There is no doubt that all of us in the UK have been facing some major challenges since lockdown was imposed on 23rd March, but in particular one sector that has been decimated is the food and drink trade. No public gatherings resulted in trade for bars, pubs, shops and restaurants disappearing overnight - placing many businesses at risk of going under.
That said, necessity has always been the mother of invention, and these circumstances have encouraged entrepeneurship and community spirit in equal measure. Here in the Cotswolds we have seen landlords and business owners doing everything they can to help their local communities - especially the vulnerable sectors of society - while seeking to maintain some kind of profile (and revenue stream!) until we all return to some sort of normality. The following is a list of local small businesses that we at Butler Sherborn have had personal experience of; people and places going the extra mile to keep us all fed, watered and upbeat while still adhering to the Government guidelines.
These are vital services, and whether or not our shackles are released or extended after Easter, every one will have played a huge part in keeping spirits high and hunger at bay for everyone!
This much loved local brand with branches in Fairford, Burford, Lechlade and now Carterton, Lynwood has become very well-known for providing wonderful sourdough bread and light meals alongside its outstanding coffee. They are still operating as a delivery service for delicious meals and their house blend coffee as well as fruit and veg boxes and have recently even started to offer Anna’s Unforgettable Cupcakes as well, ready for Easter weekend. Check their website for more details here
The Lord Kitchener, Curbridge
A classic local village pub, the Lord Kitchener has moved swiftly to set up an arrangement with local firm Cotswold Caterers in order to offer a range of pub-style meals on Friday and Saturday nights. Phone to place the order beforehand and book your slot then drive to collect. Leave your boot open and the team will place your food in there, plated and ready to eat. What could be simpler? Full details available here
The Bell Inn, Langford
This has become well-known quickly in the last few years for being a village pub that delivers good food, great beer and outstanding service - and was recognised as such by none other than Giles Coren writing in The Times.. They are offering an extensive takeaway menu between 12 and 9pm every day, plus an outlet for the local village shop as well for those seeking provisions to create their own meals.
Bourton Road Butchers, Carterton
Even more traditional local businesses are keen to get on and help out wherever they can. Bourton Road Butchers in Carterton, while being unable to open themselves in the usual way, have set up and are running a successful home delivery business so that those who are unable to leave their houses can still have access to top quality local produce.
The Bell, Sapperton
They are determined to help their community as much as possible and even during these times have stayed open as a community Shop, with a limited local delivery service to those customers who are the most vulnerable and needing support. It’s obviously a “Click & Collect” servidce, operated by a skeleton staff but offering produce packs depending on availability of local supplies at the time. Offers change regularly; more details are here
The Masons Arms, Meysey Hampton
This is a lovely welcoming pub in the village centre with a very popular management team and a strong reputation for food and ambience. They are offering a limited takeaway service on Friday and Saturday evenings featuring a selection of their usual menu, alongside beer and wine if required. See here for details.
This is a superb local operation offering restaurant level gourmet food to go from an outstanding chef, alongside wines and liquors that they themselves want to share! They update their menu often, and have set up a delivery offering for within 5 miles of Stow itself (Minimum order value for further than that). A real treat. More details can be seen here
The Priory Inn, Tetbury
As well as their own home-baked pizzas they offer produce boxes with fresh fruit, meat and other items - even including a range of different Easter boxes with the usual treats! See here for more details. There is also the fish’n’chippy (Stargazy Fish Bar) next door who themselves are offering free delivery of their signature dish to the elderly and vulnerable at lunchtimes and evenings.
The Mousetrap Inn, Bourton
A local institution, The Moustrap is a few minutes’ walk fromt he centre of Bourton and is well-known for its hospitality and warm welcome. As such the owners are ideally-placed to offer as much of a service to their community as they can, and are working with local suppliers to build fresh food boxes that can be ordered online and collected from the pub (under strict social distancing conditions of course). More details available here
During these difficult times, we can all be sure that there is a huge will and resilience from everyone to do whatever they can to help out. As such of course it is impossible to feature every business currently going above and beyond in their efforts to contribute, and this list is designed merely to pick out a few of those that have come across our radar at Butler Sherborn. There are many more who deserve a mention; all we ask is that wherever possible you take the opportunity to both use them yourselves, and spread the word, in order to help them keep going!