This bank holiday weekend I was lucky enough to visit the lovely village of Moreton in Marsh in the Cotswolds with two of my best friends. Driving through the Cotswolds on our girly road trip was like being in a picture postcard, sweeping roads through rolling hills punctuated with villages of light stone cottages. The narrow streets were lined with traditional pubs adorned with floral hanging baskets, antique shops and artisan bakeries. Thankfully the area has been protected from Supermarket eye sores and new build blocks of flats. As soon as you arrive you slow down, physically and mentally, absorbing the peace and quite. This, however, was to be a weekend of contrast, our village surroundings were quaint and slow paced but we had tickets to Jamie Olivers’ Big Feastival, held on Alex James’ Farm. Combining our love of food & drink with our love of music, neatly packaged in chocolate box beauty.
The Festival brought us a weekend of true indulgence and discoveries in Tea & Cake. Even the sweetest of teeth would have found something to satisfy them; from cake pops at The Baking Tree to the aptly named Bad Brownie…..pure chocoholic filth! Artisan breads and cakes at The Celtic Bakers or pretty cup cakes by Primrose Bakery. I would have needed a week to sample everything they had on offer but there were plenty of Tea options to wash it all down.
Trusty Teapigs were on hand with flavours I know and love but I also discovered The Teashed. Not only do they make teabags they also have crazy bubble teas containing bursting bubbles of fruity flavours in each cup, it’s an interesting sensation. I could write a separate blog in itself to cover the other delicious dishes on offer; halloumi fries, gourmet burgers, duck wraps and so much more! Perfect laid back days chatting flowed into dance filled evenings where we could let our hair down. Each night we escaped the hustle and bustle of the farm back to The Bell Inn B&B to recoup and recharge, laughing all the way.
Our B&B was just a few doors down from a stunning little tea shop called Mrs. T. Potts, soon to be known as The Cotswold Tearoom, I figured it would be rude not to! My two friends took little convincing to pop in for some lunch and a slice of cake. It’s wooden framed bay window flanked by stunning hanging baskets makes the Tearoom look welcoming and bright. The sign depicts “Mrs. T. Potts” as you would imagine, a voluptuous nanna figure complete with pinny and matching bonnet! Although she is fictitious the staff are just as welcoming and friendly faced.
Inside the decor is clean and bright with pine furniture and painted wooden chairs. The olive green from the window frames is continued throughout, complimented by creams and a natural stone fireplace.
Being a warm day we chose to sit outside in the pretty courtyard garden. The menu was varied and even included a Roast Pork Dinner, as it was a Sunday, but we opted for sandwiches to refuel us after a busy weekend. My BLT had freshly cooked, crispy bacon, refreshing lettuce and a decent dollop of mayo sandwiched between soft wholemeal bread. A decent doorstop sized snack! A lot if their ingredients are locally sourced supporting local farms and businesses which makes it all the more tasty.
Tummy full I perused the cakes on display; apple and cinnamon, Bakewell Cake, Scones with clotted cream & chunky chocolate brownies. The generous sandwich had beaten me so I ordered a slice of coconut and lime cake to go. Unbeknown to me before we chose this spot they specialise in gluten free. As I pointed out in my last Cake Diary this is not usually an option I go for but I didn’t let it deter me and got a cup of Earl Grey to enjoy with it. I’m afraid to say the tea was a necessary lubricant as the cake was far too crumbly for my taste. I like a cake with body and depth, a sticky lemon drizzle or a hearty ginger cake and although this cake was light as a feather it didn’t give me the satisfying bite I craved. The flavour, however, was amazing. The coconut was strong and sweet which complimented the desiccated texture. This was balanced by thick, zingy lime icing across the top, more of that please! It was a refreshingly light cake but I’m afraid it left me wanting. This tea room is a celiacs dream as there are an array of GF options to enjoy with their chosen brew. For me, personally, I will be sticking with gluten for my next slice!
So Gluten Free I can live without but my Girlfriends I can’t. This weekend has been like therapy, blowing away the cobwebs of banality that build up over time. Having the opportunity to share thoughts, laughter and questionable dance moves with those who never judge is time to to be treasured. So do it this week, arrange that catch up you‘ve been meaning to and make your soul smile.
The Cotswold Tearoom, 4 High Street, Moreton in Marsh TEL: 01608 238123