Nestled between Bourton-on-the-water and Chedworth in the valley of the River Leach, The Old Prison cafe serves up brilliant food in one of the most quirky Cotswold settings: a 18th-century House of Correction!
Built in the 1790s, the prison was once a fine example of a model prison used to inspire better care and rehabilitation of prisoners throughout Britain. It even served as a blueprint for London’s Pentonville Prison.
Since 2013, a local charity called The Friends of the Cotswolds, have owned and looked after the prison – and in 2018 works began to transform the site into a warm, fit-for-purpose cafe and kitchen.
As you’d expect, the setting is brilliant: it’s a large, open-plan cafe with floor-to-ceiling windows and comfy sofas and tables to dine at. Best of all, you can even visit the old court room and prison cells for a spot of history in-between your artisan coffees.
The food is also brilliant: seasonal and local, with brunches, sourdough toasties and deli options served by a friendly, helpful team. When I visited, the kitchen made a special vegan toastie for me, even though it wasn’t on the menu – and it was delicious.