A Weekend in North Cotswolds

On the second weekend of October, we had the pleasure of catching up with friends at Hill House in Shipston-on-Stour. This gave us the opportunity to ramble around some new places we’d not been within our beautiful Cotswolds, and sample some produce (mostly beer) from local providers.

We started with a visit to Waghornes Butchers in Prestbury to stock up on sausages, bacon and a leg of lamb for Sunday. You can order online, and free delivery or pick up in-store and the meat is stunning quality – artisan butchery at it’s finest!

^ Waghornes Butchers in Prestbury, Cheltenham

While heading out towards the house in Shipston, Adam popped in to North Cotswold Brewery to pick up some ale. The team there were kind enough to give him a tour just as they were adding the mash. Although the site is small, it certainly makes a lot of beer across several names and brands. Adam picked up 10 litres of the very lovely Yubberton Brewing Co’s Goldie, which did not last long in to the evening before being full consumed.

^North Cotswold Brewery

We took a trip in to Shipston-on-Stour on the Saturday morning, which had a very cute craft market on the Sheep Street. We can recommend a visit to London House Antiques on the High Street – a brilliant collection of curios!

Just 20 minutes away was Hook Norton Brewery. Almost haunted-house in appearance, the brewery dates back to 1849 and the beer is still delivered by Shire horse to local pubs. We picked up a box of their popular Hooky after a look around the museum. Unfortunately the tours were all booked up, but we’ll definitely come back. There’s still a well stocked gift shop and free museum on site to look around, even if you can’t make the tour.

^ Hook Norton Brewery

At the brewery’s entrance we came across an apple pressing at The Pear Tree pub. We couldn’t resist the fresh apple juice as it was made using a traditional press right before our eyes. The whole village was in on the party – cake bakes, music and judging local apples… it was so great to see.

^ Apple Pressing at The Pear Tree, Hook Norton

Ahead of our Sunday roast and crumble made from the organic apples we picked from a tree in the garden (expertly prepared by Adam & Helen), we visited Moreton-in-Marsh. Beautiful as ever, we spent some time looking at the delights of Cotswold Grey. The whole shop flows like the pages of a interior design magazine, with fantastic furniture and quality items to add style to any home. Another surprising discovery was a specialist Belgium beer shop we found in a small shopping arcade off the main High Street. It was last September the CFB team drove to Bruge for a minibreak and tried incredible beers and now we know where to stock up in the future! (If you’re a foodie and you’ve never been to Bruge, get to a computer immediately and book a trip!)

^ High Street, Moreton-in-Marsh

Following our roast, we gathered in the garden at Hill House to take on a Piñata in the cool, October Sun. Perhaps not traditional in shape, but it was great fun as we all tried (mostly unsuccessfully) to whack it after a blindfolded spin. As the sweets finally spilled out and friends began their long journeys home (thankfully shorter for Team CFB), we looked back on a brilliant weekend.

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