A FOODIE’S GUIDE TO BADMINTON – THE BEST PLACES TO EAT, DRINK AND BE SEEN.

The entry list has been published, your accommodation has been booked and the excitement for Badminton Horse Trials is building.

For foodies, the Cotswolds offers a food scene which is one of the most vibrant in the UK. Those making the annual pilgrimage to Badminton can sample some of the finest cuisine with local produce, creative chefs and award winning eateries making the dining experience one to remember – all within close proximity to the event itself.

From gastro pubs to Michelin star restaurants there’s something for everyone and for all occasions. So, whether you’re visiting Badminton with friends and family or looking to entertain owners and sponsors, there’s plenty of places to choose from. To give you an idea of what’s around the region, here’s our guide to the best places to eat, drink and be seen during Badminton.

The best watering holes……..

The Old Royal Ship, Luckington, is situated on the edge of Badminton Park making it one of the most popular places to go during the event. Serving a wide variety of local ales and a wide selection of ciders, lagers and wines, it’s a great spot to finish off a day at Badminton. Many a rider has been spotted at this popular watering hole after the conclusion of the event.

You don’t have to walk too far to find the Badminton Village Social Club. Situated in the heart of the village it’s a great little place, particularly for those camping, to meet for drinks at the end of the day. You never know who you could bump into……

The Outside Chance is right at the heart of the action at Badminton. Located alongside The Lake, whether you are looking forward to watching the horses, walking the course, or just relaxing then The Outside Chance is the perfect base for the day, particularly for the Cross Country. Open until late, it’s a hive of social activity and one of the best places to people spot during the event. Make sure you pay a visit and enjoy all it has to offer.

So now we’ve covered the local watering holes, let’s have a look at what’s on offer away from the heart of the event.

The best places to eat with friends…….

The Priory Inn, located in Tetbury, is a winner of the Cotswold Life Food and Drink Awards 2014. This gem of a hostelry offers a seasonal feast of modern rustic food – its menus and wine list offers something for everyone, from mouth-watering à la carte dishes to gourmet pizzas from its wood-fired oven, all of which can be enjoyed in a relaxed, friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Being a family friendly establishment, there’s even a special menu for little ones, including designing your own pizza, and plenty of activities to keep them occupied. The Priory Inn prides itself in showcasing local produce with 90% of its food is sourced from within a 30 mile radius of Tetbury, from well-known suppliers such as Duchy Home Farm, Bow in the Cloud Vineyard, Cotswold Brewing Company, Shipton Mill and many more! The Priory Inn is a great place to meet and catch up with friends and enjoy a drink or too at the end of a long day. The Priory Inn is well known locally for its live music and on Sunday May 10th, will be filled with the sounds of Edd Donovan, a contemporary folk, singer-songwriter who will perform a stripped back, acoustic duo performance. Anybody looking to enjoy the relaxed vibe of The Priory Inn is advised to book in advance as it is particularly popular with visitors and locals alike. For more information visit www.theprioryinn.co.uk.

The Rattlebone Inn, Sherston, is located just minutes away from the Badminton Estate, making it a popular place to hang out with friends. Having recently undergone refurbishment, this real country pub oozes character out of every nook and cranny. It is a haven for foodies looking for country bistro cuisine, offering diners a mix of modern interpretations of pub classics and more up to date and interesting dishes. Aside from its food, this watering hole is equally as well known for its quality drinking atmosphere and prides itself on its drinks menu. From high quality real ales, to an extensive wine list and malt whiskey selection it caters for all tastes. It’s famous for its homemade Sloe Gin, and for those feeling a little more adventurous, its own flavoured vodkas! For more information visit www.therattlebone.co.uk

The best places to take your parents…….

The Hare and Hounds at Westonbirt is a real Cotswold gem. Situated adjacent to the renowned Westonbirt Arboretum and Beaufort Polo Club it offers beautiful lounges and crackling log fires providing guests with an aura of warmth and elegance which is both relaxing and welcoming. Guests can choose between two different dining experiences in the form of Jack Hare’s Bar or the Beaufort Restaurant. The award winning Beaufort Restaurant serves a combination of modern dishes and traditional English and classical French ideas with a twist. For those looking for something more relaxed, Jack Hare’s is a lively English country pub, popular with locals and guests alike. For more information www.cotswold-inns-hotels.co.uk/property/hare_and_hounds_hotel

Calcot Manor, Beverston, occupies a converted 14th-century farmhouse and a collection of medieval stone barns giving it real Cotswold charm. For diners it provides the choice of two restaurants – the pub-style Gumstool Inn and the elegant Conservatory Restaurant, offering very different dining experiences. Whichever you chose, Calcot Manor offers the sophistication to make the outing that little more special.

As the principal restaurant, The Conservatory offers an elegant space in which to dine, with panoramic views over the hotels estate. The restaurant focuses on serving the freshest local produce, beautifully cooked, whilst the wood-fired oven means that dishes are bursting with Modern British and seasonal colour and flavour. If you’re looking for something more relaxed, with its log fire and lodge-like feel, the Gumstool Inn is a traditional country pub providing guests with a charming environment in which to relax. With a distinctive gastropub edge, the menu offers a wide choice of favourites with a finesse you wouldn’t normally expect from a pub, with the chefs creating a menu bursting with beautifully cooked British classics alongside flavours from around the world.

The best places to dine with sponsors and owners…..

Whatley Manor, nestled in the Wiltshire countryside between Malmesbury and Sherston just miles from the Badinton Estate, is one of the area’s most luxurious hotels. Originally built in the 18th century, it is now privately owned by the Landolt family, from which Christian is a former Badminton Horse trials competitor.

The dining experience at this luxury establishment is overseen by Michelin two-starred chef Martin Burge, and its menus burst with flavour and originality. Guests have the choice of two restaurants and two bars, making it the perfect location to relax after a long day at Badminton.

The Dining Room – a two-starred restaurant – offers a delight for all the senses from amuse bouche through to the plates laden with decadent petit fours, with multiple courses in between. The a la carte menu was recently replaced with the choice of three seven course tasting menus in order to enhance the gastronomic experience and showcase the region’s best seasonal produce (Menus start at £110 per person).

Le Mazot, the hotel’s brasserie, evokes the warmth of a Swiss chalet. Its menus focus on seasonal produce, created by the same expert kitchen team as the award winning restaurant ‘The Dining Room. If the weather is particularly fine, guests are invited to dine on the Kitchen Garden Terrace. Guests can also enjoy Whatley Manor’s Afternoon Tea, from the comfort of The Sitting Room, Reception Hall or Drawing Room or one of the terraces overlooking its landscaped gardens.

If you’re looking for a special Badminton experience, Whatley Manor is offering a special package (based on a minimum of three nights) for guests, which includes complimentary transportation to and from the event. For more information, call 01666 822888.

Just a stones throw from Badminton, in the chocolate box village of Castle Coombe, is the Manor House Hotel. Its award-winning Bybrook restaurant, which takes its name from the river that runs through the hotel grounds and provides a breath-taking setting for diners, is overseen by Executive Chef Richard Davies. Diners choosing to eat at The Bybrook restaurant will experience delicious and unusual flavours, stunningly presented in an elegant environment. The Manor House wine list represents a selection of the finest wines from all over the world. To enhance the food served in the restaurant, all of its dishes have had a wine expertly matched to their flavours by its sommelier adding a whole other dimension to each mouthful.

So whether you are dining out with family and friends or looking to celebrate with sponsors and owners, anybody visiting Badminton can have a gastronomic experience to remember.

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