• Cara Goulding

The Cotswold's

Not your usual recipe this Sunday but instead I am going to tell you all about our night away in the Cotswold's. Whilst we were there we sat down to a couple of very scrumptious meals so I figured it covered me for all of you who come here for the food photography.

We started our journey to our bed for the night from Portishead, having attended a wedding there the previous day. Keen to take in some of the countryside we made a few pit stops along the way, stopping first at a Great Witcombe Roman Villa found off the beaten track.

Once we'd had our fill of history and walked the footsteps of our ancestors, we hopped back in the car and down the windy country lanes we found the tiny village of Miserden. We had a walk around marveling at the picture perfect cottages before heading to the local pub, The Carpenters Arms, to grab some lunch.

The pub was absolutely heaving when we arrived but we managed to grab a table for two, surrounded by locals and dogs. We ordered up sandwiches and chips as we wanted to keep it quite light, wanting to keep room for our anniversary dinner later that evening. The sandwiches that turned up though were huge, crammed full of prawns for me and tuna for Leigh. The chips were perfectly crisp on the outside and fluffy potato inside and we managed to polish the majority off.

Unfortunately we were both driving so I was unable to sample the SEVENTEEN ciders that they had on offer, making do instead with a Rose Lemonade. We warmed ourselves by the fire briefly after lunch, the pub having emptied out by the time we were finished.

Heading back on the road we noticed a box at the side of the road filled with apples for the taking so we made a quick stop to grab some, because when you're in the country, why not?

With the windows down taking in the country air we arrived at our next village, Painswick, and parked up in the cheapest car park known to man. A mere 20p for an hour's stay.

We set off down the hilly streets again cooing over all the little houses, lined up and postcard ready. Even the church yard was beautiful, filled with bouffant trees.

With the weather turning drizzly and feeling a little sluggish after our big lunch we decided to head to the main attraction, our home for the night, The Wheatsheaf Inn.

Check in was a breeze, and came with a lovely surprise, our room had been upgraded as an anniversary treat by the hotel. We were shown to our room which was cozy, with low level lighting, a bed covered in pillows and a warm bathroom filled with beautiful smelling products and soft bathrobes. Of course we ignored all of this and jumped straight into bed to have a nap.

Waking from our nap just before our dinner reservation we freshened up before heading through to the dining area, passing through the snug which held a large fireplace although regrettably no fire.

We were shown to our table and surprised with a glass of fizz each, the staff really were brilliant and made it so special for us. We browsed the menu but both decided very quickly that we were going to have the duck, it is our favourite meal.

We weren't disappointed either, the duck was cooked perfectly and so succulent. Set on a bed of carrots with a red wine sauce we tried our best not to eat as quickly as we wanted to, instead aiming to savour every morsel.

Can you believe that we had room for dessert? I mean there is always room for dessert, right?

Leigh wanted the much applauded Marathon Pudding but someone else beat him to the last one so we settle on a Sticky Toffee Pudding for him and a Cambridge Burnt Cream for me, or Creme Brulee if you will.

I think the Sticky Toffee trumped the Creme Brulee if I'm honest. There's just something about toffee sauce that makes me happy but both tasted sweet like a pudding should and there is nothing more satisfying than cracking the burnt sugar with a spoon on a Creme Brulee.

Feeling very satisfied with our meal we paid up and after trying to find space at the bar and failing, we headed back to the room and back to the comfy bed to sleep off the food and country air.

We woke in the morning refreshed and ready to take on the day ahead.....after breakfast of course. Complimentary continental breakfast was included with the room rate but you could also order off the menu. We had a look but decided there was more than enough on offer with the continental and helped ourselves to crossiants, berries, cereal, cheese, bread and ham all washed down with a rather large pot of tea.

I would highly recommend staying at The Wheatsheaf, the food was lush, the service attentive and the rooms comfortable and clean. If we are back that way in the future I think we will definitely be stopping by if only for another meal off their menu.

And so with our bellies full once more we packed our stuff, paid up and headed back to London with slightly clearer lungs and about 10lbs heavier.

Cara x

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