Local butchers to try in the Cotswolds
PUBLISHED: 17:14 16 November 2020 | UPDATED: 17:14 16 November 2020
As people seek reassurance from their food, our traditional Cotswold butchers are once again in demand, writes Guy Warner
With the world seemingly on pause, there’s never been a better time to rediscover your local butcher. With their traditional aprons, well-used butcher’s blocks and chain metal curtains, they are a reminder of how we used to shop. And they’ve stood the test of time – as the supermarkets moved in and changed the way we bought our meat, the butchers stood firm and kept on doing what they do best.
For too long we’ve been nervous of meat that isn’t chicken breast or beef mince, or that doesn’t come in a neatly-clingfilmed, plastic container. But that means we’ve been missing out on all number of meaty treats for years. Our grandparents really were onto something when they used to bring home tongue, cheek, and shin or skirt, brisket and all manner of other wonderfully-named cuts that their butchers prepared for them. Affordable, tasty and more environmentally-friendly, this is the type of meat we really should look to try in today’s COVID world, with our new-found love for shopping local.
Even before COVID, discerning shoppers trusted in their traditional local butcher; the coronavirus outbreak has simply widened that appeal. There are plenty of good butchers still operating in and around the Cotswolds – it’s about finding your favourite and sticking with them. Here are some of mine:
If you thought scrag end and chump chop were colloquial put-downs, take a trip to this family butchers and delicatessen on the edge of Cheltenham for a lesson in meat terminology. The meat is all free range and there is just about every cut imaginable on offer, either to order online for home delivery or in the shop itself. There are over 10 different types of beef steak alone as well as pigs’ trotters, pork skin, lamb pencil fillet and plentiful chops. No wonder Waghorne’s has been racking up the awards recently: last year it won the Cotswold Life Food & Drink Customer Service Award and in 2018 won Butcher of the Year. Look out for a second shop opening this month at Stroud’s new indoor Five Valleys food market.
• The Artisan Butchery, Newent
Traditional butchers with a modern twist, this forward-thinking company knows what its customers want. Formerly Andy Creese butchers, this newly launched outfit focuses on preparing traditional cuts of meat for busy lives. That means pre-braising cuts so they cook in less time, preparing ready-diced meat in home-made marinades and even making little beef Wellingtons that you can pop in the oven. There’s a real emphasis on education and customer service at this former Cotswold Life Food & Drink Butcher of the Year finalist, as well as a drive to stock only local and native breeds. 01531 820 209
• L Taylor & Sons, Minchinhampton
Gloucester Old Spot from Princess Anne’s Gatcombe Estate or Belted Galloway cows from Minchinhampton common – this is meat with a right royal provenance! This former Cotswold Life Food & Drink Butcher of the Year has been in the same family for a generation although there has been a butchery on the site since the 1600s. The meat is sourced locally and products such as burgers and sausages are made on the premises – there’s a great line of gluten-free sausages too. Join the queue of locals who are on first-name terms with the butchers and who can often be heard seeking out friendly cooking advice! taylorsminchinhampton.com
Locally-owned company Warner’s Budgens have six stores in the area - Bidford-on-Avon, Broadway, Moreton-in-Marsh, Quedgeley, Tewkesbury and Winchcombe. More information at warnersbudgens.co.uk