What makes this place such a great foodie destination?
The Telegraph recently picked Kingham in the Cotswolds as one of a handful of places in the UK for a great foodie holiday. And it's not hard to see why. There's a lot of money in this part of the world and great local produce which, as you might imagine, makes for a tasty package.
And how far from London is it?
Barely a two hour drive. You can also take the train to Kingham if you don't want to drive or don't have a car. Trains from Paddington take around ninety minutes. Catch the 17.49 on a Friday night and you'll be here in time to change before dinner.
Where to stay
We pitched up for a weekend at Bruern cottages (pictured above). These super-luxurious self-catering cottages, part of Bruern Abbey, are in an ideal location, just a short walk from a well-regarded gastropub The King's Head in Bledington (see below) and a bike ride or short car trip from other places to eat and drink. They're also just down the road from Alex James's farm where The Big Feastival is held.
The kitchen is well stocked when you arrive - including a bottle of champagne chilling in the fridge and a tray laid out with cake and shortbread for tea - and whatever you eat you can work off in the indoor pool or use the free bikes for a ride.
There are other nice places to stay around here - we popped in for a gawp at the new place The Wild Rabbit in Kingham which is owned by Lady Bamford - the brains behind nearby Daylesford. We didn't eat or drink here, but this pub looks like every Londoner's idea of the perfect country spot. Stylish enough to feature a great cocktail list, but also full of comfy, beautifully upholstered armchairs by open fires.
The Kingham Plough and the King's Head in Bledington (see below) both offer accommodation as well.
Where to eat
The King's Head Bledington (pictured): If you're away for a midweek break, Wednesday burger nights include roe deer burger on the menu at this gastropub. And how could you fail to love a pub where bar snacks include pheasant in a basket?
The Kingham Plough: This nearby pub has an ex Fat Duck chef Emily Watkins in the kitchen and a menu filled with dishes you might not expect to see in a sleepy country village. Our consomme had tiny breadcrumbed balls of marrow and parsley dumplings and a dessert of rhubarb panna cotta was exemplary. There were a few dips, but friendly service and a beautiful dining room mean you should probably try for a meal here too.
The Wild Rabbit: "Overall, it's just so bloody perfect: as fake as a stage set and mannered as a dowager, but so, so pleasurable" was The Guardian's Marina O'Loughlin's take on the food here.
Daylesford: Open for supper on Friday and Saturday nights, the cafe here also serves up breakfast and lunch every day. We popped in for breakfast on the Sunday and were treated to quite the creamiest scrambled eggs we'd ever had (organic and from their farm), good strong coffees and a range of excellent juices and smoothies. Porridge came complete with shards of apple as well as honey and the award-winning Inverawe Smokehouse smoked salmon that came with the scrambled eggs lived up to its reputation. Family-friendly and a dining room staffed by fresh-faced, beautiful young people - this is a must-visit.
Food and drink shopping
Burford - about a 10 minute drive from Buern - has a couple of really good food shops. We rated the Cotswold Cheese Co shop which has a wine shop in the back room, sells local rapeseed oil and some very good bread on top of lots of cheese. Their Windrush goats cheese is made just a few miles away.
W J Castle butchers, also in Burford, has a nice line in pies but the real thing to get here are their sausages. We had a variety all of which we'd happily buy again.
Don't forget to look out for the milk vending machine in the car park at the Kingham Plough selling Guernsey milk from nearby Nells Dairy in Stow on the Wold.
Daylesford (pictured): You may have browsed their section in Selfridges Food Hall or been to one of their cafes in London, but this is the mothership for the organic farm brand. You'll want to spent ages wandering the super-tasteful shop where you're as likely to find Iberico Bellota ham as cheddar from their own dairy. The Bamfords who own Daylesford also have a vineyard in Provence so there's a nice selection of roses, olive oil and sparkling wine from there too.
Hot Dinners stayed as guests of Bruern through Baby Friendly Boltholes and were treated to breakfast at Daylesford.