Updated: Dec 1, 2022
A subject close to my heart. These are in no particular order, I love them all just the same, but please at least read no.10, as it is imminent and very special!
1. Aston Pottery, Aston (Near Bampton where lots of village scenes from Downton Abbey are filmed)
Superb cafe attached to the Pottery, which sells handmade and handpainted pottery from the area. There are cakes galore, great selection of teas, and some really stunning flower borders (during spring, summer and autumn), plus a fabulous gift shop! Need I say more?
2. Cafe Fifteen, Warwick Hall, Burford
This smart looking cafe, next to St John the Baptist Church, is tucked away from the busy High St, adjoins the River Windrush and has a fabulous excluded outdoor setting next to the river. The cream teas are excellent. I took a US film crew here this year to film us eating their scones. THAT’S how good they are.
3. Cotswold Woollen Weavers, Filkins
This place just encapsulates everything about the Cotswolds that we love. Simple cafe, with tasty selection of sweet and savoury light meals. There's a delightful little apple orchard to sit in, or stay inside and take in all the fascinating local history and artwork on permanent display. And then there's the shop selling excellent Cotswold-made blankets. Oh my goodness. Take your purse!
4. Hunters Café, Witney and Burford
Great family run café, who have just opened up their second branch because their cakes are so fresh and amazing! Now they have cafes in Witney and Burford.
5. New England Coffee House, Stow on the Wold
It is like stepping in to a doll’s house! From the outside this tearoom does not look like much, or even big enough to seat people, but once you step inside, you learn that all the seating is upstairs. The house is like a labyrinth, as you climb the stairs, rooms unfold, one after the other, all decorated differently from the next. Their quaintness is irresistible and you find yourself needing to keep climbing to explore more rooms to see all of their different designs. How on earth the staff match food and drink to the customers, I have no idea. Anyway, the cakes are good, the scones are delicious. And they stay open here longer than any of the other tearooms in Stow. Big plus from me.
6. Morris & Brown Café, Broadway Tower
The café is set in a barn on top of the hill at Broadway Tower. If I am coming to this part of the Cotswolds, I like to come here first thing with my tour guests. The staff sometimes look a bit perplexed because they’ve often just had to round up the deer who have escaped the fencing in the night (they are let out of their huge pen at night to wander about in an even bigger enclosure), so you’ll understand if they’re looking a bit windswept. I like to get some coffees and we take them on our walk over the fields to explore the landscape around the Tower. I’ve resisted the cakes and pastries so far, because 10am is even still too early for me to eat cakes.
7. Bantam Tearooms, Chipping Campden
It is always busy here, for all the right reasons. The building is fabulously Cotswold and ‘olde-worldy’. It’s cosy, the staff seem so happy, the cakes are fantastic. I’m a big fan of their homemade Carrot Cake. Yum.
8. The Coach House, Stow on the Wold
I love bringing my guests here. When they have arrived in the Cotswolds, this is often our first stop. Coffee’s on me! We order cinnamon buns and head upstairs to sit in their cosy lounge chairs and admire the view across the market place. It’s a ‘breathe a sigh of relief’ kind of place. Doggies are welcome too.
This is the little café which is run by the village cooperative who also run the village shop. This is a stunning location in the village, perhaps best suited to warmer days as it is mostly outside. There are some lovely home baked cakes to choose from, and a good range of hot drinks with milk variations to suit all diets. It’s great because your support here goes towards helping the local community. This is one of my absolute favourite villages in the Cotswolds. It’s a secret place, and I’m finding in hard sharing it online. I know some great walks from here – coffee in hand – so if you ask me nicely, I will take you there myself.
10. Last but not least - and strictly speaking it’s not the Cotswolds, but I just have to tell you about this. I haven’t been yet, but I am so excited. Drum roll please. A Christ Church College Christmas Carol Tea Party. Yes. Afternoon tea with a Charles Dickens theme in the Great Hall AT Christ Church College, Oxford University. It’s a one-off event on 6th December 2022. Plus there will be a talk about the menu and history around the foods the Dickensians ate. I am so excited, my dear brother has returned from San Diego so that he can come to this with me. There aren’t many tickets left now I think. They are also having an Alice in Wonderland (8thDecember 2022) themed tea too, how perfect. If you go, do let me know. Tickets are from £39.50 each. I hope there are still some tickets available when you read this.
I will definitely tell you more about this treat once it has taken place!