I recently visited this cosy Cotswold's pub which has been on my list ever since being introduced to it's proprietor and Head Chef - Nick Deverell-Smith.
You may know his name for two reasons, his status as a chef on Great British Menu, BBC's Saturday Kitchen or simply from the impressive following this lovely gem of a pub is now building up. Nick is a seasoned chef who has worked with at some of the UK's top kitchens under Gordon Ramsay, Marcus Wareing, and Eric Chavot to name a few.
A traditional country pub very rarely lends itself to vegetarian food, let alone vegan food (coming from a small County Durham coal mining village out in the sticks, I speak from experience).
On visiting The Churchill arms, it was clear that they are really endeavouring to make every step to welcome vegan and vegetarian diners by introducing some excellent alternatives even the most seasoned foodie can't deny is a mouthwatering treat on the standard menu.
If you're a vegan diner, please be sure to contact the team in advance of your visit, the pub source their ingredients often on the day to ensure absolute quality and freshness, so to savour the best option possible, a little advanced warning will, most definitely stand you in good stead.
Now that the introductions are over, allow me to share the exquisite food I ate!
Starter - Heritage Beetroot Carpaccio, Local Peach, Roasted Hazlenuts
I will be totally honest, when I read the menu, the starter seemed very simple, don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with simple, but would this dish have enough flavour? I wondered.
I was absolutely stunned and cleared this plate faster than the others in my group. The mixture of flavours were just delicious; particularly the combination of beetroot and hazelnut, which I have now decided I need to include in more of my own recipes. The peaches were fresh and added a beautiful zing alongside the other, more earthy flavours.
Main Course - Roasted Butternut Squash, Spiced Lentils, Curry Oil, Onion Seeds
If the title alone doesn't excite you, then let me tell you, the melt-in-your-mouth fluffy, yet crispy butternut squash will.
It had the texture and satisfaction of a roast potato; fluffy inside but crispy as you would expect. The curry-oil infused lentils were the perfect accompaniment - I would have had seconds, but as the only vegan on site, I don't think they had made extra...shame...
Dessert - Chocolate and Caramel Brownie, Orange Sorbet
I am definitely a savoury tooth, so knew I would have to share this course with my husband, and as chocolate brownie is his favourite this was a great test. I really enjoyed this gooey, chocolate treat, definitely helped buy the orange sorbet which cut through the richness of the cake - totally amazing!
And of course, my husband had zero issues sharing with me...he was genuinely surprised and said he wouldn't be able to tell the difference if this was presented as a non-vegan brownie.
Conclusions - My New Favourite Place to Dine in The Cotswolds
The Churchill arms has well and truly won the Life by Ms. Lewis seal of approval, and a place in my little black book. It's not just the gorgeous food and the effort Chef Nick and his team have out into the vegan options here, but the atmosphere on the whole. Nick has somehow managed to pitch his beautiful pub somewhere between a cosy, country boozer and a sophisticated, high-end dining spot which you feel totally at home in (until the sad moment when the bell rang and we had to leave - boo!).
Please add The Churchill Arms to your list of must-visit places while visiting the Cotswolds for a real treat, but remember to call in advance to make sure you are well catered for with the absolute best locally sourced produce. If you want to make a night of it, book into one of their bedrooms for a cosy country stay in this idyllic English staycation spot.
It is a delight to dine at your place, Nick, thank you to yourself and the friendly team who made our evening so special. We will be back.
Address: B4479, Paxford, Blockley, Chipping Campden GL55 6XH
Phone: 01386 593159