Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Don't Miss The Cotswold Lavender!

Well the title is more of a suggestion than an order but we highly recommend it!

Last weekend we decided to take a drive to the Cotswold's knowing that the lavender season was in full bloom and we may only have a couple of weeks until it's harvested.

The scenes are reminiscent of screen backgrounds on your laptop or French landscape pictures, it's almost a surprise to drive 15 minutes from Broadway and be greeted by fields of purple stretching out as far as you can see. It's stunning. And I'm not really a flower fan!

We had tried on two previous occasions to visit the lavender fields, on our first attempt the fields were closed (so we spent the time discovering the rest of the Cotswolds on the romantic drive, you can read about it here), on the second we missed the lavender. This time we got it just right. For reference the fields are open June to August 10am - 5pm. You can check out their diary here.

A point to note is that it is £3.50 entry per adult and £2.50 for children over 5. Oh and it's cash only. And no, there is no nearby cash point so go prepared.

It's also dog friendly, as long as they are on a lead.

The fields are actually part of a family farm. The family harvest the lavender to make lavender oil and other products. Turns out you can add lavender to just about anything nowadays, the gift shop is full of weird and wonderful things to check out, including lavender cookies. The fields contains 70 miles of lavender rows and over 35 different types of lavender. There are even a few fields of wildflowers to add to the beauty.

Our favourite variety!
The experience of walking through the lavender was one for the senses. The smell was sweet, the buzz of the bees going about their business was terrifying and soothing and the view was incredible. The added benefit of walking through the lavender and not just around it was that our clothes had a lovely fragrance too - even if it didn't last long.

We spent over an hour walking through the varieties of lavender, posing in lavender, running our fingers along the lavender and having a thoroughly lovely time. We even got to check out the distillery, although it wasn't in use so it was a quick look around.

After spending our lunch time walking the fields we decided to head for a late lunch at The Crown and Trumpet, a dog friendly pub near Broadway. The pub was exactly what we wanted. Old and quaint (17th century) with a great menu - oh and they won value pub of the year in 2016. Lunch was 3 roast dinners - beef getting a particularly good review and a Worcester Pie. All were delicious, all plates were cleared and all were good value coming in around £8/£9 a meal. There was also mango cider on offer that was so good!

We planned to fit in dessert but after the beers and cider we decided a walk was a better plan. Heading towards Broadway Tower we found some off road parking that meant we could avoid any fees. From our spot it was a short 5 minutes up the road to the entrance of Broadway Tower. This was our third trip to the tower and it never disappoints. The views out to the surrounding countryside are spectacular. We have never paid the £5 to go up - we think it's slightly steep - the price not the tower! and the views are stunning already.

This time we opted to go further than we ever had before, and cross the field at the back of the tower. We were only stopped from going further by sheep, we didn't want a replay of when Bisbee managed to scare a flock of sheep so they stampeded.

This countryside exploration had generated enough hunger for us to head back to The Crown and Trumpet for dessert. This time the selection we ordered was Spotted Dick, Jam Roly Poly, Apple and Cinnamon Crumble and Sticky Toffee Pudding. Don't we have the best names for desserts :) The Apple and Cinnamon crumble got the winners vote!

On leaving the pub this time the rain decided to pay Broadway a visit and we had to agree it was probably time to head home. As always we left wishing we could stay longer. No doubt we'll back soon.

This puppy was ready for bed by the end!

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