The Porch House, Stow – Fabulous Food at England’s Oldest Inn

During our recent visit to the Cotswolds, The Porch House in Stow-on-the-Wold very kindly invited us to try their food. We had visited before, even though only for a couple of drinks, and remembered the beautiful, rustic atmosphere of England’s oldest inn (built in 947 AD, with a few oak beams and bricks remaining; most of today’s building is from the 16th Century). After a morning of driving around the countryside in a convertible 1988 Jaguar XJS we were hungry and quick to make our choices on the food: smoked mackerel pate with paprika mayonnaise & grapefruit gel (£7), pan-roasted scallops with pea puree, roasted sweetcorn, and blood pudding (£11) for starters, chicken mushroom leek pie with crushed potatoes, glazed mixed beets, Cheltenham carrots & tender stem broccoli (£16), and an 8oz Dexter Beef Burger with chips for mains (£15), as well as chocolate delice with pistachio crumb, candied orange […]

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24 hours in the Cotswolds with a 1980s Jaguar convertible

We had been planning a day of driving a 1973 Jensen Interceptor III (my favourite car) through the Cotswolds for years. Twice something had gone wrong (accidental double-booking, motor malfunction), so, surely, we thought: third time lucky. But apparently not so. We received an email from the car rental firm, Great Escape Cars, a couple of days before the big day to tell us that a client had totalled the Jensen (luckily no harm to humans, unless you count the emotional pain this was causing me). We were offered a number of replacement cars and a 1988 convertible Jaguar XJS 4 litre V12 turned out to be the best option. We tucked the 1970s outfits, that we had been planning to wear, away and went back to the vintage clothes store for something a tad more 1980s. After all it is a well-known fact that no one is allowed to […]

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Noel Arms Hotel, Chipping Campden, Our Review

We had previously stayed at the Noel Arms on more than one occasion and always enjoyed ourselves. We also recently did a sponsored review of the sister hotel just across the street, the Cotswold House Hotel & Spa and their upmarket restaurant, the Fig. Chipping Campden is one of our favourite destinations in the Cotswolds and we try to come for an extended weekend several times a year. This time around, we visited with my wife, Ms B’s, parents, who are currently visiting from Sydney. Upon arrival, the friendly and professional receptionist at this lovely 3-star inn on the Cotswolds Way quickly checked us in and showed us to our room. Our last-minute request to change my wife’s elderly parents’ room so that it is more comfortable and quicker for them to reach from the entrance, was met with a smile and a ‘no problem’. A few minutes later we […]

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The Sheep on Sheep Street, Stow-on-the-Wold – Our Restaurant Review

During our stay at the Sheep on Sheep Street (read our review here), last weekend, we were invited to try out their restaurant, which has received brilliant reviews since its reopening last year and was shortlisted for the 2017 ‘best new pub or bar’ Publican Awards. It is equally popular with tourists who arrive from the Big Smoke for a quiet weekend of hiking, sight-seeing, and relaxation, and locals, who seem to have become huge fans.    Owned and operated by forward-thinking, family-owned pub and hotel group Brakspear , who’ve been in the business for over 200 years, the spacious bar and dining area combines old elements of the 17th Century with a quirky retro-touch and plenty of colour. The signature bar top runs for more than ten metres and offers the best view of the open kitchen and pizza oven. There is also a fireplace which undoubtedly adds a […]

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The Sheep on Sheep Street, Stow-on-the-Wold – Our Hotel Review

Last weekend the Sheep on Sheep Street in Stow-on-the-Wold invited us to check out their newly refurbished hotel, previously called the Grapevine. Innovative, family-owned pub and hotel group Brakspear, who’ve been in the business for over 200 years, clearly have put some thought into this refurbishment exercise. Their own in-house interior-design team came up with a very pleasant, modern, hip and artsy, but not too over-the-top decoration and furniture, with plenty of space, where possible (some of the hallways and staircases will inevitably be a bit less spacious, considering that the hotel is located in a beautiful 17th Century building).    Stow, founded in the 11th Century, is one of our favourite locations in the Cotswolds and a great starting point to explore this area of great natural beauty with its mostly 14th to 17th Century villages built from the warm, honey-coloured Cotswold lime stone. The market square of Stow […]

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