A Cotswolds Indulgence
One of the best things about self-catering holidays is that being in charge of your kitchen and menus means you can discover a whole feast of culinary delights using local organic produce. The Cotswolds is a veritable foodie nirvana. Chris Burton, owner of the fantastic Eco Chic Cottages in Burford and Lechlade has put together a tasty compendium of her favourite Cotswold foodie places for food and drink to eat in or carry home for dinner.
Food and its provenance has never been more topical or more relevant. So when in the Cotswolds why wouldn’t you want to try all that the rolling green ‘Wolds’ can provide? We have a wealth of local delicacies to discover and enjoy.
Workaday breakfasts don’t apply when you’re on holiday. Time is your own and the indulgence of a cooked breakfast is a heavenly treat. All the more so if the weather is good and you can breakfast alfresco.
The classic breakfast of bacon and eggs, for example, is a discovery in itself. Try smoked bacon from the Kelmscott Country Pork company. Select your free-range eggs from our local farm where, hearteningly, the honesty-box system still prevails.
You have a choice of quail, hen, duck and possibly goose. Widely available, and from equally happy hens, Cacklebean Farm eggs. Super tasty and beautifully packaged; you’ll want to keep the box long after you’ve devoured the eggs
You’ll need toast with breakfast. Spread Cotswold farmhouse butter thickly on a slice of Sherston white loaf from The Hobbs House Bakery. Delicious. Fancying the richer flavour of a sourdough loaf? Try the Sourdough Revolution’s loaves. Their woodfired bread is found in the shops and cafes locally including Lynwood & Co cafés in Burford, Fairford and Lechlade-on-Thames. Great coffee there too.
The small towns and villages are filled with cafes and bakeries. Huffkins Cotswold Bakery and Tea Rooms is one of the oldest and can be found in Burford, Stow-on-the-Wold and Cirencester. Established in 1890, their history of local baking is best experienced through the regional speciality that is Lardy Cake. Gorgeously sticky and rich, Lardy Cake is a super-rich bread flavoured with spices, currants and sugar enriched with lard. My husband adores Lardy Cake and swears that it is almost entirely calorie-free. Ahem! But it is delicious, and you are on holiday.
If you are looking to cook for yourself with produce plucked straight from the fields, head to the Daylesford Farm Shop in Kingham. Established 40 years ago and farming responsibly, the ultimate farm shop sells their own produce. As much a feast for the eyes as for the palate, the shop is beautifully housed in converted barns. Shop in their Zero Waste Pantry, which uses refillable tubs rather than single-use packaging. The items here are not only good for the planet but also good for you. Don’t miss their own range of organic milk kefir. Great dairy products don’t stop at Daylesford; back in Burford at The Cotswold Cheese Company you’ll discover Mini Rollright, Oxford Blue, Windrush Valley goat or Cerney Ash - the Cotswolds cheeses are perfect for a picnic.
Blessed with many character pubs, the Cotswolds is home to the Hook Norton Brewery. “Hooky” as it is known to the locals has been brewing since 1849 and has a well-deserved reputation for cask-conditioned ales and more recently for ciders too. Visit the brewery near Chipping Norton where you can buy direct from the on-site shop or take a tour.
If you’re feeling more G&T than pint of bitter before dinner in your Cotswold holiday cottage, fear not. The Maytime Inn in Burford specialises in gin, with over one hundred different options in stock behind the bar with over a dozen blends of tonic from which to choose. You may not make it back to the cottage for dinner, but don’t worry, the pub has a pretty good menu as well.
It’s fun to explore the Cotswolds villages but if a late and leisurely breakfast has consumed your day then fear not; stop at the Burford Garden centre. Not the obvious choice you may think, but prominent among the plants and all things horticultural is an epicurean emporium of local food and drink.
Recommended Places To Stay For a Foodie Holiday in The Cotswolds
Eco Chic cottages are the height of luxury, two lovely eco-friendly holiday cottages in the Cotswolds beautifully furnished and with kitchens that will please chefs of all abilities. If you think eco means drab and brown – click on the cottage links to look at the photo galleries of these cottages. Prepare to be amazed!