Welcome to the food revolution...
There’s no doubt that many things have been fundamentally changed in the last couple of months. Exercise patterns, modes of transport - even our working days are now facing up to a new dawn as we all adapt to being, for want of a better phrase, well-spaced. Exclusion zones are our new personal mantra.
Being spacially constrained limits eating options, of course. It is remarkable how the realisation dawns that providing every meal, every day for every member of the family is Quite Hard Work. Supplies dwindle (and queuing to replenish is frankly a bit dull), recipes pall and imaginations wither: we all crave variety. Eating out can no longer be a respite; but to eat in you don’t need to cook in.
Takeaways are king. There’s a whole new food revolution going on, and as you’d expect the Cotswolds are leading the way. Following are a few places who have read the metaphorical tea leaves; each of these individually prove the old adage that you don’t need a silver fork to eat good food…
Tuesday and Friday night fish and chips with mushy peas? Visit Hayles Fruit Farm, near Winchcombe. Already renowned for their apple juice and cider, they are also offering local deliveries from the farm shop stock.
For the more culturally diverse, Tonbo Kitchen are currently bringing Japanese food to an area near you! Currently offering a collection and delivery service in Chipping Norton and Cirencester, their offering is authentic, varied and very reasonably priced.
Feeling a little… Italian? The Stump is a rural pub near Cirencester whose normal role is to provide good beer, a few ensuite rooms for weary travellers and, of course, some great food. Not to be put off by anything so inconvenient as a virus they have refocused into an artisan takeaway/drive through open every day. Open Weds-Frid evenings and weekends through the day.
Looking for a sweet treat, or the best sourdough in the South Cotswolds? Lynwood and Co are rapidly carving themselves an enviable reputation as the go to for coffee, pastry, cakes and breads. All baked and brewed freshly on the premises, current circumstances dictate that taking away is how to enjoy their treats. That said there is also an online delivery service; with an expanded range including locally-sourced fruit and veg as well they can provide for most needs.
We (along with Giles Coren in The Times) have mentioned The Bell at Langford before, but we’re not embarrassed to do so again. Having built a great reputation as a village pub with food, their adaptability to the COVID crisis has been first class. Their position as the focal point of the village provided them with the ideal point from which to help and support their friends and locals; they have become in these times The Village Shop from 10am every day with a range of food and toiletries available. Their takeaway menu is a thing of glory - the full range from simple pizzas to classics to international super-hits (!) - all prepared as you would want; simple but authentic in every way.
Not quite a takeaway as such - more of a delivery really - but I am prepared to bend the rules for a donut… The Oxfordshire Donut Company make astonishingly good donuts in, errrr, Oxfordshire. Their website alone will make your mouth water and, for a limited time only, they will be delivering to selected postcodes. You’ll need to keep an eye on Facebook to see where and when. Unmissable.
This article has hardly scratched the surface of what’s available in and around the beautiful Cotswolds region. Explore, discover and let us know what else is out there!