Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Visit Stow-On-The-Wold

This is a blog post I wrote recency for Meggie's (my gift shop) blog but since both of our businesses are based in lovely Stow-On-The-Wold, I thought it was worth sharing here too. If you're planning a visit to The Cotswolds or Stow, make sure you pop in & see us both - Meggie's & Coach House Coffee
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Recently I’ve been getting more & more messages on Instagram from customers planning their visit to the shop & asking for local recommendations… if you don’t have plans yet this coming half term or bank holiday Monday, why not pop to Stow-On-The-Wold for a mooch!

Where to stay:
  • The Old Stocks – A traditional building now oozing style right in the town square. The rooms at The Old Stocks are beautifully done; comfortable, luxurious with some hidden quirks too, love the family rooms with triple bunk beds.
  • The Sheep on Sheep Street – Renovated last Summer the new look Sheep bring a little Soho to Stow. A great bar, fab food & enough interior inspiration you’ll want to go home & redecorate immediately!
  • Stag Lodge – Thirteen boutique bedrooms located in the old YMCA Georgian townhouse right in the centre of town. Breakfast isn’t included but you have SO much choice here in Stow that you can pick somewhere different each morning.
  • The Porch House – is the oldest Inn in England dating back to C.947AD. Mind blowing! If you want to stay somewhere with that cosy country pub feel, The Porch House is the place.
  • South View Cottage – As seen in ‘House Beautiful’ magazine this gorgeous Cotswold cottage is full of character & brocante style. It’s picture perfect… literally, South View Cottage has 42.4K followed on Instagram!! Follow @lorainscottage. Ideal for a girlie weekend away or small hen party.
There are SO many places to stay in Stow; I haven’t even mentioned Lucy’s TearoomThe Bell or the new Unicorn Serviced Apartments yet.
Where to eat:
  • The Old Butchers – my favourite restaurant in Stow! The atmosphere is always really special here, buzzy with locals & visitors but also relaxed, sometimes it’s just nice to eat somewhere which isn’t a pub. Plus the food is always beautiful! Definitely one you need to book in advance though as it’s such a popular restaurant with locals.
  • The Sheep on Sheep Street – Since The Sheep opened last Summer it’s become our go to after work for their super quick, seriously tasty pizza from their indoor pizza oven!
  • The Hive – a cool new eatery in Stow. The Hive isn’t open for dinner but they would be my top recommendation for breakfast & brunch, anywhere that serves avo on toast is a must visit in my books. It so bright & comfy plus the team are super friendly.
  • Cotswold Baguettes –  Kev & Beth only do take away but on a lovely sunny day, why not grab a freshly made sandwich & pick a bench in the square so you can watch the world go by? Or if you plan on doing some walking while you’re in The Cotswolds, you won’t find a yummier picnic lunch.
Coffee Break:
  • Coach House Coffee – of course for me, it’s got to be Coach House Coffee. I’m biased because Emily is my best friend & blogging partner (@millieandmeg) but she really does serve the best coffee in town; Rave Coffee also roasted here in The Cotswolds, in Cirencester. Em definitly has the best choice of gluten free, vegan, dairy free cakes & drinks in town plus the best people watching spot, you can literally see right across the square from the first floor. I highly recommend Em’s fresh juices, iced coffees & gluten free brownies!
Other shops to visit in Stow:
  • Cotswold Cheese Company – if you’re a cheese fan or a foodie, this will be your heaven! Cotswold Cheese Co are Artisan cheese specialists with a shop full to the brim with delicious accompaniments.
  • The Cotswold Chocolate Company – Again, if you’re chocolate fan then this is the shop for you. All handmade on site, The Cotswold Chocolate Co is too tempting to not visit whilst in Stow. Their real hot chocolate chocolate flakes are amazing!
  • Borzoi Book Shop – My neighbour Borzoi has a fantastic reputation not only in Stow but far beyond The Cotswolds too. An independent book shop with more than 30 years experience & a huge wealth of knowledge plus a cute shop dog.
  • The Crock Shop – The Crock Shop is primarily a cook shop but it’s has some sort of power over it’s customers, you go in for one very specific thing & leave with a whole range of new tupperware! They literally stock everything from Emma Bridgewater to door mats. It’s the locals go to for anything & everything.
Local Attractions:
  • Batsford Arboretum – such a beautiful Arboretum all year round but especially in Spring when the Cherry Blossoms & Magnolias are out & during Autumn, the colours are breath taking! Great cafe & vintage shop too, The Applestore.
  • Cotswold Farm Park – One for the kids but secretly, we all love visiting Adam Henson’s Farm Park. There is always so much to see, the little ones will love it.
  • Gifford Circus – If you’re visiting now onwards, then you must plan a Giffords Circus show. It’s our Cotswold travelling circus but with a difference, it has such a magical, charming feel to it. Something special you can’t really explain without experiencing it – you will cry with laughter, dance the night away, gasp with amazement & grin from ear to ear throughout the entire show! I’ve already seen this years performance ‘Any Port in A Storm’ once and booked in for another 2 shows throughout the Summer.
  • Daylesford – an absolute must! A stunning organic farm shop unlike any farm shop you will have ever visited before. Daylesford is like a different world; perfectly styled, so inspirational & almost too good to be true! If you’re staying in Kingham or want a reeeeally special dinner, I’d also recommend their Michelin Stared village pub, The Wild Rabbit.
Other towns/villages to visit:
  • Bourton-On-The-Water – known as the venice of The Cotswolds. Bourton can easily be visited along side Stow as it’s only a few miles down the road but is definitely caterers more to tourists so gets extremely busy on bank holidays and sunny days. If you want to dangle your feet in the water with an ice cream in hand, then Bourton is the place.
  • Burford – Again, just a few miles from Stow across the Gloucestershire & Oxfordshire boarder, Burford has a really lovely high street with lots of nice shops to wonder around. While you’re there, Burford Garden Co is a must visit too. Not your average garden centre & a good rainy day plan as you can easily waste hours there.
  • Lower Slaughter – The Slaughters must be the most photogenic village in The Cotswold. It’s picture perfect. The Slaughter Inn has a gorgeous pub garden for a drink & we love The Old Mill Cafe for afternoon tea my the water but really it’s worth a visit even just for the photo opportunity.
  • Kingham – In my opinion, has some of the prettiest, most aspirational house in The Cotswolds. Make sure you stop on your way to Daylesford Farm for a quick walk around the village while you pretend you live there.
Stow-On- The-Wold itself is such a lovely town that I feel very fortunate to be a small part of and as for The Cotswolds, there’s nowhere else I’d rather live & work. If you are visiting soon, make sure you pop into the shop & say hi!
Meg x