Let's be brutally honest, everything is a little bit crap right now. It's OK to admit that. I was quite enthusiastic at the start, lots of places were offering takeaway and delivery and then within a week, most of them had stopped offering this through absolutely no fault of their own. However, there are a few still going and we'll do our utmost to support them!
Before we start, let's make something clear. I will not make this about me and in no way be getting overly emotional over a portion of fish and chips, I promise.*
It was Friday, which felt the same as the day before, and the day before that and... you see where this is going. I saw on Facebook (where I now spend 25% of my days now, the other 75% is split between actual work, Instagram, Twitter and ringing people) that Greedy's, the local fish & chip shop in Stow on the Wold, was delivering. I'll be completely honest, I don't eat a huge amount of fish and chips but when I do, they usually come from Mermaids in Moreton in Marsh.
Anyway, where was I? I have never reviewed fish and chips before so bear with me.
I replied to their post on Facebook and asked if they deliver to my village 2 miles down the road. I kind of knew they would or it wouldn't be the best delivery service but it was a fantastic conversation starter. They actually deliver to a 4 mile radius that covers Bourton on the Water and Moreton in Marsh Wednesday - Saturday. You can collect still too as long as you call ahead.
Being a Friday (did I mention that?) I presumed they would be busy, and going by their phone being engaged for 27 minutes I was right. I finally got through and ordered cod and chips twice, a large curry sauce and three cans of coke to be used for mixers of any rum I could find around the house. I paid for it over the phone too. This is how far the Cotswolds has moved on in the last 2 weeks. The directions were probably the hardest thing "Go over the first cattle grid, follow the drive until the second cattle grid. Do not fork off (everyone forks off) until you go over the second cattle grid..." They didn't fork off. The food arrived in 20 minutes. I thought it was going to take at least an hour and had prepared for that. The handover was done by shouting into the darkness through the door. Them - "The receipt is in the bag". Me- "Thank you". That was it.
I carried the bag back into the living room like some kind of magic had just occurred. We don't get Deliveroo, or any other delivery services) out in the sticks, this type of thing just doesn't happen to people like us.
Opening them was like opening the first present at Christmas when you were 10. First the wrapping paper (it was the normal chip paper), then a box (I wasn't expecting a box), and there they were, the most amazing looking fish and chips.
They were incredible and I was grateful that I could actually taste them after losing my sense of taste and smell for a week. Always a bonus with food I find.
I know it's nothing huge but a local business thriving in these times is amazing, and they wouldn't know it but they actually made our day a lot better**
**They would know it as I plastered it over Facebook as apparently that's what I do now, I write statuses on Facebook about fish and chips.
Thank you Greedy's, you have a customer (probably about once a month, possibly 2 months) for life.
Conversation with delivery guys 2
Emotional warmth 10
* I failed on both accounts
Wednesday - Saturday. 4.30pm - 8.30pm
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.
Two of The Lucky Onion’s restaurants, The Tavern in Cheltenham and The Hollow Bottom in Guiting Power have launched takeaway options in light of the Coronavirus outbreak.
In a message to all their customers, The Lucky Onion said.
In light of current events we have be working away on some different ways to support our local communities in Northleach, Guiting Power, Minchinhampton and Cheltenham Town.
From 5:30pm tonight we will be offering a take-away service for food and drinks at the Tavern in Cheltenham and the Hollow Bottom in Guiting Power.
We are working towards providing further food and drink options at our other properties in the next 24 hours as well as looking into ways we can re-purpose our business to support the current environment.
We will provide further communication on this as soon as we have it.
Please see all our food and beverage offerings below and gives us a call to order.
We will be taking orders from 5:30pm to 9:30pm every night.
Please note* You will need to collect and pay for your order. Our staff will be vigilant with regard to social distancing.
TAVERN TAKEAWAY MENU (To order Please call 07934 716729)
CHORIZO SCOTH EGG £4.5
ROAST BEETROOTS (v) £8
Whipped feta, dill & dukkah
DUCK & PORCINI MEATBALLS £8.5
Slow cooked tomato sauce
THE MAIN EVENT…
PUY LENTIL & VEGETABLE LASAGNE (v) £14
Baby gem, radish & shallot salad
COTSWOLD WHITE CHICKEN MILANESE £16
Garlic butter, parmesan & chicory salad
HOT BUFFALO WINGS & blue cheese dip £8
SWEET STICKY WINGS sesame & spring onions £8
KOREAN WINGS radish & black sesame £8
MAC ‘N’ CHEESE (v) £6
CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD £11
TAVERN BURGER & fries £10
AMERICAN CHEESE BURGER £13
Streaky bacon & fries
BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN BURGER & fries £10
8oz FLAT IRON (ANGUS) £15.5
8oz ONGLET (ANGUS) £18
8oz SIRLOIN (HEREFORD) £22
10oz RIB-EYE (HEREFORD) £26
SIDES all at £4.50
French fries (v)
Tavern slaw (v)
Chilli cheese fries (add 1.5)
Sweet potato fries (v)
DRINKS MENU AND PRICES:
House White - £18
French Sauv Blanc - £22
House Red - £18
Malbec - £26
House Rose - £18
Studio Rose - £29
Prosecco - £26
Nyetimber - £56
Dunkertons - £4.50
Peroni - £4.50
THE HOLLOW BOTTOM TAKEAWAY MENU (To order, please call 07398 620737)
Vegan Burger and Fries £12.50
Cheese Burger and Fries £12.50
Fish and Chips £14.50
House White - £18
French Sauv Blanc - £22
House Red - £18
Malbec - £26
House Rose - £18
Studio Rose - £29
Prosecco - £26
Nyetimber - £56
Dunkertons - £4.50
Peroni - £4.50
Celebrated chef Bob Parkinson is returning to the kitchen but in a different venue for a one off pop-up night on Friday 24 January.
Bob James Parkinson left his eponymous Michelin recognised restaurant, Made By Bob, in Cirencester, after 10 years at the stove in March 2019. He was followed by his kitchen team of chef’s Sam Edwards and Jak Doggett, who went onto successfully take over and re-establish The Firehouse in Upton, near Burford.
The evening is a six course set dinner with delights such as grilled belly of pork and langoustine with clam’s, Asian style peppers, bean sprouts and yam tawai or grilled fillet of lemon sole with baby gem, prosciutto and truffle.
Glass of Crémant de Bourgogne
Cup oyster soup
Oxtail Cugliones with caramelised onion puree, salsify and thyme
Grilled fillet of lemon sole with baby gem, prosciutto and truffle
Grilled belly of pork and langoustine with clam’s
Asian style peppers bean sprouts and yam tawai
Panettone French toast, caramelised apple, sultanas and vanilla ice cream
Roquefort with chicory, walnuts and pickled pear, sourdough crisps
Book now - theuptonfirehouse.com/events
The King's Arms in Prestbury, on the outskirts of Cheltenham, has reopened its doors today by Raymond Blanc's White Brasserie Company.
The pub has undergone an extensive renovation since closing at the end of last year and will offer fresh, seasonal French fare and Great British pub classics.
The pub is steeped in history with parts pf the building dating back to the 14th Century. There has been a huge effort to bring the best of the old pub back to life, reinstating the three fireplaces, restoring original beams and floors and rehanging the front door so it could be open from the High Street for the first time in over two decades.
Take a look for yourself here - kingsarmsprestbury.com
We live in a very weird world, and that's not to mention anything to do with politics. Just this week I found myself defending the presentation of The Swan's pie on twitter to a "chef" who told me that the mash should have been quenilled [sic] with a little jus around the plate and some fresh watercress. I told him he was very wrong, and it's not the 90s anymore. Nobody puts watercress on top of food nowadays do they?
It's been a couple of years since I visited The Swan and lots has changed in that time. Most importantly it has been taken over by Sam and Georgie Pearman, the original founders of The Lucky Onion, with pubs like the brilliant Chequers at Churchill which they still own and the delightful Wheatsheaf at Northleach which they don't.
The pub has changed a bit too. Thinking back it was slightly disjointed but certainly not unpleasant. There was an odd little room if you entered the pub through the door on the road. That has gone has become an extension to the bar area with a few nice tables. The dining room which once had outlandish green walls, green wallpaper, and lots of flowers (the former owner was an interior and floral stylist) now boasts more subtle blues and looks more like a restaurant than someone's living room. There was a roaring fire in the other bar surrounded by the best seats in the house and a lovely room, perfect for celebrations and shoot parties leading out onto the courtyard garden which I imagine would be a nice spot in the summer. The pub has a warmer feel throughout.
It's very rare I order bread, or ever bother to talk about it when I do. However, the Chipping Norton sourdough came with horseradish and dripping butter which is very much worth shouting about.
I'm always torn between dishes and usually leave up to the waiter or waitress to decide for me. It was between the BBQ native prawns, English peas, Chipping Norton nduja and mussels. Without any hesitation, the prawns won. They were huge, messy (the water bowl and napkin both turned the colour your fingers go after eating a packet of Wotsits) and brilliant. I've never had peas with prawns before but it worked, and the nduja-fueled juice at the bottom of the copper bowl was incredibly good to for dipping the spelt toast in.
I wasn't torn for my main. It was 3 degrees outside and I wanted a pie. Chicken and leek or ox cheek and smoked bacon, and choosing the latter wasn't a difficult choice. It arrived standing wonderfully unpretentious on a bed of mash and gravy. It was a thing of beauty and yes Mr Angry Twitter Chef stuck in a different decade, there was no need for spooned mash or watercress. If anything, it could have done with an extra small jug of gravy as the mashed soaked it up like a sponge. The side of squash and cavolo nero, curly kale to you and me, was a decent addition.
This was some of the best pub food I have eaten in quite a while. I have a lot of time for places who have a one main menu fits all for lunch and dinner too.
The Swan will lure locals (there's a special menu in the bar with a £10 dish on every day ) and Londeners alike (there's a station in Ascott where one train a day stops from The Big Smoke). There are also 8 rooms at the pub for anyone wanting to make a couple of days of it which we would obviously highly recommend.
Food pictured is;
Ox Cheek and Smoked Bacon Pie
Crispy Cacklebean Egg
Triple ‘Ham’ Burger, Savoy Slaw, Toffee Apple Sauce, Blue Affine, Tabacco Onions, Alabama Fries
After an extensive four-year-long renovation, The Harcourt Arms in in the charming Oxfordshire village of Stanton Harcourt has reopened its doors to the public.
Headed up by Olivier Bonte, former GM of No.131 and Alan Gleeson, previously Head Chef of The Lucky Onion’s No.131 and No.38 The Park, The Harcourt Arms will offer exceptional pub food using the finest produce, ingredients sourced through long-standing relationships with ethical suppliers.
The drinks menu will feature beer and wine from small but talented producers across the world with amazing brands such as Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc, William Chase Rose and Chateau Musar alongside Hook Norton Beers, Butcombe and Timothy Taylors Landlord. They will also be serving up delicious cocktails such as Negroni with a twist, proper Espresso Martini and their very own Bloody Mary, allowing guests to order an old favourite or try something new.
Since the renovation, there are an additional 10 individually style en-suite bedrooms, making this 17th-century pub with rooms ideal for both leisure and business needs.
With the local community at its heart, The Harcourt Arms have created The Harcourt Stores, which will offer luxury, artisan produce alongside healthy everyday essentials. A one-stop-shop for locals, there will be fresh coffee, cured and smoked produce,sweet treats and everyday essentials.
The ultimate village pub with a home away from home feel makes it the perfect place to visit.
It's very rare that food blows your mind. I'm always seeing that someone had "the best meal they have ever eaten" followed by an #ad in the hashtags, hidden enough that some people will miss it and mistakenly believe that they genuinely had their best ever meal.
After seeing much hype and happening to be in Cheltenham, I booked a table at Bhoomi Kitchen. It's the same old Bhoomi but with a much more relaxed feel, new Indian BBQ dishes and Thali to the menu and no white tablecloths. If I'm honest I wasn't a fan of the white tablecloths in the old style Bhoomi. If I'm even more honest, I'm not a fan of white tablecloths full stop. I find it a little uncomfortable in restaurants when someone in white gloves starts brushing the cloth in front of you between courses. I kind of get it, but I feel like those days have gone and it's something my grandparents would have would have appreciated. Anyway, they have gone. Also the walls have changed colour. You know that lovely bluey, greeny grey colour that everyone uses? It probably has a trendy name at Farrow and Ball. Evidently I'm no expert, I just know it looks nice.
The Thali is served between 6pm and 6.45pm every evening (bar Monday as the restaurant is closed) and lunch time on Friday, Saturday and Sundays. There was already a trickle of the after work crowd when we arrived just after 6. How bloody clever to capture that audience with a silver tray of pleasure for a tenner or £12 if you opt for the Butter Chicken or Kerala Lamb. Either way, it's a bargain.
I never eat at 6pm. I don't trust people who do. They must be the ones who go to bed at 10pm when I'm just about to sit down to eat my dinner. With a mix of naivety and fear of having to eat twice in a night, we treated the Thali as a starter and ordered three of the Indian BBQ dishes for our main; Tharavu (Duck breast, rubbed with south Indian
gunpowder spice blend then barbecued in charcoal tandoor), Chicken Reshmi Kebab (Marinated breast in hung yogurt, ginger, garlic, cream, ground peppercorn, ground cashew nuts, skewered and tandoor roasted) and Barbecued Prawns (marinated in lime juice, chilli, cumin, coriander tandoor baked).
Now we've all had duck chicken and prawns before but this was on a different level. The duck and the chicken more so than the prawns which were seriously good, just not as good or a memorable as the other two. The flavours were immense, compelling and fiery all at the same time, and the meat was like butter. It was simply brilliant.
I'm not here to say that my meal at Bhoomi Kitchen is the best I have ever eaten, but it was some of the most exciting food I have eaten for a very long time.
One of Bristol’s brightest star chef’s is coming to take over the kitchen at Tetbury’s The Priory Inn.
New head chef Tom Bannister has worked at some of Bristol’s best eateries including a head chef role at The Souk Kitchen.He is planning to introduce a new, more casual approach to dinning focusing on the social side of eating, using the charming dining space at The Priory.
The Arkell’s Brewery hotel has undergone a management makeover since Greg Heath took over the reins of the hotel in July.
50 restaurants in the Cotswolds have made it into the Michelin Guide 2020 that was published this week.
We have done the honourable thing and listed them all for you so you don't have to to go on a wild search.
You can find the whole list by clicking HERE.
The Royal Oak in Whatcote has been awarded a Michelin Star.
The menu showcases high quality local, organic, wild ingredients and game often 'shot to order' by gamekeepers on local estates, while keeping the local pub ethos throughout.
Chef Richard Craven has been a well-know name in the culinary world in the Cotswolds after the success of The Chef's Dozen in Chipping Campden and said on twitter "We’re still reeling from last night but we would like to sincerely thank our little team and incredible part timers for all their hard work. Thank you Michelin for taking the time to visit us and for awarding us this absolute honour."
The Hollow Bottom in Guiting Power opened its doors again after its shock closure in July.
The famous 17th century Cotswolds racing pub has been taken over by The Lucky Onion Group, which is owned by Julian Dunkerton.
Obviously we went to have a look. The pub's interior looks and feels warmer, and there is still a racing theme throughout. There is, of course, Dunkertons Cider of draft as well as other local ales and lagers.
We also had a bite too. The Ham, Egg and Chips is immense with an orange glazed whole ham hock on the plate.
It has been announced that The Hollow Bottom will officially reopen on Monday 7th October.
The popular horse racing pub in Guiting Power closed suddenly in July before being bought buy The Lucky Onion Group, owned by clothing brand Superdry's co-founder Julian Dunkerton.
Check out the new menu below.
The shortlist for the 2020 National Fish and Chip Awards has been announced – and a Cotswolds restaurant has made the cut.
Malt & Anchor in Cirencester will now compete for the chance to take home the coveted title of the ‘UK’s best fish and chip restaurant’ which will be announced in January 2020.
Established in 2017, Malt and Anchor describes itself as having a 'traditional chippy menu with a twist', including their speciality fish and chips, panko coated calamari, locally sourced award-winning pies, butcher sausages and Malt & Anchor’s own fresh fish specials. The restaurant also offers a takeaway service as well as an array of fine wines, cocktails and boutique beers to compliment their menu.
Bhoomi in Cheltenham has given itself refresh and will now be known as Bhoomi Kitchen.
The restaurant will offer a more casual dining experience while keeping a huge focus on South India cuisine, introducing an Indian BBQ to the menu as well as offering Thali every weekday evening and Friday - Sunday lunch..
There is a also the new addition of "The Games Room" where guests can play Carrom, a popular cue sport-based tabletop game of South Asian origin.
I always look forward to The Big Feastival. I have watched it grow since 2012 when Razorlight and Texas were topping the bill, Jamie Oliver and Valentine Warner were doing cooking demos , and Peppa Pig was the highlight in the Little Dude's Den.
Eight festivals on and all of the original foundations are still there. It's just got bigger and a whole lot better and this year was by far and away the best yet.
They got lucky with the weather. It was over 25 degrees all weekend and no matter what anyone says, it makes a massive difference. They also got a little bit lucky with Lewis Capaldi. When he was announced on the line-up he was nowhere near as big is he is today. I think many people there on Friday were purely there to see him.
In keeping with tradition, Friday was brought to a close with a DJ set. This year saw Rudimental turn Alex James' Farm into Ibiza Rocks with their 75-minute set.
Lucy May Walker was the highlight from The Udder Stage which BBC Introducing took over each afternoon showcasing some rising talent from the UK.
Dodgy and The Zutons both played the main stage on Saturday before Jess Glynne brought the evening to a close.
The sun was beating down again on Sunday afternoon where Barns Courtney produced one of the best sets of the weekend. He was followed by Alex James' Orchestra and an awesome DJ Set by Jonas Blue that would probably have been suited being on a little later than his 4.30pm slot, but nobody seemed to mind. The sad loss of Jade Bird to illness meant that she was replaced by Abba Tribute Björn Again which is never a good thing, and triggered a quick escape back to the Cheese Hub.
Jack Savoretti is riding the wave of success from his hugely successful "Singing to Strangers" album and was perfect as the sun was setting behind the main stag, before Elbow, who I feel were lost on a lot of the younger generation, brought the Feastival 2019 to a close with a customary flawless set that concluded with Grounds For Divorce and One Day Like This from their number one album, The Seldom Seen Kid.
As the name of the festival suggests, food is a huge part of the weekend. You need more that 3 days to sample all of the incredible street food on offer and without doubt the best food ant any festival I have ever been to. The brisket bun, pickled red chilli from Smokstak and the steak from Carcass were both incredibly good. As was the meat from DJ BBQ where you can sing along to some classic rock with T-Bone Chops, not his real name, on air shovel. The fried chicken from Only Jerkin' and Burger and Beyond burgers were both exceptional, and the queue for Souvlaki Street suggests their amazing looking Greek wraps were hugely popular. Sadly I couldn't fit anymore in and have already noted them down for next year.
The Collaboration Kitchen returned for a second year serving up some special edition dishes from most innovative names on the UK street food scene. I tasted my first ever mac 'n' cheese pie thanks to My Pie x Anna Maes (Mac Not Crack) which was ridiculously good.
The NEFF Big Kitchen again played host to an array of demonstrations and Q&A sessions from some of the biggest names in food including Raymond Blanc, Mark Hix, Prue Leith and Gennaro Contaldo.
The thing I love is that the Feastival isn't trying to be edgy or cool in the slightest. In all fairness it would actually struggle if it was when Dick and Dom introduce Lewis Capaldi to the stage following a quick game of "Bogey".
It is just brilliantly British with outstanding food, heaps for families to see and do (under 12's go free) and music which is the aural equivalent of comfort eating.
We're not sure about you but this is the moment we have been waiting for.
The Big Feastival's Big Menu has landed and it lists all of the food options that you will be able to work your way through across the weekend.
The Big Feastival takes place this weekend at Alex James' Farm in Kingham.
Click to enlarge and save to your phones!
The Lygon Arms in Broadway has created a limited edition burger named after us, The Cotswolds Gentleman, to celebrate National Burger Day.
The incredible double patty stack will be available for a week from Monday 19th - Monday 26th August 2019 and costs £25 with 10% from each burger sold going to Children's Air Ambulance.
The burger consists of:
West Bakery Bun
2 Waghorne's Beef Burgers
Old Spot Flaked Ham Hock
Chargrilled Pork Belly Slices
Tracklements Onion and Apple Cider Jam
Cotswold Gold Mayonnaise
and is accompanied by:
Sweet Potato Fries
Nation Burger day takes place on Thursday 22nd August 2019.
Tag us @CotswoldsGent and @LygonCotswolds into your social media posts!
Returning for the sixth year in a row, The Friday Night Supper Club will transform The NEFF Big Kitchen into a beautiful al fresco dining space for guests to enjoy a 4-course dinner featuring a handpicked collaboration of Chefs coming together for the first time ever.
The Feastival-exclusive collaboration brings Action Against Hunger all-stars; Robin Gill of the farm-to-table bistro, The Dairy; James Lowe of the British, produce-led restaurant Lyle’s; Anna Haugh of the Irish-inspired restaurant Myrtle; and Helen Goh of the famous Middle Eastern influenced restaurant, Ottolenghi; to create a unique and specially-themed menu for guests to enjoy under the stars.
Guests will enjoy a welcome cocktail courtesy of Warner’s Gin, a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne paired with the main course as well as wine, beer and soft drinks served throughout the evening. So sit back, relax and enjoy!
Tickets are now on sale with all profits going to Action Against Hunger to purchase yours click here.
In support of Action Against Hunger
Warner’s Gin Cocktail
James Lowe, Lyle’s
Sourdough from Flor with unpasteurised butter from Lyle's
Summer vegetables with honey and anchovies
Little gem lettuce with cured pollack and tomatoes
Anna Haugh, Myrtle
Heritage carrot salad, cais na tire cheese, tarragon dressing and violette crisps
Robin Gill, The Dairy
Lamb Feast: shoulder with BBQ cabbage, ricotta and olive oil, merguez and sour fennel
Paired with a glass of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label
Helen Goh, Ottolenghi
Rolled Rosewater and Berry Pavlova
Wine, beer and soft drinks will be available throughout the evening.
Time: Friday 23rd August from 19:00-21:00
Location: The NEFF Big Kitchen
Price: £85.00 per person
The Festival™ presented by Magners is a world class event here in the Cotswolds.
Today, Cheltenham Racecourse released their new hospitality brochure for The Festival™ 2020 which takes you inside their restaurants and private boxes for a 3D tour.
From panoramic views to unrivalled dining experiences, Cheltenham offers everything you need to celebrate a special occasion or entertain guests and clients.
Click HERE to view the brochure
OUR GUIDE TO THE GREATEST SHOW ON TURF
We are delighted to launch The Roar, the ultimate guide to racing at Cheltenham Racecourse.
It's been a hard few years for us folk who live out in the sticks, watching people from "the towns" ordering food online like it's the normal thing to do and within minutes it's delivered to their door by someone on a scooter or bicycle.
Well, times are a changing people!
Munch is a brand new delivery service that is launching very soon with an aim to bring you delicious meals from previously out of reach independent restaurants and local chefs.
The concept is pretty simple.
You sign up for free.
You select a collection point near you. Currently there is only Bishops Cleeve, Winchcombe, Twyning, Tewkesbury abd Bredon to choose from. This will increase as the demand from different villages increases.
They will then let you know in advance what food is coming to your area.
It's really that simple!
Some great restaurants from Cheltenham are already involved, including Kibou Sushi, Bhoomi, Marinades and Bar & Wok and wouldn't we all like a Japanese delivery in the North Cotswolds?
Sign up people!
The Collaboration Kitchen is back and bigger than ever! Exclusive to The Big Feastival, a number of their top Street Food traders are teaming up for one-off collaborative dish.
Festival goers can get their hands on these mouth-watering pairings by visiting thebigfeastival.com/attractions/the-collaboration-kitchen
All proceeds go to the charity partner, Action Against Hunger.
This year's pairings include;
Oli Baba x Rainbo:
Katsu Poutine – Oli Baba halloumi fries, pork & Chinese chive gyoza topped with katsu curry sauce, Japanese pickles, pomegranate and herb garnish
Oh My Dog x Souvlaki Street:
Hand-made, heritage breed Frankfurter in a freshly baked Demi-brioche bun topped with Greek mustard sauce, spicy red pepper and barrel-aged feta sauce, shoestring fries tossed in oregano, and paprika and finely diced housemade pink pickled onions
Smokestak x Wingmans:
Smoked pork belly with an Asian twist topped with Wingman’s signature sauce, pickled cucumber, spring onions, and a hint of lime
Other Side Fried x The Cheese Truck:
Chicken Parmigiano Sandwich – Other Side Fried chicken, British mozzarella and marinara sauce topped with basil and grated old Winchester cheese
DJ BBQ x Farang:
Whole BBQ goat, roasted over the fire pit with a five spiced glaze, finished with palm sugar, fermented shrimp, pomelo salad, orange chili nahm jim, burnt chili dipping sauce and fresh thai herbs
My Pie x Anna Maes:
Deep Pan Pie filled with three cheese macaroni, Cobble Lane pepperoni and even more cheese
The Piadina Project x Carcass:
Piadina, Smoke Salt Marsh Lamb Shoulder with goats curds, mint salsa verdé, artichoke and slaw
If don't ever want to forget your wedding anniversary, get married on a day that will trigger your memory. It really works. St George's Day is her, sorry, our day. I actually need a reminder the day before as again I forgot to buy a card. She hadn't bothered either. Who said romance was dead?
"It's leather this year" as a picture of some riding boots was shoved in my face. Apparently we are supposed to buy each other something leathery for 3 years of marriage. Let's hope she'll be as enthusiastic with a few pieces fruit next year.
I had the day pretty much planned; a Veuve Clicquot Champagne brunch at The Lygon Arms followed by dinner at their new Back Garden Restaurant at Dormy House, albeit with an eight hour gap in between.
The brunch menu included pretty much everything you would expect to find from Eggs Benedict, Royale and Florentine to Avocado on toast, more eggs and chilli, with an optional glass (£14) or bottle (£75) of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label. I convinced her that 3 years of marriage didn't warrant a bottle, and the fact the sun was out and we could eat outside was more than enough.
What can you really write about a brunch? I love reading so called foodie bloggers' reviews of a free brunch they have been given thinking they have cracked the world of Instagram influencing with their 28 post likes. "The eggs were really runny" They actually were very runny. "The toast was cooked just right" It was. I would have been worried if it wasn't. "The avocado was perfectly smashed" Yep, that too. However, the additional chilli flakes did add a surprising, yet welcome fiery kick as I reached for my glass of fizz to stop my coughing.
It was 20 degrees and the courtyard terrace is a lovely place to spend a few hours. The fact that this brunch is served from 9.30am - 6pm is an added bonus as we enter the summer months.
The Back Garden is the latest restaurant to launch on the Farncombe Estate. This time at Dormy House, under the watchful eye of Culinary Director, Martin Burge.
The estate has pretty much covered all culinary bases now. Hook at The Fish Hotel is a splendid seafood restaurant, not forgetting the hotel's outdoor Feasting BBQ Deck for groups of 10-20. Guests at, Foxhill Manor, their private manor house, can choose what they eat, where they eat it and when they eat. A concept that I love as I often eat on impulse and regularly eat far too late.
As well as The Back Garden, The Dormy has also just launch MO, a unique, interactive 7-course tasting-menu experience to just 12 guests at a time. These both sit alongside the always consistent, relaxed, no-faff Potting Shed. I can highly recommend the belly pork.
The Back Garden is completely different to the others. It would be stupid if it wasn't. There is a huge focus on nature, local ingredients, high-welfare meats and sustainability. This might sound a little bit twee and pretentious. It really isn't.
We booked for 7.30 and were the first to arrive which is always a little bit strange. We were shown to a window seat that looked out towards the, errrrr, back garden. Of course it did.
The restaurant is beautiful with the fading evening sun offering some natural light. There are plants mixed with subtle coloured soft furnishings and wallpaper-covered walls with a print that neither of us could decipher.
Then menu arrived with a bottle of Merlot and a G&T. It's fixed-price at £49.50pp for 3-courses that would have my local pub-eating parents gasping for air. It's a special occasion type of place which works for both hotel guests and locals alike.
At the risk of choosing off the sample menu on the website, luckily our choices were on there. Stuffed saddle of rabbit, pickled spring vegetables, whole grain mustard, bitter leaves and Pearl barley & Worcestershire hop risotto, beer pickled onions to start, and Braised beef cheek, pointed cabbage, cauliflower purée, king oyster mushroom and Jonny’s fish of the day. I have know idea who Jonny is but it was Halibut with samphire so that was me sold.
She looked up from her risotto, like Goldilocks over a bowl of porridge, and declared that this is "the best starter I have ever had".
It was all exquisite. I'm not even sure if I have ever used that word before.
The flavours of the rabbit, pickled veg, mustard and bitter leaves was immense and I won't lie about having slight food envy when I saw her Braised beef cheek arrive although my fish was superb.
There was enough room for desert. We chose the apple tart with toffee sauce as the picture on the website looked so good and the local cheeses, bits and pieces.
With excellent service from our French waitress (I usually try and get a name if they are really good) and some incredible cooking by Head Chef Sam Bowser, the price becomes irrelevant. For the same meal in London you would definitely be looking to double, or even treble, the bill.
Surely food like this better than some leather riding boots, right?
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!
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.