Discover the delicious range of food that completes your perfect Cotswolds getaway at the Plough Inn, Cold Aston
If you’re visiting the Cotswolds, then you’re sure to want to visit a traditional English country pub during your time in this picturesque areas.
I was invited to stay at the Plough Inn at Cold Aston recently, and discovered that the excellent food that they serve matches the standard set by the welcoming surroundings.
The Plough Inn in Cold Aston is pretty much the archetypal English country inn. It’s owned by Thomas and Josie Hughes, whose passion for good food, drink and hospitality shines through in every aspect of the inn.
The inn dates back to the 17th century, and is built from the local honey-coloured Cotswold stone. Inside, the low ceiling, exposed beams and roaring wood fire give the pub a fantastically cosy feeling.
Cold Aston is fairly easy to reach, as long as you are travelling by car. The village is a short drive from the A40 and the A429 Fosse Way, and around 45 minutes away from Oxford.
The final part of the drive takes you down some smaller country roads, which do get quite narrow at times. If you’re not used to driving on narrow country lanes, be sure to take care on this section of your journey.
Mark and I arrived at the Plough Inn around lunchtime, and spent the afternoon relaxing in the pub and in our cosy room.
Later that evening when we headed back into the pub for dinner, candles dotted around the place made it feel even more warm and inviting. The table settings were simple and classic, with willow catkins and sprigs of eucalyptus on each table.
We were visiting on Friday evening, and the inn was fully booked out. The clientele was a real mix of people staying at the inn, locals popping in for dinner, and a large group celebrating a special occasion.
The staff did a great job of attending to everyone’s needs, and there was a fantastic atmosphere.
We were shown to our table in a cosy corner of the pub, and ordered a couple of pints of lager from local craft brewers, the Cotswold Brew Co.
Thomas Hughes makes a point of sourcing excellent local suppliers, and this is a great example of that. The brewery is based just a couple of miles away in Bourton-on-the-Water. They’ve been brewing for over 15 years and specialise in modern German style lagers. You can even book onto brewery tours and tasting sessions!
The lager was crisp and refreshing, and we sipped our drinks as we looked over the menu. There was plenty to choose from, including pub classics like fish and chips, some interesting vegetarian options and a great selection of locally sourced meat dishes.
For my starter, I decided to try one of the day’s specials. Plump scallops complete with their corals were served in their shells, with a rich creamy sauce and topped with hazelnuts and crisp shards of bacon.
I love scallops, and these were excellent. They were sweet and juicy, and complemented perfectly by the combination of flavours and textures in their topping.
The Plough Inn has a fairly extensive wine list, with a good selection covering a wide range of price points. I had ordered a glass of Pinot Grigio, and the freshness of the wine was a delicious counterbalance to this rich, delicious starter.
Now, Mark’s starter of devilled kidneys served on sourdough toast might not be the most photogenic of dishes. But he let me try a taste, and I can confirm that it was absolutely delicious. The kidneys were cooked perfectly and had a delicious, spicy flavour.
Other starters on the menu when we visited included Fowey mussels with nduja and lovage, a vegan potato, kale and mustard soup, and the intriguingly named Mutton Scrumpet. I think I need to plan a return visit just to try that last dish!
The main courses on the menu included options such as 12 hour beef shin with tagliatelle, and beer battered haddock with hand cut chips. But Mark decided to try a vegetarian dish for his main course, opting for the Lincolnshire Poacher gnocchi.
These tender little dumplings were served with roasted shallots, wild mushrooms, cauliflower and truffle oil. It was a really delicious plate of food, and Mark really enjoyed it.
But I wasn’t even a little bit jealous, because my main course was simply amazing!
I chose the pork tomahawk, served with fondant potato, seasonal greens and a wholegrain mustard sauce.
I’m often a little hesitant to order pork when I eat out, because it’s very easy to overcook it. But this was cooked beautifully – tender, full of flavour, with crisp crackling and not a hint of dryness. I could really taste the quality of the meat, which is delivered daily from top quality suppliers.
And the rest of the plate was just as good. The fondant potato was tender within and crispy on the exterior, the vegetables cooked lightly so they retained their flavour.
I polished off every morsel, and enjoyed every single mouthful.
After our main courses we were both feeling fairly full. Too full, in fact, to take advantage of the delicious options on the dessert menu. As always, I was tempted by the cheeseboard and Mark nearly gave in to the pear, forced rhubarb and ginger crumble.
But in the end, we just had coffee and a glass of a very good XO cognac to finish off what was a seriously delicious meal.
Dinner at The Plough Inn: My Verdict
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at the Plough Inn. Everything served up to us tasted absolutely delicious, and the quality of the ingredients really shone through. The service was excellent as well, we felt as welcome as if we were regular customers!
Our meal was complimentary, but the total bill would have come to around £95 for two courses and two drinks each, plus coffee and brandy afterwards.
I’ve said in my full review that, in my opinion, the Plough Inn is the perfect Cotswolds getaway. It’s a traditional English country pub, which looks like something straight out of the pages of a picture book.
And the food and drink served at the Plough Inn just make it even more perfect. Whether you are looking for traditional pub classics or something a little more special, the menu is full of delicious options.
Your only problem may be deciding what to choose!
The Plough Inn
Chapel Lane, Cold Aston, Gloucestershire, GL54 3BN