Cotswolds and Edinburgh


#1

I leave for London this Saturday for vacation (woo-hoo!!!) and will be spending ~5 days puttering around the Cotswolds (mainly in the northern area), ~5 days in Edinburgh, and then will be in London (Marylebone) for a weekend. Purpose of the vacation is to relax and, in Edinburgh, to enjoy the Festival (so not eating, alas). I’ll admit that I’m lazy (and super busy w/ other stuff), so I haven’t had much time to look anything up.

Partner like pubs; we both like mom-and-pop places, “affordable” gems (however you want to define affordable), pastries, cafes highlighting local produce/specialties, and we eat pretty much anything. No need for fine dining since I think that’d be lost on us. Any suggestions on good eats in those areas (esp non-London, since I posted about that on CH way back when)?

Many thanks.


Help me w/ my trip to the UK (link)
Help me w/ my trip to the UK (link)
#2

Our friends went to Cotswolds recently. Let me check to see where they went and what they enjoyed, and I’ll get back to you.

P.S. Here are the recs from my friends:
Huffkins (tea, scones, traditional English fare) - Stow-in-wold and Burford
Great Western Arms (pub grub)
Broadway Tower cafe (great cheese scones)

Safe travels!


#3

I enjoyed the restaurant at the B&B we stayed at https://www.cowleymanor.com/en-us/malt-restaurant.

Recommend tea or dinner and wander the grounds before/after.


#4

Link to @bruins’s post:


#5

Off-topic as far as food is concerned. Have you been to the Cotswolds before? It’s so charming.


#6

No, we haven’t. I’ve heard it’s beautiful and quaint, which is very much what we’re looking for. We basically just want to relax in a peaceful environment.

We have the NYT article for suggestions of what to see/do/eat with 36 hours in the Cotswolds, which is what we’re going to use as a jumping off point for our visit. Feel free to suggest any sites, destinations, etc. (either message me or in the off-topic area?). :slight_smile:


#7

It’s been too, too many years (decades!) since we were there, so I don’t have any recs. But it’s so lovely and I know you’ll love it. Let us know where you eat so WE can go back :slight_smile:


#8

So it’s my last full day in the Cotswolds. I’ll upload pics of the meals and snacks we’ve had (one response = 1d). Pics will come first and then I’ll fill in text, as I have time.

Despite having travelled very close to some of the recs above, time/schedule/desire meant we choose different places. But that’ll be good for future visitors, I think. :wink:

Day 1 was covered in the weekend rundown for LA. Forgot to add a ew things. Those were fish goujons (sp?), so the fish were really more like finger food (in terms of size). Fish was nicely thick but just a touch overcooked.


#9

Day 2:

Stratford-upon-Avon

@SpockSpork was looking for some coffee, so we dove randomly into Hathaway Tea Rooms. Really lovely. We sat out back, which seemed like a good idea until the jam attracted lots of insects. Ploughman’s board was extremely hearty (the cheese alone would’ve fed several people as an app), and my cucumber and cream cheese sandwich was light and refreshing. Not picture is the current scone + jam + clotted cream (yes!!!), which was yummy. My almond and cinnamon tea was more aromatic than flavorful, but that was fine on a hot day. Definitely recommended.

Dinner at Edward Moon (recommended by our B&B host). It was… fine? 3 fish (salmon, bass, whitefish) and a goat cheese, potato, coconut curry. The seasoning was both dishes was quite light, and there wasn’t a ton of coconut flavor in the curry. I did sense that the spicing was more subtle and complex than what we get in the US. The fish was served w/ a side of steamed veggies, which was a bit institutional, for my tastes.

Not pictured is the banana split, which was very literally a split banana w/ a bit of whipped cream, hot toffee (substituted for the standard hot chocolate), a fruit (on which I’m blanking right now), and a scoop of ice cream. I actually prefer the lighter British version to what we have in the US. I also find the ice cream here way too rich for my tastes.

A perfectly pleasant and ciivilized place for a meal, although not a place I’d seek out otherwise.


#10

Day 3: Kenilworth to Willersey (near Broadway)

I’ve found the food at tourist sites to be surprisingly good. Had my first Victoria sponge (after hearing so many referencecs to it on the Great British Baking Show!) at Kenilworth Castle. Partner thought it was too sweet, but I thought it was just fine. And, given how large other Victoria sponges are, this was just the right size.

Partner had a goat cheese and tomato tart (+ potato wedges) and I had a quinoa and avocado salad. The produce here in the counryside has been ,generally, of very good quality. I think the Brits are still confused what to do w/ it, though, b/c everything has been really underseasoned (incl the slad). Still, I was pleasantly surprised that we could ge something pretty healthy here.

Dinner in Wllersey at The Bell Inn (one of many throughout the Cotwolds, although I assume they’re not related).

Beef pie and lamp chops. Server didn’t ask our preference for the lamb and wrote “medium.” Argh. A shame, b/c the dish was good, aside from the slightly overcooked lamp. Again, we got steamed vegetables. I want to grab one of the cooksto ask them if it would kill them to roast a vegetable!

Beef pie had a VERY powerful beefy funk, which I enjoyed.

Chocolate torte was fine.

Worth a visit, but not a detour.



#11

No traditional English breakfast? Gotta have that!


#12

I’ve had 2. :wink: Both very good. I was saving those for last b/c they’ve been from our B&Bs, and, for no particularly reason, I felt like posting those after the trip would preserve my anonymity (although I can’t imagine that the owners are on FTC… I think travel places live and die by Trip Advisor nowadays… Thankfully, both places have been good).


#13

Day 4: Broadway Tower to Snowshill to Stow-on-the-Wold

Only too late did I recall @attran99’s rec (or her friend’s rec) for cheese scones at Broaway Tower cafe! Argh. View at the top of the Tower was great, BTW.

Lunch at Snowshill Arms. Local Donnington ale (the best bitters?), plaice goujons, and a pork pie. Not sure why, but I had assumed the pie would be heated; it wasn’t. Totally fine for pub food.

And now for an example of un-fine pub food… New Inn pub in Willersey (which, as ar as I can tell, is one of 2 eateries in Willersey). Ohmigod, this was horrible. First, the service was beyond random. The hamburger was charred nearly to the point of being inedible. The chicken korma seriously tasted a lot like something from Trader Joe’s. The naan was… I don’t even know how todescribe it. Was kind o like foccacia crossed w/ pita? Avoid at all costs.


#14

Where’s the black pudding???

Definitely do a high end afternoon tea in London if you’ve never done it before.

not surprised given your handle :roll_eyes:


#15

Har! The full English at the second B&B (didn’t get a photo but it was delish) offered that, but I asked them to skip it. Not a fan of… minerality. :wink:

Day 5: Bourton-on-the-water to Winchombe through Guiting Power to Chipping Camden.

Bakery-on-the-water in Bourton-on-the-water was a bit disappointing. The baked goods looked delicious; they were relatively meh. The Victoria sponge was a bit dry, the frittata didn’t have much falvor and was served cold, and partner’s cheese and onion pasty seemd o consist mainly of potatoes. The taste was actually pretty good, butpartner was annoyed that there was some “false” advertising in the description.

Dishes were paneer tikka (w/ paneer that actually tasted mildly of cheese), beef “rolls,” lamb bhuna, ans jaflon chingri.

We randomly stopped in a Maharaja in Chipping Camden (a guidebook said that the pub on the othre side of the restaurant had good curries, so we decided to go straight to the source…). F*ck, yes. This was delicious, and far above most of the LA Indian I’ve had (maybe Al-Watan – or was it Al-Noor? – comes close?). Subtle but sophisticated spicing, sauces that tasted clearly distinct from each other, and dishes that were mainly protein and not sauce… Is this the kind of prototypical and superior British curry house that @MyAnnoyingOpinions and others have referred to? And we even had a fun, smart-alecky Indian uncle as our server.

!




#16

haven’t been to maharaja but i’m not surprised that some random curry house you walked into was better than most places in l.a. (though not all are good, of course–see ajanta.)