Since we reopened after a well-earned break it has been all systems go. With our new look restaurant looking so good and the arrival of our new chef, Paolo, creating amazing dishes it’s looking like another busy year ahead.
Chester House may have been having a rest during January but behind the scenes Andrew the decorator was hard at it making the bedrooms and restaurant look fresh while Bernie and her team of housekeepers brought it all together with their usual magic touch, adding foliage, pictures, soft furnishings and lighting to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
The bar has been stocked with locally sourced craft drinks including ales from Hook Norton, lagers from The Cotswold Brew Company here in Bourton-on-the-Water and gin from Cotswold Distillery in Shipston plus local cider and juices.
Outside the hotel, the garden and window boxes are full of beautiful spring flowers – hyacinths, daffodils and primroses – all a sign that warmer days are to come and longer days to enjoy.
With the arrival of spring lambs and ducklings we also welcome Paolo’s new baby! Congratulations and much love to you and your wife.
Spring is here at last. The trees are alive, beautiful and green again, and the fields full of lambs and calves. I love this time of year.
Bernie and the team have made the garden summer ready with Lavender, Clematis and Wisteria jostling for space with the early spring flowers. New garden furniture has been delivered and assembled and already we have lots of visitors eating outside and enjoying the sun.
We have welcomed a new chef Joao to join Paolo, Marcin and Valentine in the kitchen; Joao is a great addition to the team and lots of fun too! They are creating great daily specials which are proving to be very popular especially with the staff who get to be the guinea pigs….
It seems that when the sun shines on Bourton-on-the-Water everyone wants to visit. It is so lovely to see children dipping their toes in the river and families picnicking on the grass again, and eager dogs waiting for a little ice cream to fall from a cone. Happy days!
Chef Paolo has created some amazing dishes for summer and they taste so good………Insalata primavera with fresh rocket, butterbeans, chickpeas, onion, tomato and feta cheese in a beautiful dressing. Then there is a lemon and herb marinated chicken breast that is accompanied by a Mediterranean vegetable quinoa salad and a naturual mint yogurt dressing. Homemade Cotswold Gin cured salmon gravalax with dill cream cheese. Sirloin steak panino with balsamic onions and blue cheese, served with skinny fries.
I could go on….and I will. I can’t leave out my favourite – lemon sorbet affogato , a wonderfully refreshing dessert of sorbet and limoncello, which originates from Sorrento on the Amalfi coast. So good. Sometimes the most simple ingredients taste the best, they really do.
Summer is truly here……village fetes, cricket on the green, tennis, strawberries and cream, the sound of lawn mowers and the smell of BBQ’S.
July is one of our busiest months with lots of guests coming to stay, hungry visitors looking to eat. We have met many people over the years and many have remained friends, returning often. It’s wonderful to welcome back familiar faces, to meet new ones and to make new memories.
As August crawls towards Autumn Bourton shows no sign of settling down. So many people visit the village and enjoy the many attractions on offer. From cars to nature, model village to model railway and a duck race or two there is so much to do. And we mustn’t forget the bank holiday river football match that has taken place every year for the last hundred years. Be prepared to get more than a bit splashed!
This month we say goodbye to our hotel manager, Andy. He has been a fantastic member of the team and great fun to work with. We will miss him hugely and wish him the best of luck for the future.
We also say goodbye and a big thank you to all our students who have been working very hard throughout the summer months, and are now returning to their studies. The hotel staff play such a large and important roll and we are so lucky to have them. Thank you every one!
The backdrop of the village is changing from green to russets and gold and it looks beautiful. Gardens are full of cyclamen and pansies, allotments bursting with produce. There is plenty of foraging to be done at this time of year with a harvest of blackberries, rose-hips, crab apples, hazelnuts and seeds and also the welcome return of the sloe berry.
Chester House has also been touched with autumn. Hanging baskets, pots and window boxes have been refreshed. The bar window is now awash with colour; pumpkins, conkers and an assortment of leaves making the hotel even more warm and inviting – well done Bernie and the team, don’t know what we’d do without you….
It’s not Christmas yet but Paolo has been doing lots of experimenting in the kitchen for our festive menu. We now have a line up that makes your mouth water just reading about it. From pheasant pate and blackberry relish to goats cheese, poached pear and candied walnuts….. griddled local venison steak and dauphinoise potatoes served with a port sauce to cod loin with Jerusalem artichoke cream, crispy seaweed and Mediterranean salsa……..just some of the delicious winter dishes available throughout December. To see the Christmas menu in full please see the ‘Eat’ section of our website.