In general, dining rooms have been busy becoming less formal, many dropping the tablecloths and library atmosphere in favour of more simplified local menus with friendly service in a more relaxed atmosphere. These days luxury Cotswolds hotels restaurants represent a fashionable option for diners.
Leading the way, Randall's at the Three Ways in Mickleton is a proper brasserie, in the sense that you will feel as comfortable ordering a soup and roll as you will a four course lunch. Nice open fire too. The John Greville Restaurant at Charingworth Manor offers a great value fixed-price menu, based on a firm 'buy local' policy. Nearby, at Cotswold House Hotel, the Cotswold Grill shows exactly why a luxury Cotswolds hotels restaurant is often a great choice, with doors opening through to a lovely garden, despite the town centre location. Meanwhile at Dormy House Hotel, there are two restaurants (served by the same kitchen) with the Potting Shed a popular local option, next door to the slightly smarter main restaurant.
Russell's of Broadway is first and foremost a restaurant, but offers a few rooms upstairs. In fact it's one of the most charming 'restaurants with rooms' in the country. There's another surprise up the hill at Moreton in Marsh, where you can step through the door at the Manor House to discover the Beagle Brasserie and a huge garden at the back.
Lords of the Manor at Upper Slaughter has held a Michelin dining star for the last 8 years and is Gloucestershire's only Michelin-starred hotel - the very definition of luxury Cotswolds hotels. From there, it's a short walk to the Bourton on the Water where The Dial House is at the very heart of the village with its two dining rooms overlooking the river.
An amazing collection of over 450 gins in its bar, risks overshadowing the restaurant at The Feathers in Woodstock, near Blenheim Palace, but, in fact, Great British Menu regular Dominic Chapman is at the helm in the kitchen and the restaurant is on great form.
Heading south to the famous village of Bibury, The Swan Brasserie is newly refurbished and always busy, at the heart at this popular, beautiful village. Nearby, the Village Pub in Barnsley is a well-established dining pub, serving classic Cotswold ingredients simply and very well.
Almost over the road (and under the same ownership as the Pub), Barnsley House grows its own vegetables in its Rosemary Verey planned Potager. The house speciality is Vincisgrassi, a very old Italian recipe. There's an Italian influence too at nearby Swan at Southrop, near Lechlade. Despite that, it's the distillation of what a modern Cotswolds pub is all about.
There's a grouping of luxury Cotswolds hotels in and around Tetbury starting with Calcot Manor which has both a fine dining restaurant and the Gumstool Inn, a pub attached to the hotel. The Beaufort Restaurant at The Hare and Hounds, is an esteemed restaurant in beautiful surroundings, near Westonbirt Arboretum. Farthest south in the Cotswolds, The Old Bell is Britain's oldest purpose built hotel, in the shadow of Malmesbury's impressive Abbey. It's an intriguing, ancient building but dining here is informal and pleasure. Great for romantics. Cotswolds Finest's group of luxury Cotswolds hotels is completed with another Michelin-awarded grand country house, the magnificent Manor House at Castle Combe.