Best restaurants in The Cotswolds

With its gently rolling hills and chocolate box villages, the absurdly pretty Cotswolds is many people’s idea of England in miniature – many, many people, if you count the number of visitors. But head away from the well-trod tourist trail between Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon and it’s not hard to find an unspoilt gem – after all, the largest designated Area of Outstanding Beauty in England and Wales covers five counties. Still, all those visitors do have an upside: The Cotswolds is home to some of the finest restaurants in the country, gastropubs especially.

Updated on 16 January 2020

But while The Cotswolds might be one of the most desirable places to live in England, this is still very much farming country, with Old Spot pork, Evesham asparagus, Double Gloucester cheese and apples freshly picked from the orchard just a few of the ingredients you’ll see on menus where local and seasonal actually have some meaning. And although the pub (usually gastro) remains the centre of village life, there’s fine dining to be had too, from contemporary brasseries and boutique hotel dining rooms to Michelin-starred haute cuisine and entries in SquareMeal's Top 100 UK Restaurants. Read on to find the Best Restaurants in The Cotswolds.    

The Ox Barn at Thyme

The Ox Barn at Thyme

Thyme, Lechlade, Gloucestershire, GL7 3NX

Named after the 19th-century former oxen house in which it is housed, this vast space makes the most of the farmland attached to luxury estate Thyme. The seasonal ingredients are put to good use in inventive modern European cooking.
£30 - £49
British
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Restaurant Hywel Jones at Lucknam Park

Restaurant Hywel Jones at Lucknam Park

Lucknam Park, Colerne, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN14 8AZ

This is as grand a dining room as you'd expect to find in a Palladian mansion that looks straight out of Jane Austen. Chef Hywel Jones lives up to the setting with intricately crafted dishes and ornate flourishes.
Over £80
British
SquareMeal UK Top 100
The Old Butchers

The Old Butchers

7 Park Street, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, GL54 1AQ

Stow-on-the-Wold is the quintessential Cotswold market town but this informal restaurant looks rather more modern than its surroundings, though the European-style brasserie cooking is as classic as it comes: rib-eye steak or calf’s liver.
Under £30
British
The Garden Room At Dormy House

The Garden Room At Dormy House

Willersey Hill, Broadway, Worcestershire, WR12 7LF

Oak panelling, flagged floors and roaring fires all look the cute Cotswold part at this 17th-century farmhouse, but all eyes are on the beautiful view through the full-length windows (open in summer) of the immaculately tended garden. 
£50 - £79
British
 The Feathered Nest Country Inn

The Feathered Nest Country Inn

Nether Westcote, Burford, Oxfordshire, OX7 6SD

The Feathered Nest is as comfortable as its name, with cask ales to sup on leather sofas by the fire in the bar, hearty, seasonal cooking in the dining room, and views of the Evenlode valley from the terrace. 
£30 - £49
British
Gastropub
The Conservatory at Calcot Manor

The Conservatory at Calcot Manor

Tetbury, Gloucestershire, GL8 8YJ

Near the antiques paradise of Tetbury, swish spa hotel Calcot Manor conceals a swish modern restaurant, complete with open kitchen and cocktail bar. The cooking is comforting rather than creative but always executed with care. 
£30 - £49
Modern European
The Kingham Plough

The Kingham Plough

The Green, Chipping Norton , Oxfordshire, OX7 6YD

Under new ownership since 2019, this famous gastropub, housed in a 17th-century inn, combines reasonably priced pub classics with splashier special-occasion cooking. It’s the same on the drinks front: local ales or well-chosen wines.
£30 - £49
British
Gastropub
The Dining Room at Whatley Manor

The Dining Room at Whatley Manor

Easton Grey, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, SN16 0RB

There's more to the Cotswolds than honey-stoned country pubs – there are honey-stoned country-house hotels too, although only one with two Michelin stars. Niall Keating's experimental cooking is showcased on a 12-course tasting menu.
Over £80
Modern European
Two Michelin stars
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Eckington Manor

Eckington Manor

Hammock Road, Eckington, Worcestershire, WR10 3BJ

Husband and wife Mark and Sue Stinchcombe source the best local ingredients from the rolling fields around their country-house hotel. Mark's modern European cooking many look familiar: he won Masterchef The Professionals in 2015.   
£50 - £79
Modern European
5 North Street

5 North Street

5 North Street, Winchcombe, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 5LH

Chef-proprietor Gus Ashenford and his front-of-house wife Kate ensure a warm welcome at their cosy dining room. Fixed-price menus (including one for vegetarians) deliver premium ingredients and rich flavours.
£30 - £49
British
The Wild Rabbit

The Wild Rabbit

Church Street, Kingham, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, OX7 6YA

A spin-off from Daylesford Organic, The Wild Rabbit is as rustic-chic as it gets, an 18th-century inn that could feature in the pages of a glossy interiors mag. Organic and free-range ingredients are put to creative use.
£30 - £49
Gastropub
The Swan at Southrop

The Swan at Southrop

Southrop, Lechlade, Oxfordshire, GL7 3NU

Ingredients at this 17th-century inn come from the Southrop Manor Estate's farm fresh every day and are put to clever use in cooking which often has an Italian accent. Contemporary furnishings contrast with open fires and wooden beams.
£30 - £49
Modern European
The Wheatsheaf Inn - Burford

The Wheatsheaf Inn - Burford

West End, Northleach, Burford, Oxfordshire, GL54 3EZ

The Wheatsheaf is everything you could hope for from a Cotswold country pub: wisteria-clad walls outside, open fires inside, seasonal cooking that is more gastro than pub, sugary puds and a roast on Sundays. 
£30 - £49
Gastropub
The Atrium at Lords of the Manor

The Atrium at Lords of the Manor

Upper Slaughter, Gloucestershire, GL54 2JD

Young chef Charles Smith is the talent behind this intimate dining room within one of the Cotswolds’ most famous hotels. Dinner-only tasting menus reflect the influences of Smith’s training with some of the world’s most famous chefs.   

Over £80
Modern European
Russell’s

Russell’s

The Green, Broadway, Worcestershire, WR12 7DT

As much of a local for Broadway's residents as it is a destination for the tourists who flood the village's impossibly pretty streets, Russell's serves classic European dishes (crab cocktail, clafoutis) in interconnected dining rooms.
£30 - £49
Modern European

Prefer the bright lights of the city? Check out our list of the Best Restaurants in Oxford, the nearest thing The Cotswolds have to a metropolis.