Breakfast on my final morning in the Cotswolds started (…after a nice bath) with Eggs royale for myself and Eggs & soldiers for Lloyd – all washed down with some freshly brewed coffee.
The Royal Oak is a fairly small and intimate place (I think there only 6 rooms in total) so you’re quite likely to bump into the owner here at some point. (*I actually did the day before and had no idea while Lloyd did earlier that morning and had no clue). They’ve got a gigantic poodle – it’s almost the size of great Dane and is absolutely adorable! It was also the reason why I realised we’d both gotten to meet them at different times, even if we didn’t know who they were then.
We got talking and they explained how they’d moved from London years ago and decided to save the pub by turning it into the amazing spot that it is now.
They also mentioned how they’d just finished doing up a cottage across the road which would be rented out a holiday home. They’d had friends staying over to test it out but seeing as the friends were leaving that morning, they asked if we’d like to have a sneak peek! Easiest yes ever!
(*Remember how I’d spent a LOT of time in the Cotswolds mentally house-hunting? There was just no way I was passing up on a chance to see one of these homes from inside!).
Oh and what a home it is too! It’s a gorgeous spot – every bit of it made me wish it was mine. Pretty sure I’m gonna leave the Cotswolds with a new found goal of wanting to own a home here.
The property wasn’t quite ready for rental on the exact date we were there but it would be a couple of weeks after and I’ve already started sending round the photos to friends hoping we can organise something here this summer for one of our getaways.
Anyway, enough about houses, it was finally time to pack up and say farewell to The Royal Oak.
Our next stop was the market town of Cirencester – a place I’d never visited before but was very quickly taken by as soon as we arrived.
We made a bee-line straight for the Cirencester Church and the market next to it for a little nosey around.
The church is every bit as impressive inside as it is outside!
If you arrive in spring time (and any other time of the year afterwards), you can actually climb up the tower for some spectacular views of the town.
Alas, the tower wasn’t opened when we were there so our view of the town had to be on foot (*not that I’m complaining – this is a very beautiful place).
We pretty much just spent the next couple of hours on an aimless jaunt around the town, stopping off to tea and scones before carrying on through Cirencester.
It’s one cute street after the other and has quite a fantastic mix of popular retailers thrown in with independent shops.
Rather than tell you – let me show you…
Eventually, we made our way over to The Fleece where we would be having lunch – a spot you have to visit when you’re in the town.
(*It might be worth booking in advance – The Fleece is a relatively big restaurant but it also really popular and I saw a couple of people leave in disappointment when we got there because they hadn’t pre-booked so save yourself any disappointment and just call up in advance).
For lunch here, I decided to throw caution to the wind and pretty much each everything I fancied on the menu. I didn’t actually plan on starting off this way – I just tasted the tempura with the lightest batter ever and knew instantly that this would be a perfect place to gorge on lunch. 🙂 (*Sidebar: Lloyd got the duck for his starters).
For mains, we both went for Fish and Chips – which arrived with that trademark light batter and was absolutely fantastic. Greedily, I added a side of prawns in garlic and chilli oil (also really good!).
I know I’ve said this before but I feel like I don’t even need to tell you what we had for dessert! 😀 Haha! I figured “in for a penny, in for a pound” and went for the sticky toffee pudding while Lloyd went for the chocolate cake. This was the most amount of toffee sauce I’d had with my sticky toffee pudding all this while and I LOVED it – there wasn’t a drop left by the time I was done. 😀
Our last stop in the town was something of an unexpected one. Unexpected only because we’d actually just popped round to say hi to someone before getting a sneak peek at something exciting arriving to Cirencester – and the Cotswolds as a whole.
Said exciting thing is a new theatre – something which slightly intrigued me, seeing as I love going to the theatre in London – and totally blew my mind once we got a little taste of a mini-film here. The sound here is unreal and I can just imagine the many amazing live performances one would watch here.
There’s also a restaurant and a bar here which just makes for a fun night out in town so hopefully, we can squeeze in a visit here once we return with friends for that friends getaway I’m thinking of. (*Plus I imagine there’ll be a fair few places to keep the party going on in Cirencester afterwards… 😉 ).
And that was it! Our time in the Cotswold was over again and boy had it been brilliant! I love spending time in the English countryside. Everything about it is so easy – even the journey to London is just an hour back and I definitely want to do more and more trips like this in the future. 🙂
England is so beautiful and there are just so many amazing gems I’m looking forward to uncovering. 🙂