In the 'chocolate box' town of Chipping Campden, The four-star Cotswold House Hotel and Spa is certainly no strawberry cream!
Grand, yet beautiful, it cannot fail to be to everyone's taste, whether you're after a romantic weekend away with your partner, a gastronomic adventure or a spa experience.
It's easy to appreciate why this Grade II listed regency townhouse hotel is so popular - and boasts awards to its name. While it enjoys an envious High Street presence in one of the country's most beautiful areas, Cotswold House is not content with letting the location do the talking.
But the real jewel in the hotel's crown becomes apparent at dinner, where its popularity is evident. There is the option of formal dining in the Fig restaurant or more informal in The Bistro on The Square bar area, which has a more laid-back vibe – and is also dog-friendly.
This sophisticated Regency room which houses Fig is the perfect setting for the stunning culinary adventure in store. Still, the same menu is available in both restaurants, so no one misses out.
From a choice of five starters and main courses, the emphasis was much more on quality than quantity – and that's why I like it.
From Twice-Baked Gloucester Cheese Souffle to Pan Fried Scallops and Smoked Spiced Pork Belly, the plates were beautifully presented and equally as tasty.
The same can be said of the Mains, including our Prime 10oz Sirloin Steak, which was cooked precisely to specification. Other options included Barbary Duck Breast and Supreme of Pheasant, Confit Leg and Bacon Cassoulet.
My friend was also delighted to have her own Vegetarian/Vegan Menu to select from, which is sadly too often a rarity. Options included such creative culinary dishes as Tandoori Cauliflower, Roasted Courgette Pesto Linguine or Sausage and Mash.
Meat and vegetarian versions of Antipasti Sharing Platters and a tempting selection of sides are also available.
Being sure to leave room for dessert (I often fall for this rookie mistake), we opted for the Cotswold House Crème Brulee and the British Cheese Board, which, refreshingly, was served with a wide selection of interesting cheeses, including the local Cotswold Brie.
Other tempting treats include Salted Caramel Cheesecake, Lemon Meringue Pie and Sticky Date Pudding.
We made two welcome returns to The Fig the following day – for a delicious breakfast – and an unashamedly indulgent Afternoon Tea, Cotswolds House style. The delightful strains of a harpist helped further elevate this memorable experience – in case copious servings of fresh, delicious cake isn't enough in itself!
And there's an excellent range of loose-leaf teas to help wash down all the sweet and savoury treats. There's an extensive drinks menu, too, if you prefer something alcoholic.
Afternoon Tea is available from 2-5pm every day in the Fig lounge, but booking is advised. It certainly seemed popular on our visit.
[Items in this article may have been gifted to Chatting Food. No financial payment has been made to feature in this article, and entries to the feature are made independently by members of the Editorial Team. This page contains affiliate links and we may receive a small commission for purchases]
Contributing Writer - Amanda Chalmers