There’s nothing like a weekend in the countryside, especially when you live in a heavily polluted city (that ain’t no fog in foggy London town… it’s car exhaust). The Cotswolds sounds like a magical place hours away up north, but it’s a picturesque area less than two hours’ drive from the big (smoky) smoke. The Plough Inn at Cold Aston is the perfect place for a quiet stay, especially if you like country walks combined with fireside drinking sessions. This family-run seventeenth-century inn and restaurant is welcoming and friendly, situated in a tiny village, and easy to get to.
The pub and dining area welcomes dogs (see doggy bed above), and one of their three bedrooms also allows dogs. We stayed in Turkdean, the smallest of the rooms (below), and it was perfect. They said that their biggest room fits a camp bed for children, but this is the kind of place you definitely want to come to get away from the kids. No offence to them, but this is chill-out central, though of course children are very welcome.
Turkdean has it’s own entrance, so you’re not stumbling through the pub as you go in and out. It has a huge kingsize bed and not room for much else, but it’s perfect for snuggling up and appreciating the exposed beams and stone walls. There’s an en-suite, TV and digital radio.
After wrapping up warm (as it was a bit of a grey day) and pottering round Cold Aston we drove ten minutes to Bourton-on-the-Water, a gorgeous village dubbed the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ because it’s positioned round a canal. The shopping there is great, lots of cute little boutiques. Back at The Plough Inn we relaxed before heading down for a pre-dinner cocktail by the log fire.
I’d recommend eating at The Plough whether you’re on a weekend-break or living within driving distance. They pride themselves on serving fresh, local and seasonal produce, including some surprises, such as a whole menu of natural wines (made without yeasts and pesticides). There’s an interesting selection; truffle cauliflower soup, smoked pates, guinea-fowl schnitzel alongside butternut squash risotto, fresh fish, and steak. The cheese board is to die for, as is the gin and tonic cheesecake. We thought it was delicious, hearty comforting food, and the atmosphere was nice – a good amount of people so it felt cosy and communal.
Breakfast is included in the price, and the pub was of course empty the next morning. The family who run The Plough Inn were pottering around, and it felt very relaxed. After yoghurt and granola we had a full English and coffee, before driving off to nearby Cirencester – about twenty minutes away. This large market town had a totally different vibe to yesterday’s small stone villages, but was no less pretty. Pastel coloured Georgian houses line the streets, and the town centre is dominated by the majestic John the Baptist Church (below).
The Plough Inn at Cold Aston is perfect for a quick getaway, be that a shopping and sightseeing break, or a couple of days of country walking (they are happy to recommend routes for you). Parking is available, and there’s a choice of three room sizes, each with a kingsize bed and en-suite. The food is fantastic, and the drinks menu is never-ending (in a good way), the friendly staff are only to happy to advise on this. If you want a very quiet location with a fab restaurant included, The Plough Inn is ideal. I definitely had the post-mini break blues when I got back to London.
The Plough Inn kindly gifted me my stay and dinner.