We first went down to the Cotswolds for Noel’s birthday last year. To be honest, I had no idea what to expect, but I certainly wasn’t expecting to absolutely fall in love with the area – particularly seeing as the weather was less than inviting! We spent the weekend in Burford, dosing up on carbs, cute pubs, strolls around endless chocolate-box villages and stoking the log fire in our AirBnB.
We then went back on NYE 2016 for a party in Burford that I can’t say tooooooo much about but needless to say it was great to be back in this beautiful part of the world.
Today, we decided to take a trip back there – it’s about an hour and a half’s drive from us, so it makes for a lovely day trip. The weather was WAY HOTTER than we’d anticipated, so the long sleeves were instantly regretted! We went through Moreton-on-Marsh where we had an obligatory wander round an “antiques fair” – read “ridiculously cute old people selling crap from the 80s that nobody will ever have an use for ever again”. Then we went to Stow-on-the-Wold – probably the poster-village of the Cotswolds, and Steve Cook’s favourite place in the world, apparently! We went to the Little Stocks coffee shop, which was absolutely adorable, with pastel-coloured furniture, moreish cakes and a beautifully smooth soya latte.
We considered going back to Burford, and to the Royal Oak, where the pies are absolutely out of this world. But at the last minute we took a detour and ended up in Bourton-on-the-Water, a place we were yet to venture to. What. An. Absolute. Gem of a place! It was packed with locals and visitors enjoying the unexpected sun, and plenty of people were paddling in the low stream that runs through the middle of the village. If you’re looking for wholesome food, cheery faces and enough beautiful houses to make you want to pack up and move with immediate effect, Bourton-on-the-Water is definitely the place for you.
We went to Vernes for ice cream that came in a sparkly cone, much to my delight. Then after wandering round a little more and listening to an amazing busker play Les Mis on the violin, we decided to go to L’Anatra for some Italian food. I’m always sceptical about trying new Italian places, as I’m a die-hard believer in authentic Italian only – but as it turns out, this place knows how to serve amazing food in a beautiful outdoor courtyard. The whole thing had us feeling like we were already on holiday!
All in all, we had a Sunday seriously well-spent in the sunshine. If you get the chance to spend a day or three in the Cotswolds, I would highly recommend it, particularly if you’re hosting non-English guests as this is literally the epitome of classic countryside England!