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
The Kingham Plough (22), The Bell at Lanford (25) and The Wild Rabbit (38) have all made it into the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs in England.
The Sportsman in Whitstable, Tom Kerridge's Coach at Marlow and Freemasons at Wiswell made up the Top 3.
Fancy trying something different this Burns Night? For most people, Scotland is, and always has been the home of whisky. However, why not try something different and celebrate with something from south of the border with one of the Cotswolds Distillery’s award-winning offerings?
The Cotswolds Distillery Single Malt is the first ever whisky to be created in the Cotswolds ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ and is created using only Cotswolds-grown barley. The inaugural whisky is rich and fruity in style and has been matured in a combination of first-fill ex-Bourbon barrels and specially shaved, toasted and re-charred red wine casks. The young expression bursts with notes of honey and butterscotch, layered with light fruits (peaches, apricots) and a hint of marzipan. To taste, the whisky is rich with malt, oils and dark sugar. Spice and caramelised bitter orange lead into a long, resinous finish with dark red fruits and a hint of treacle.
Lacated near Shipston-on-Stour, the distillery has become a premier local attraction, offering tours and tastings daily, and now receives 30,000 visitors a year.
Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky was launched in October 2017. Each bottle lists the barley variety, harvest year and local Cotswolds farm it was grown on. It recently won Gold at the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition and took 2 stars (one of only two whiskies to do so) in the 2018 Great Taste Awards.
In Jim Murray’s 2019 Whisky Bible, the Cotswolds Distillery received 5 ‘Liquid Gold’ awards. Three of Cotswolds’ whiskies scored 95 points, with all of the distillery’s samples scoring over 88 out of 100.
Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky is available nationally and in 26 countries across the world and is available in Waitrose & Partners, Majestic Wine, The Whisky Exchange, Harrods and Laithwaites.
For all of their spirits, visit www.cotswoldsdistillery.com
This week saw the AA name the latest 19 restaurants that have achieved its higher-level three and four rosette ratings including two from the Cotswolds.
The Dining Room at Whatley Manor in Malmesbury has been awarded four rosettes with Lords of the Manor in Upper Slaughter awarded three.
The AA says "Establishments with three AA Rosettes are all outstanding restaurants achieving standards that demand national recognition well beyond their local area. Those awarded four AA Rosettes are among the top restaurants in the country."
I'm not going to lie, a Sunday roast is one of my favourite things in the world and it annoys me when people start meddling with it. But, and it's a big but, this was until we experienced 'Wellington Sunday' at the Lygon Arms in Broadway.
I'm usually a roast beef kind of person when I'm out and a pork or chicken person when at home. I would be a beef person at home if I were more organised to go to the butchers and always struggle to find a nice joint at the supermarkets so chicken and pork it is. Although we were there for the Wellington, the Waghorne’s (a local butcher, not a type of cow) 30 day aged sirloin, beef dripping roast potatoes was still very tempting.
The dining room at The Lygon is beautiful not matter where you sit and at 2.30pm it was still relatively busy with people trickling in. I started forming a "most beautiful dining rooms in the Cotswolds" list in my head but could only think of another three as good.
Not knowing the size of the Beef Wellington we decided to share a twice baked cheese soufflé. I'm not sure there is a better starter when it's done well, and this one was pretty good.
With just a gravy jug as company, the showpiece arrived as red as the 1st Duke of Wellington's uniform and just how we imagine Arthur Wellesley would have wanted it two centuries ago. The beef dripping roast potatoes were very good too. In a world where everyone compares a restaurant or pub roast spud to ones they have at home, these were definitely better than mine and I could have easily had another one, or two... or three.
After another wine and anther gin it was time to leave. I'm not used to this lunchtime feeding but could definitely get used to it if it's as good as this.
I might just book again next Sunday.
Price: Twice baked cheese soufflé, garden salad, £11. Scottish beef Wellington, £27
The Dormy House Hotel will be launching two new restaurant concepts opening in February.
The Garden Room will become The Back Garden, a celebration of 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.
On top of that they are building a brand new restaurant, MO. that will offer a unique, interactive 7-course tasting-menu experience to just 12 guests at a time. They will showcase creative cooking, unexpected ingredients, forward-thinking culinary techniques, and just a hint of food theatre, again with sustainability and seasonality at centre-stage. At MO you’ll never eat the same menu twice.
For more information and to book, click HERE.
The Stereophonics are the latest band confirmed to play Forest Live this summer.
They will be coming to Westonbirt Arboretum on Thursday 23rd June 2019.
You can find all information here - www.forestryengland.uk/music/stereophonics-westonbirt-arboretum
This week saw us launch out Top 50 Pubs in the Cotswolds guide.
We are spoiled for choice when it comes to great pubs and this list was incredibly hard to complile. We hope you enjoy visiting many of these throughout the year!
The Queen's New Year Honours List was published last night and there is recognition for many people in the Cotswolds.
DCVO (Royal Victorian Order)
Susan Louise Wigley, CVO Lady in Waiting to The Duchess of Gloucester.
RVM (Royal Victorian Medal)
Karen Jayne Buckle Cook Highgrove House.
Marlene Jones Housekeeping assistant Highgrove House.
Richard Scudamore Executive chairman Premier League. For services to Football
Steven Scott McCarthy Minister of Defence Materiel British Defence Staff Washington. For services to Defence.
Richard Boggis-Rolfe Chairman National Employers Advisory Board. For voluntary service to the Armed Forces Reserves
Dr Charles Edward MacDonald Foster Reader in Physical Activity and Public Health Bristol University. For services to the Promotion of Physical Activity.
Clare Denise Gibbs Strategic Partnering manager Cabinet Office. For public service.
Susan Glover Durrell Consultant Physiotherapist Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. For services to Physiotherapy
Alan George Head Chairman Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Squadrons, RAF Air Cadets. For voluntary service to Young People.
Helen Andrews Operations manager Bristol, Civil and Family Justice Centre, HM Courts and Tribunal Service. For services to Justice and the community in Bristol and Cheltenham.
Charles Patterson Reed For services to Disabled People in Sport.
Maureen Loxley Price Integrity Operator Tesco plc and Trade Union Representative, Usdaw. For services to the Retail Sector and to Trade Unions.
Peter John Leonard Nixon For services to Conservation and to the National Trust.
Elisabeth Mary Skinner Academic Leader Society of Local Council Clerks. For services to Parish Councils.
BEM (British Empire Medal)
Joy Hibbins Founder Suicide Crisis. For services to Vulnerable People.
Mary Elizabeth Doreen Robinson For services to Music in the community in Blockley. Gloucestershire.
Hamish Robert Thompson Technical Services Officer Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service. For services to Firefighter Safety.
Is this the perfect cocktail for Christmas morning? We think so!
The clever folk at The Cotswolds Distillery have created A Very Merry Berry which is full of flavours from the hedgerow, which dance on the bubbles of the Champagne.
25ml Cotswolds Distillery Hedgerow Gin
15ml fresh cranberry juice
HOW TO CREATE
Pour measures of Hedgerow Gin and cranberry juice into a Champagne flute and top up with Champagne, gently stir and serve.
Woodkraft, the latest venture from 2015 MasterChef champion Simon Wood, opened today on Regent Street in Cheltenham today.
Offering the best seasonal and local produce, Woodkraft will be serving brunch, lunch and Sunday sharing roasts in a relaxed and informal setting.
Their basement and first floor dining areas can be available for private hire and for exclusive use for larger groups. For exclusive hire and private events, their normal opening times do not apply.
Check them out - woodkraftcheltenham.com
It was a different picture a year ago today as the Cotswolds sat under a blanket of wonderful deep snow, turning it into a magical winter wonderland.
Will we get a repeat this this winter?