I recently headed to the Cotswolds for a weekend away before the busy Christmas period and stayed in a little hotel in Cheltenham, not far from quaint, pretty villages such as Stow-on-the-Wold and Morton in Marsh where we stopped off to do a spot of shopping and have a wine or two in cosy pubs.
When searching for a hotel, I came upon a lovely place called the Colesbourne Inn not far from where I was staying that had a great coeliac friendly menu. After spending the day in the lovely Roman village of Cirencester, we headed out on the night with a big appetite and a longing for good wine.
My first impression of the pub was that it was the perfect place to stop after what had been a cold day walking around in the rain. A roaring log fire next to a huge sofa and bookshelf greeted us as we walked through the door and we couldn’t have hoped for a better place to settle down for the night. I was presented with a two-sided gluten free menu which not only had a wide choice of main courses, but also had an excellent selection of meat and cheese boards, sandwiches and baguettes, as well as yummy puddings for those diners who can have dairy. The great thing about the coeliac menu was that there were barely any changes when compared to what was listed on the regular menu, which I was told by the waiter was because the dishes are all homemade and the ingredients sourced by the chefs.
Due to my massive love for calamari, which is often coated in bread batter, I opted for the grilled octopus with lime, apple and fennel for starter. The dish was supposed to be served alongside crème fraiche, but due to my dairy intolerance I had it without the sauce. The octopus was really fresh and tender, and also really meaty so could have been a meal in itself.
For mains, I chose the shoulder of lamb with beetroot, keel and mash with a port jus from the specials menu. I can’t big the meal up enough apart from saying that it was possibly the best gluten free meal I have ever had in a restaurant. My knife was gliding through the lamb and the port jus was absolutely divine, so much so that I need to learn the recipe so I can re-create it at home with roast dinners. I have never had lamb without mint sauce, but the port jus really complemented the meat and I may have driven my thumb along my plate at the end to mop it all up – shhhh!
To finish, there was a delicious selection of gluten free puds such as chocolate brownie and vanilla panna cotta but unfortunately due to my dairy intolerance I could only have the blackcurrant sorbet, which was deliciously refreshing after such as big meal. A bottle of wine later and I was absolutely reeling from the amazing meal I had just eaten. I really wish that I lived closer to Cheltenham so that I could go to the Colesbourne Inn all the time for dinner. The pub was really cosy, it was reasonably priced and most of all, both gluten free and regular diners came out full of praise for the food. I give the Colesbourne Inn one massive 10/10 for effort.