Sometimes we don’t get chance to write a blog post about every place we’ve visited – as sometimes we see a fair few in just one day! This is true for this fine November Saturday; blue skies but a chill in the air ahead of bonfire night.
We had the dog in-tow this weekend – Spencer the Border Terrier is a guest in our household if Kerry’s mum goes on holiday. Much like having a young niece or nephew stay over, we felt the need to keep him entertained.
Our first stop was the town of Cirencester, which is teaming with dog-friendly venues such as The Crown, The Bear, Toro Lounge and our personal favourite; Jacks. This time we opted for Heather’s Cafe in the courtyard on Black Jack Street. Our breakfast consisted of a lovely tea blend, with a bacon & egg bap for Kerry and sausage and caramelised onion for me. The produce used was fantastic quality, and Spencer sat perfectly happy with 2 other equally comfortable dogs.
We then moved on to The Organic Farm Shop just the other side of the A417, which we’d never been to but heard plenty of good things. It did not disappoint – so much selection of fresh groceries, meats and the most stunning room full of mexican crafts and gifts for the home (who’d have thought it?). We bought some topside of beef for Sunday roast, and it was unbelievable when cooked – it melted in the mouth. Although Spencer had to sit in the car, it was certainly worth the trip.
Looking at the map, we noticed we weren’t far from Upton Smokery near Burford. We’ve always wanted to go and had visited the shop several times (the frozen pulled pork is AMAZING). Following a call to confirm they were dog-friendly, we were on our way – passing Adam and Helen who were having afternoon tea at The Swan in Bibury.
For those who haven’t heard about Upton Smokery, it’s an all you can eat BBQ shack just outside Burford, off the A40. It’s open between Thursday and Sunday for lunch (12-4) and booking on weekends is usually essential.
We managed to grab a table in the impressive barn with one end lined with an open fire pit and inviting picnic benches welcoming groups of all sizes. The premise is simple… get stuck into the BBQ! The meat varies from week-to-week but we had stunning pulled pork and brisket, salmon, jerk chicken thighs and Cumberland sausages, all accompanied by some wonderfully colourful salads.
Having sampled some of The State’s finest BBQ, we can say that this is certainly amongst the best of them. The meat is tender and cooked with care and attention, plus the atmosphere is so relaxing we could have settled in all weekend.
The desserts are equally as indulgent, with Malteaser/Caramel cheesecakes and large cookies on offer. We opted for an Onist chocolate pot made from avocado, which has to be tasted to be believed.
I’ll sign off with a snap of Spencer sitting patently at Upton Smokery as everyone around him gorged on the plentiful meat. How he sat without diving head first into the meat is beyond us.