, 2021.
Jeremy Clarkson's Farm Shop has started selling its good online.
Diddly Squat Farm Shop is located on his farm near Chipping Norton.
Established in 2020, Jeremy opened Diddly Squat after realising that potatoes did indeed grow well on his farm and he had accidentally produced 40 tonnes of them. From there, with his partner Lisa, he bought hives and began to produce and sell bee juice, along with apple juice and cow juice from a local dairy.
Some of the products available online include his "Bollocks Candle", tea towles, aprons and hats.
The shop is open from 9.30am to 5pm Monday to Saturday, and 10.00am to 4pm on Sundays.
The Bathurst Arms in North Cerney, Nr Cirencester, has been awarded five prestigious stars for "Organic Served Here" by the Soil Association Certification.
It is the first pub in the UK to receive 5 stars and the award has been a target for Bathurst Arms director, Jordan Pelly and his head chef, Michal Wlodarcyk, since they reopened the doors to the famous pink pub in July this year.
Mark Machin, Development Manager for Soil Association Certification said, “We’re very proud to welcome The Bathurst Arms to the movement of hospitality businesses that have decided to grow back better by putting sustainability at the heart of their business.
“After a particularly challenging period for the industry, it’s really encouraging to see businesses like The Bathurst continue engaging with Organic Served Here. By sourcing organic food and drink, Organic Served Here award holders are helping reduce the carbon footprint of their menu and ensure higher levels of biodiversity on our farmland.”
Jordan said: “This is great news for us as a young team with my first business, the message behind what we offer here is a strong one and something we should all learn more about. We are so lucky to have such fantastic farmers on our doorstep like Purton House Organics, Duchy Home Farm and Daylesford Organic and fishmongers New Wave and Flying Fish, all of these businesses help us source the finest ingredients for our menu with strong sustainable principals. As well as the ethical contribution sourcing organic & wild foods is such an obvious choice for us, as we strive for the best quality ingredients. From beef fed on a pasture diet to ingredients in season, flavor is paramount with these choices inevitably kinder to the environment and world we live in.
“We offer great small plates that showcase our approach using the best the seasons have to offer. Right now we are serving dishes like “Salt baked celeriac with wild girolles and mushroom”; “Purton Farm organic pork belly with Jerusalem artichoke with pork & apple sauce”; and for the seafood lovers, line caught plaice, on the bone with a smoked lime butter and pickled sea lettuce.”
The pub has also recently been using surplus organic vegetables and fruit from the village as there are several allotments owned by the nearby Bathurst Estate looked after by hard working villagers.
“We plan to roll out a five star organic menu in a take away format as well, we understand that in the current climate not everyone is comfortable eating out so we want to be able to create our dishes for you to take home and enjoy. “Jordan added.
It has got to be nearly twenty years since my first visit to Michael's in Chipping Campden, shamelessly trying to impress my peers that my palate was familiar food from Greece and Cyprus although at that time I had never been to either.
Back then it was called Alexiou's and was one of, if not, the best restaurants in the Cotswolds. It was only ever open in the evenings and was mostly always full. To impress people even more, you would always book a second sitting on a Friday or Saturday as there was always a chance of smashing some plates in the restaurant.
Today it is much different, but still just as charming.
The large kitchen that used to serve the restaurant is now a delightful bedroom, part of the stunning Woolmarket House that Michael and Sarah own. The seating area at the back of the restaurant has also made way to an equally beautiful bedroom.
The front of the restaurant has had a makeover. It feels less "evening only" and more "daytime too" which it is with the recent addition of breakfast, brunch and lunch.
In these crazy and socially-distanced, curfew times, the restaurant now has only around 16 covers and waiting staff serving you in visors.
The menu is pretty much the same as it has always been; Stifado, Kleftico (which I think I have had every time I have been there) and their showstopper "Filleto Marathona", fillet steak served on a board with mushroom, tomato & French-fries, and it is always exceptionally good. After 35 years, Michael still goes and handpicks the hunks of meat that the restaurant serves.
Dinner is a race against time at the moment. I'm not sure how Chipping Campden would cope with 14 diners spilling out of Michael's and onto the streets.
I started with garlic mushrooms as I wanted something lighter as I always make the mistake of filling myself up on the pitta bread. Obviously I did so again as the oily, garlicky remains at the bottom of the cast iron dish couldn't be left.
Obviously I had the Kleftico for my main. It's the best way to eat lamb, especially when it falls off the bone like this has for the past two decades and is cooked in wine, washed down with a couple of Cotswolds Gins.
As if the pitta bread and half a lamb weren't enough, I also tried squeezing a chocolate brownie in too. I ultimately succeeded at tortoise speed but it was most definitely worth it.
Although the restaurant has over halved in size, it still has lots of its charm, a lovely relaxed atmosphere and two owners who are, after all this time, hugely passionate about the food they serve and experience they offer to their guests.
It's safe to say that it's still up there with the best restaurants in the Cotswolds.
Racing returns to Cheltenham with The Showcase on Friday, 23 October and Saturday, 24 October. The two-day meeting is the first action to be staged at The Home of Jump Racing since The Festival™ in March. In accordance with government COVID-19 regulations, the meeting will take place behind closed doors.
You can follow the action with the Jockey Club's new Racing At Home service.
There are seven races on each day of The Showcase with Saturday's highlight being the £48,000 Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap Chase (3.50pm) over three miles and a furlong. Heading the 17 entries is Frodon (Paul Nicholls), who famously landed the 2019 G1 Ryanair Chase at The Festival™ under Bryony Frost. The eight-year-old is a five-time winner at Cheltenham and was last seen when fourth in the 2020 Ryanair Chase. Also engaged is Cogry (Nigel Twiston-Davies), winner of this race in 2017. The 11-year-old went on to be second in 2018 and third in 2019.
Another possible starter is Walk In The Mill (Robert Walford). The 10-year-old finished fourth to Tiger Roll in the 2019 Randox Health Grand National and is twice a winner over the Grand National fences at Aintree, having taken the Randox Health Becher Chase in 2018 and 2019.
Dorset-based Robert Walford said today: "Walk In The Mill is in good form and a possible runner at Cheltenham on Saturday. It all depends on the weather but if it is good to soft, he will take his chance.
"We are delighted with him at home and he seems to be in really good order. He had a nice summer break and obviously we were gearing up for the Grand National until COVID-19 intervened. We are looking forward to seeing him back in action.
"The Grand National is again a potential long-term target for Walk In The Mill. The big race we will target first however again is the Becher Chase. He has a fine record in the race and we just need to get one run into him before we head to Aintree."
Saturday's action gets underway with the Masterson Holdings Hurdle (2.05pm) which takes place over an extended two miles for four-year-olds only. The roll of honour includes dual Randox Health Grand National hero Tiger Roll (2014) as well as subsequent Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase scorer Dodging Bullets (2012).
The top-rated performer among the 11 entries is the front running Allmankind (Dan Skelton), a G2 winner over the course and distance at The November Meeting last season before going on to win the G1 Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow in December. He ended the campaign when third in the G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle at The Festival™, a race in which Sir Psycho (Paul Nicholls) finished fifth.
rainer Dan Skelton said: "Allmankind is in good form and Saturday's contest at Cheltenham has been the plan since the start of the season.
"The Masterson Holdings Hurdle is an ideal race to run in given it is against four-year-olds, so he can take on his age group one last time before he takes on the older horses.
"He has to carry a penalty, but he is a G1 winner. I would just like to see a bit of rain, but he is a planned runner at the moment. I am really happy with him at home and he is ready to start.
"He just ran quite flat at Cheltenham in the Triumph Hurdle. I am not saying he would have beaten Goshen in the Triumph Hurdle, but he just ran very flat in that race.
"There is no point dwelling on the past and we are looking forward to getting him started. It is a new season, with a new start and new objectives."
An intriguing contest could be further enhanced by Grand Roi (Gordon Elliott), successful in three of his four starts when with Nicky Henderson last season, and the potentially unexposed performers Botox Has (Gary Moore) and Monte Cristo (Nicky Henderson).
Fusil Raffles (Nicky Henderson), G1 winner at Punchestown in 2019, tops the 10 entries for the Best Odds At Matchbook Novices' Chase (2.40pm) over just under two and a half miles.
Mossy Fen (Nigel Twiston-Davies) landed the G2 Ballymore Leamington Novices' Hurdle at Warwick in January before going to finish fifth in the G1 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at The Festival™ and is likely to make his chasing debut at The Showcase.
Carl Hinchy, who owns Mossy Fen in partnership with Mark Scott, said today: "Mossy Fen is in fine form and the plan is to head to Cheltenham this weekend. He will either run on Friday [Matchbook Better Way To Bet Novices' Chase, 3m ½f] or on Saturday, but we haven't made a decision yet as to which race to target.
"Mossy Fen is a point-to-point winner and he has schooled very well. We are excited about getting his season underway, but we would not want to risk him to early in the season on watered ground. Rain is forecast so hopefully it will ease the ground so he can run."
This could also be another fascinating contest with the likes of recent Listed Chepstow winner Grand Sancy (Paul Nicholls) and Pileon (Philip Hobbs), the short-head runner-up in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle at The Festival™, also holding entries.
The Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (3.15pm, 32 entries) over three miles is the first race in the series of qualifiers for the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle at The Festival™. Horses need to finish in the first six in a qualifier to be eligible for the contest at The Festival™. Tobefair (Debra Hamer), the neck runner-up in the 2019 contest at The Festival™, won this qualifying contest 12 months ago and is entered once again.
Completing Saturday's programme are the Showcase Novices' Hurdle (4.25pm, 3m, 11 entries), the Ryman Stationery Cheltenham Business Club Amateur Jockeys' Handicap Chase (5.00pm, 3m 1f, 20 entries) and the concluding Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (5.35pm, 22 entries).
Friday's programme at The Showcase runs from 1.50pm through to 5.15pm and is headlined by the £48,000 October Handicap Chase (3.35pm, 17 entries). This contest was previously run on the Saturday of The Showcase. The weights are headed by G2-placed Dolos (Paul Nicholls), who is entered alongside stablemate Getaway Trump, runner-up in G1 company over hurdles and the comfortable winner of a beginners' chase at Warwick on 1 October.
The going at Cheltenham is currently Good. The forecast is for an unsettled week, with rain at times. Racing at The Showcase takes place on the Old Course.
Seven hotels in the Cotswolds have been named in The Sunday Times Best Places to Stay in Britain that was published this weekend.
The list of 80 features everything from great new openings to swish spas and cosy pubs with rooms.
Birch in Hertfordshire was named as Hotel of the Year 2020.
You can find the full list here.
Below are the hotels from the Cotswolds that feature in the guide.
Nestled in the village of Southrop, Thyme is a wonderful enclosed collection of restored historic buildings forming a peaceful hamlet environment, a ‘village within a village,’ that epitomises the understated and natural beauty of the surrounding area.
The Stump, Nr Cirencester
The Stump is a hugely popular ancient roadside inn that boast 10 en-suite rooms and serves incredible pasta, pizza and well-poured pints.
The George, Cheltenham
The George is the first hotel within the Cult Hotels collection, focusing on connecting a clued-up urban crowd with local culture. The new concept has cut out the fluff and is all about fantastic beds, superb showers, and super fast WiFi, as well as automatic check-in and drop-and-go departures.
Foxhill Manor, Broadway
This luxury 5-star private house offers an incredible unique stay with 400 acres to explore, a kitchen at your beck and call, and a no-rule motto of ‘whatever you fancy, wherever you fancy it’. Your personal host will be on hand 24 hours a day to make sure you have everything you need, every minute of your stay.
Artist Residence, Nr Witney
Artist Residence Oxfordshire is a boutique hotel is an idyllic retreat in the heart of the Cotswolds countryside. The 16th-century inn has five luxurious bedrooms nestled under its cosy thatch and three suites in the farm outbuildings, each a calming combination of luxurious linens, bohemian styling and antique furnishings.
Calcot Manor, Tebury
Set in 220 acres of rolling countryside, Calcot Manor offers a variety of luscious rooms, a stunning chic spa and delightful dining making it a truly wonderful place to relax in the Cotswolds.
The Harcourt Arms, Nr Witney
Following an extensive four-year-long renovation, The Harcourt Arms now home to a brand new restaurant, ten lovely bedrooms and The Harcourt Stores where you’ll find artisanal treats amongst the everyday essentials for the Stanton Harcourt community to enjoy.
Alexiou's in Stow on the Wold has announced that it will open its doors on Monday 12th October.
The Mediterranean Restaurant and Bar, located in Talbot Court in the heart of the town, has been created by brother and sister team, Aris & Cleo Alexiou and will boast delicious food, beautiful surroundings, fantastic hospitality.
The current opening times will be:
Monday 11.30am - 8.30pm*
Wednesday (Mezedakia Night) 5,30pm - 8.30pm*
Thursday 11.30am - 8.30pm*
Friday 11.30am - 8.30pm*
Saturday 11.30am - 8.30pm*
Sunday (Brunch) 10am - 2pm*
* denotes time of last orders
The times will change when restrictions are lifted.
You will be able to book and see the menu on Tuesday 6th October.
Amidst the chaos of lockdown when all the pubs and restaurants were closed, three friends created a new kind of dining experience, in a field, with six glasshouses, a gin bar and spectacular views. Within days The Scenic Supper had almost sold out and the response was truly incredible.
Last weekend saw the last summer supper served at their King Stone Farm location, however, the good news is, their winter offering "Twelve Nights" is coming very soon.
There is a brand-new setting in Snowshill and the 12 nights in December will include 4 tables of 6 each evening, 5 course locally-sourced seasonal menu, with optional cheese board for £60.00 per head.
These dates will be available to book from 10:00am 1st October on their website that you can find below.
There is no better way to celebrate the end of summer than a feast at The Swan at Ascott-under-Wychwood with ex Hawksmoor Executive Head Chef, Richard H Turner.
From Friday 18th to Sunday 20th September, Richard will be cooking abundance of grilled, smoked and spiced food including slow grilled prime rib of beef with bone marrow nihari sauce, devilled monkfish skewer with tomato and curry leaf, spiced tomahawk lamb chops, smoked aubergine with mint pomegranate and cashew cream, the list goes on, including an array of flatbreads and sides.
Saturday has already sold out but spaces remain for Friday and Sunday.
You can find the full menu HERE or at the bottom of the page.
Booking is essential and social distancing rules will be in place.
Adults £30 and children (under 16) £12.
For all the information, visit www.countrycreatures.com/the-village-grill-with-richard-turner
The readers of the Telegraph have voted for their favourite pubs in the UK and have named 3 from the Cotswolds in the list.
The Ebrington Arms, near Chipping Campden, was voted the winner in the "Best for Food" category.
The Potting Shed in Crudwell near Malmesbury was runner-up in the "Pub of the Year" with The Swan at Ascott-under-Wychwood achieved the same position in the "Best for Rooms" class.
You can find all the winners at runner-ups here - www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/pubs-and-bars/raise-glass-telegraph-pub-year-2020-plus-best-pubs-food-families/
Scoring 98/100 points, Cotswolds-based BeauFort Fifty-Seven is the only British expression to have achieved a ‘Gold Outstanding’ in Contemporary Gin category at the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2020.
The IWSC is often regarded as the most respected awards in the drinks business with the Gold Outstanding medal the competition’s highest, awarded to just a handful of products every year: “this is a genuinely significant achievement” writes IWSC Judging Panel Chair, and World spirits authority Joel Harrison; BeauFort’s Fifty-Seven “neatly encapsulates the creativity and diversity of the Contemporary category.”
Each spirit was tasted blind. All spirits scoring 90 and above were re-tasted by the Judging Committee to ensure consistency across the tasting – so BeauFort Fifty Seven’s success is not to be under-estimated.
BeauFort Spirit, located in Broadway, is the fractious offspring of musician Leo Crabtree, founder of the international selling Fragrance House, BeauFort London.
BeauFort Spirit’s originality lies in part with the ’smoking’ of its liquors and its uncompromising approach in the pursuit of flavour and experience. Working closely with the Halen Môn smokery in Anglesey, BeauFort Spirit hijacked an ingredient originally designed by Heston Blumenthal – an oak smoked water which now lends a distinctive signature flavour into the spirits.
Not a company to shy away from the unusual, the nascent product range is led by the 57% ABV Smoked Sipping Gin, a ‘nod’ to the Admiralty’s ‘Gunpowder Proof’ test.
Executed by Master Distiller Rob Dorsett of Langley Distillery in the heart of the Black Country, this gin is created in small batches in the distillery’s historic copper stills, and finished by Sion Edwards of Union Distillers of Leicestershire, where the high strength distillate is blended to strength with BeauFort’s unique smoked water - a finely executed combination of traditional methods of production and a single-minded approach to sensuality and refinement.
Tasting notes: Oak smoke, juniper and pepper sharpened with fresh lemon peel on the nose. Powerful palate of spice and smoke with a smooth, rounded mouthfeel emphasising the piney bite of juniper.
Botanicals: Juniper, Coriander, Angelica Root, Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Orris, Liquorice, Szechuan pepper, Pink Pepper, Smoked Oak and Hickory Chips.
BeauFort 57 Smoked Gin 57% abv has an RRP of £39.95 per 50cl, through www.beaufortspirit.com or www.masterofmalt.com.
For over 50 years The International Wine & Spirit Competition has rewarded excellence in the drinks industry worldwide. It ensures recognition for the very best wines and spirits. This is the international benchmark for quality, standing out in the crowded world of drinks awards with hundreds of global experts – including buyers, producers, distillers, sommeliers, distributors and influencers – judging wines and spirits throughout the year.
If you have lived in the Cotswolds for a while, you may recognise the Alexiou's name from the wonderful restaurant in Chipping Campden. While still under the same ownership, the name of the restaurant changed a few years ago to Michael's Mediterranean and has been going strong for 35 years.
Fear not, Michael's Mediterranean is not moving to Stow, however his children, Cleo (who has been the Event Manger at the beautiful Aynhoe Park for the last 4 years) and Aris (who has worked in some of the Cotswolds finest establishments over the years- The Wild Rabbit, The Fox, Oddington, of course the family restaurant to name a few) are bringing something special to the town this Autumn.
Alexiou's will be a family fun, Mediterranean restaurant and bar based in Talbot Court, in the heart of the town. Their ultimate goal is to create a space that fuses cosmopolitan elegance with "'one of those' gorgeous tavernas lining a cobbled street on a Greek island,which oozes deliciousness in every way!"
Their menus will combine simple recipes, with stunning flavour combinations, using fresh local ingredients.
Their aim is simply to create a space with delicious food, beautiful surroundings, fantastic hospitality and affordability.
The spaces will be: (in Cleo's words)
THE BAR - Relaxed seating and a very sexy vibe
THE DINING ROOM - Filled with tasteful furniture- combining traditional, naturalistic and elegance!
THE COURTYARD - Filled with overflowing greenery, mirrors, candles, sheepskin rugs and much more gorgeousness!
We can't wait!
Pizza masters Baz and Fred have taken over The New Inn at Coln St Aldwyns.
The duo known for their incredible food at The Stump at Foss Cross will open the pub later this month.
In a statement on Instagram they announced "Roughly a year ago Baz & Fred achieved their childhood dream and opened their first pub together The Stump, a Cotswold pub turned pizzeria. Simple, delicious food done well. It’s been a fantastic first year and we can’t wait for many more to follow and working alongside our awesome team and customers."
"We’ve had such a great time running The Stump so we’ve decided to do it all over again. Introducing Baz & Fred’s New Inn, located in the beautiful village of Coln St Aldwyns. A stunning pub not too far from The Stump. During lock down we introduced a burger night at The Stump which has been an overwhelming success. We thought it was only fitting to increase this offering and give the people more of what everyone clearly wants. As a result of this we have taken to the streets of Coln! Expect smokey blues, booze, burgers & an all-round good time. The main staple of the menu will be a variety of burgers which have been a real hit. There will be other rolling specials, sides and main dishes on offer that will have Spanish, Portuguese and Italian influences plus anything that Baz & Fred feel is delicious enough to make an appearance, which is a fair bit!"
"The New Inn is similar to The Stump. It’s an old roadside Inn that is ingrained into the history of the village. The pub is currently closed so Baz & Fred could move in for renovations and are currently in the process of changing things around, attempting to bring the inside of the pub back to its original design decades ago. Everything is full steam ahead; the new open kitchen is being fitted alongside the new local’s bar plus lots more."
"We aim to be open by the end of the month but please keep your eyes peeled for updates. We can’t wait to see you all down here!!"
The Gunpowder Gimlet was conceived as a way of showcasing Beaufort Spirit's ‘gunpowder proof’ gin in a traditional context - a drink originally issued by the Royal Navy - with a contemporary twist:
This isn’t a ‘true’ gimlet as it does not include Roses lime cordial (originally conceived as a way of preserving lime juice onboard ships); instead Beaufort have created a ‘smoked lime sherbert’ by gently cooking lime juice, pulp and husks briefly with sugar, then smoking in a closed vessel with a smoking gun. Also, in this version, they have lengthened the drink slightly with a gunpowder tea cold brew infusion, made with Temple of Heaven teas. Garnished with a smoked rum / cane syrup reduction with added black food dye.
- 40ml BeauFort Spirit Fifty-Seven smoked sipping gin.
- 40ml Smoked Lime Sherbet
- 15ml Cold Brew Gunpowder Tea
Serve in coupette / no ice
Garnish with ‘Squid Ink’ rum reduction
Shake & fine strain
Beaufort Spirits are based near Broadway in the Cotswolds and produce a delightful Smoked Sipping Gin and a stunning Smoked Demerara Rum.
A new unique, intimate dining experience is launching in the Cotswolds.
The Scenic Supper has been created by Toby Baggott, Scott Sullivan and Sam Lawson, three friends of over 20 years who each own small businesses, event styling company, outdoor catering and a local gin, and have all, in their own ways, been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Located at Kingstone Farm next to the the Roll Right Stones, just up the road from Long Compton, the supper offers a pre-selected 5-course tasting menu in five glass houses, each with individual art work and breath-taking views of the Cotswolds countryside.
There will be a bar ready to serve a variety of cocktails, wine, beer & cider throughout your evening.
The supper will be running Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm from Saturday 4th July to Saturday 12th September and costs £50 per person.
You can find the menu, further information and book by visiting www.thescenicsupper.co.uk.
THE STREETS, GARY NUMAN AND LIGHTNING SEEDS TO PLAY DRIVE-IN CONCERTS AT CHELTENHAM RACECOURSE THIS SUMMER!
The Streets, Gary Numan, Lightning Seeds, Dizzee Rascal and Ash are just a number of acts coming to Cheltenham this summer as part of the Utilita Live from the Drive-in concerts, taking place at Cheltenham Racecourse from 29th July - 5th September 2020.
Other names on the list include Tony Hadley, The Zutons, Skindred and Cream Classical Ibiza.
Tickets go on sale on Monday 22nd June at 10am.
Click HERE for the full line-up.
I doubt I'm the only one who has realised that one of their main hobbies was eating out. I love food and the novelty of trying to cook restaurant style (it was nowhere near) food at home has more or less worn off completely and we're back to cooking the same five meals a week that we had before the pandemic.
I got overly excited last Tuesday when I saw The Old Butchers in Stow on the Wold were offering a takeaway menu on the Friday and Saturday... "They do a whole Dover Sole for Christ's sake!"
They were also offering Healing Chicken Broth, Fritto Misto and a Prawn Cocktail for starters, Tempura Crab Roll & Chips, a Prawn Po'boy & Chips and a Rump Steak Burger & Chips for mains, and 1/2 Cold Lobster, Mayo & chips and 1/2 Lobster Thermidor & Chips.
This is incredible, but what the hell is a po'boy?
I googled it. They look amazing. But I really want a burger.
I ordered both (well who needs a summer body?). Over Instagram. And paid via bank transfer. Up yours Deliveroo.
My collection time (which I chose) was at 7pm. There were probably 10 people outside the restaurant waiting. We all kept our distance and nodded a hello, apart from one guy who really wanted a chat from about a metre and a half.
People went up to collect their bags like a university graduation, each getting judged on the amount of food they bought.
My name was finally called and I proudly marched up to the door. "Thank you" I muttered with my hand over my mouth. I realised that she was the fourth person I had spoken to all week.
I got home and presented the bag like a new puppy. We got overly excited once again when we saw The Old Butchers branding on the box. There's a moment of trepidation before opening them as you don't really know what to expect as these place don't normally dabble in takeaways.
The burger looked amazing, as did the po'boy. If it were a film, there would have been fairy dust as each box was opened.
I stole a prawn from the po'boy with my fingers as I eat with my hands now on a Friday, and never on a plate. It had a kick that I wasn't expecting but was incredibly good.
The burger was fat and ridiculously juicy. My white t-shirt looked like Onslow's vest. I didn't care. It was immense. Possibly the best burger I have eaten, ever, and I know that is a huge statement.
Thank you The Old Butchers.
Ordering via Instagram 10
Conversation while waiting 1
**Follow The Old Butchers' Instagram and Facebook for the menus and how to order**
The Stump at Foss Cross, located between Northleach and Cirencester, is looking to support the local community and businesses by opening a drive-thru take away service and farm shop, welcome ’The Stump Shack’.
Due to open from Monday, they’ll be bringing out their old events trailers from 2014, giving it a re-vamp, and opening it as a drive-thru pizzeria, produce shop and breakfast cafe. Perfect if you are looking for something quick to eat, pick up your local groceries or even grab a beer or two whilst keeping your ‘Social Distancing’ in check.
Locals will be able to purchase The Stump's knockout pizza - made by award winning pizza duo, Baz & Fred - soups, sarnies, drinks as well as local produce - without having to leave their car. Order from the car, park up and wait for it to be delivered straight to you!
Keeping the community eating well, ’The Stump Shack’ will be working along side a host of local producers, including Sourdough Revolution, Cackleberry Farm, Deya Brewery, The Cotswold Cider Co., Mimi’s Kitchen, The Extra Virgin Farm and many more. They have even found a way to freeze their own delicious pizzas, so everyone can continue to enjoy them from the comfort of their own home.
The first announcements for the Wychwood Festival have been announced and will include The Divine Comedy, Embrace, The Lightning Seeds and Seth Lakeman.
The festival takes place at Cheltenham Racecourse from 29th - 31st May, with over 100 acts performing across four stages, plus music, dance and arts workshops, a circus school and a programme of talks, debates and comedy for all ages.
Jeremy Clarkson has opened a new farm shop on his farm near Chipping Norton.
Diddly Squat Farm Shop, located on his Diddly Squat Farm, was full of potatoes grown on the farm, horseradish, eggs, apple juice and some bottles of special edition natural spring water that was being auctioned off for charity.
We have no idea of the opening times or whether this was just a publicity stunt as a full film crew was covering his every move. Whatever it was, it was good fun!
The Manor House at Castle Combe, Tewkesbury Park and Heythrop Park have all been included in the Top 100 Golf Resorts in the UK & Ireland published by Golf World.
The list sees Gleneagles take top spot, with The K Club in Kildare, Ireland and three of Donald Trump's resorts making up the Top 5.
You can find the full list HERE.
THE MANOR HOUSE
The full line-up for the Cheltenham Jazz Festival was announced this morning.
The festival returns in May with a broad spectrum of world -class contempor ary jazz, blues, soul, R&B and pop. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Cheltenham The Festival Town from May 5-10, this year’s programme once again delivers a balance of core jazz and mainstream offerings from today’s biggest stars, heritage legends and next -generation talent, with an impressive spread of UK exclusives and special commissions in the mix.
Coinciding with the Early May Bank Holiday, which moves to Friday (8 May) to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, this year’s festival will host New Wave icons Squeeze with hits from their illustrious 45-year career, as well as rarities from their back catalogue and solo careers, beloved UK soulstress Beverley Knight, R&B funk legends KC & The Sunshine Band, Irish singer-songwriter Imelda May with the Ronnie Scott’s Big Band and multi-million-selling vocalist Emeli Sandé. Blues/folk-inspired co-operative Saving Grace unveil their brand-new project featuring singers Robert Plant and Suzi Dian, Malian pop duo Amadou & Mariam and The Blind Boys Of Alabama present ‘Bamako To Birmingham’, multi-instrumentalist, DJ and cultural pioneer Nitin Sawhney will showcase music from his seminal record Beyond Skin alongside repertoire from his 20-album career, while Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award-winning Booker T Jones returns to the Festival with material from his new album Note By Note. The Festival’s Artistic Curator Gregory Porter opens the 6-day event with a concert at the 2000-seat capacity Henry Westons Big Top and has selected various acts for the ‘Gregory’s Picks’ series: Lizz Wright, Keyon Harrold, Makaya McCraven and Gary Bartz & Maisha, announced last month.
The Parabola Arts Centre programme presents a snapshot of the global landscape of jazz today, with this year’s line-up stronger and more diverse than ever. Award-winning trumpeter Laura Jurd presents her latest boundary-pushing project Stepping Back, Jumping In featuring a 14 piece-ensemble, Portuguese rock-fuelled outfit The Rite of Trio perform their UK debut as Cheltenham’s pick from the 12 Points Festival European jazz showcase, Anglo-Swiss quintet YDivide celebrate Switzerland’s lively jazz scene and legendary jazz vocalist Norma Winstone teams up with German pianist Pablo Held. British singer Lianne Carroll pays tribute to the legendary Carole King with a concert at The Daffodil and million-selling US vocalist Stacey Kent will delve into the Great American Songbook with acclaimed saxophonist Jim Tomlinson at the Everyman Theatre.
The Festival’s long-standing partnership with BBC Radio 2 continues with special broadcasts throughout the weekend including Squeeze live in concert and a New Orleans-themed Friday Night Is Music Night with Guy Barker’s Big Band and the BBC Concert Orchestra.
Taste-making DJ and broadcaster Gilles Peterson takes up residence at Warehouse @ The Brewery Quarter – a new pop-up venue, where in addition to his own DJ set will showcase some of the acts he’s championing right now on the UK scene: alt singer-songwriter Rosie Lowe, punk jazzers Melt Yourself Down and the genre-bending Nubiyan Twist.
Also on the bill and representing the UK’s kaleidoscopic jazz scene are SE London collective Steam Down, jazz/hip-hop/soul-influenced vocalist and guitarist Oscar Jerome and 8-piece Afrobeat outfit KOKOROKO. Elsewhere, Ibibio Sound Machine, fronted by Nigerian singer Eno Williams will explore a tapestry of African and electronic soundworlds and iconic drummer Tony Allen pays homage to the late South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela. And set for Cheltenham are some of the most in-demand blues artists currently touring the world: recent Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Keb’ Mo’, US bassist and founding member of blues-rock band Trampled Under Foot Danielle Nicole and harmonica extraordinaire Errol Linton.
Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2020 is hosted in a tented festival village in the town centre’s Montpellier Gardens featuring the Henry Westons Big Top stage, Jazz Arena, Free Stage, Yamaha Discovery Space, a programme of family activities and events and a food, drink and market area. The Festival reaches beyond the festival village into Cheltenham bringing jazz to venues throughout the day until late into the night. These include Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham Ladies’ College Parabola Arts Centre, Hotel du Vin, The Daffodil and a new pop-up venue Warehouse @ The Brewery Quarter plus a dozen more clubs and bars and three street stages in the …around town programme supported by Cheltenham BID.
Tickets go on sale to Members at 10am on Wednesday 26 February 2020 and on general sale from 10am on Wednesday 4 March 2020.
Foals, Loyle Carner and Supergrass have been confirmed as headliners of Wilderness Festival, Season 10.
The 4-day feast of music, the arts, fine dining and the outdoors takes place on July 30th - August 2nd 2020 at the stunning Cornbury Park.
It's been a really good busy month with over 50 runners and a few winners which is always nice.
I have to start with Annie Mc. It's great that she has won her second Novice Chase. The horses she is beating are not mugs. She beat If You Say Run the first time at Wincanton who's a good yard stick, and was wasn't too far away from Reserve Tank who was a dual-grade one winner over hurdles last year. She beat one of Alan King's mares who is rated at 140 decisively at Wetherby. She jumped great and is getting better and better with each run.
She will probably go to a normal Novice Chase next with two penalties but will get a Mares' allowance so will probably only be offset by 3lbs. If she won that, we would definitely to have start thinking about the Cheltenham Festival with her, either the handicap or the Grade 1 Marsh Chase. Her next run will probably tell us a lot more. She's going the right way and we're very excited about her.
It was good to get Django Django on the right track. I was really impressed with the first day behind Erick Le Rouge and Not That Fuisse at Uttoxeter which is really good form. He was disappointing the next time at Aintree with Bryony but to be fair, he lost his two hind shoes so there's an excuse for that run. He looked very strong in the finish at Newbury and won going away. He does look like he could turn into a National horse next year but he has a long way to go but he does have that way about him. He's a horse I have always really liked and has probably still got another year until he reaches his full potential. A horse we're very much looking forward to for some lucky owners who are very loyal to us at Jackdaws Castle.
We really fancied Knight Destroyer in the Fred Winter at The Festival couple of years ago when he fell and it was great to see him win again at Taunton. He had a major pelvis injury, which he has now got over, and seemed to lose a bit of confidence. I would say we will be going over fences sooner rather than later. He suits the tight tracks and making all the running and it's great he got his confidence back and really deserved the win.
Arrivederci beat a strong field at Wincanton. He was due a win after coming second behind Fiddlerontheroof last time out at Sandown who went on to win a Grade 1. He's got very good form, he came third to Tea Clipper at Warwick who has gone onto win a few races since. He's progressing nicely and is going to be a chaser for next year and definitely a horse to look forward to.
It was good for the veteran Valadom to get back to his winning grove at Catterick, and good placing by Richard Hobson. He runs at Musselburgh tomorrow in a similar race but I won't be riding him as I will at Sandown.
Beaufort West was very good at Fontwell for Colin Tizzard. He quickened away nicely and really impressed me. It will be interesting to see where they go with him now. I think he could go for a handicap race at Cheltenham, perhaps the Martin Pipe or Coral Cup.
It was very exciting to win Conditional Jockey of the Year at The Lesters. It's a huge honour to win a Lester award as it's your peers who are voting. I feel very lucky that I have a good network behind me and around me. It really does make you appreciate how lucky we are that we live in a such a good weighing room where the camaraderie is great.
I'm extremely grateful and feel very privileged to get asked to ride Native River and to be associated with a Gold Cup winner. It's a huge call up which I'm relishing and don't take lightly. It's Dicky's (Johnson) ride and hopefully he'll be back fit for Cheltenham but it's great to be riding him at Newbury and hopefully it works out well. He won very well at Aintree last time and the blinkers seem to sharpen him up. I'm very much looking forward to Newbury next weekend!
I have three good rides for Mr Tizzard at Sandown tomorrow (Saturday 1st Feb). Elderado Allen in the Champion Hurdle Trial. He's pretty unexposed and ran really well on comeback when he was second at the same track earlier this month. Vision Des Flos in the Scilly Isles Grade One Novices Chase. He's bee a very good horse who won at Chepstow last time very comfortably and has a good chance n what looks like a open race. Mister Malarky runs in the Masters Handicap Chase. He ran very well in the Ladbrokes Trophy earlier in the season. If he returns to that kind of form he should go close.