Gastro Guide to the Cotswolds

Fox & Goose, Armscote

Described by one local fan as ‘dependably good’, they fish night twice a month where, those who must, can treat themselves to the arguable delights of conger eel.

Fox & Goose, Armscote, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

Tel: 01608 682293

Howard Arms, Ilmington

The huge blackboard menu covers the wall above the inglenook fireplace teems with excellent gastropub grub – chilli and lime scallops, calves’ liver pate and beef and ale pies. Booking is advised, even on an anonymous Monday evening in November – the Howard’s reputation has stretched far and wide.

Howard Arms, Lower Green, Ilmington, near Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire

Tel:01608 682226

The Fox Inn, Lower Oddington

It’s got a reputation of being one of the best pubs in the area and having just been taken over, it’s impossible to predict in which direction the kitchen will now go. For reliable, if not entirely inspiring, eating, the Fox is worth a visit.

The Fox Inn, Lower Oddington, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire

Tel: 01451 870555

Churchill Arms, Paxford

Apparently the Churchill is one of Michael Winners’ favourite restaurants. The food is certainly very good with delicious risottos, game, and yummy sticky toffee pudding. Service can slip on the surly side though.

Churchill Arms, Paxford, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire

Tel 01386 594000

King’s Arms, Stow-on-the-Wold

A 500 year-old coaching inn which retains many of its original features but has a strong Spanish leaning in the kitchen. Among the seafood, the chili squid with chorizo is recommended and those wanting closer-to-home fare can look out for locally caught trout and Gloucester old spot pork.

King’s Arms, Market Square, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire

Tel: 01451 830364

The Village Pub, Barnsley

An all time favourite and well worth the trip if you’re in the Cirencester area. A motley crew of oak and pine tables of various shapes and sizes liberally distributed between the adjoining flagstone rooms. The food is imaginative and staff, who seem to mostly hail from the southern hemisphere, are charming.

The Village Pub, Barnsley, nr Cirencester, Gloucestershire

Tel: 01285 740421

The Woolpack, Slad nr Stroud

Sells itself as Laurie Lee’s very own local – although it’s arguable how much time he spent there propping up the bar when there was the Iberian continent waiting to be walked – the Woolpack rates in the Guardian’s top 150 pubs.

The Woolpack, Slad, nr Stroud, Gloucestershire

Tel: 01452 813429

Wild Duck, Ewan, nr Cirencester

Early 16th century building gives this pub heaps of character. The food is sometimes described as robust but goat’s cheese salads and others of that ilk do appear on the menu too.

The Falkland Arms, Chipping Norton

Snuff is in and mobile phones are out in this pub (makes a welcome respite from people at the neighbouring table yelling at their loved ones during supper). Good food and even better beers. A favourite of COUNTRY LIFE’s editor.

The Falkland Arms, The Green, Great Tew, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire

Tel: 01608 683653

The Lamb Inn, Shipton-under-Wychwood

The Lamb Inn is a beautiful Cotswold stone inn, with five unique guest rooms. There is also delightful restaurant with a first class chef and a comprehensive wine list, and a sophisticated bar offers stylish fine dining and bar food.

The Lamb Inn, High Street, Shipton-under-Wychwood, Near Burford, Oxfordshire

Tel: 01993 823155

The White Bear, Shipston on Stour

A Warwickshire institution, the White Bear is the hub of Shipston, and locals come here to swap gossip over dinner and some good local ales. A cosy atmosphere makes it the perfect place to rest and recharge after a long day walking or riding in the surrounding hills.

The White Bear, High Street. Shipston on Stour, Warwickshire

Tel: 01608 661558.