Posted on April 16th, 2017
My parents bought a little cottage in the Cotswolds when my little brother and I were four and two respectively. Living in London didn’t come with the freedom of making mud cakes and riding bikes, and our tiny county home provided us with hours and hours of outdoor entertainment. As your classic teenager, the country became “boring” and I increasingly wanted to be in London for the likes of Capital VIP, Abercrombie and starbucks. Oh how times have changed…!
Recently however, I’ve rekindled my love for the calm that comes with a weekend out of London. Where watching TV in the middle of the day by the fire is free from sentiments of guilt. Where wellies are required for any kind of long walk and where winding country lanes bring new idyllic villages, pubs and independent cafes.
We don’t exactly live near a lot of facilities. I certainly can’t wake up on a Saturday morning and pop to the gym or a pilates class. Relaxation simply isn’t optional! But over the years there’s been a notable rise in little coffee shops attempting trying to replicate the popular foodie trends of the capital, and I wanted to share three of my favourites. The Bell In Pub in Langford, Lynwood and Co in Lechlade and The Swan at Southrop, all worth paying a visit.
Coming soon 🙂
Near to where I live in the country there’s a little village called Lechlade. It has an incredible butcher, a church, a pharmacy and well, not much else. It’s quaint but it’s a bit sleepy and you can bet your bottom dollar it’s a world away from the trendy streets of Shoreditch!
Quite possibly the best thing to happen to Lechlade in the last 10 years, Lynwood cafe recently opened serving up oat milk cappuccinos, brunch bowls and croque Monsieur’s that call cyclists in as they tour their way around the countryside.
The menu is the kind which caters to all palettes. Buttery scrambled eggs with bacon on smoked salmon, thick slices of sourdough with homemade baked beans, smashed avocado, buttermilk pancakes and all sorts of oaty granolas and porridge too. The picture above is the brunch bowl of heritage roasted cumin carrots, caramelized onions, puy lentils, soft herbs, dukkah and soft goats curd I had on my first visit. So good!
This cafe is also a heavenly space to spend a morning working, complete with the daily papers and a stack of great cookbooks to browse over. All the food is beautifully presented and so tasty, it’s my new most exciting reason to be in the country.
P.s. Don’t leave without trying the bread and butter pudding!
The Swan at Southrop, Part of Thyme Manor
The Swan in Southrop is a modern take on the wonders of tradition pub grub. The menu features beef burger with hand cut chips, fishcakes and homemade scotch eggs with delcious runny yolks.
I particularly love the focus on homegrown seasonal produce from the Thyme kitchen garden and farm. The garden is productive all year round growing a wide variety of heritage and heirloom varieties that inspire the menu. Further, the fields of the Thyme estate are home to rarebreed Cotswold & Welsh Black Mountain Sheep, poultry and pigs.
I love all the meat and the vegetarian style dishes too. Often it’s rare roast beef and yorkshire pudding served with crispy roast potatoes and a huge platter of seasonal veg for the table, my favourite of which is always the cauliflower cheese. Other times I also love their crispy deep fried polenta with goat’s curd and spring greens. The menu is also contains a little information section about what’s been growing in the garden in any given season so you can have a read about how the gorgeous colours on your plate moved from farm to fork. Most importantly, the food is utterly delicious and simple with all the cosiness of a stereotypical country pub.
If you have time, cross the road to Thyme Manor itself where you can spend half a day doing a cooking course or an evening at the Baa, that’s the Bar to you or me. You can even book in a pampering treatment including massages, facials and holistic body rituals to leave you feeling relaxed and restored. Not one to be missed.