The Falkland Arms, Great Tew
We had a lovely end to 2018 when we went for the first of what will hopefully be many weekend walks in the Cotswolds. The Cotswolds is a beautiful region of England and it’s not too far for us to drive there from our home in Northamptonshire. We took a circular walk around the Great Tew Estate before stopping at The Falkland Arms for Sunday lunch.
As it was the first of our little weekend excursions to the Cotswolds, I hadn’t anticipated potentially needing to book for lunch but it was really busy! We got lucky as I’d planned our walk to finish at around 12pm so we grabbed the only table that wasn’t booked at about 12:15. Other than that, they were fully booked throughout lunchtime so I wouldn’t risk not getting a table in the next place we visit for lunch. It could also have been busier than usual due to the time of year – I imagine there would be a lot of people in the local area who wouldn’t want to cook for their families yet again after Christmas and Boxing Day!
The pub itself was absolutely delightful and was exactly what I’d hope to find in a pub in the Cotswolds. It was quaint and cosy, with a fire going in the bar area, a Christmas tree lit up in the corner of the restaurant and a quirky selection of mugs hanging from the ceiling. We had a window seat with stools, which was perfect for watching passers-by whilst we waited for our food.
They seemed to have a good range of alcoholic drinks but we both went straight for Coke – all that walking across fields is thirsty work and I was driving back straight after lunch! The lunch menu looked like it was probably the same menu as the evening menu. There was a good range of meals available; from fish through to traditional roasts as well as other delicious-looking options such as risotto and a classic burger.
For starters, I went for the smoked salmon, dill and tarragon mousse. This was absolutely divine – it was smooth and the flavours combined perfectly. The mousse was served with sourdough bread, creme fraiche and a green salad with rocket. For a starter, it was pretty substantial, which was no bad thing as I couldn’t get enough of the flavours! John went for the leek and potato soup, which was served with crusty bread and Gloucestershire butter. It was a really hearty, chunky and homely soup; perfect for winter lunches.
There was no doubt in our minds what we were going for for mains: a traditional Sunday roast. I don’t always go for these but it was just right after our walk. And it certainly didn’t disappoint! There was a minor mix up when John ordered the lamb and was served the beef instead but that was his second option anyway, so it wasn’t too much of an issue. I had roast chicken, which was beautifully succulent. It definitely made me realise that most of the time I put up with much lower quality chicken when I’m cooking day-to-day! The Yorkshire puddings were huge and very light, and the roasts were both served with carrots, parsnips, red and white cabbage and gravy.
The service was extremely efficient; we had no doubt that they wanted to turn our table around sharpish so they could get another table in after us! This suited us fine as we were quite hungry by lunchtime. There were several groups that came in after we were seated that they had to turn away. They took our order and served our food very promptly and cooked to a high standard so no complaints there. Due to the error with John’s meal, we were nearly charged for the lamb, which was slightly more expensive than the beef but this was quickly rectified when we spotted it on the receipt.
All-in-all, Sunday lunch at The Falkland Arms was a very pleasant experience and just what we were looking for after our walk. The food was spot on as it was uncomplicated with classic flavours. I’d definitely recommend this as a lunch stop if you’re in the area, and I also think it would be the perfect pub to stop at for a drink when warmer weather graces England in a few months’ time. I’ll just make sure that I book ahead of time for our next lunch excursion to a village pub in the Cotswolds, as space was definitely a premium!