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The Locals List: Cotswold lifestyle bloggers Millie and Meg take us on a whistle-stop tour of their favourite haunts.

Posted on September 08, 2015 by David

The latest in our series in which locals share their insider knowledge of destinations across the UK. In this edition, the duo behind Cotswolds lifestyle blog Millie and Meg, share some of their favourite places and events in an area one travel guide describes as 'preposterously photogenic.'

Narrowing down our favourite places in The Cotswolds is nigh impossible, we are spoilt for choice. Surrounded by rolling countryside and agriculture hot spots, local supplies of traditional Cotswold fare are aplenty. Think Gloucester Old Spot Sausages, Herefordshire Beef, Vale of Evesham asparagus, Burford Dolcelette, Donnington Ales, Jess's dairy and Billy's Eggs. So here it goes, just some of the places where we regularly find ourselves ensconced in The Cotswolds.

Restaurants and pubs

The Feathered Nest

Photo supplied by The Feathered Next

The Feathered Nest in Nether Westcote, a little village which sits in between Stow-on-the-Wold and Burford, has the most stunning views of the Evenlode Valley. The Feathered Nest is everything you want from a Cotswold Inn; cosy, relaxing with lots of clever nods to the countryside surrounding it but also very special - perfect for romantic weekends away.

Old Stocks Inn

Photo supplied by Old Stocks Inn

Nestled away in Stow-on-the-Wold, is a new look Old Stocks Inn. It's a far and very welcome cry from the many Cotswold pubs we all know and love. Instead of Cotswold green Farrow & Ball, The Old Stocks has had a Scandinavian face lift. We have especially enjoy this new hang out on a summers evening, lapping up the sunshine in their courtyard with delicious pizza stone baked in their huge outdoor pizza oven.

The Wild Rabbit

Photo supplied by The Wild Rabbit

The Wild Rabbit in Kingham was taken over by the Bamfords, owners of Daylesford Organic Farm - and boy can you tell. Their vision for creativity and style makes this pub so much more than your average. This pub oozes cool and you know you are going to get quality everything when you walk through the door.

The Tavern

Photo supplied by The Tavern, Cheltenham

If like us, you're a fan of the humble Burger, we know a few spots which are taking burgers to the next level. The Tavern in Cheltenham holds a Burger night every Monday, delicious burgers served with shoe string fries and homemade slaw, all washed down with a local Bobby Beer.

Eat Wild

Photo supplied by Eat Wild

Eat Wild, owned by the Gloucestershire born Thompson brothers, opened their first Eat Wild restaurant in Cirencester in 2014. They are now known for serving "'Dirty Food' done well". Of course, venison burgers are the most popular dish on their menu.

Jolly Nice

Photo supplied by Jolly Nice

Jolly Nice, based just outside of Stroud on the Cirencester Road, is a very cool Airstream van serving award winning burgers. As well as delicious pulled pork baps and veggie burgers. The perfect pit stop if you're on the move to Cirencester or Bath or take a more leisurely approach by enjoy coffee and homemade cake in the cosy yurts. All the produce sold at Jolly Nice is straight from the farm or locally sourced, you can pick up everything from Hobbs House Bread to wine and Harriet’s homemade ice cream is to die for!

Shops and Markets

Lady Bamford's Daylesford Organics

Photo: Lady Bamford's Daylesford Organics. Photo supplied by Facebook

You will not have visited the Cotswolds unless you have been to Lady Bamford's Daylesford Organics in Kingham. Here you will find the infamous farm shop, which has now opened stores in and around London too. The shop takes full advantage of its location selling local fruit and vegetables and using produce from free range animals who roam around the surrounding land. There is an award winning cafe, dairy and creamery and farm kitchens. You can also stay onsite in the stunning cottages and book yourself into a cooking class for that extra experience.

Cotswold Trading

Photo supplied by Cotswold Trading

In Broadway you’ll find lots of lovely lifestyle shops. Our favourite is Cotswold Trading - you won’t leave empty handed! It is an Aladdin's cave of all things gifty, stocking Cath Kidston, Orla Kiely, Crabtree & Evelyn, Neal's Yard, Burt’s Bees, and so much more.

Chipping Campden

Photo: Chipping Campden. Photo supplied by Wikimedia Commons

Chipping Campden is typically great for art, jewellery, antiques and quirky gift shops. There has been a recent addition of Orchard Layne which has been a fantastic use of the old and unused British Legion. Here you’ll find all of your trinkets, gifts and accessories but you can also sit in their kitch café complete with log burner and homemade cakes.

Stroud Farmers Market

Photo: Farmers Market. Photo supplied by Nick Turner photography

If you're visiting on a Saturday then the award-winning farmers market held in Stroud every weekend is a must. Shop a wonderful selection of local produce, Hobbs House breads and the best doughnuts in all The Cotswolds.

The Falcon Inn

Photo supplied by The Falcon, Painswick

We can't mention shops without mentioning Meg’s gorgeous little gift and lifestyle shop at The Falcon Inn in Painswick. Meggie’s is packed with gorgeous gifts such as handmade soaps, candles, jewellery and chocolates all made in The Cotswolds. No more naff fridge magnets as holiday souvenirs.

The Cotswold Table

Photo supplied by The Cotswold Table

Look out for The Cotswold Table, a seasonal market held in the gorgeous village of Kingham. The Cotswold Table is about finding 'everything for the perfect table' from local suppliers of the finest Cotswold fare.

The Daffodil

Photo supplied by The Daffodil

The Daffodil in Cheltenham is infamous for their live jazz nights every Monday and Saturday lunchtimes. This converted 1920's cinema with its art deco interior and original features, takes you back to a time when cocktails and jazz were the ultimate luxury. Their Martini Mondays are a real treat!

Things to do & Places to Visit

Bibury

Photo: Bibury. Photo supplied by Wikimedia Commons

Bibury is a very popular tourist village in The Cotswolds and you can see why. It looks like a postcard and that's just why tourists visit every day. Stop by to snap the picturesque cottages, paddle in the river and catch your own dinner at Bibury Trout Farm.

Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park

Photo supplied by Adam Henson's Cotswold Farm & Park

The Cotswolds is a great place to bring kids, with so many attractions perfect for the whole family. Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park being one. Take the little ones to pet the animals, take the weight off your feet with a tractor safari ride and visit the well-maintained maze, conservation areas and play area.

Batsford Arboretum

Photo supplied by Batsford Arboretum

Batsford Arboretum near Moreton-in-Marsh is home to one of the largest private tree collections in the country. As well as lovely cafe, garden centre, shops and Falconry Centre, Batsford makes a great day out for the whole family, including the four legged members. We love visiting the spectacular colours during Autumn!

Painswick

Photo: Painswick. Photo supplied by Wikimedia Commons

Painswick is one of the most picturesque Cotswold villages - surrounded by rolling countryside. Painswick is half way on the Cotswold Way National Trail so many keen walkers pass through this hidden gem every day. Stop by beautiful St. Mary’s Church to admire the 99 perfectly clipped yew trees. The Rococo Gardens in Painswick are another gorgeous spot, particularly when carpeted with snow drops.

Arts & Events

Cheltenham Festivals

Photo: Photo supplied by Cheltenham Festivals

Cheltenham Festivals hold four inspiring festivals in Cheltenham every year; Jazz, Literature, Music and Science. All of which bring thousands of visitors to our spa town. Hosting a number of mini events within the festivals, you’ll find some huge names in their field getting involved, from up-and-coming young talent to well established artists. Cheltenham festival weeks bring a huge buzz around the town, making amazing use of the lovely Montpellier Gardens to create a great vibe in Cheltenham centre. The Jazz Festival in particular is one of our favourites.

Art Couture Painswick

Photo: Art Courture Painswick. Photo supplied by Facebook

ACP (Art Couture Painswick) is an artistic charity that organises a festival every other year taking place in beautiful Painswick. ACP turns St. Mary's church yard into a catwalk. Celebrating art by using bodies as a canvas; think body painting, recyclable fashion and lots of creativity.

The Big Feastival

The Big Feastival, hosted by Jamie Oliver and Alex James at Alex's Cotswold Farm, is the perfect family-focused festival. A relaxed, retro style but still very cool foodie festival with a great sense of humour. You can always expect a fantastic line-up of live music; 2015's line up included Paloma Faith and Dizzee Rascal. Of course, being a foodie festival at heart, the real rock stars of the festival cook live on stage and you can eat as much as you want from a huge choice of yummy festival food.

Gifford Circus

Photo: Gifford Circus. Photo supplied by Andrew Rees

Gifford Circus is Cotswold royalty! The travelling circus, turning village greens into intimate theatres. We turn into excitable kids every year when it comes to town. The beauty of Giffords Circus is that it is a tale told through comedy, magic and theatre.

Millie and Meg have been friends since they were 14 years old. Both grew up and lived in various different areas of The Cotswolds and are really passionate about where they live. Their Cotswold lifestyle blog is their way of celebrating and sharing all The Cotswold's has to offer.

After studying for a degree and working in Events Management, Millie now works as a teacher in the local area. Millie has lived in The Cotswolds from Chipping Campden to Cheltenham and now lives in a teeny tiny chocolate box cottage in a Cotswold village with her fiancee James. Millie and James love nothing more than baking, cooking, walking and entertaining friends.

After completing her degree in and working in Youth & Community services for a local charity, Megan has opted for a change of career. Meg now owns Meggie's - a gift & lifestyle shop selling lots of lovely local things at The Falcon Inn. Megan and her family own The Falcon Inn in the picturesque town of Painswick. Meg lives in a Cotswold cottage with her fiancee Harry and puppy, Pepper.

As well as their blog, you can follow Millie & Meg on Twitter and Instagram.

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