Award‑winning Cotswold dining pub
Traditional country inns may be ten-a-penny in the Cotswolds, but it’s rare to find one that, like The Bell Inn, is a proper dog-friendly local that also serves award-winning gourmet food.
You’re as welcome to walk in wearing wellies and enjoy a pint and a pickled egg with a four-legged friend in tow as you are to dress up and indulge in a three-course feast from a menu that exhibits the best of British produce.
Chef-owner Mark Payne is big on seasonal and local ingredients, including lamb from the neighbouring fields and veg from his own allotment and kitchen garden. The line-up is refreshingly simple, with an emphasis on quality ingredients cooked well. A braised blade of beef with girolles falls apart to the touch, while the gluten-free batter on the fish and chips is fried to crisp perfection.
Make sure you’re sporting an elasticated waistband to take full advantage of desserts like pistachio crème brûlée, and apricot and frangipane tatin with crème fraîche sorbet. Or, for a lighter pud, try the ‘gin’gato – a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream drenched, affogato-style, in rhubarb and ginger gin liqueur.
Trencherman’s tip: The inn houses 75 artisan gins – many made locally – so book a room for the night and sample a few.