Noel Arms & Cotswold House
At the Noel Arms Hotel (www.noelarmshotel.com) there’s a homely little patisserie, ideal for an afternoon cream tea. Master of the kitchen at this welcoming hostelry is talented Sri Lankan chef Indunil Upatissa, current title holder and the only chef to have won the ‘Pub Curry Chef of The Year’ award three times.
After a good night’s sleep in a spacious and well appointed room, I opted for Indunil’s Asian breakfast special – milk rice, coconut roti, yellow egg curry and fried onion relish – exotically different but delicious.
Indunil has his own highly creative take on contemporary British cuisine too and at dinner the previous evening I went for the pan-fried Cotswold pork tenderloin, with Dauphinoise potatoes, red cabbage, apple sauce and Calvados gravy, while the missus plumped for the shoulder of light horn lamb, which came with garlic mash, peas and beans, glazed onion and lamb jus. Both dishes were triumphs of the culinary art form, beautifully presented, with just the right portion sizes.
Cotswold House Hotel:
Immediately across the street from the Noel Arms stands the sister Cotswold House Hotel & Spa (www.cotswoldhouse.com), a thoroughly contemporary four-star property housed in an elegant Georgian mansion. Out front is all the busy life of this delightful little town, out back are carefully tiered and lovingly maintained gardens, a tranquil retreat leading off the spacious terrace, which is a perfect spot for al fresco dining. If autumn proves chilly, you may prefer the sophisticated stylishness of the high ceilinged dining room or the less formal ambience of the grillroom.
If you are seeking an out of the ordinary experience, book the hotel’s Hot Tub Cottage or the equally romantic Hot Tub Suite.
The hotel’s exceptionally well-appointed modern spa recently won the ‘Spa of the Year’ accolade in the LateRooms.com ‘Best Kept Secrets 2012’ awards.
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