NOTHING has been left to chance at the Ragged Cot in the heart of the Cotswolds.
The 17th century coaching inn at Minchinhampton sits on the edge of the 450 acre National Trust cared for common on the main road between Cirencester and Stroud. It is perfectly located as a base for exploring the Cotswolds, including arguably the most unspoilt corner in the Slad Valley – Cider With Rosie country, where author Laurie Lee lived and penned the autobiographical classic of his Cotswolds childhood in the early 20th century.
The attention to detail at the Ragged Cot is second to none, from the immaculately kept gardens, to the stylish contemporary décor perfectly sympathetic to the building’s rich history, to a menu which is the envy of many. Nothing has been overlooked, and it is not surprising the Cot is so popular with both locals and visitors.
For those staying a night or two, the Cot boasts nine well-presented en-suite rooms complete with all mod cons. The rooms are not huge – remember though this is a 400 odd year-old inn – but everything a guest would expect, and more, such as robes. Most importantly the rooms are supremely comfortable, including the beds.
To stay at the Cot and not dine at the Cot would be an insult to both an excellent kitchen, and also yourself.
The relaxed and informal restaurant specialises in locally sourced British food offering an inspired seasonal menu including regular specials.
We opted to start with Evesham asparagus wrapped in pancetta, and cod and salmon fishcakes. Both were bursting with their distinctive flavours, and both stylishly presented, as were all the dishes.
We followed with a succulent chicken filled with local Woefuldence cheese and Black Forest ham on a bed of crushed potatoes and garden sage cream, and the house fish and chips – cod in a truly crispy beer batter with three times cooked chips akin to roast potatoes.
Be warned, the portions are very generous, but we still managed to find room for the best raspberry tart my good lady had ever tasted, while I had to settle for a simply excellent crème brulee with black pepper shortbread.
The wine list is carefully and cleverly selected so as not to daunt, but while still offering plenty of choice, and is also very well priced. There is also a good range of traditional ales.
A recent addition at the Cot is The Shed – which is anything but in truth. The converted outbuilding offers a range of coffees and lighter bites and has proved hugely popular we are told since opening at the tail end of last year.
If there is an ethos at the Cot, it ensuring all guests – those staying, dining, or simply having a drink – feel relaxed. The knowledgeable and helpful staff clearly understand this.
There is certainly nothing ragged about the Ragged Cot.
Visit www.theraggedcot.co.uk for further details.