Hotel restaurants in the Cotswolds: 12 every foodie needs to visit

PUBLISHED: 12:58 03 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:08 03 October 2019

Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa (c) Clive Nichols

Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa (c) Clive Nichols

Copyright Clive Nichols

Looking for a hotel where dinner is just as impressive as the surroundings? Here are some of the best hotel restaurants the Cotswolds has to offer…

Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa, Malmesbury

Executive Chef Niall Keating's innovative, seasonal cooking quickly earned him a Michelin star in Whatley Manor's The Dining Room, where his menu draws inspiration from Japanese, Korean and classic French cooking. More recently his culinary skills caught the attention of the judges at the National Restaurant awards who placed the dining room 53rd in the UK's top restaurants.

Niall also oversees Grey's Brasserie, which boasts smart looking interiors and a sophisticated brasserie atmosphere. Lunch and dinner is served every day of the week: you can enjoy a two-course lunch with coffee for £19.50, Monday to Saturday. In the new Green Room, diners can enjoy small plates at the tapas bar and chat to the chefs while they work and learn about the food they are creating.

The Cottage in the Wood, Malvern

Classic British dishes such as shepherd's pie, catch of the day with vegetables and rosemary roasted lamb rump are given a modern twist at the 1919 Restaurant in The Cottage in the Woods. Making the most of seasonal produce is incredibly important to The Cottage in the Wood's Head Chef Mark Redwood; from Evesham asparagus in spring to pickled and fermented local vegetables in the winter.

Food is served throughout the day at the 2 AA Rosette awarded restaurant and glorious views of the Severn Valley from the floor-to-ceiling windows can be enjoyed.

Lords of the Manor, Upper Slaughter

Taking over as Head Chef at Lords of the Manor in 2017, Charles Smith has a string of accolades to his name - not least including being named 'Chef of the Year' at this year's Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards. His clear passion for utilising local produce (some ingredients are taken from the hotel's own garden) makes for exciting, innovative dishes celebrating the great food and drink the region has to offer.

Diners can opt for the outstanding eight-course fine-dining experience in the Atrium at Lords of the Manor. With over 14 covers, it's a truly intimate affair, without lacking any atmosphere. Previous dishes have included marinated Orkney scallop with cider, English rose veal carpaccio and coddled pheasant egg with Wye Valley asparagus. Or for those after something more casual, the a la carte menu served in the Dining Room offers plenty of tasty British dishes.

No. 131, Cheltenham

Located in an elegant Georgian townhouse in the middle of the Montpellier area, No 131 is a lively spot on Cheltenham's Promenade that's perfect for catching up over cocktails and dinner or enjoying a luxury break away. Relax in the beautiful surroundings of the restaurant, indulge in the fine wines or carefully crafted cocktails and sample the delights of the menu brimming with European-influenced dishes. Changing regularly to utilise the freshest, seasonal produce, the classic British dishes are what we go back for; from traditional plates such as the decadent Beef Wellington alongside seasonal vegetables to a Cornish skate wing or Lock Duart salmon fishcake.

The Painswick, Painswick

Nestled in the heart of one of the Cotswolds' prettiest towns, The Painswick is a boutique country house hotel with quirky, modern interiors and 16 stylish, individually decorated bedrooms. It's one of those places you'd love to have to yourself for a party (which incidentally you can do).

For those dining at The Painswick - and we recommend you do - expect brasserie-style mains with delightful flavour combinations and an emphasis on local produce. Previous dishes have included Cotswold lamb rack and breast, Loch Duart salmon with gnocchi and salt baked celeriac and Creedy Carver duck breast and faggot.

The Rectory Hotel, Crudwell

Traditional dishes with a modern twist are on offer throughout the week at The Rectory Hotel and its sister pub, The Potting Shed. The hotel harks back to the era of country house parties and guests feel like they're staying at the home of a wealthy relative (without any pretention). As well as a la carte lunch and dinner dishes served daily, which includes cod with potted shrimp butter and creamed potato, Wiltshire lamb rack and courgette pappardelle with girolle mushrooms, there's also a reasonably priced set lunch menu available Monday to Friday.

Calcot & Spa, Tetbury

Found within acre upon acre of Cotswold meadowland, Calcot & Spa offers a slice of understated luxury amongst beautiful surroundings. The hotel and spa's restaurant, The Conservatory, offers diners a laidback dining experience in an elegant setting. Executive Chef, Richard Davies uses his Michelin-starred experience to utilise fresh ingredients and local produce, as well as a carefully curated wine list to perfectly complement his creations. For an indulgent dinner for two, we love the sound of the chateaubriand, fondant potatoes, creamed Savoy cabbage and roast shallots.

Eckington Manor, Eckington

The award-winning boutique hotel and restaurant, wedding venue and cookery school, Eckington Manor is home to husband and wife team Mark (Masterchef: The Professionals winner in 2015) and Sue Stinchcombe who have created a small yet diverse menu of dishes that is seasonally changing and uses the best in locally produced ingredients. Previous dishes on the dinner menu have included short rib of beef, braised shin, red onion, parsley and yeast flakes and parmesan gnocchi, three cornered garlic, baby leeks and roasted salsify. There's also a seven course tasting menu, with the option of an accompanying flight of wines, available every Friday and Saturday night.

Dormy House Hotel and Spa, Broadway

Think of ultimate Cotswolds bliss, and Dormy House might spring to mind - this luxurious hotel is the epitome of a rural retreat thanks to roaring open fires, sumptuous rooms and stunning surrounding countryside. There are a number of restaurants here that are renowned for the quality of their food. At The Back Garden you'll find the finest local produce, including vegetables that have been grown on site. The Potting Shed offers a more laid back dining experience and the feel of a country pub, and earlier this year the hotel also opened MO where diners are treated to an interactive eight-course tasting menu. This restaurant only seats twelve people so make sure to book well in advance.

Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham

Just a short drive from Cheltenham's busy town centre, Ellenborough Park is a 15th century country estate with stylish, modern interiors sympathetic to the retreat's rich history. When it comes to eating at Ellenborough guests can choose between innovative, fine dining at The Restaurant or classic British staples at The Horse Box. The Restaurant, headed up by Executive Chef, Andrew Birch, focuses on a produce led menu inspired by the seasons - with hand dived Scottish scallops, Norfolk quail breast and wild brill previously featuring on the menu.

Cowley Manor, Cowley

Originally a medieval manor that has been altered over the centuries, the countryside estate hotel has evolved into the Cowley Manor that stands before us today. With 31 individually decorated bedrooms, many with wonderful views, plus a spa, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, it's a perfect base for a Cotswold getaway. Food is served throughout the day at Cowley Manor, with renowned chef, David Kelman, heading up the kitchen. The roasted creedy carver duck breast with lentil ragout and chive potato puree is particularly popular among diners.

Barnsley House, Barnsley

Placing huge importance on a garden-to-plate philosophy, diners at Barnsley House can expect a menu of unfussy dishes making the most of fresh ingredients and local produce on the menu. As well as delicious dishes served in Barnsley's The Potager, a light filled restaurant boasting wonderful views of the gardens and terrace, the hotel's own Village Pub across the road offers plates of traditional British comfort food. Think dishes such as battered haddock with chips and mushy peas and Barnsley lamb chop with Maris Piper potato, tomato, olives and shallots.

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