Looking for restaurants in the Cotswolds? Want to know where to eat whilst exploring this pretty region? Mark Taylor shares his insider tips for the best restaurants, bakeries and bars, plus a recommendation of one of the best villages to add to your Cotswolds itinerary, and places to visit on day trips around the countryside.


We've added some top picks of where to stay whilst you visit the Cotswolds too. For more inspiration, check out our full guide to the best Cotswolds hotels. For more exciting restaurants and weekend ideas for food lovers, check out our best UK city breaks, best pubs with rooms and our foodie day trips from London by train.

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olive's top 10 best places to eat and drink in the Cotswolds

We've included insider information about what to order where below, plus plenty more places to visit, but for those who want a quick insight into our favourite spots in the region, here are Mark's picks.

Foodie town spotlight: Moreton-in-Marsh

In the Evenlode Valley, within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the market town of Moreton-in-Marsh makes an ideal base for a ‘foodie’ trip. A short hop from popular villages and towns such as Daylesford (famous for its organic farm, shop and restaurant), Chipping Norton and Stow-on-the-Wold, it benefits from good public transport links including direct trains to London. The main street is lined with handsome stone buildings dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, many of them shops, tea rooms, pubs and places to eat.

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There are plenty of places to stay the night, including the White Hart Royal, a former manor house where King Charles I took refuge during the Civil War. The main public building is the Redesdale Hall which holds antiques and craft fairs, and there’s a weekly Tuesday street market. When it comes to eating out, Henne is highly regarded by the locals with its inventive and sustainably driven menu using hyper-local produce. If it’s artisan bread and patisserie you’re after, Otis & Belle bakery is exceptional and The Cotswold Cheese Company sells countless local cheeses. A short drive out of town is the Michelin-starred Royal Oak at Whatcote.

Henne Pic 2 Pea & Crab CREDIT Darren Brown copy

Where to stay in the Cotswolds

The Rectory Hotel, Crudwell

An 18th century former rectory in the heart of picturesque Crudwell, The Rectory Hotel is all about intimate dinners, fireside cocktails and country walks followed by hearty food. Originally the rectory to the village church, this ancient stone building oozes relaxed country manor.

The 18 rooms are all unique, with the first floor hosting more spacious rooms, and the second floor benefitting from exposed oak beams. The team at The Rectory Hotel has freshened up the interiors to preserve original features (little fireplaces, sash windows, panelled walls) and antiques, but add a checklist of little hotel luxuries (Robert’s Radios, tea and coffee from local roasters). Beds are like huge armchairs, with velvet curved headboards in mustard yellow and forest green.

The breakfast spread, taken in The Glasshouse overlooking the gardens, is impressive. Graze on homemade granola, fresh fruits, mini pastries and ham and cheese before taking your pick from the made-to-order hot menu (French toast, avocado on sourdough, eggs any style) and topping up from the DIY bloody mary station.

From £170 per night, check availability at mrandmrssmith.com

The Rectory Hotel, Crudwell: hotel review

Thyme, Southrop

  • From £400 per night, check availability at booking.com

Set deep in the rolling Cotswolds countryside, in the quiet village of Southrop, Thyme is exactly what you want from a rural escape. A 150-acre estate, it is home to a cookery school, pub, spa, holiday cottages, cocktail bar and restaurant while the 15th century manor house at its heart (and various outlying barns) is now a boutique hotel.

Bedrooms are spread across Southrop, with some in the main lodge itself, some in a farmhouse and some in separate cottages. They range in grandeur from Cosy to Divine with each one named after a flower or plant – a green-fingered theme that the interiors also reflect. Design-wise, it's refined country glamour. So velvet scalloped headboards, furry rugs, botanical wallpaper and, in some cases, free-standing baths with views across the fields.

The on-site cookery school runs classes throughout the year, so try your hand at Indian vegan recipes; cocktails, cordials and infusions, or rustic Italian feasts. There’s also a kitchen garden to admire, and a tranquil spa that uses natural ingredients in its treatments.

From £400 per night, check availability at booking.com

A calm pool with loungers around the side

olive's top 10 best restaurants in the Cotswolds

The Potting Shed, Crudwell

For al fresco dining

Originally a Victorian pub called The Plough, The Potting Shed is located in the chocolate box village of Crudwell, a short drive from junction 17 of the M4. Once a favoured romantic bolthole for Prince William and Kate Middleton before their engagement, this cosy country pub sticks to hearty gastropub classics, with much of the produce coming from the abundant vegetable patch in the pub’s two-acre garden which also has apple trees and lawns. thepottingshedpub.com

The Potting Shed, pub, bar, beer, food, dining, gardens, pub garden, country pub

The Bull, Charlbury

For a real taste of the area

A posh pub-with-rooms, The Bull was rebooted by owners Phil Winser and James Gummer, who are also behind Notting Hill’s The Pelican. The Cotswold-born duo focus on traditional village pub hospitality and using local produce, working directly with farms and growers including a community-supported agriculture project providing fruit and vegetables. In the 50-cover dining room, order seasonal, unpretentious dishes like mackerel and broad beans followed by pork chop and apple. thebullcharlbury.com

Bull at Charlbury 1 CREDIT The Bull at Charlbury copy

The Woolpack, Slad

For simple classics with a view

Best known as the pub where Cider with Rosie author Laurie Lee was a regular, The Woolpack has a unique atmosphere. Overlooking the beautiful Slad Valley (pack your hiking boots as there are plenty of fabulous walks nearby), this 300-year-old pub has a timeless feel. Enjoy delicious dishes like mussels, cider and wild garlic butter or lamb shoulder, courgettes and aioli, washed down with a pint of local Uley Brewery Pigs Ear ale. thewoolpackslad.com

The Woolpack 3 CREDIT The Woolpack copy

Lola & Co, Tetbury

For authentic tapas

Since it opened in 2020, Lola & Co has expanded due to popularity and demand from lucky Tetbury locals who flock to this family-run bistro. Occupying a charming Grade II-listed Cotswold stone building, traditional Spanish dishes are given a modern treatment and you can enjoy the likes of pasta and seafood paella or huevos rotos y chorizo with wine from the exclusively Spanish list. Save room for the superb churros with Spanish hot chocolate. lolaandco.co.uk

Lola & Co pic 1 CREDIT Lola & Co copy

Fleur de Lys, Bampton

For French favourites

Olivier Bonte has certainly created his own little corner of France in the Cotswold market town of Bampton. This relaxed bistro-with-rooms oozes Gallic charm with decor inspired by classic chateaus and even a pétanque court in the secluded garden. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the proudly French menus include robust dishes like snails in garlic butter and coq au vin with mash, with summer options including moules marinière or a classic bouillabaisse. fleurdelys-bampton.com

Fleur de Lys pic 3 CREDIT Fleur de Lys copy

Martin & Malthouse, Tetbury

For an impeccable wine list

Created by a combination of family and friends, Martin & Malthouse is a charming cafe, deli and bottle shop. The shop stocks a wide range of local produce, wine, beers and spirits, plus olive oil from the family’s own trees in Greece. Every Thursday, the shop stays open late as it morphs into an evening wine bar serving charcuterie and cheese boards, with a local sourdough pizza maker providing food a couple of Thursdays a month. martinandmalthouse.co.uk

Martin & Malthouse 1 CREDIT Martin & Malthouse copy

Warehouse 4, Gloucester

For beers by the water

Part of the award-winning Gloucester Brewery and Fox’s Kiln Distillery in Gloucester’s regenerated docks, Warehouse 4 is a tap room with a difference. You can enjoy beers such as Dockside Dark and Gloucester Gold served straight from the barrel, but there are also gins and vodkas made on the premises plus regular street food trucks. Housed in a converted warehouse, the venue has also become a local cultural hub with music and comedy nights. gloucesterbrewery.co.uk/warehouse4-taproom


Broadway Deli, Broadway

For local produce

Set across two floors of a 17th-century building with a fascinating history (former uses include a vicarage, tea room and guest house), the Broadway Deli has been a Cotswolds gem for 22 years. Freshly baked bread and pastries, locally grown fruit vegetables and artisan local cheeses share space on the packed shelves with wines and deli counter staples from further afield. There’s also a lovely little cafe and a stunning garden at the back. broadwaydeli.co.uk

Broadway Deli

Knead Bakery Cafe, Elkstone

For award-winning bakes

Just off the A417 between Cheltenham and Cirencester, Knead Bakery is part of Elkstone Studios, a workspace hub in converted farm buildings with a food hall, gym and children’s play park. Both indoor and heated outdoor seating is available, the latter in a pretty lavender and olive tree lined courtyard surrounded by fields. It’s a delightful setting to enjoy a crispy duck waffles, award-winning pecan and maple Danish pastries or the signature lemon meringue pie. kneadbakery.co.uk

Knead 1 CREDIT Kris Biggs copy

Worton Kitchen Garden, Worton near Cassington

For a meal in a unique setting

A regenerative smallholding on the edge of Oxford, the aim at Worton Kitchen Garden is to provide 80% of the food served in the on-site restaurant from the farm or a small number of trusted local producers. Surrounded by fruit and vegetable crops, the charming restaurant changes the menu weekly and typical dishes include Sri Lankan celeriac curry, fallow deer chilli con carne and 18-hour roast shoulder of pork with crab apple jelly. wortonkitchengarden.com

Worton Kitchen Garden

Foodie day trips around the Cotswolds

Woodchester Valley Vineyard

Woodchester Valley is a vineyard and winery set within 58 acres near Stroud in the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. They grow a selection of grape varieties that go into making a range of sparkling and still wines, which have won multiple awards over the years. The vineyard runs regular tours and there are also special events such as ‘Fizz & Chips’ and ‘Pinot & Pizza’ where visitors can enjoy food and wine among the vines. Those wine buffs who want to extend their visit can stay in luxurious accommodation within the vineyard. woodchestervalleyvineyard.co.uk

Woodchester Valley Vineyard 1 CREDIT Woodchester Valley Vineyard copy

Daylesford Cookery School

Whether it’s pasta masterclasses, artisan breadmaking or mastering the art of afternoon tea, there is a course for everybody all year round at Daylesford. The focus this summer, however, is a series of fire pit cooking workshops, from June 29 to August 17. Centred around two open fires in Daylesford’s outdoor courtyard, these classes are aimed at barbecue enthusiasts and anybody who loves cooking food outdoors. The full-day courses cover cooking directly on the fire, cast iron cooking, working with larger joints of meat, marinades, grilling seasonal vegetables and more. daylesford.com/visit/cotswolds/cookery-school


Rectory Farm, Stanton St John

As well as the usual smell of the countryside, there is celebration in the air at Rectory Farm this year. In September, the Tractor Festival will celebrate the 70th year of the Stanley family farming the land at Stanton St John. The packed weekend (September 21/22) features vintage ploughing matches, tractor displays and potato harvesting demonstrations. As well as a farm shop and Tractor Shack café, there are also 45 acres of Pick Your Own crops including strawberries, blackcurrants, sweetcorn and flowers. Time your visit in October and you can visit the pumpkin festival which attracts over 15,000 visitors each year. rectoryfarmpyo.co.uk

Rectory Farm 5 CREDIT George Gunn copy

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Best romantic UK hotels
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