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.
Cheltenham Racecourse have launched a jump racing hub for you to enjoy all the racing, news and views from the comfort of your own home.
You can also see updates of the going from Simon Claisse, the racecards for all the races, as well as all the race replays moments after the races have finished.
Click RACE AT HOME WITH CHELTENHAM to find our more.
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.
Cheltenham Racecourse, together with the British Horseracing Authority, have today confirmed that the new Grade 2 Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Steeple Chase to be run at The Festival 2021 will replace the Listed Novices’ Handicap Chase, which was traditionally run on the opening day.
A decision as to which race would be replaced by the inaugural running of the 2m 4f Grade 2 mares’ chase was made after consultation with key stakeholders, including trainers from Britain and Ireland over several months.
Recognising the importance of the Listed Novices’ Handicap Chase to the Jump racing season, the BHA Jump Pattern Committee has given permission for the race to be staged at Sandown Park as part of the Paddy Power Imperial Cup meeting just days before The Festival.
The new Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase will be run on Gold Cup day, with the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Steeple Chase moving to the Wednesday and the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle moving to the opening day.
Cheltenham Racecourse Clerk of the Course, Simon Claisse, explained:
“We’re looking forward to being able to bring the Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase into the racing calendar for The Festival 2021. Not only is this a great example of the sport working together to boost the mares’ race programme in Britain to benefit the industry, but we also now have an improved mares’ population providing quality competition.
“Deciding which race to replace was not an easy decision and it was important that we took into account all the factors and feedback we received. But when we evaluated the other Novice Chase opportunities at The Festival, as well as the importance of maintaining the current balance of Chases and Hurdles over the four days, this was considered the best option.”
Ruby Walsh, winner of 59 races at The Festival, added:
“The Mares’ Chase will prove a great addition to The Festival, especially when it beds in over a three or four year period. Jumps horses rarely have a financial value when they finish racing but for owners who are lucky enough to have a good mare, they can be worth a considerable amount as brood mares and thus owners get some return on their investment.
“Therefore the need for mares-only races is paramount for the value of unraced fillies, to encourage owners to buy them as racehorses. Having the Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase to go along with the Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle adds to the attraction of purchasing a filly. Cheltenham are showing their support to the breeding industry by adding this race and in my opinion showing a loyalty to the whole horseracing industry and not just the sport.”
Paul Mallon, Paddy Power’s Head of Brand, said:
“The race is brilliant in providing further opportunities to those racing mares under National Hunt rules and hopefully the winners of our race will go on to emulate the great Dawn Run by scooping the Cheltenham Gold Cup.”
Annie Mc from the Jonjo O'Neill stables could be one of the runners in the new race.
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.
Leading bookmaker Paddy Power will return as sponsors of The November Meeting’s feature race, the G3 Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham Racecourse on Paddy Power Day, Saturday 14th November 2020.
The race, which is the showpiece of Britain’s third most popular jumps fixture, was sponsored by Paddy Power for 13 consecutive years from 2003 until 2015, during which time winners included Imperial Commander, Our Vic and Al Ferof. The bookmaker has now signed a three-year sponsorship deal for the 2020, 2021 and 2022 renewals.
The Grade 3 Handicap chase is worth £130,000 and attracts a high class field each year. In 2019 fans were treated to a thrilling finish up the famous Cheltenham Hill as Happy Diva held off Brelan D’As on the line by just a neck.
The race takes place on the second day of what is traditionally the third most attended Jump racing fixture in the UK, behind only The Festival™ at Cheltenham in March and the Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree in April.
Ruby Walsh, the winning-most jockey at the Cheltenham Festival, said: “The Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham is an early highlight in the National Hunt season. I always felt the November meeting really signalled the beginning of the jumps season proper. There’s not many Grade One horses who contest handicaps any more but the Paddy Power Gold Cup comes at a time in the season when people might take a chance. But not all work out let’s remember - Frodon, Thisthatandtother and Long Run all failed here before achieving glory in March and others have succeeded like Imperial Commander and Our Vic. Either way, plenty of future Grade One names crop up at the November meeting in a bid to scoop a good pot in handicap company as a stepping stone to the top level.”
ITV Racing’s Mick Fitzgerald, who won the race in 2003 aboard Fondmort, added: “The Paddy Power Gold Cup is one of the highlights of the Jump season. When I won it in 2003 it meant an awful lot to me because it was another one of the big ones that I had ticked off the list. To win it on Fondmort was special as he was just a very special horse and to add that race to my CV meant plenty.”
As well as the Gold Cup, Paddy Power will sponsor four other races at The November Meeting:
Friday 13 November
13:50 The Paddy Power Handicap Chase (0-150) (Class 2)
Saturday 14 November
13:50 The Paddy Power Arkle Challenge Trophy Trial Novices Steeple Chase (Grade 2)
14:25 The Paddy Power Gold Cup Steeplechase (Grade 3)
15:00 The Paddy Power Handicap Hurdle Race (Listed)
15:30 The Paddy Power Intermediate Handicap Hurdle Race (0-140) (Class 2)
Ian Renton, The Jockey Club’s Regional Director, Cheltenham & the South West, said: “The November Meeting has become a huge event for us and is considered a key milestone in the Jump racing calendar, particularly the feature race on day two, now known as Paddy Power Day.
“It is wonderful to be able to welcome Paddy Power back as our lead sponsors over the meeting to help us showcase three of the most exciting days of racing our sport has to offer.”
Carey Weeks, Regional Head of Partnerships, added: “Paddy Power was a huge part of The November Meeting and synonymous with the fixture’s Gold Cup race for many years so we’re delighted to be partnering with them again.
“We thoroughly enjoy working with the team and we’re excited to see how they help bring to life the November Meeting. No doubt they will have some tricks up their sleeve!”
Paul Mallon, Paddy Power’s Head of Brand, said: “We returned to sponsorship at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day 2020 and the success of these initiatives, including subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Santini landing the Paddy Power Cotswold Chase and Lisnagar Oscar scoring in our jewel in the crown Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle at The Festival, meant as a company with a huge racing tradition supporting the Paddy Power Gold Cup again wasn’t too hard a sell to the Powers that be.”
Paddy Power (himself) added: “England fans have spent a lot of time singing ‘It’s coming home,’ over the last few years, but unlike them, I feel it actually has for us! We loved sponsoring the Paddy Power Gold Cup, which don’t forget went to a later Cheltenham Gold Cup hero in Imperial Commander in 2008, and I’m absolutely over the moon at being associated with my favourite race again. We’d like to thank the previous sponsors for keeping it warm for us.”
The November Meeting takes place from Friday 13th November to Sunday 15th November.