Not just a pie and a pint!
Near Arkell & Wills’ HQ in the Cotswolds, we’re blessed with a great selection of pubs where quality beverages and food are available. Expect to find real ales from local microbreweries, a range of ciders from Herefordshire and Somerset apples and an ever-increasing number of gins and vodkas on offer. Here are a few of our favourite destination eateries:
The Beehive Tucked away in the fashionable Montpellier area of Cheltenham, the Beehive pub is not too posh to offer biscuits to your dog. Nevertheless, you’ll find the great and the good from the various Cheltenham festivals in The Beehive, drawn to this bustling pub by its reputation for real ales and draught ciders as well as the scrumptious food. Favourites include the pies and the gourmet burgers, eaten in the bar or you can hire the Supper Room upstairs, ‘Cheltenham’s best kept secret’, for parties and celebrations.
The Royal Oak, Gretton What other country pub can boast steam trains regularly passing at the bottom of its garden? And what wonderful gardens they are – with a tennis court, horse hitching and loose boxes, children’s play area and the most amazing views up the Vale of Evesham and over to the Malvern Hills. Enjoy everything from Herefordshire steaks and artisan cheeses through to shooting party lunches (by arrangement). We love it for the varied and tasty menu, the flagstone floors, wonderful service and the best table in the house – in the conservatory – with those stunning views.
The Langton, Charlton Kings A short drive – or walk – from the town centre and the eclectic mix of shops in Charlton Kings, The Langton is a Georgian gem of a building. Despite its elegant façade and large rooms, you’ll find cosy dining and socialising spaces and an informal but beautifully presented menu. Quality and service are what brings us back to The Langton, time and again (as our customers know, these are Arkell & Wills’ priorities!).
The Craven Arms, Brockhampton Arriving at the Craven Arms, you’d be forgiven for thinking nothing much had changed in several hundred years. You’d be wrong! Though the honey-coloured Cotswold stone hamlet, with its cottage gardens and stone roofed cottages, is as quaint as ever, the standards of cooking and hospitality here make the short drive out of town well worthwhile. Awarded CAMRA Pub of the Year 2016, the staff certainly know how to look after their ales and the menus are equally tempting. For meat eaters we recommend the Table BBQ – meat cooked on hot rocks – but there’s plenty to amuse vegetarian taste buds too.
The Gloucester Old Spot, Piff’s Elm Along with its sister pub, The Royal Oak in Prestbury, this is a traditional pub specialising in great local food and beverages and featuring one of the best Sunday roasts around. You might well be introduced to the Old Spot or the Royal Oak when you attend one of the many events they hold during the year, from business networking to murder-mysteries or their famous beer and cider festivals. Both pubs have arrangements with local suppliers for items such as sausages, rare breed pork and perry. Did you know: stronger ciders differ from their commercial cousins by being still, as opposed to carbonated, and they’re usually not served chilled.
The Green Dragon Inn, Cockleford This really sounds like something out of The Lord of the Rings, doesn’t it? There’s certainly a timeless quality about this rustic inn, which you’ll find about six miles south of Cheltenham, set in a picturesque wooded valley. Come with a thirst and enjoy your choice of Butcombe, Hooky, Doom Bar and guest ales (assuming your chauffeur is driving!) Sit by a roaring fire to enjoy your light lunch in winter or laze in the sunshine on the decking in summer – the choice is yours. Ask about the furniture, hand crafted by Robert Thompson - the so-called "Mouse Man of Kilburn", while you’re here.
If you’re anywhere near our home town of Cheltenham, we hope you will try out our recommendations. As with Arkell & Wills, we expect high standards and we’re sure you’ll have a great time if you do.