Table Magazine
Food is our common ground, a universal experience.

Travel Stories and Guides by Table Magazine

A collection of travel stories and guides by Table Magazine and contributors from around the world.

Weekend Trip | The Cotswolds

Cotswolds-Guide-Ivy-Cottage.jpg

When someone who grew up outside of the UK imagines what this island looks like, they picture one of two things. The capital of our country, London with it's bustling streets or the picturesque thatched roof villages of the Cotswolds. Both are of course an important part of our culture and worth a visit. Over the last five years that I've been living in London I've spent a mere few hours in the Cotswolds, passing through to other destinations or visiting restaurants that I'd heard good things about. Yet all that time, I'd never actually stayed for a weekend. 

This past March I decided to change that with a three day trip to the Cotswolds. During that time a friend and I stayed at a beautiful boutique hotel called Artist Residence. This is their fifth location so far and is by far their most idyllic nestled into the landscape of the countryside. We visited Daylesford, an Organic Farm that Lady Bamford started over forty years ago. Two out of the three nights was also spent at Ivy Cottage in Long Compton. 

We spent three nights and four days doing all of this but if you have less time you can easily move things about to fit into your schedule. A car is essential for this particular weekend in the Cotswolds. If hiring a car isn't an option for you I would recommend keeping things more local and staying in Daylesford. There is the Wild Rabbit, Daylesford Farm and The Bamford Haybarn Spa all within walking distance. 

Artist Residence

Our first stop of the weekend was the Artist Residence, walking in we immediately felt like we had walked into a local pub or someone's country cottage. The furniture had all been carefully picked to go together without actually matching. It's a small boutique hotel with delicious nosh, the comfiest of beds and a beautiful bathtub that you never want to leave. There isn't anything in walking distance which makes for beautifully serene surroundings, so make sure to keep this in mind when planning your trip!

Ivy Cottage

Our second stop of the weekend was Ivy Cottage in Long Compton, a town about forty-five minutes north of the Artist Residence. It was the perfect cottage let for a quiet weekend, upon arrival we had a selection of local food and drink. With a pub only a five minute walk away we didn't have to worry about where to go for a quick bite. There was also the Cotswolds Distillery only ten minutes by car, which was an added bonus! We dropped our bags off before heading to the distillery known for it's lavender gin and prize winning whiskey. There we had a taste of their brews and learned about the process of how they create their top notch product. We liked their whiskey so much that we even went home with a bottle, you can try our recipe here!

Cotswolds Village Travel Guide.jpg

Whichford Pottery

Just as we were leaving the Cotswolds Distillery the shop clerk recommended that we visit Whichford Pottery that was just down the road. This suggestion immediately peaked our interest as we had seen an official government sign for this pottery shop. If it was good enough for our new friends and good enough that the town deemed it worthy of a sign then it was clearly something that we needed to see.

As we pulled in we realised that this was the hotspot of Long Compton, the large carpark was filled to the brim with cars, forcing us to park in front of the bins. We made our way down the wonky path, jumping over puddles, being careful not to slip. The ramshackled barn looked like it had seen better days but as soon as we opened the door you were brought into a warm dining room, the shelves lined with games for children and an endless number of cookbooks. Above the counter was the menu, everything local and mostly vegetarian. There were cakes, cookies and brownies on display tempting you as you waited in line to order. Despite the confectionary temptations if you're looking for a healthy meal instead of the usual pub fare, this is where it can be found.

Whichford-Pottery.jpg

Butterfly Farm

There's not much more to say than the Butterfly Farm in Stratford-Upon-Avon is heaps of fun no matter your age. Not only do you get to learn and interact with a range of moths, butterflies and birds there are a countless number of interesting plants, flowers and trees to look at as well. You could spend anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour in the enclosure, even longer if you're interested in the insects and amphibians they have as well in a separate room.

If you have any other suggestions please leave a comment below, we are always looking for new local finds and love hearing about some of your favourite spots!

Credits
Photography & Words | Ariana Ruth