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Appreciate your ranking these Cotswolds restaurants!

Appreciate your ranking these Cotswolds restaurants!

Mar 28th, 2018, 12:36 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 347
Appreciate your ranking these Cotswolds restaurants!

We are two couples from USA that will be in the Cotswolds for lunch in May. We have a driver for the day from London. We love traditional English inns with views (if possible) and good food. No particular order. Research so far suggest:

Swan Inn
The Hive
The Old Butchers
Wild Rabbit
Kingham Plough
Feathered Nest

How do you rank the number one and two? Have appreciated your feedback in the past. Feel free to add your favorite restaurant if I have left it out. Thanks.
Philip is offline  
Mar 28th, 2018, 03:15 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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I haven't eaten at all of them. The Kingham Plough and the Wild Rabbit are really good (no views but wonderful food).

Which Swan? The hotel n Bibury? Haven't eaten there in years - so can't recommend one way or the other. Lovely dining rooms.

And the Hive - if you mean in Stow-on-the-Wold it is a pretty casual place with light meals/baked goods.
janisj is offline  
Mar 28th, 2018, 07:37 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 49,443
Oh! Wow, I just looked up the Kingham Plough, Wild Rabbit and Hive online. I think I'd extend my stay to do all the restaurants!
nanabee is offline  
Mar 28th, 2018, 08:27 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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I once stayed at the Kingham Plough so got to eat their amazing breakfasts too . . .

An being in the same village (walking distance) as the Wild Rabbit -- barely needed to eat anyplace else.

Last edited by janisj; Mar 28th, 2018 at 08:29 PM.
janisj is offline  
Mar 29th, 2018, 04:15 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 347

janisj -- The Swan Inn I am thinking about is near Burford (Swinbrook). Yes, the Hive is in Stow on the Wold.

nanabee -- that is great that these post help other travelers as well

Texas Duck (Philip)
Philip is offline  
Mar 29th, 2018, 07:31 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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I assumed the Bibury Swan because it is more 'famous' than most other Swans. I have been to The Swan in Swinbrook but only for drinks a few times. Big Mitford connections (I just read a biography of all 6 sisters).

Probably quite good food -- but either the Kingham Plough or the Wild Rabbit should be a sure thing. Emily Watkins, co-owner/exec chef at the Plough, started out at the famous Fat Duck, and was a contestant/winner on a British TV series similar to Top Chef in the States.

Hopefully flanneruk will see your post - he may have other suggestions for you.
janisj is offline  
Mar 29th, 2018, 07:46 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Perhaps they mean the Old Swan Inn at Minster Lovell. I’ve eaten there but it’s been years ago. Great ambience and good food but that was too long ago to assume it’s still the same. Minster Lovell is a wonderful place for a short stop, maybe a pub lunch?
historytraveler is offline  
Mar 29th, 2018, 08:04 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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I've been to the Swan in Minster Lovell several times (walked there from Burford more than once) but the OP did clarify its the one in Swinbrook. There are a LOT of Swans scattered around

I'd definitely visit the Minster Lovell ruins but the Swan has gone a bit 'up market' with a posh spa and wedding venue.
janisj is offline  
Mar 29th, 2018, 11:48 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,145
There are NO reliably great restaurants in the Cotswolds most of the time, Given our problems getting staff, ANY review is liable to disappoint on the day, though I don't think I've ever had a truly bad meal here.

For anyone searching later, though: there are usually at least a dozen of Britain's absolute finest cooking up a storm at the Wilderness Festival in my street for three days each August. Think Burning Man only almost affordable and seriously leavened by sane locals. Weirdly, Wilderness's self-styled local rival, the Big Feastival at Kingham, is very mediocre indeed for proper sit-down food - though it's fine for chefs talking about it

The priciest of your group (the Wild Rabbit) thinks itself, gastronomically, a tad ahead of the others, but by London standards hohum. I'd put the Kingham, Plough tops for food, and that matters if you live here. I'm not sure I'd rate it so high if I were coming from London: Kingham itself is sort of OK by our standards, but nothing special. Frankly: downright lifeless. I don't know the Old Butchers, but now you've introduced me I'll try it out (the menu looks good). if I manage that over the next month, I'll revert. All your list have similar, pubby, stone interiors,

The ONLY one with a view is the Feathered Nest. On a dry May day (perfectly poss) this would top my list as a restaurant. If the day's wet, its indoor dining space is fine and the food's sometimes triff.

The nicest place is Swinbrook,because its church, its churchyard and the walk to Widford and its Roman villa-turmed-medieval- church- with- wallpaintings make up the world's finest short country walk (cwwindrushmap1.pdf) Given the quality of London's eating places, I'd not expect too much from food here,but go for the area's only real must-do (that walk) and have a perfectly decent pub lunch at the Swan.
flanneruk is offline  
Mar 29th, 2018, 12:46 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 148
We were taken to the Old Butchers in Stow on the Wold last November. The food was very good but not outstanding and the same could be said for the service. It is an old shop premises and has no view other than of a busy street. I have no idea how it ranks against the other places you mention but we enjoyed our meal and would happily go again - even if paying for it ourselves.
spiral is online now  
Mar 29th, 2018, 11:37 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,145
We don't do "service" in the Cotswolds.

The very idea's unBritish. What we do is just mildly charming, slightly unskilled, often non-British, nice young people doing the best they can, given that the place is ALWAYS understaffed: my own minor contribution to Cotswold catering doubled its profit last month (already streets ahead of the Wild Rabbit, but that's dead easy because it loses a fortune) because we just couldn't find the staff.

Frankly, if "service" matters, go to Las Vegas. If you can settle for nice people sort of bringing you what you want more or less when you want it, anywhere here works.

Except the area's priciest joint, Soho Famhouse. Where you get - for hundreds a night on top of thousands a year - mildly charming, totally clueless, often non-British, nice young people doing the best they can, given that the place is ALWAYS understaffed and there's never a manager in sight.

But that's what you pay for.
flanneruk is offline  

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