A Travel & Lifestyle Blog

In the land of Hobbits and Men: fairytale Cotswolds

What do you do then, when spring is supposed to be knocking on your door but the weather is as grey and cold as ever?
Like every other Londoner - or southeast surburbanista for that matter - head to the Cotswolds! 
Bibury: Arlington Row
The choice is vast, but for now let's talk about a cute little village with clusters of dollhouse-looking cottages, southwest of Oxford;
Coln St Aldwyns is easy to describe: one pub, one post office, done!
How would you like a room in a boutique hotel for seventy pounds a night - breakfast included?
Yes please!

The New Inn is a foliage covered boutique pub. (check availability)
And by "boutique", I actually mean rooms with exposed beams for rustic flair, an iPod dock for your tunes and two shots of elderflower liqueur for your nightcap! Not too shabby, hey?

We only came across this place looking for a good Saturday roast, where we could go with our friends and their kiddies.  Food in the New Inn is all sourced locally and venison features often in the menu, especially in the form of steamy, puffy pies.
Gammon with fried eggs was oh, so wholesome, simply the right amount of salty and sweet that you need on a cold winter's day, to wash down with ginger beer...hey, preference is a personal matter, don't judge! 
 
The New Inn, Coln St Aldwyns
So, "where do we get phone reception?" we asked the waiter at the Inn;
"walk down to the river, follow the road around, you'll get a couple of bars next to the swans..."; Brilliant! 
And so we went...not so much for phone reception but to have a look at the overflowing river Coln creating new ecosystems, taking over surrounding fields. 
There had been some heavy flooding around here at the time we visited and every little stream turned into a pretty bubbling brook, cutting through the peaceful silence of the hills. This is welly territory, no messing about! We walked and talked and walked and talked some more...what shall we have for dinner?

There was no space for dinner off course, but breakfast was welcomed on Sunday morning, in the buzzing, cosy restaurant of the Inn, next to the lit fireplace. Dipping soldiers in the rich, orangey yolk of local Burford hens' eggs was the way to go! Don't leave this place without getting some Burford eggs with you, they are what all organic producers dream and strive for!
 
Bibury: Trout farm and Swan Hotel
Bibury up the road is the epitome of "the Shire".
Yes, yes Tolkien wrote all of the Hobbit books in Oxford but he must have taken frequent trips this way - it's so picturesque! 
The famous Arlington Row with its' weaver's cottages is nested on the side of a tiny hill, with crooked roofs and chimneys. River Coln was overflowing here too, flirting with the front doors of the tiny cottages. Nobody seemed too bothered. Picture perfect!
The chef at the Swan hotel in Bibury, makes his own trout terrine, not too heavy, not too salty, just light and fluffy! It's always nice to enjoy local delicacies, not because you are obliged as a tourist, but because they are actually good! The local trout farm shop also stocks flavoured fruit wines produced in neighbouring Somerset - strawberry please! Feel like catching your own lunch in the trout farm? Go for it!

Best of all, on the way back, just outside Coln St Aldwyns, we slowed down to watch a group of hunters; an amazing creature, a deer seemed to fly past the front of our car - jumped over the stone  wall and kept gliding gracefully through the fields....did we just dream that? We left Coln St Aldwyns smiling;  hopefully, by now you are smiling too.
 

1 comment

  1. Didn't you just love the fact that you can get away from it all. The fact that there is no mobile signal just makes this place the perfect spot to get away from it all. Do you have any other suggestions on where to go in the UK??

    ReplyDelete

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