Entering from the winding garden path, you’ll find exposed stone walls, rich crimsons, comfy leather chairs and a the-more-the-merrier vibe that will have you feeling at home in no time.
The restaurant’s menu celebrates the great British classics, brought up to date with the kitchen’s own twist or two, to tantalising effect. Expect dishes such as duck pie with parsnips, whole grilled lemon sole with samphire and garlic butter, Chateaubriand and honeycombe panacotta with candied blood orange. The accompanying wine list is intriguing and extensive – you might need to peruse over a glass of prosecco.
Delightfully welcoming to paws large and small, don’t forget to ask for a water bowl and treats for your pup. On a warm day, your dog will be captivated by the sniffing opportunities in the gardens, while you sit a while, enjoy a drink and listen to the birds tweet overhead. A winter warmer? Fido will relish this venue which is dog-friendly throughout, with a roaring fire perfect for thawing those paws out after a frosty walk.
Relax and enjoy the garden area. Set menus are on offer at lunch during weekdays, with two courses for just £12.50, or three courses for £15.
Sunday lunches are embraced here. Book your place to enjoy one of their delicious roasts, or perhaps a Beef Wellington for two will hit the spot; just try to leave room for a tempting dessert or one of the delectable cheeses on offer.
Dine in one of the restaurant-style seating areas or relax in the bar, with locals from gentry to farm hands, where drinks are almost sure to turn into supper.
A children’s menu is available on request.
The picture perfect hamlet of Ewen, with its leafy lanes, tree-lined roads and thatched country cottages, is a lovely spot from which to explore the surrounding Cotswolds, and treat your four-legged friend to a hike in the fields.
A spot of shopping? Just 3 miles away lies the Roman town of Cirencester with its local butchers, fish shop and Friday market. Your dog will love the Bathhurst Estate here, perfect for walkies.
Also well worth exploring is the Cotswold Water Park. With 150 lakes set over 40 square miles, there are a multitude of walking options and activities on offer.
Address: The Wild Duck, Drakes Island, Ewen, Cirencester, GL7 6BY
Put the postcode in your SatNav and you’ll find The Wild Duck just a couple of miles from the A429, one of the main Cotswolds’ tributaries. Just remember to keep an eye out to spot this secluded inn.
Arriving by car will be your most straightforward option. If you do take the train, the nearest station is Kemble, approximately an hour and twenty minutes from Paddington. Book your taxi for the onward journey (approximately 5 minutes) in advance to accommodate fido.
The Wild Duck was our paw-stop of choice for a relaxed lunch on a crisp but sunny Spring day out in the Cotswolds.
Once through the enchanting wooden door of this countryside inn, there are two entrances to choose from – Rigby had clearly sniffed out the treats, so we followed his lead and made a left towards the bar, greeted by smiling faces and the aromas of a warming country pub lunch.
It was a Monday when we visited, and relatively early, so we had our pick of the tables on offer. We chose a seat by a window looking out onto the spacious courtyard, bathed in the midday sun. A line of dog bowls greets you as you walk through the bar space and past the roaring fire; we grabbed one for Rigby, along with a couple of treats from the bar itself.
The venue is spacious but cleverly designed; the dark wood and deep red furnishings, with vines adorning the upper walls, add a touch of cosyness, and tables are split off into several areas, creating a pleasantly intimate feel. Wooden benches accompany many of the tables; ours proved a perfect place for Rigby to quietly stretch out for a nap underneath the bench seat (next to the radiator, of course) while we enjoyed the Modern British fare.
It’s the sort of menu that makes you wish you could try everything. We opted for a lighter lunch; the chicken and avocado salad with their green goddess dressing was delicious and felt like a treat, while the Cornish crab pate was light and tasty – clearly not long out of the sea.
There wasn’t much going spare once we finished our meals, so after a spruce up with the 100 Acres toiletries in the bathrooms, and a good sniff around the tree-lined courtyard garden, we set off in search of a post-lunch walking trail. Having asked the delightful staff, we were advised to take a left out of the restaurant and head towards the start of the Thames path. After around 10 minutes, we stumbled across the footpath, and the start of a calm, shallow stream – much to Rigby’s delight! Safe to be off the lead, Rigby bounded in and followed us down river-side as we explored the drier areas.
After a rub-down it was time to head off – next time we’ll be making time to pop in for a post-walk dessert!
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