Dining Out near Wren House & The Granary
This particular area of the Cotswolds is wonderfully served by some very good quality gastro-pubs and restaurants. Some of the better ones within 10 miles of Wren House (with websites, and postcodes for those with Sat Nav!) are detailed below with an asterisk (*) where they have been tested by Kiloran. Drop down to find these, and others known to be good, listed under/near your travels around the area.
You are strongly advised to BOOK well ahead, particularly for Friday and Saturday nights, even in the winter months.
Updated September 2017
* The Churchill Arms, Paxford, GL55 6XH (8 miles) 01386-593159: It’s great again! Nick Deverell-Smith opened up in February 2015 and, it is now my go-to pub of choice in September 2017. The atmosphere is simple but extremely tasteful (with excellent loos!) and the food is really superb with great attention to detail. My Calves Liver with bacon was beautifully balanced with sweet onion and a mustard twist to give a terrific piquancy, my friend’s T bone of pork delicious with excellent crackling and another’s crab and beautifully dressed salad was exactly the light and tasty lunch she was hoping for. Warwickshire-born Nick trained under Gordon Ramsay, Marcus Wareing and Eric Chavot and it certainly shows! Closed Mondays. www.thechurchillarms.co
*The Hare, Milton-under-Wychwood, OX7 6LA (10 miles) 01993-835763: Sue and Rachel Hawkins’ tenth pub is another huge success. (The Bell at Stow a testament – though now in different hands, but still good.) Tasteful décor, with a splurge of orange, and delicious fare. particularly for those who like fish or seafood. The finest Moules Mariniere I have had in a long time! The ‘Marine Cuisine’ blackboard specials are sourced directly from Dartmouth and Cornwall daily and Matt Dare, Head Chef, knows what to do! The service is fun; the cutlery is stored where the keys should be in a piano – the Hawkins hallmark! No children’s menu, but then, be imaginative, a side is Macaroni Cheese! Friday nights is Champagne Happy Hour at 5 p.m. Don’t be put off by the rather shabby car park! 7 Days. Mon-Sat Lunch 12-2.30, Dinner 6-9 (9.30 Fri and Sat), Sunday 12 noon – 8 pm www.themiltonhare.co.uk
*The Wild Rabbit, Kingham, OX7 6YA (5.5 miles) 01608-658389: A good place for a long, special lunch. It captures all the style of its sister enterprise just up the road – the Bamford/Daylesford Organic complex. Classic, stone floors and tables nicely spaced so as not to intrude on one another and a choice of the bar or a Conservatory style dining room and an al fresco eating area to watch the comings and goings in Kingham. Service courtesy wobbled at a recent visit but you could not fault the delicious and interesting fare, or the mind-boggling and interesting wine list. Lunch: Daily in pub, terrace and Restaurant. Dinner: Monday to Saturday in the Restaurant, Bar only on Sunday evenings but still good. www.thewildrabbit.co.uk
*The Feathered Nest, Nether Westcote, OX7 6SD (7 miles) 01993-833030. This is fine dining and going from strength to strength with chef, Kuba Winkowski’s imaginative and absolutely delectable cuisine. We raved. Combine a gorgeous setting with a lovely view (ask for a table near the window) and spend time to enjoy it – it’s not cheap! Two options: Restaurant set lunch with choices (£32 for 2 courses, £38 for 3), or set dinner with choices (£58 for 2 courses, £68 for 3). Tues-Sat 12-2.30 and 6.30-9.30, Sun 12-3.30. Bar Tues-Sat 11-11, Sun 11-8. Closed Mondays except Bank Holidays. And, should you wish for a cream tea!, Fri and Sat 3-5. www.thefeatherednestinn.co.uk
*The Plough, Kingham, OX7 6YD (5.5 miles) 01608-658327: Just up the road from the Wild Rabbit (the Plough came first!), Proprietor Emily Watkins, with Head Chef Tom Waller, present beautifully cooked and stylish fare and excel at sourcing local ingredients. There are a series of different dining areas with scrubbed pine tables and a easy mood – rustic sophistication with lots of space between tables and peaceful colours. Cleverly they have capitalized on the fact that many other pubs in the area shut on a Monday – their main restaurant menu is available. Quiet days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday evening when only bar food (still good) is available. Restaurant menu: Mon & Thurs-Sat 12.-2.30 and 6.30-9, Sunday 11.30-3. Bar food: Mon-Fri 12-9, Sat 12-5, Sun 6-8. www.thekinghamplough.co.uk
*The Wheatsheaf Inn, Northleach, GL54 3EZ (10 miles) 01451-860244. Lovely place to eat with a great ambience and delicious to very delicious food. A bit further to drive that many of the others, but worth it. Part of the Lucky Onion group of Cotswold hostelries owned Sam and Georgie Pearman, it has an imaginative menu (and fun seasonal cocktails) and the roaring fire in winter is a great draw. Northleach is a classic Cotswold wool town with an exceptionally beautiful church, so a lunch works well. 7 Days. Lunch Mon-Sat 12-3 including a very well-priced set menu, Sun 12-3.30, Dinner 7 Days 6-9 (bit later at weekends). www.cotswoldswheatsheaf.com
*The Old Butcher’s, Park Street, Stow-on-the-Wold, GL54 1AB (2 miles) 01451-831700: Peter and Louise Robinson provide consistently good food at this bistro-style eaterie not too far from Wren House. The only negative comments are that the waiting staff need better guidance. 7 Days 12-2.30 and 6.30-9.30 (10 p.m. on Sat) , 7-9 Sunday. www.theoldbutchers.com
*The Fox Inn, Lower Oddington, GL56 OUR (3 miles) 01451-870555: As of September 2017, this has really upped its game. It is a pretty pub with a crackling fire in winter and an attractive eating out area in summer. Good pub fare, now even better than that. If you want a classic Cotswold pub not far from Wren House/The Granary, this is the one for you with flagstones, beams and open fires. 7 days. Lunch 12-2.30 (Sun 12-3), Dinner 6-9 (Sun 6-8.30). www.thefoxatoddington.com.
*The King’s Head, The Green, Bledington, OX7 6XQ (6 miles) 01608-658365: The bar area is far and away the more atmospheric place to eat though it can be noisy, the restaurant is more stark and definitely lacks atmosphere. The food, however, rates good to very good and sometimes quite excellent. The Orr-Ewings also run the Swan Inn at Swinbrook and the New Inn at Coln St. Aldwyn’s. 7 days. Lunch: 12-2, (Sun 12-3), Dinner: 6.30-9. www.thekingsheadinn.net
The Chequers, Churchill, OX7 6NJ (7 miles) 01608-659393: A sister pub to the Wheatsheaf in Northleach and promises much the same excellent fare and good ambience. 7 Days – Lunch 12-3, Dinner 6-9.30 (6-10 Fri and Sat). www.thechequerschurchill.com
*The Horse and Groom, Bourton-on-the-Hill, GL56 9AQ (5 miles) 01386-700413: A change of hands at the end of 2016 has, I am sad to say, taken this pub way down my list. Recently reports of terrible service whilst the food is still quite good. It just doesn’t have a good atmosphere any more. However, given these things are relative, it is still not a bad place to eat a good meal near to Moreton-in-Marsh and Chipping Campden. Order from the blackboard at the bar. Garden area for al-fresco dining or pre dinner drinks in summer. They open at 6 p.m. – food from 7 p.m. Lunch 12-2 (Sunday 12-2.30), Dinner Mon-Thurs 7-9 (7-9.30 Fri & Sat), closed Sun eve. www.horseandgroom.info (Don’t confuse this with the Horse and Groom at Upper Oddington.)
*Daylesford Organic Farm Shop Café Restaurant, Daylesford near Kingham, GL56 0YG (4 miles) 01608 731700: Lunch is best! Opened in 2003 and expanding in various venues in London, this is the brainchild of Carole Bamford, wife of the head of JCB excavators, who has brought organics-with-style to the market. Beautifully housed and laid out in a series of traditional Cotswold stone barns, it is more reminiscent of a London store Food Hall than a Farm Shop. The café restaurant is delightful place for an excellent mid morning coffee or delectable “good-for-you” – or not! – lunch with an assortment of different style of tables to choose from, and also al-fresco when the weather permits. Farm Shop and Café: Mon-Wed: 9-5, Thurs-Sat: 9-6, Sun: 10-4. Dinner (can be booked): Fri and Sat: 7 ’til late but I have been a bit disappointed and you would do much better at the Wild Rabbit in Kingham nearby (listed above) which is also Daylesford owned. www.daylesford.com
*The Bell at Stow, Park Street, Stow-on-the-Wold, GL54 1AJ (2 miles) 01451-870916: A good pub venue in Stow with good, though not especially sophisticated, food. Live music in the piano bar on Sunday evenings (8-10). 7 Days 12-9.30 (9 on Sun). www.thebellatstow.com
The Porch House, Digbeth Street, Stow-on-the-Wold, GL54 1BN (2 miles) 01451-870048: Formerly the Royalist Hotel – a hotel since 947AD. Very close to the centre of Stow (without the bus tours who tend towards the tea shops), it provides a calmly decorated, stripped wood floor venue. The main restaurant of the hotel has glowing reports, but the pub and conservatory area has not had such good reports of late. The pub and Conservatory serve Lunch/Dinner: Mon-Sat Noon-9.30, Sun Noon-8.30, Dining Room Dinner: Mon – Sat 6.30-9.30, closed Sunday. www.porch-house.co.uk
The Sheep on Sheep Street, Stow-on-the-Wold, GL54 1AG (2 miles) 01451-830344: Formerly The Grapevine, this has been taken over by Brakspear (2016). The food is reportedly good, with emphasis on pizza but also standard mains at standard prices for the area. However, whilst the tables are spaced out and there is a large variety of places to eat and a terrace at the back, there is a whiff of ‘chain’ about it. To its advantage very central in Stow, with space and not far from Wren House. Food Mon-Thurs Noon – 9.30, Fri and Sat Noon – 10 p.m. www.thesheepstow.co.uk
The Coffee House, Church Street, Stow-on-the-Wold, GL54 1BB (2 miles) 01451-870802. 7 days. The perfect spot for a Coffee – or even a pub-style meal – while you potter round Stow. Croissant, cakes, soups, sandwiches and comfy leather sofas with newspapers to ponder AND great coffee. Mon-Sat: 9-5, Sun 10-4. www.thecoffeehousestow.co.uk. (Next door to the excellent Borzoi Bookshop – ask for Anthea in there and tell her you are staying at Wren House.)
*Osteria on the Wold, Talbot Court, Stow-on-the-Wold (park in Stow square and walk along alley beside The Talbot at the far end), GL54 1BQ (2 miles) 01451-832010: Excellent house white – Pecorino (Yes, it is also a cheese!), and Italian style food, some better than others, but not especially expensive. Service poor. Closed Sun and Mon, Lunch Tues-Sat 12-2, Dinner Tues-Sat 6-9.
Indian, Moreton: *The Spice Room, 3 Oxford Street, Moreton-in-Marsh, GL56 0LA (3 miles) 01608-654204: good Indian cooking and generous portions but perhaps not the cheapest. Take away available. No website currently.
Indian, Moreton: *Hassan Balti, High Street, Moreton-in-Marsh, GL56 1AQ (3 miles) 01608-650798. This is good, basic Indian cooking. Take away available. www.hassanbalti.co.uk
Indian, Stow: *The Prince of India, 5 Park Street, Stow-on-the-Wold, GL54 1AQ (2 miles) 01451-830099. Mixed reviews.
Indian, Moreton: Sitara, Lion House, High Street, Moreton-in-Marsh, GL56 0LH (3 miles) 01608-651015: Untested. Menu at sitaramoretoninmarsh.com
Chinese, Chipping Norton: Beijing Gourmet, 3 Market Street, Chipping Norton, OX7 5NQ (9 miles) 01608-642613
Chinese, Stow: Jade Garden, 15 Park Street, Stow-on-the-Wold, GL54 0AQ (2 miles) 01451-870288
Thai, Malay, etc. Chipping Norton: Thai Shire, 7 Horse Fair, Chipping Norton, OX7 5AL (9 miles) 01608-645888. Some very good reports (September 2017) of a good Thai (with Chinese influence) meals and a pleasant Cotswold stone ambience. Take Aways available.
Greedy’s Fish and Chips, Park Street, Stow-on-the-Wold, GL54 1AQ (2 miles) 01451-870821.
*Ask Italian, High Street, Moreton-in-Marsh, GL56 0AX (3 miles) 01608-651119. 7 days 12 Noon – 11 p.m. Run of the mill but OK.
Michelin Star Lords of the Manor, Upper Slaughter, GL54 2JD (6 miles) 01451-820243: The place for a special occasion with white table cloths and similar trappings and a Michelin star since 2006 and still getting high praise from my guests in September 2017. Head chef: Richard Edwards. Yum, yum, but you MUST book well ahead as they only have limited space for non-residents and you are looking at £69 per head dinner without wine. Glorious village and pretty approach. Excellent reports in September 2017. Lunch: 7 days 12-2 bar meals only, restaurant Sunday Lunch only for non-residents 12-2; Dinner: 7 days 6.45-8.45 but book well ahead! www.lordsofthemanor.com
Michelin Star No 5 (North Street), Winchcombe, GL54 5LH (15 miles) 01242-604566: Because of the distance – almost to Cheltenham – and windy journey, this restaurant should be tied in with a taxi booking! But apparently WOW! Kate waits, and is married to Gus Ashenford who has had a Michelin Star since 2003. Everyone who has tried this gurgles with its delights. Lunch: Wed-Sun 12.30-1.30, Dinner: Tues-Sat 7-9. Closed Sun eve, Mon and Tues lunch. www.5northstreetrestaurant.co.uk
*Wild and Thyme, Chipping Norton, New Street, OX7 5LJ (9 miles) 01608-645060: Fresh and local or beautifully sourced ingredients with a Mediterranean twist. The wine list is pricey but Nick Pullen and Sally Daniel have created a good atmosphere and some quite excellent fare. Lunch: Wed – Sun 12-2. Dinner: Tues – Sat 7-9. Closed Sun eve, all day Mon and Tues lunch. www.wildthymerestaurant.co.uk
Mulberry Restaurant, Manor House Hotel, Moreton-in-Marsh, GL56 0LJ (3 miles) 01608-650501: A bit corporate – this has been tested by guests. Good, but could be anywhere, was their view with slightly ‘over-sourced’ menu. Perfect if you want a nearby, attractive hotel setting. Sunday Lunch: 12-2.30. Dinner: 7 days 7-9.30. www.cotswold-inns-hotel.co.uk/manor/
The Great Hall, Lygon Arms, Broadway, WR12 7DU (12 miles) 01386-852255. The hall has style, but don’t confuse this hotel with the Lygon Arms in Chipping Campden. Lunch: Sun – Fri not Sat 12.30-2. Dinner: 7-9.30 7 days. www.pumahotels.co.uk/The_Lygon_Arms
The Cotswold Grill or The Dining Room at The Cotswold House Hotel and Spa, Chipping Campden, GL55 6AN (10 miles) 01386-840330. The Cotswold Grill open from 10.30-2.30 and 6.30-9.30 7 days, The Dining Room: Tues-Sat Dinner: 7-9.30 www.bespokehotels.com/cotswoldhouse
The Dormy House, above Broadway, WR12 7LF (11 miles) 01386-852711 Recently refurbished and high on the hill above Chipping Campden and Broadway. Sadly, not such good reports Jluy 2016. The Garden Room with an al fresco area: Tues-Sat Dinner: 7-9.30 and Sun lunch: 12-2.30, also The Potting Shed pub 7 days, Lunch 12-2.30, Dinner 6-9.30. www.dormyhouse.co.uk
Russell’s, Broadway, WR12 7DT (12 miles) – 01386-853555: Housed in Sir Gordon Russell’s workshop, the Arts and Crafts inspired furniture designer – the Gordon Russell Design Museum is in the village. Looks interesting but yet to be tested. Head Chef: Neil Clarke. Lunch: 7 days 12-2.30. Dinner: Mon-Sat 6-9.30. Closed Sun eve. www.russellsofbroadway.com
Three Ways House Hotel and Pudding Club, Mickleton, near Chipping Campden (& Hidcote & Kiftsgate), GL55 6SB (14 miles) 01386-438429: 7 days 7-9.30, Sun lunch 12-2.30. www.puddingclub.com
And Some Good Pubs/Restaurants Further Afield on your Touring which have had some good reports over the years. Beware, they often change hands!
*The Swan Inn, Swinbrook, near Burford, OX18 4DY (12 miles) 01993-823339: is owned and run by the Orr-Ewings of the King’s Head, Bledington and the New Inn, Coln St. Aldwyns. The décor is simple and tasteful and the food is excellent pub fare. The pub was co-owned by the late Dowager Duchess of Devonshire (Chatsworth!) and used as the film set for the elopement of Lady Sybil and chauffeur Branson in the first series of Downton Abbey. www.theswaninnswinbrook.co.uk.
The Puesdown Inn, near Burford, GL54 4DN (12 miles) 01451-860262: 7 days Lunch: 12 Noon – 3 pm., Dinner: Tuesday – Saturday 6.30 pm. – 10.30 p.m., www.puesdown.cotswoldinns.com
White Hart Inn, Winchcombe, GL54 5LJ (15 miles) 01242-602239: If you are visiting Sudeley Castle or the famous Winchcombe Pottery or walking nearby on the dramatic edge of the Cotswolds, you would do well to pop into the Wine and Sausage Wine Bar in the White Hart Inn. Not all sausages – but then why not! 7 days Lunch: 12-3, Dinner: 6-9 (6-9.30 Fri and Sat). www.whitehartwinchcombe.co.uk
The Lion Inn, North Street, Winchcombe, GL54 5PS (15 miles) 01242-603300: Newly done in June 2013 and looks attractively laid out and promising. Worth a try. 7 days Lunch: 12-3, Dinner: 6-9 (6-9.30 Fri and Sat). www.thelionwinchcombe.co.uk
The Swan, Southrop, near Lechlade, GL7 3NU (19 miles) 01367-850205: Lunch 12 Noon – 3 p.m. 7 days, Dinner 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday, www.theswanatsouthrop.co.uk
Allium Restaurant, Fairford, GL7 4AH (25 miles) 01285-712200: Lunch Wednesday – Sunday 12 Noon – 2 p.m., Dinner Tuesday – Saturday 7 p.m. – 9 p.m., www.allium.uk.net
NEAR CHIPPING NORTON
Falkland Arms, Great Tew, OX7 4DB (16 miles) 01608-683653: Lunch 12 Noon – 2.30 p.m. (3 p.m. Sat and Sun), Dinner 6 p.m. – 9.30 p.m. (8 pm. Sunday), www.falklandarms.co.uk
The Bell, Sapperton near Cirencester, GL7 6LE (27 miles) 01285-760298: Lunch 12 Noon – 2 p.m., Dinner 7 p.m. 9.30 pm. (9 p.m. Sunday), www.foodatthebell.co.uk
Tunnel House Inn, near Cirencester, GL7 6PW (26 miles) 01285-770280: 7 days 11 a.m. – late, www.tunnelhouse.com
Old Lodge, Minchinhampton Common near Stroud, GL6 9AQ (33 miles) 01453-832047: Weekdays 11 a.m. – 2.45 p.m., Weekends 11 a.m. – 10 p.m, www.food-club.com/old-lodge
Quod, Old Bank Hotel, Oxford, OX1 4BJ (31 miles) 01865-2020505: 7 days 7 a.m. – 11 p.m., www.quod.co.uk
Jamie’s Italian (Jamie Oliver), George Street, Oxford, OX1 2AE (31 miles) 01865-838383: www.jamiesitalian.com
The Chequers, Churchill, OX7 6NJ (9 miles) 01608-659393 run by the infamous Assumpta who is a totally welcoming and delightful hostess: Mon-Sat 12-2 & 7-9.30, Sun 12-3 & 7-9.
TOWARDS THE GUITINGS
The Plough, Ford, GL54 5RU (8.5 miles) 01386-584215 – Food 7 days 12-9. www.theploughinnatford.co.uk
The Hollow Bottom, Guiting Power, GL54 5UX (9 miles) 01451-850392: Lunch: 12-2. Dinner: 6-9. www.hollowbottom.com
Halfway House, Kineton, nr. Guiting Power, GL54 5UG (7 miles) 01451-850344: Lunch: 12.30 p.m. – 2.30 p.m. (Sat and Sun 3 p.m.), Dinner 6.30 p.m. – 9 p.m. Closed Sunday evenings. www.thehalfwayhousekineton.co.uk