16 festive Cotswold pubs with real fires
The festive season is upon us, so we thought we would share our favourite Cotswold pubs that offer delicious ‘substantial meals’ as well as a roaring log fire. Cosy up, settle down, and cheers!
Location: Chipping Campden
According to The Times, this is the UK’s #1 village pub. It would be hard to disagree as well. They’ve held 2 AA Rosettes for over a decade and picked up a few gongs along the way, the most recent being SAWDAY’s Best Pub For Food 2020 and The Good Pub Guide’s County Dining Pub of the Year 2019. They are South-West England’s Pub of the Year 2019 and are certified three-stars from the Soil Association for organic produce on their menus.
If that seal of approval wasn’t enough to persuade you, the warming fire might.
Described as a modern British inn, The Wild Rabbit is part of the famous Daylesford estate, one of the most sustainable organic farms in the UK. Those principles have guided The Wild Rabbit, with organic ingredients used in the kitchen and artisan beers at the restored bar. You can also see the original stone mullioned windows with beautiful chestnut panels beside the two fireplaces.
There are a few nods to classic pub grub, but above all the menu is inspired from the farm’s best seasonal produce.
With a restaurant, bar, and cosy snug to choose from, you are not short of dining space in this beautiful Cotswold setting. Their menus constantly change, relying on local seasonal ingredients and bursting with delicious dishes. Even within the contemporary interior there is a roaring fire to keep you company – a true spirit of a lion!
A traditional country inn showcasing the best of local produce, accompanied by craft ales and fine wines. They are known for their soulful Sunday lunches, with butcher cuts from Paddock Farm which is just down the road from them. You can expect a warm welcome when you visit, and an even warmer fire as you settle in a cosy armchair and enjoy the atmospheric setting.
Owned by a local farming family who have lived and worked in the area for over 90 years, you will quickly feel at home when you enter The Royal Exchange. Warm your feet after a long Cotswold walk by the lovely log burner and settle down for some delicious classical food. Matt is the current chef and originally worked in the kitchen of The Royal Exchange in the 1990s as a pot washer. He then began his career as a chef shortly after. Now he has also returned ‘home’ and is cooking up a storm.
Location: Great Rissington
This dog-friendly pub is a cosy retreat, with many of man’s best friends curled up beside the fire. The restaurant is furnished in a comfortable country style for the daytime, before settling into a candlelit atmosphere for the evening. Enjoy their Sunday Lunches and famed Steak Wednesdays, or simply sit down at the bar and enjoy a pint of one of their real ales. The staff and locals love to give tourists advice on where to go and what to see in the Cotswolds, so it’s an informative pit-stop for the start of your journey!
Location: Coln St Aldwyns
It may be a sleepy 16th-century coaching inn, but it has been refurbished and redecorated in a gorgeous contemporary-country manner. Enjoy the echo of your footsteps as you cross the wooden floorboards and settle down in front of the crackling fire. Earth-tones are used throughout the pub, and the menu is committed to hearty fare which will warm your soul.
A brilliant local, and one you will quickly be returning to.
The blazing log fire is a welcome addition in winter, and after your winter walk the dog(s) are welcome to relax in the main bar area while you rest your feet. Friendly service and a laid-back atmosphere are on offer at the Horse & Groom – fresh ingredients and minimal fuss is their motto. Enjoy the natural flavours which change with the seasons.
Owned by the National Trust, The Fleece Inn was originally built in the early 15th-century and remains largely unchanged. It continues to serve local pub grub with a celebration of the locally grown asparagus in May and June. In the winter months you can expect to see more traditional English favourites such as pies and faggots, and in the summer months you can enjoy traditional ploughman’s and the legendary Fleece Inn Burger.
With regular music nights as well, The Fleece Inn is the perfect pub for soul food and resting beside the fire.
Beamed ceilings, a roaring log fire, and hand-crafted bars and furniture from the famous Robert Thompson (The “Mouse Man of Killburn”) result in a one-of-a-kind pub. Dating from the 17th-century, The Green Dragon Inn has remained a popular retreat for those that appreciate good food, fine wine, real ales, and warming fires. No matter your taste, there will be something here to savour.
The Bell Inn keeps it nice and simple. Simple food and a straightforward wine list ensures there will be no “umming” and “aahing” – no matter what you choose, you will be in for a treat. The focus is mostly on wood-fired dishes and a modern country pub ambience. For something different, definitely visit and enjoy the warming fire as well as the fired dishes.
Picture a rustic yet stylish pub, and you have The Bell. Flagstone floors, low beams and a crackling fire create a magical escape from the cold seasons. Their daily specials change regularly, and they are known to suggest a Bloody Mary to go with your Sunday Roast – unusual, but a firm favourite once tried!
This delightful country pub is actually in the centre of town, with a vibrant bar and cosy snug with log fire. It strives to be traditional but trendy; sophisticated and stylish. Enjoy a variety of sharer boards and seasonal fare, all with a modern twist.
Run by the King family since 2011, you will receive a warm welcome from both the owners and locals alike. They are the proud winners of Cotswold Pub of the Year three times in a row, but they have not let that go to their head. There are committed to remaining focussed on local, seasonal food, with incredible drinks to complement. In the summer you can enjoy the walled garden and terrace, and in the winter, you can settle down beside the fire in one of their many armchairs.
A 15th-century family-friendly pub that is complete with charm and character. Enjoy the outside play area, skittle alley, and roaring log fire. There are a range of local Donnington ales, as well as wines and spirits, to satisfy any palate. Dogs are welcome, and the menus regularly change to fit with the seasons.
Situated on the edge of the village green, The King’s Head believes in wholesome and hearty food, using only the freshest ingredients from incredible, organic producers. They are known for their Aberdeen Angus Beef which is from Bledington itself, their fish which is delivered daily from Cornwall, and their smoked produce from Upton Smokery. Popular drinks include the Cotswold Brewing lager, Hook Norton Best, and wines from the Oxford Wine Company and Haynes Hanson Clarke.
Settle down in front of the fire, and enjoy one of their delicious seasonal menus, or their well-known Wednesday Burger Nights.
We understand how important it is to have a local near to your holiday cottage – we’ve compiled some of our favourite Cotswold pubs which have received glowing reviews, are close to our cottages, and provide the perfect winter warmer.