Picture perfect English villages, quirky cosy cottages with thatched roofs, luscious green grasslands and virgin beech woods – it’s no surprise that The Cotswolds is considered one of the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB for short). Having just come back from this beautiful part of England last weekend (it’s only an hour and a half drive from where we live), I’m feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to tackle any challenges this week might throw at me.
Having arrived at our cosy B&B Cowley House in Broadway late Saturday morning, we were welcomed into our ground floor room with a cosy little garden area. Whilst I was happily snapping away our weekend abode in its pristine condition, we had a knock on the door to apologise that we’d been shown into the wrong room (these things happen!), however our room upstairs was just as nice, so we didn’t mind at all.
Cowley House B&B is right in the city centre of the beautiful and vibrant little village Broadway, so it’s a great central location to be in. The Fish Hotel where we stayed last time is also a great cosy retreat to anchor yourself in, although it’s just outside of Broadway and a bit of a walk to the city centre.
Broadway offers a great choice of small independent artisan shops, traditional tea rooms, cafes and restaurants.
It’s also home for Broadway Deli fine foods stall, where I can spend a lot of my time (and money!) looking at the beautifully displayed seasonal fruit and vegetables and sampling cakes and coffee in their café of course.
PLACES TO EAT: MARKET PANTRY, BROADWAY
Before setting off on a long country walk, we stopped off for a spot of lunch at a very friendly local café Market Pantry. My delicious ‘nearly autumn’ vegetable soup was a perfect choice. There’s something so comforting about tucking into a bowl of a steaming hot soup when it’s cold outside, isn’t it?! Sitting by the window, we were munching through our tasty lunch and watching the world go by at a mesmerizingly slow village pace.
Although our attire was totally unsuitable for long muddy walks (note to self: must buy decent waterproof walking gear!), we set off for one anyway. As long as I had my camera in tow, I didn’t care about getting stuck in the mud…
Country walks are like meditation to me. It’s such a great opportunity to reconnect with ‘the source’, appreciate all the stunning scenery around you, silence your mind a little and give it a rest from the every day race. I love it how during these walks my other half and I are getting all philosophical, passionately talking about higher aspirations, dreams and living in the moment… (if it was me, I could talk about it all day every day!)
The cosy Cotswolds cottages with thatched roofs remind me of the Britain that I saw on the postcards when I was little. Walking past these masterfully crafted dwellings is like being on set of ‘The Holiday’ movie (one of my favourite films to watch in the winter, snuggled up under the duvet with a hot chocolate in one hand and a healthy-ish cookie in the other)…
PUB STOP: THE MOUNT INN, STANTON, BROADWAY
Half way through our walk we finally reached a pub and were savouring the idea of a relaxing drink outside, especially as the views from the pub garden were outstanding. However, being a little village pub, it had just closed its afternoon service to re-open 3 hours later. So off we went, continuing our walk and feasting on the wild blackberries that we were picking as we were walking along. ‘Wild blackberries is waaaaay better than a glass of prosecco’, I kept convincing myself.
PLACES TO EAT: THE BROADWAY HOTEL, BROADWAY
Having finished our evening at the Broadway Hotel where we stopped for dinner (which was delicious by the way but the vegetarian options were very limited), we returned to our B&B with a tub of ice cream (uh oh) as all we wanted to do after a long day was to snuggle up and watch movies. A perfect evening in my eyes.
The next morning, after having breakfast at our B&B (all the produce was locally sourced by the owners, which made it extra delicious), we set off for a leisurely wander around Chipping Campden and then Moreton-in-Marsh, small village towns which were beautifully quiet and sleepy for a Sunday morning. They both had a few quirky artisan shops (half of them were closed on Sunday though), so we just enjoyed the quiet Sunday strolls instead.
PLACES TO STOP FOR A COFFEE/BRUNCH: VICTORIA COFFEE HOUSE, MORETON-IN-MARSH
This place had a lovely ambiance, a great selection of vegetarian friendly dishes and gooey chocolate brownies to accompany your coffee (and that’s the one we opted for!)
I’m already looking forward to being back in this beautiful part of the country, perhaps during the festive season when the Christmas carols are playing in every shop, crackling fireplaces are greeting you in each pub and pumpkin spiced lattes are being served with a true festive spirit!