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No visit to the Cotswolds would be complete without a chance to savour the atmosphere of a beautiful country inn - and to sample the fabulous array of food and drink on offer. The area has built up an enviable reputation as a centre of excellence for great cuisine; keep a lookout for Gloucester Old Spot pork, Single and Double Gloucester cheese, Hobbs House bread, Bibury trout, Tewkesbury mustard... the list of fine produce is long and enticing.
Our small selection of great places to eat celebrates the region's fantastic restaurants and gastro pubs.
For a memorable family feast, make a beeline for the Fuzzy Duck in Armscote, between Moreton-in-Marsh and Stratford. The owners are passionate about serving only the best dry-aged British steak from their local butcher, as well as free range pork and Cotwsold lamb. Breadn and ice creams are made daily on the premises. Start with a duck liver parfait with port jelly and chicory jam (£7), then a matured 8oz ribeye steak (£22.50), with Fuzzy Duck garden apple and blackberry compote (£7) to finish.
The Wild Rabbit in Kingham (01608 658389) is an eighteenth century building which was renovated in 2013. It now serves locally sourced, organic, seasonal food (some grown in its own garden) in a wonderful contemporary setting. The bar menu includes crisp baby squid (£13.50), artisan charcuterie (£12) and a 10oz Daylesford Aberdeen Angus Ribeye steak with chips and béarnaise sauce (£28). Opt to eat in the more exclusive dining room, or for complete privacy, book the Chicken Shed for your group.
Stone walls and flagstone floors, roaring fires and cosy corners are part of the welcome at The Bell at Sapperton (01285 760298), a lovely Cotswolds hideaway. Located between Stroud and Cirencester, The Bell boasts an extensive menu that includes Guinness mussels with soda bread (£8), grilled heritage tomato with oxford blue cheese (£7) and Duntisbourne venison shepherd's pie with braised red cabbage (£14). If you've still room left, the boozy Black Forest knickerbocker glory (£6) is not to be missed.
The Inn at Fossebridge (01285 720721) is a 300-year-old, family- and dog-friendly former coaching inn situated between Northleach and Cirencester. The four acres of lovely garden offer the perfect setting for a lazy lunch on a warm day or balmy evening. If you can find the energy, then you can walk from the pub garden through the Coln Valley to Stowell Park, Yanworth and Chedworth Roman Villa, a National Trust property.
The Fox at Lower Oddington (01451 870555) is everything a traditional Cotswold pub should be. Virginia creeper-clad on the outside, with hops garlanding the indoor beams, the Fox has a great reputation for food. Peruse the short but tempting menu (this changes daily) that might include honey roast duck with raspberry vinaigrette, fillet of pork with sage mash or salmon and leek fishcakes. The Fox's enclosed garden has a covered and heated terrace area for al fresco dining.
For pure character and tradition, the King's Head at Bledington (01608 658365) takes some beating. Located just south-east of Stow-on-the-Wold, its perfect village green setting combines with its low ceilings, nooks and crannies to ensure a warm welcome and an intimate atmosphere. The menu changes daily, but watch out for nose to tail pork terrine (£7), deep fried Windrush goats cheese with pickled beetroot (£8.50) or Todenham Manor Farm chargrilled sirloin steak (£24).
The seven-seat BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer is the perfect vehicle for exploring the rolling hills and leafy lanes of the Cotswolds. With optional BMW Navigation Plus you can use its on-board Concierge Services to book your tables at the restaurant of your choice.
To win your own luxury family weekend in the Cotswolds with the use of a BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer for the duration, click here.
We've mapped out the locations for you here:
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