Grub’s up! 8 of the Very Best Restaurants in the Cotswolds

Posted on 8th Apr 2022. In , , , ,

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When it comes to good food, the Cotswolds has a lot to boast about. Innovative fine dining, award-winning gastro-pubs and inns, exceptional cafes and tremendous local markets that are loved by famous faces. Which means, your weekend in the Cotswolds won’t be without flavour, trust us.

To help you navigate the best restaurants in the Cotswolds, we’ve asked those weekenders that matter the most: the people who live in the Cotswolds, for their top recommendations and they delivered. So, tuck in your napkin, these are the 8 top restaurants you want to book a table at right now. 


 

All the Cotswolds restaurants featured here are independently selected by our Cotswolds-based Chief Weekender and Editor, as well as local Cotswolds bloggers and residents. Naturally, we try hard to be accurate but please always check before visiting. If you book something through the links on this page, we may earn an affiliate commission.


 

Cotswolds’ Restaurants That Locals Love

The Scenic Supper, Todenham Manor, GL56 9PQ

Best For: Unique Fine Dining With A View

fine dining restaurant in the cotswolds

What: The Scenic Supper is Cotswolds’ fine dining with one huge difference: you eat, not in a building with four walls, but inside your own private, individual sustainably-built glass house. Better still, each glass house is set on a hill overlooking the rolling ‘wolds’ of this part of the Cotswolds. It’s innovative dining dreamt up by three friends Toby Baggott, Scott Sullivan and Sam Lawson King, who launched The Scenic Supper in 2020 after Covid affected their own small hospitality businesses.

Of course, you’d be forgiven for thinking The Scenic Supper could be all ‘scene’ without substance; but rest assured the food here is first-class. Serving pre-set four-course lunches and six-course dinners, as well as a fabulous a la carte ‘Story’ menu, Head Chef, Sam, sources the Cotswolds’ finest fresh seasonal produce in keeping with The Scenic Supper’s ‘Paddock to Plate’ ethos. And to wash down the great food, there’s a cocktail bar on-site, too.

Where: You’ll find The Scenic Supper at Todenham Manor Farm, a 900-acre family farm in the heart of the Cotswolds, close to the Gloucestershire/Oxfordshire/Warwickshire border. The Scenic Supper site sits on the outer fringe of the farm, in a field of its own with plenty of parking nearby.

Why You’ll Love It: There’s more than one reason to love the Scenic Supper. The food is some of the best you’ll find in the region, the service is zippy and uber-friendly (Toby and Sam serve alongside their team), and the fresh-air dining experience is truly unique. Plus, the cocktails are to die for!

Recommended By: Claire, Chief Weekender at Weekend Candy, from Cirencester.

The Details: Set menus start from £55pp |  Open April – Sept, Weds – Sat | Glass houses seating 2 – 8

Stay here and make a weekend of it.


 

Cotswolds’ Restaurants That Locals Love

Lumiere, Cheltenham, GL50 3PA

Best For: Special Occasions

umiere-restaurant-cotswolds fish main dish

What: An elegant, ingredient-led fine-dining restaurant in the heart of Cheltenham. It’s run by husband-and-wife team, Jon (who’s the Head Chef) and Helen (who’s the General Manager) and is sure to knock your socks off. Since opening in January 2009, Lumiere has received numerous local and national awards including AA Restaurant of the Year for England, 3AA Rosettes, a Green Star Initiative from Michelin and is regularly listed amongst the Top 20 Restaurants in the UK by Hardens and Tripadvisor. What makes this Cotswolds’ restaurant special is its focus on the very best British produce, inventively used throughout its four, six or eight-course tasting menu.

Where: You’ll find Lumiere on Clarence Parade just behind the centre of the town. Helpfully, this means there is ample parking nearby (although you may want to book a taxi if you opt for the wine flight with your meal).

Why You’ll Love It: If you’re ready for a treat that you’ll remember, Lumiere is the place to go (but book in advance because there are only a small amount of tables). A six-course tasting menu is £85 and the eight-course menu is £110, so it’s great for a special occasion. The food is all British and is served in the most incredible way to tantalise your eyes and nose, as well as your tastebuds. What’s more, the staff are so knowledgeable and clearly passionate about the food that they serve, which makes it an all-round perfect experience.

Recommended By: Danni, Lifestyle and Travel Blogger at Danni Meets World, from Cheltenham.

The Details: Lunch served Friday & Saturday, 12 noon -1.30pm  | Dinner served Wednesday – Saturday, 7pm – 8.30pm | Set menus from £50pp

Pics credits: Lumiere, Cheltenham

Stay here and make a weekend of it.


 

Cotswolds’ Restaurants That Locals Love

Settebello, Gloucester, GL1 2EW

Best For: Authentic Italian Feasting

settebello-restaurant-cotswolds outside at night

What: Based on the idea from Southern Italy that mealtimes are about family and conviviality, Settebello gives you an enjoyable, authentic Italian experience perfect for feasting with your nearest and dearest. Many of the dishes have their origins in the “Cucina Povera” ideal; an Italian phrase that means “cooking of the poor,” or “peasant cooking.” This was food born out of necessity and financial constraints, which has now become a very fashionable style of Italian cooking. Book for Settebello and expect traditional, delicious dishes cooked with authentic Italian ingredients. So whether it’s pasta, salad or pizza you want (check out their metre-long pizza experience), it’ll be bella for sure.

Where: You’ll find this Cotswolds’ gem waterside at Gloucester Quays, which is a local mecca for shopping and food. Parking is easy in the Gloucester Quays car park, or you can get there on the main bus route.

Why You’ll Love It: Even entering Settebello is a treat thanks to beautiful olive trees welcoming you at the door. Great food, helpful staff and an atmosphere that’ll have you thinking you’re in Italy, with an Italian family – not Gloucester. Plus, Settebello is well-priced with both pizzas and pastas at £12-£15. Their Secondi mains courses are between £18-32, but we were so full from starters and pasta that we’ve decided to go back and try their Secondi courses another night! Make sure you book ahead it can be very popular.

Recommended By: Danni, Lifestyle and Travel Blogger at Danni Meets World, from Cheltenham.

The Details: Trattoria open Monday to Saturday, 12 noon – 10pm and Sunday, 12 noon – 9pm

Pic Credits: Settebello/Danni Meets World

Stay here and make a weekend of it.


 

Cotswolds’ Restaurants That Locals Love

Restaurant GL50, Cheltenham, GL50 3JX

Best For: Zero Waste Dining

GL50-restaurant-cotswolds interior

What: People call Restaurant GL50 ‘Cheltenham’s Best Kept Secret’ – and I’d have to agree. The brainchild behind this Cotswolds’ restaurant is Jonas Lodge, who worked as head chef at the award-winning 2 AA Red Rosette Bell in Ramsbury. The amazing thing with the food at Restaurant GL50 is that it is ‘a minimal or no waste’ fine dining experience. Jonas and his chefs create dishes where the whole beast, fish, vegetable or fruit is used, and this can lead to some incredibly interesting and tasty dishes to choose from. As Jonas trained with some pretty formidable chefs, including Sergio Arola, Paul Heathcote, Raymond Blanc and Heston Blumental, it is not surprising that some of the dishes he puts together are not what you would normally expect. But they do not disappointment, if you are brave enough to try them.

Where: Another central Cheltenham location, Restaurant GL50 is at 8 Norfolk House in Chester Walk. It’s tucked away from the main town in a quiet location, but there is plenty of parking nearby.

Why You’ll Love It: At this wonderful restaurant, the chefs bring the food to your table and explain what the dishes are, so you get to chat to them about how they created it and why it’s special. There are usually four meals from each section on the a la carte menu to choose from. Lunches, which are served on a Friday and Saturday, 12 to 2pm, offer a reasonably-priced menu. In the evening, you need to have deeper pockets but you will have a memorable night. They also offer 7- and 9-course tasting menus.

Recommended By: Michelle Heather, Pink Elephant Marketing and PR, Cheltenham

The Details: Open for lunch Friday and Saturday, 12:00pm – 2:00pm and dinner Tuesday – Thursday, 6:30pm – 9:00pm; Friday an Saturday: 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Pic Credits: Michelle Heather, Pink Elephant Marketing and PR

Stay here and make a weekend of it.


 

Cotswolds’ Restaurants That Locals Love

The Wychwood Inn, Shipton-under-Wychwood, OX7 6BA

Best For: Traditional Sunday Lunch

Wynchwood Inn - sunday lunch - Cotswolds restaurants

What: The Wychwood Inn is a fabulous family-owned, award-winning pub and restaurant, complete with a lovely garden and al fresco bar – called The Little Wychwood.

Head chef Joe McCarthy consistently creates wonderful British classics all using local, seasonal ingredients. I particularly love the pub’s handmade pies, especially Joe’s steak and ale pie with broccoli puree, and fondant potato. Fish always features on the menu, too, with the catch of the day changing weekly and always supplied by Patrice Rogers from Chipping Norton direct from the markets. For the quality of the food on offer, I think the Wychwood’s prices are reasonable. Starters are from £7.00 to £11.00, mains from £14.00 to £26.00 and desserts from £7.00 to £10.00.

Where: Find it in the picturesque village of Shipton-under-Wychwood near Burford, West Oxfordshire. The village is easily accessible from Cheltenham, Oxford and the Cotswold villages of Bourton, Stow and Moreton in Marsh.

Why you’ll love it: The owners, mother and son Tracey and Paul, have worked hard to make The Wychwood a place that’s welcoming to all – including your four-legged friends. The pub also offers luxuriously appointed ensuite rooms, so it’s an great base for exploring the area on a weekend.

Recommended by: Michelle Heather, Pink Elephant Marketing and PR, Cheltenham

The Details: Open for lunch Monday – Friday 12.00pm – 2.30pm, and dinner 6.00 pm – 9.30 pm; Open for food Saturday 12.00 pm – 9.30 pm and Sunday 12.00pm – 8.00pm.

Pic Credits: The Wychwood Inn

You can also stay here and make a weekend of it


 

Cotswolds’ Restaurants That Locals Love

Made By Bob, Cirencester, GL7 2NY

Best For: Town Centre Cool

MBB Brasserie table - Cotswolds

What: Made by Bob (aka MBB Brasserie) is a sleek brasserie, bar and deli in the centre of Cirencester that has been a stalwart of the town’s foodie scene since opening in 2008. Step inside to a large and contemporary open-kitchen space where you dine in sight of chefs cooking and bartenders shaking up a cocktail. The menus change regularly depending on what season it is – and it’s always a popular place to come for lunch and dinner.

Where: Find it tucked inside the Corn Hall in the centre of Cirencester alongside other indie businesses.

Why You’ll Love It: This Cotswolds’ restaurant has been designed specifically so diners feel a part of the culinary action – and you really do. It’s a buzzy, upbeat environment that’s friendly and welcoming despite the fast pace. If you don’t want to sit in, no problem. The MBB Cornhall Deli, located just opposite the restaurant, offers homemade pastries, pies and pasties to take away. You can also fill your basket with daily baked breads, cheeses and charcuterie.

Recommended By: Danielle Ellis, Severn Bites, Gloucester

The Details: Open 7 days a week for breakfast from 9am; lunch 12pm – 3pm; and dinner 6pm – 9pm (booking advised)

Pic Credits: MBB Brasserie

Stay here and make a weekend of it


 

Cotswolds’ Restaurants That Locals Love

Prithvi, Cheltenham, GL53 7HG

Best For: Gourmet Indian Cuisine

prithvi-restaurant-cotswolds interior shot

What: Brilliantly combining fine dining with South Asian flavours, Prithvi in Cheltenham is a Michelin-starred Cotswolds’ restaurant that’s broken the mould when it comes to Indian cooking. Prithvi’s menu delicately combines sub-continental spices and wholesome cooking with premium British produce. As you’d expect, the attention to detail of each dish is second to none and this, combined with the incredible Indian food, has led to Prithvi becoming one of the most prestigious and acclaimed restaurants in the area. Come for lunch or dinner and choose from the a la carte or tasting menu for a sublime fine dining experience.

Where: You’ll find Prithvi on Bath Road in Cheltenham – approximately a five minute walk from the centre of town on the ring road. Handily, there’s a car park opposite the restaurant so if you’re not staying in Cheltenham it’s still easy to get to.

Why You’ll Love It: It’s not just the food at Prithvi that receives exceptional attention. Guests are looked after with the same care and consideration; the service during a meal is impeccable and you’re remembered by the team if you make a return visit.

Recommended By: Danielle Ellis, Severn Bites, Gloucester

The Details: Open for lunch Friday and Saturday from 12pm (last orders 1:30pm); Open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm (last orders 9:30pm).

Pic Credits: Prithvi, Cheltenham

Stay here and make a weekend of it


 

Cotswolds’ Restaurants That Locals Love

The Porch House, Stow-on-the-Wold, GL54 1BNG

Best For: Great British Fine Fare

the porch house in Stow on the wold cotswolds - bar

What: Originally built in 975 AD The Porch House is reputed to be England’s oldest inn, hosting weary travellers for over a 1000 years. Despite its age, The Porch House is anything but dated. Gorgeous interiors full of Cotswolds’ charm and a restaurant that’s home to some of the best British pub grub for miles around await you when you breakfast, lunch or do dinner here. The menu is plump with fresh, seasonal dishes prepared using locally-sourced ingredients and culinary flare.

Where: The Porch House is just off the busy A436 in the heart of Stow-on-the-Wold (easily one of the best villages in the Cotswolds). Moreton-in-Marsh railway station is about four miles north, Kingham station five miles east.

Why You’ll Love It: The Porch House creaks with age; inside it’s all all low ceilings, beams and wooden tables. So you can’t help but be charmed by the old world atmosphere. Plus, this Cotswolds’ restaurant can satiate plenty of tastes whatever type of hungry weekender you are: you can enjoy excellent pub grub by the fire in the bar, take a lavish lunch with the ladies in the bright conservatory, sip local drinks on the sunny garden terrace, or upgrade your dining experience in the rustic restaurant.

Recommended By: Kate Allen, Blogger at Katie Charlotte Blogs, Cotswolds.

The Details: Serving lunch 12pm – 3pm, Monday to Saturday and dinner 6pm – 9 pm; Serving lunch 12pm – 4 pm and dinner 5 – 8pm on Sundays.

Pic Credits:

You can also stay here and make a weekend of it.


 

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Claire Robinson Founder of Weekend Candy
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