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Great pubs for Sunday Lunch in the Cotswolds

Posted: Tue, 20th Sep 2022
Sunday Roast at The Royal Oak in Prestbury

Sunday roasts are a highlight of the weekend at any time of year but there’s something even more appealing about them when it’s cold outside and they can be enjoyed by roaring fires in cosy countryside pubs.

The Cotswolds certainly has plenty of those, not to mention walking opportunities through stunning countryside to help you work up an appetite beforehand or walk off lunch afterwards. Whether you need a dangling carrot (and other vegetables) at the end of a long walk as encouragement to keep going or simply want to spend a leisurely afternoon enjoying a hearty lunch with family and friends, these lovely pubs dotted throughout the Cotswolds all promise a warm welcome and a menu of comforting Sunday classics.

Eight Bells, Chipping Campden

Built in the 14th century to house the stonemasons working on St James’ Church, one of the finest ‘wool’ churches in England, the inn was later used to store the eight bells that were hung in the church’s tower, hence its name. A firm favourite with locals and visitors alike, the pub’s menu caters for a range of dietary requirements, with traditional Sunday roasts sitting alongside dishes that take their inspiration from as far afield as Japan.

The Lion Inn, Winchcombe

The perfect place for a lunchtime pit stop after a morning spent walking around the grounds of Sudeley Castle, this 15th-century coaching inn has all the character and charm you’d expect from such a historic building, none of which was sacrificed during its renovation in 2011. The food is locally sourced and changes with the seasons, but you can always be sure of a traditional roast, perhaps accompanied by one of the many local ales on offer.

The Porch House, Stow-on-the-Wold

If walls could talk, just imagine the stories The Porch House in picturesque Stow-on-the-Wold could tell. With a history dating back 11 centuries, it is said to be the oldest inn in England and it oozes charm and character from every nook and cranny. The rustic stone walls, low beamed ceilings and a roaring open fire create the perfect cosy setting for a hearty roast dinner with all the trimmings, and the menu includes a vegetarian/vegan option for non-meat-eaters too.

The Wild Rabbit, Kingham

Its name is a nod to its original title – Conygree Farm, an Anglo-Saxon word meaning rabbit enclosure – and with the seal of approval from the Michelin Guide and an executive chef who has worked in some of the most prestigious Michelin-star restaurants in the UK, you can expect food as impressive as this modern country pub’s credentials. Part of the Daylesford estate, known for its sustainable and organic principles, The Wild Rabbit serves menus featuring organic meats and vegetables grown on the farm.

The Old New Inn, Bourton-on-the-Water

New owners breathed new life into this 1712 coaching inn, refurbishing the building and creating a family-friendly, dog-friendly pub. Serving a diverse menu to suit all tastes in The Tap Room bar and restaurant, Sunday lunch options include everything from small plates to sharing boards and traditional roasts. The picture of a cosy Cotswold pub, there’s an extra treat in store too – it’s also next door to Bourton’s famous Model Village, a one-ninth scale replica of the village in miniature.

The Woodstock Arms, Woodstock

With its rustic wooden beams, exposed stonework and large fireplace, The Woodstock Arms is the epitome of quintessential country pub and serves classic fare in quaint and cosy surroundings. Recommended by The Good Pub Guide, it stands in the centre of this historic Oxfordshire town and is only a stone’s throw from its many amenities and attractions.

The Potting Shed, Malmesbury

After eating at The Potting Shed, food writer and critic Tom Parker Bowles reviewed it as “one of the best pub lunches I’ve had for years”, and as recommendations go that takes some beating. Menus change to reflect the best of seasonal produce and the beamed rooms with exposed stone walls, flagstone floors and a roaring open fire create the ultimate cosy pub ambience to enjoy your lunch in.

The Royal Oak, Prestbury

In the village of Prestbury just outside Cheltenham and within striking distance of the town’s famous racecourse for a pre- or post-lunch walk, this award-winning pub dates to the 16th century and is full of charm and original features. Expect log fires, a cosy dining room and a dog-friendly snug, plus an innovative Sunday lunch menu that is served all day (pictured).

The Lygon Arms, Broadway

Steeped in over 600 years of fascinating history, this former coaching inn has counted royalty, politicians and Hollywood stars among its many visitors over the years, so you’ll be in good company if you choose to have lunch here. A ‘Wellington Menu’ (beef, salmon or vegetable) is served on Sundays, as well as a roast and catch of the day. As a dog-friendly venue, there’s even a special dog menu too.

The Catherine Wheel, Bibury

Cosy up by the fire at family-run The Catherine Wheel in Bibury, described as “the most beautiful village in England” by William Morris. Located near the much-photographed Arlington Row, the 15th-century inn has an extensive Sunday lunch menu that includes pub classics, traditional roasts and options for children, while the curated wine list is changed regularly to complement the food.

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