The closer the date of our big move to Prague is, the more I’m realising that there’s a lot of things I’ll miss about England. Like – A LOT of them. SACO, The Serviced Apartment Company, have recently conducted a research about what makes British people happy. And after 10 years of living in England, I can happily conclude that their findings seem just about right. How could you not be happy when strolling down the Brighton Beach or hiking around the picturesque Lake District?! I even included the latter in my top 5 road trips to take this summer & have ventured to the land of Beatrix Potter multiple times to explore the white coats of Whitehaven & windy peaks around Windermere myself. Yet, when they asked Brummies where their happiest place was they had a very straight answer – one in four said that a cosy gastropub in the heart of the Cotswolds was their go-to place to rest & re-charge. I’d say that’s very accurate – given that I could come up with at least 20 charming pubs in and around the scenic Cotswolds where we’ve sipped on a cuppa & a gorged on a Sunday roast. Here’s a list of my 10 favourites for all those Brummies looking for a spot to dine at this weekend and also for those who are perhaps staying in serviced apartments in Birmingham (trying to get the ‘living like the locals’ feel) and fancy venturing out of the city.
The Garrick, Stratford-upon-Avon
If you asked me to pick just one pub in the Cotswolds – the one with the tastiest food & cosiest surroundings then it would most definitely be the Garrick. It’s Stratford’s oldest pub dating back to the 14th century which ultimately makes you think that your butt is touching the same seat Shakespeare was once sat on. Probably not. But the magic (& an absolutely delicious Welsh rarebit) is still there.
The Golden Ball Inn, Stow-on-the-Wold
The Golden Ball Inn situated in the little village of Lower Swell is well known for its high-quality food made with ingredients bought from local suppliers. And the area is so quaint & beautiful even let you park outside of the pub just to go for a little wander around without charging you silly money. They know you’ll find your way to their cosy pub afterwards.
The Black Bear, Moreton-in-Marsh
Moreton-in-Marsh does not only have some of the best charity shops I’ve ever seen – they also have lovely eateries! I love the little arcade with various cafes & bakeries – and if you need a bigger lunch then you need to stop at the Black Bear on the High Street!
The Fleece Inn, Bretforton
Owned by the National Trust – but built in the 15th century, the Fleece Inn is the epitome of a Cotswolds pub. Wooden chairs & tables, baskets full of logs and delicious dinners all year around. It’s the kind of pub you take your dog to and stroke Bob the cat on the way in.
The Halfway House, Kineton
In a little hamlet called Kineton, you’ll find the Halfway House. Up until 1975 it was owned by Corpus Christi College of Oxford University, now it’s a full-blown pub serving tradition food & ales. You’ll even find a beautiful little beer garden at the back for those scorching summer days.
Old Badger Inn, Stonehouse
According to Trip Advisor, the Old Badger Inn is the number one pub in the Cotswolds. And it’s ranking so high for a very good reason. The Old Badger Inn is the perfect village pub with delicious dinners, crisp ales and very reasonable prices.
Eight Bells, Chipping Campden
Chipping Campden is such a gorgeous little town. The Eight Bells Inn was built in the 14the century to house the stonemasons that built St. James’ church and was later used to store the peel of eight bells that were hung in the church tower hence its name. Now you can cosy up with a cuppa here & learn more about the wealthy heritage of this little inn.
The Gloucester Old Spot, Cheltenham
If you’re looking for a slightly more up to date take on traditional pub lunch then The Gloucester Old Spot is perfect for you. Right on the edge of Cheltenham you have the comfort of a fairly big city plus the feel of a traditional pub.
The Gardeners Arms, Tewkesbury
Another slightly more ‘modern feel’ pub with a timber-framed exterior but a more of a designer interior if you like. The food served in the Gardeners Arms is absolutely scrumptious nonetheless.
Horse and Groom, Bourton-on-the-Hill
I totally recommend you stop by at the Horse & Groom in winter. The roaring fireplace and wooden interior can only be appreciated with a cup of mulled wine when your fingers are near on frostbitten. The perfect Christmas pub lunch stop!
Which Cotswolds pub is your favourite?
? SACO advised me for an opinion on the research, however, my top 10 list of Cotswolds pubs is my very own, backed by years of testing & lunching in the picturesque Cotswolds.