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Two days in the Cotswolds

Village of Kingham on eatlivetravelwrite.comI’ve just left England and am back in France again after a delightful week and a half in the Cotswolds and London. In the Cotswolds, as well as visiting the fabulous Stroud Farmers’ Market, Monica and I toured around the area for a couple of days, notably visiting The Kingham Plough**.

Opened by Emily Watkins and her husband Miles Lampson in 2007, The Kingham Plough is a gem of a pub nestled in the Cotswolds – excellent food and cozy rooms (and it’s dog friendly!). The bedrooms are comfortable and inviting and exactly what you’d expect from and English country pub.

Room 1 at The Kingham Plough on eatlivetravelwrite.comView from the window at The Kingham Plough on eatlivetravelwrite.comWith an excellent mini-bar…

Mini bar biscuits on eatlivetravelwrite.com Mini bar offerings at The Kingham Plough on eatlivetraveltwrite.comAnd just in case you run out of that fresh milk….

Nells Dairy milk vending machine at The Kingham Plough on eatlivetravelwrite.com(and yes, we tested it out!)

For the dining part of the experience, Emily sources all her ingredients locally (during a visit to the kitchen, we saw the lengthy list of suppliers) and the menu lists provenance of many items (including for the – very solid – bar snacks).

The Kingham Plough pub room on eatlivetravelwrite.com

It would be easy to while away a few hours in this room, don’t you think?

Enjoying a drink by the fire at The Kingham Plough on eatlivetravelwrite.comEmily began her journey as a chef at Ristorante Beccofino in Florence, Italy.  In 2002 she moved to The Fat Duck in Bray, where she worked for the legendary Heston Blumenthal.  Following her stint at The Fat Duck, Emily moved on to work as a private chef in London and in 2007 she opened the Kingham Plough.  Since then, Emily and the Plough have been featured on The Hairy Bikers, Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food as well as in local, national and international press. In 2014, Emily competed in Great British Menu and won with her fish course and more recently, Emily cooked for war veterans at St Paul’s Cathedral in a banquet commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

The dining room is, again, cozy and inviting…

The Kingham Plough dining room on eatlivetravelwrite.com Table setting at The Kingham Plough on eatlivetravelwrite.comWe enjoyed an exceptional meal – fresh, local ingredients, gorgeously plated – you can’t ask for much more than that…

Chicken wellington at The Kingham Plough on eatlivetravelwrite.comThis was a spectacular chicken wellington which tasted, as I told Emily, like “all the best bits of a roast chicken dinner in one bite!”  While the dinner menu offered fabulous choices for a special occasion (Monica’s birthday celebrations), I would happily go and order an entire meal off of the “Bar Snacks” menu…

KIngham Plough Bar Snacks menu on eatlivetravelwrite.comThe Plough’s breakfast is a tasty affair too, starting with these “drop scones” (like pikelets/ tiny pancakes).

Drop Scones at The Kingham Plough on eatlivetravelwrite.comThey offer a “Full English” with a range of options as well as an excellent vegetarian plate (baked beans, tomatoes, eggs, mushrooms) and each cooked breakfast is accompanied by breads, cereals and fruit options. Just the thing to set you up for a day out in the countryside. An altogether delightful experience.

The Kingham Plough
The Green,
Kingham, Chipping Norton,
Oxfordshire, OX7 6YD
http://www.thekinghamplough.co.uk/

After tasting the “Cotswolds Plough” (the very fancy – and large – gin and tonic cocktail shown above), at The Kingham Plough, Monica and I decided we needed to check out the Costwolds Distillery.

Cotswolds Distillery on eatlivetravelwrite.comThis is the first full-scale craft distillery in the Cotswolds area located between Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon (80 miles from London and about 50 miles from Birmingham) producing superb “London-style gin” (now) and whisky (which will be ready in late 2017).

Cotswolds Distillery single malt whisky barrel on eatlivetravelwrite.comThe Cotswolds Dry Gin is “a delectable blend of pure wheat spirit with nine carefully-considered botanicals; juniper, coriander, angelica root, Cotswolds lavender and bay leaf, grapefruit, lime, black pepper and cardamom seed. The result is a classic well-balanced juniper-led gin with crisp citrus and spice.” It’s very refreshing – the perfect summer beverage!

Cotswolds Distillery dry gin on eatlivetravelwrite.comMonica and I were fortunate enough to have a private tour with Alex Davies, the Head Distiller.  We even got a sneak peek in his “mad professor’s lab” where he in in charge of product development (yes, that means playing with flavours and alcohols as his job!) and got to taste a few “works in progress”.  We could have listened to him all day chatting about whisky, gin, fermentation, distillation and infusions.  He really does have the best job!  Monica is hoping to get back to volunteer her time as a gin bottler! And I’ll need to make a note to get Mr Neil there sometime after winter 2017 when the whisky will be officially ready for bottling and tasting.

Tours run at 11am and 2 pm daily through 31 October 2015.

Cotswolds Distillery tasting room on eatlivetravelwrite.comAlternatively, you can choose to check out the shop and tasting room – open Mondays to Saturdays from 9am to 5pm and Sundays 11am to 4pm. I can’t think of a lovelier way to spend a grey afternoon…

Tasting room at Cotswolds Distillery on eatlivetravelwrite.comThe Cotswolds Distillery
Phillip’s Field,
Whichford Road,
Stourton,
Shipston-on-Stour,
CV36 5HG
http://www.cotswoldsdistillery.com/

Our final stop on our little road trip was Daylesford Organic Farm.  We went under the pretext of needing lunch and I imagined some sort of small restaurant with a small farm shop attached. But oh my, Daylesford is so much more!!

In season at Daylesford Organic Farm on eatlivetravelwrite.com Berries at Daylesford Organic Farm on eatlivetravelwrite.comDaylesford is one of the most sustainable farms in the UK. Their aim is to grow, farm, produce and sell food according to their sustainable principles in harmony with the environment.

Eggs at Daylesford Organic Farm on eatlivetravelwrite.com Cornish Yarg at Daylesford Organic Farm on eatlivetravelwrite.com Produce at Daylesford Organic Farm on eatlivetravelwrite.comThe location we visited in Gloucestershire is the “flagship” location and boasts a fabulous “farm shop” and restaurant – all their food comes directly from the farm – meat, poultry, breads, cheeses and milks/ yoghurts – they have their own creamery – and, of course, fruits and vegetables.

Apple and elderflower juice at Daylesford Organic Farm on eatlivetravelwrite.com Rose frizzante at Daylesford Organic Farm on eatlivetravelwrite.com Scones at Daylesford Organic Farm on eatlivetravelwrite.com Goose fat at Daylesford Organic Farm on eatlivetravelwrite.com Creamery at Daylesford Organic Farm on eatlivetravelwrite.com Organis spelt sourdough bread at Daylesford Organic Farm on eatlivetravelwrite.comIn cases where the Farm doesn’t make a product on the farm itself, they source from local artisan suppliers.  You can visit the farm to see how the animals are cared for and raised, where the vegetables are grown and how the food is produced.  If you’re interested in starting to produce some of your own food, you can even take a class at their Organic Farm School.

Well worth a visit – and come with an appetite and a cooler bag in your car for all those fabulous cheeses and dairy products you won’t be able to resist!

Daylesford Organic Farm
http://daylesford.com

Kingham, Gloucestershire
Notting Hill, W11
Pimlico, SW1
Marylebone, W1
Selfridges Food Hall, W1
Ocado.com
Tokyo, Japan

**Disclosure: Monica and I stayed as guests of The Kingham Plough with our room and food expenses covered. I was not asked to write about our stay, nor an I being compensated for doing do. All opinions 100% my own.

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8 Responses to Two days in the Cotswolds

  1. Pam July 21, 2015 at 08:16 #

    Beautiful post! Made me want to hop on a plane. Love England and can’t wait to get back there!

  2. Charlie July 21, 2015 at 08:59 #

    Good Morning!
    This looks wonderful! I love England and everything about it.

    The chicken looks so good. I would love to replicate it.

    Could you explain it a bit?

    Have a Joyful Day :~D
    Charlie

  3. Geoff July 21, 2015 at 18:22 #

    Memo to Pam above:
    Given the detail and pics of Mardi’s Cotswold visit, we’ve (more or less) been there now.
    OK, just joking. Lovely post, Mardi.

    • Mardi Michels July 22, 2015 at 02:28 #

      Actually that’s not “our” Pam up there in the comments. But I am sure you’ve already been to the Cotswolds, no?

  4. Sally - My Custard Pie July 22, 2015 at 06:05 #

    The Kingham Plough sounds wonderful. Must visit soon. Have got to visit the Cotswold distillery to pick up a bottle of their gin that’s reserved for me 🙂 Not such a fan of Daylesford – feels unreal more like Fortnums in the middle of the countryside! So sad to have missed you especially the farmers market.

  5. Ann July 22, 2015 at 11:36 #

    Oh my goodness, the Cotswolds seem incredibly inviting, Mardi! Thanks for sharing your trip. So green, lovely, and delicious… looks FAB!

  6. Teresa July 25, 2015 at 23:51 #

    The Cotswolds sound like the perfect vacation spot – lots of local goodness and beautiful scenery. I especially like that the Kingham Plough is dog-friendly. Who wouldn’t want to take a canine companion for a ramble in that area?

  7. Monica August 12, 2015 at 06:33 #

    Thoroughly enjoyed reliving the memories through your pictures and write-up. Can’t wait to return to Cotswold Distillery to play bottling wench (and get my long lusted for bottle!).

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