With its chocolate-box villages and rolling hills, the Cotswolds exudes old English charm – so of course it delivers on the pub front. Its honey stone towns are filled with cosy country inns, which use the bountiful local produce to create fresh, hearty menus, many with excellent Sunday lunch offerings. Is there anything better than a long, walk that ends with a slap-up roast? These are the best Cotswolds pubs to visit this season.
Best Cotswolds Pubs For a Roast
The Wild Rabbit at Kingham
This pub-with-rooms in Kingham is part of the Daylesford estate, which means excellent food is a given. Dishes are predominantly made using organic produce from the farm, with an open kitchen offering a glimpse of the chefs at work, with the team currently spearheaded by Sam Bowser (formerly at Le Manoir). The Sunday roast offering is second to none, with a choice of beef sirloin, pork loin or the ‘Roast of the Week’, with trimmings like Yorkshire puddings, seasonal vegetables and roast potatoes. There’s also a show-stopping cheese course featuring a selection of Daylesford cheeses, plus a particularly good sticky toffee pudding if you’ve got space. With its roaring open fires, stone walls and comfy armchairs, The Wild Rabbit is pure Cotswold gold.
Church St, Kingham, Chipping Norton OX7 6YA; thewildrabbit.co.uk
The Castle Inn, Castle Combe
Castle Combe in Wiltshire is one of the UK’s most picturesque spots – in fact, it has previously scooped up the award for the prettiest village in England. At the heart of the village is The Castle Inn, a pub-with-rooms known for its excellent Sunday roast. The restaurant is headed up by chef Jamie Barnett, with a focus on simple cooking with the best ingredients, sourced from local Cotswolds suppliers. The offering changes depending on what’s available, but current choices include a vegetable and seed roast, slow cooked Sandridge Farm Pork, roast beef sirloin, or slow cooked lamb, all served with seasonal veggies and beef fat roast potatoes. With its 12th-century original features and fireplaces, it’s the perfect cosy setting for winter afternoons.
West St, Castle Combe, Chippenham SN14 7H; exclusive.co.uk
The Bell Inn, Langford
Locals Peter Creed and Tom Noest reopened much-loved neighbourhood pub The Bell Inn back in 2017. A rustic spot with an inglenook fireplace, it’s the perfect setting for a long, leisurely Sunday lunch, offering classic pub food done really well. Meat is sourced from local farmers and game dealers, with roast options including chicken with pigs in blankets and bread sauce, dry aged beef sirloin, and roast lamb, all served with roasties, Yorkshires and vegetables. Overdone it on the potatoes? Roll yourself upstairs into one of the eight recently renovated rooms, which feature king size beds and walk-in showers.
The Bell Inn, Langford GL7 3LF; thebelllangford.com
The Swan, Southrop
It doesn’t get much more Cotswolds than The Swan, a quaint country pub owned by Caryn and Jerry Hibbert, who also own the famous Thyme, located just across the road. Housed in a 17th-century village inn, the pub looks prettier than ever these days thanks to a revamp a few years ago: think mismatched furniture and Bertoli fabrics, alongside cosy nooks and open fireplaces. Visit on Sunday to try the famous roast, which is spearheaded by culinary director Charlie Hibbert (the owners’ son). Many ingredients are sourced from Thyme’s kitchen garden, which results in a fresh, top-quality roast: beef, pork or a veggie roast, served with a Yorkshire pud, crispy roast potatoes, greens and lashings of gravy. Save some space for pudding if you can: there’s a standout chocolate profiterole or a sticky toffee pud.
Southrop, Lechlade GL7 3NU; thyme.co.uk
The Five Alls, Filkins
Chic coaching inn The Five Alls is a hotspot for cool Cotswold dwellers, hosting the likes of Kate Moss and Nick Grimshaw. Found in the pretty village of Filkins, it’s the epitome of quintessential British pub, with a honey stone exterior, two dining rooms and a beer garden for the summer months. Enjoy a hearty roast such as pork belly with duck fat potatoes, and explore the pub’s wide selection of local ales and craft beers.
The Five Alls, Filkins, Lechlade, Gloucestershire GL7 3JQ; thefiveallsfilkins.co.uk
The Royal Oak, Tetbury
With its beamed ceilings and wooden bar, The Royal Oak has a classic country pub feel – but its Art Deco piano and vintage jukebox adds a quirky edge. An ever-changing seasonal menu includes a stellar Sunday lunch, with a variety of meat options (chicken, pork, beef or lamb) plus a vegan sweet potato and cashew nut roast – all served with roasted potatoes, parsnips, veg and a Yorkshire pudding. Feeling particularly hungry (or greedy)? Add a side of cauliflower cheese – but be sure to save some room for the apple and raspberry crumble.
Cirencester Rd, Tetbury GL8 8EY; theroyaloaktetbury.co.uk
The Feathered Nest, Nether Westcote
Perched above the Evenlode valley, this Cotswolds pub is worth a visit for the views alone – but it’s also home to an excellent 3 AA Rosette restaurant. The six-course tasting menu is a unique gastronomic experience, but if you’d prefer to keep it classic with a traditional roast you won’t be disappointed. Choose between either roast sirloin Aberdeen Angus beef with a Yorkshire pudding and vegetables, or saddle of lamb with savoy cabbage and Wye Valley asparagus – and fear not, both come with plenty of crispy roasties. A plant-based menu is also available upon request. The venue itself is idyllic, with the feel of an old English pub – think bar stools made of rising saddles and ample spots for hunkering down by the fire.
Nether Westcote OX7 6SD; thefeatherednestinn.co.uk
The Horse and Groom, Bourton-on-the-Hill
Situated in one of the most picture-perfect villages in the Cotswolds, Bourton-on-the-Hill, The Horse and Groom has won numerous awards for its food. It’s all about rustic simplicity here, with a daily menu written on blackboards, an open fire and rugs spread across wooden floors. Dishes are made using ingredients from local Cotswold suppliers – which means the menu changes often, even during the course of one sitting, but that only adds to the fun, laid-back atmosphere. You can rest assured your roast will be cooked to perfection though, with options such as roast sirloin of beef, pork loin or chicken, all served with roast potatoes, carrots, Yorkshire pudding, greens and gravy.
Bourton-on-the-Hill, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 9AQ; horseandgroom.info