If there’s anything you need to do while visiting the Cotswolds, it’s to visit a pub in the countryside for a decent pub lunch and a pint. We’re absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to pubs in the Cotswolds, and so many serve incredible food. From a good old fashioned Ploughman’s to hearty sandwiches, there are pub lunches for everyone here. Having been born and bred in the Cotswolds, I’m lucky enough to have visited a LOT of pubs in the area, and keep this list in mind to share with friends and family who visit. With so many scenic walks and viewpoints in the Cotswolds, I really recommend working your day around a walk in the countryside before or after a pub lunch. So – grab your wellies and Barbour, hop in the car, and head to one of the scenic pubs below to experience one of the best pub lunches in the Cotswolds.
The Feathered Nest, Nether Westcote
A modern British inn in the heart of the Cotswolds, The Feathered Nest has a really great reputation as a foodie destination. It’s certainly not cheap, but it’s the perfect pub lunch for a birthday or special occasion. One of my favourite bits about this pub is the stunning views. In the summer, you can enjoy your pub lunch on the terrace. You’ll see why this is recognised as serving some of the best pub lunches in the Cotswolds – you can pick from the a la carte set menu, choose a 6-course tasting menu for a treat, or simply grab a bite to eat in the bar. The Feathered Nest prides itself on its relationships with local suppliers to ensure consistent quality in their modern British menu.
My pub lunch recommendations: It’s not on the cheap side, but my god is this worth it – the fillet of ruby red Devon beef is simply to die for. It’s served with braised short rib, black truffle, burnt apple, bacon and brussels in beef dripping, with a red wine jus. For something a little simpler, try the English wagyu burger with braised brisket, smoked bacon, cheddar, and crispy onions. My mouth’s watering thinking about it!
If you fancy a pint in the area, here’s my guide to the best pubs in the Cotswolds
The Halfway at Kineton, Guiting Power
A beautiful 17th century inn in the tranquil hamlet of Kineton, The Halfway at Kineton also happens to serve some of the best pub lunches in the Cotswolds. It’s a great place to enjoy pub lunch after a stroll along the beautiful River Windrush in Gloucestershire. This traditional Cotswolds pub was once owned by Corpus Christi College, Oxford, before being bought by Donnington Brewery in the 70s. Since then, it has enjoyed serving locals and visitors to the Cotswolds great food and drink. The owners have experience of working in Michelin starred kitchens, so really know how to operate a gastropub. Here, you’ll find super seasonal menus for lunch, using great quality local ingredients.
My pub lunch recommendations: sip a seasonal bellini while you browse the menu. The double baked Montgomery cheddar souffle with house salad is a winner, and you really can’t go wrong with the glazed ham hock for two, served with hand cut chips and fried Cacklebean eggs for a hearty pub lunch.
Looking for a roast? Check out my guide to the best Sunday lunch spots in nearby Cheltenham
The Potting Shed, Crudwell
Set in the Wiltshire countryside near Malmesbury, The Potting Shed is a beautiful little country pub in the charming village of Crudwell. It does pub lunches so well, in fact, that the Queen Console Camilla’s son even pronounced it ‘one of the best pub lunches [he’s] had for years’. The Potting Shed prides itself on championing beautiful food made from locally sourced ingredients, and seasonal produce. It’s an adorable little pub with country interiors I couldn’t stop photographing. The food is done simply but well, and every dish looks pretty. It’s a pub lunch in the Cotswolds I’ll certainly be returning for time and time again.
My pub lunch recommendations: when I visited very recently, I had the pan fried chicken, champ mash, madeira sauce, and seasonal greens and I still can’t stop thinking about the sauce! My boyfriend had the Potting Shed burger with sriracha relish, slaw, and fries and really enjoyed it. If I went back, I’d have the beer battered fish and chips as lots of people were ordering it around us and it looked fantastic!
The Green Dragon Inn, Cockleford
The Green Dragon Inn has been a family favourite of mine for years – it’s so good, in fact, that my Dad visits for a pub lunch every time he’s visiting from Canada. Set in the adorable little hamlet of Cockleford, The Green Dragon Inn boasts roaring log fires, original ceiling beams, and flagstone floors to set the scene for one of the cosiest pub lunches in the Cotswolds. The pub’s bar and furniture was all handcrafted years ago by a local carpenter, and it really gives the place bags of character – see if you can spot the carved mice! Dating back to the seventeenth century, The Green Dragon Inn even has its very own farm shop so you can take some of their delicious food home with you.
My pub lunch recommendations: the menu changes weekly, and there are a number of pub lunch specials. A few of my favourite lunches have included the oven roasted hake fillet with samphire and chive dill white wine cream sauce, and their fish pie with hake, cod, smoked haddock, and prawns in a cream leek sauce.
Looking for somewhere to enjoy the weather? Here’s my guide to the best pub gardens in the Cotswolds
The King’s Head Inn, Bledington
An idyllic Cotswolds pub situated on a picturesque village green, The King’s Head Inn in Bledington offers some of the best pub lunches in the Cotswolds. Also featured in The Good Pub Guide Inn of the Year 2020, this charming pub has a friendly bar, great food, and a generous choice of wines and real ales. You can expect to find a seasonal menu at The King’s Head – think hearty British dishes crafted with fresh, locally sourced ingredients and organic produce. Situated in beautiful Bledington near Chipping Norton, it’s a great spot to enjoy a pub lunch before or after a long walk in the rolling Oxfordshire countryside.
My pub lunch recommendations: try the prawn linguine with tomato sauce, capers, and parsley, or their delicious half rotisserie chicken with slaw, fries, salad, and dips for a tasty lunchtime treat. Whatever you do, save room for dessert – their raspberry bread and butter pudding is truly to die for.
The Bell at Sapperton, Sapperton
The Bell at Sapperton near Cirencester is a wonderful place for a pub lunch in the Cotswolds. An independent, family owned country pub, it’s well known locally for its fantastic food. Surrounded by beautiful countryside walks, horse rides (you can find horse ‘parking’!), and bike rides, it’s the perfect starting point or end point to some time spent in the Great Outdoors. You can enjoy the manicured garden in the summer, and sit next to a roaring log fire in the winter. All food at The Bell is freshly prepared and made using locally sourced ingredients from the Cotswolds. The menu changes monthly with the seasons based on available produce.
My pub lunch recommendations: I love the comfort food on offer at The Bell. There’s also a Specials menu, but some of my favourites include the pan fried duck breast with potato rosti, puy lentils, carrot puree, and beef jus, and the Gloucestershire Longhorn cheeseburger with a brioche bun, baconnaise, house slaw, and skinny chips. The burger is truly incredible!
The Kingham Plough, Kingham
A beautiful Cotswolds country pub, The Kingham Plough has a great reputation for its modern British dining with a Mediterranean twist, and some of the best pub lunches in the Cotswolds. In the heart of the idyllic village of Kingham – not far from Soho Farmhouse – The Kingham Plough prides itself on using local, seasonal ingredients to create delicious, classic dishes. Inside the pub, you’ll find cosy interiors, vintage furniture, and local antiques. For lunch, you can choose from grazing plates in the bar – perhaps alongside a craft ale or a cocktail – or a delicious pub classic, from steaks to fresh seafood from the Cornish coast. All food is made fresh and in-house.
My pub lunch recommendations: I still can’t stop thinking about the wood fired giant tiger prawns with garlic aioli, watercress, and fries that I had last time. Next time I’d love to try the wood fired tikka salmon fillet with crushed new potatoes, samphire, and shallot bhaji. I honestly don’t think you can go wrong with whatever you choose from the lunch menu!
The Mount Inn, Stanton
As its name suggests, The Mount Inn in Stanton sits at the top of the mount in the village near Broadway. Stanton is absolutely beautiful, and I always take visitors to the Cotswolds to this pub for the view. The Mount Inn is a 17th century pub offering a wide range of traditional beers and some of the best pub lunches in the Cotswolds. It’s the perfect stop-off if you’ve been walking in the countryside nearby, or if you’re looking for lunch and a pint with a panorama of the Cotswolds. There’s nothing better than heading here on a sunny day with a cider. All dishes at The Mount Inn are prepared with high quality local produce to ensure the food is as flavourful as possible.
My pub lunch recommendations: I’d go for the duo of beef – slow cooked beef cheek topped with pan-seared medallion and bourgignon sauce with creamy mash and vegetables, or the sea bass fillet with crayfish and cherry tomato dressing and basil pesto. All the lunch dishes at The Mount Inn are hearty and delicious.
The Fox at Oddington, Moreton-in-Marsh
A 19th century British pub in the heart of the Gloucestershire countryside, The Fox at Oddington is a beautiful place to enjoy one of the best pub lunches in the Cotswolds. In the winter you’ll find crackling log fires and a friendly bar serving delicious cocktails and local beers. Don’t leave without trying one of their Spicy Margs – they are truly to die for. You’ll find a seasonal pub lunch menu which is full of ingredients from local producers and nearby Daylesford Farm. Grab a larger dish for lunch, or for something slightly less hearty, there’s a choice of small plates you can enjoy with a drink next to the fire in the bar.
My pub lunch recommendations: There are some really great pub classics on the menu at The Fox – think fish and chips with crushed peas, and a double cheeseburger with spicy mayo and rosemary fries. I’d recommend picking the delicious whole Cornish sole with rainbow chard, cavolo nero, and seaweed butter, or go for one of their wood fired sourdough pizzas. The Afumado with smoked chicken, truffled bechamel, charred corn, and mushrooms a la Greque is a bit of me.
I hope you enjoyed my guide to the best pub lunches in the Cotswolds! I think you’ll agree we’re absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful pubs serving incredible food. Are there any pub lunches I’ve missed off the list? Let me know your favourites in the comments below.