Lunch for 2 with beer: £23.00
Its about time I got out and about in Britain. Its not all London after all. Luckily I am not the only one who’s not seen much outside the capital. Some of my English friends have missed whole swathes of the countryside and luckily they have cars!
One such friend is Martin who has somehow – up until now of course – never been to the Cotswolds. So on a recent Saturday we set off on a mission to overdose on pretty.
Our first stop was Mister Lovell which is close to Oxford but is pretty darn empty. No coaches could possibly make it into the village so it is fairly unspoiled. The reason to come here is the ruin of Lovell Hall which is situated in an idyllic setting on the edge of a wood by a stream.
It took us quite a while to find it (turns out its right behind the church – which is also nice to visit) but it was well worth the effort. It would be a great place to have a picnic, but bring your food with you as I did not see any shops in the village.
Our next stop was Burford which is (as are all the Cotswolds villages) pretty, but it is also crammed full of other tourists all gawking at the sagging cottages.
The high street all seemed a little much so we headed off onto a side street to the Angel for lunch. Not too far off of the beaten path it is nevertheless a complete contrast to the hustle and bustle of the high street. The pub itself is elfin in proportions. I am considered to be quite short and I am pretty sure I could have reached up and touched the ceiling. It was quite cozy and I was prepared to tuck into a table by the fireplace when the landlord suggested the garden in the back.
This was no London pub beer garden (read concrete square with table on it). This was a proper garden filled with flowers and birdsong. There are several tables but they are all well spaced out so you’ve got plenty of room to relax.
Knowing that we would be stopping somewhere later that day for a cream tea I opted for a simple ploughman’s with Stilton.
I expected something really simple and dull so was well pleased when my lunch arrived. Everything about it was just right. The bread was a hearty country style (no bagged bread here). There was ample salad, really good cheese and we suspect that the “pickle” was house made. All in all a very good country lunch. I was well fortified for the next 300 small villages it felt like we visited that day.
They also have an interesting looking dinner menu which you can order from during lunch. I would definitely stop by again, if ever I find myself in Burford.
Other places that you should definitely go to in the Cotswolds are the Slaughters and Broadway. Avoid Bourton on the Water at all costs as it has been turned into a horrible Cotswolds theme park.
14 Whitney St