The Plough Inn at Cold Aston

British, Gastropub, Pubs·
Bronze Award

SquareMeal Review of The Plough Inn at Cold Aston

Bronze Award

A warm, approachable pub with strong dining credentials, The Plough is that rarest of things: a Cotswolds bolt-hole free from pretention and over-dressed country chic.

Although only a short, single-track drive from Bourton-on-the-Water, picturesque Cold Aston is imbued with a sleepy sense of history and isolation that more-visited Cotswold spots, beset by tweeness and tourists, cannot match.

The 17th-century inn, with its flagstones, bare brick, creamy stone and low-beamed ceilings, still feels very much an inn, with chatty locals, ale straight from the cask, roaring log-burners, three comfort-first double bedrooms, and a family-orientated atmosphere led by husband-and-wife landlords, Tom and Josie.

A lunch menu explains a great deal about local enthusiasm. On our visit, three courses, including duck hearts on toast with mushroom and tarragon cream then rare beef, potato, rocket and parmesan, were only £17.50 if you tagged a sticky date pudding on for afters. Which, let’s face it, in a room this comfortingly pubby, is an appealing proposition.

We tackled the still-reasonably priced a la carte, beginning with a properly seasoned steak tartare topped with an in-shell quail egg yolk for self-mixing; and a slice of thick, crisp toast swimming in creamy wild mushrooms topped with a runny poached egg. Both plates showed off pub food done well with diner appetites put before cheffy frippery. 

Mains, equally, didn’t mess about. A special of whole sole came bathed in brown shrimp butter with roasted potatoes and sprouting broccoli, while a more substantial smoked beef short-rib was solidly served with macaroni cheese and a red cabbage slaw.

For puds, what else? The ‘sticky date’ was confirmed as sticky toffee - and a good one - slathered in butterscotch with a big dollop of ice cream, while the meal’s only weak point was a somewhat flat slice of treacle tart, as much soft pastry as filling.

We were driving, so had to pass on trying the local Cotswold-brewed lagers, and also missed out a spin through the surprisingly generous wine list, which, much like The Plough itself, managed to span both a sense of the approachable everyday alongside ample special-occasion appeal. With service both relaxed and efficient, what’s not to like?

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
British, Gastropub, Pubs
Cosy, Fun, Lively, Traditional
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch, Sunday roast
Alfresco And Views
Beer garden, Outside seating
Special Features
Dog friendly, Gluten-free options, Vegan options, Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Birthdays, Child friendly, Dates, Romantic


Are there gluten-free options on the menu at The Plough Inn at Cold Aston?

Yes there are gluten-free options on the menu at The Plough Inn at Cold Aston.

Helpful? 0


The Plough Inn, Chapel Lane, Cold Aston, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 3BN

01451 822602 01451 822602


Opening Times

All day
Mon 10:00-23:00
Tue 10:00-23:00
Wed 10:00-23:00
Thu 10:00-23:00
Fri 10:00-23:00
Sat 10:00-23:00
Sun 10:00-23:00


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01451 822602 01451 822602

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