Countryside Cuisine: A Foodie Guide To The Cotswolds, England

Picture perfect and postcard ready, the Cotswolds is without a doubt one of the most beautiful parts of England. Spanning miles of open countryside, the area has long been a hotspot for fine dining, using its bounty of local produce to every benefit. While you can take your pick of sumptuous eating spots, these places are without a doubt the finest that the Cotswolds has to offer, and place the area well and truly on the foodie map.

Don’t be fooled by its rustic charm; The White Rabbit in Kingham is a Michelinstarred restaurant. Housed within an 18th century building, this Cotswolds classic has been given a thoroughly modern makeover. Adding contemporary touches here and there, The White Rabbit remains true to its historical origins while planting itself firmly in the here and now. When it comes to the food, it’s a similar story of care and tradition. Cuts of beef are lovingly dried for forty days before being served; sumptuous monkfish is served beneath piles of curried onions; rich desserts are finished off with flair. Food here is just what it should be in the English countryside; rich, delicious, and satisfying.

Any chef with a restaurant like Heston Blumenthal’s mythic The Fat Duck on his or her resumé is bound to know food inside and out. Such is the case for Emma Watkins, the brains behind the highly sought after The Kingham Plough. Having picked up the tools of the trade at Blumenthal’s iconic restaurant, the chef moved on to pastures new, opening up her very own eatery in the heart of the Cotswolds. At The Kingham Plough, food is simple and expertly prepared, honing in on British classics such as pork loin, salted cod, and bone marrow. Watkins’ menu is unpretentious, pared back, and seriously worth a visit.

The Kingham Plough (thekinghamplough.co.uk)

The Kingham Plough (thekinghamplough.co.uk)

Good things come in small packages, and judging by the size of Le Champignon Sauvage, the things inside must be very good, indeed. Located in historical Cheltenham, this establishment is one of the most revered in the Cotswolds, drawing in foodies for miles around. One of the very few restaurants in the country to have bagged two Michelin stars, Le Champignon Sauvage is something of a local legend. What’s on the menu? Try your luck at the buttered poached lobster, roasted wood pigeon, or duck egg custard cream. Feeling hungry yet?

Le Champignon Sauvage (lechampignonsauvage.co.uk/)

Le Champignon Sauvage (lechampignonsauvage.co.uk/)

Scandinavian chic meets sophisticated flavors in The Garden Room, restaurant to Dormy House in Broadway. Kitted out in rustic furnishings, bright features, and a whole lot of light, The Garden Room is every bit as uplifting as you think it will be, perfecting the dining experience. British classics like pork are given a modern twist in chef Ryan Swift’s kitchen, served up with accompaniments like onion ice cream. For once, however, experimentation pays off, giving old foodie classics a new lease on life.

Mastering the balancing act between incredible food and great service, The Feathered Nest is a must if you’re in the Cotswolds. Dishes are lovingly created and exquisitely served, and the most unusual of flavor combinations are left to do all of the talking. The menu is locally sourced, too, ensuring the very best produce all year round. The Feathered Nest really comes to life in the summer months, and after one look at the view over the nearby valley, no doubt you’ll be a return visitor.

Hannah Lamarque
Hannah is a freelance writer and copy editor living in Europe. She writes about travel, art, design and culture and loves discovering hidden places in the cities that she visits.