Dining in the Cotswolds with the rich and famous

A new restaurant has recently opened up twixt Fairford and Lechlade and I was lucky enough to be invited to the official opening at the beginning of May 2023.

Official opening of the Lakes Bar & Kitchen

The Lakes Bar & Kitchen owned by the Lakes by yoo and situated right next door to their award-winning luxury gated estate and the beautiful Bowmoor Sailing Lake is now open to the general public as well as the rich and famous owners and guests of the prestigious Cotswold lodges on the 800 acre private Lakes by yoo site.

This new venture for the Lakes by yoo marks a unique chapter for them, as this is the first time the estate has opened its doors to the neighbouring community bringing the residents and guests of the estate together with the local residents of Fairford, Lechlade and surrounding areas.

The interior eating and drinking areas are made up of two luxuriously decorated and conjoined tipis tucked among the trees and overlooking the sailing lake. It was a gloriously hot and sunny day when I went to the opening, so I was able to sit outside to enjoy alfresco dining amidst the quiet and serenity of the picturesque lake backdrop.

The Lakes Bar & Kitchen most definitely offers a laid-back ambience and has a range of delicious dishes created by The Relish Group. Having been catering in the Cotswolds for over 20 years, a spokesperson for the group said: “We’re excited to be a part of the Lakes by yoo’s new venture.”

At the opening, the other invited guests and I were treated to live music whilst drinking champagne – not any old cheap fizz, but the real thing. A few days later, diners at this new up-market eatery were treated to an impromptu performance by none other than Natalie Imbruglia, who it is rumoured is a friend of Lakes by yoo owner, John Hitchcox!

The never-ending supply of canapés that we were offered showcased mini-versions of the delectable cuisine on offer on the breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner menus.

Menu highlights include the Yoo Brunch Bowl featuring local Cotswold white eggs, Evesham spinach, slow-roasted tomatoes, hash browns and smashed avocado, as well as brunch classics such as eggs Benedict and organic granola bowls.

Meanwhile lite-bites include a Dunkerton’s cider and wild boar sausage roll and a delicate vegan chickpea Wellington! Don’t leave without trying the sweet treat – pineapple and pecan Hummingbird cake topped with cream cheese frosting. This is definitely a pud to die for!

Having had my appetite whetted by the canapés at the opening, I took a friend along a couple of weeks later to see if the venue and the menu were still as scrumptious!

I have to say that my friend and I were not disappointed by the venue and, even though we sat inside, we still had a wonderful view of the lake. The food was as good as I was hoping it would be – I tried the crunchy pork belly with a side of fries and my friend had the Poke Bowl with sushi rice, avocado, wakame, Edamame beans, pickled ginger, crispy onions, fresh chilli and coriander with Yuzu Wasabi dressing and extra king prawns.

If I had to make one criticism, it would be that the service was rather slow. The waiter was very attentive when we first arrived and the restaurant was not busy but, as more and more people arrived, the service slowed up considerably. A glutton for punishment, I went along for lunch the very next day with a different friend, and the service fine. It was just as busy as the day before, the service was better.

Considering my follow-up outings to the Lakes Bar & Kitchen were on a Tuesday and Wednesday lunchtime, I was amazed to see it so busy on both occasions.

Obviously the word has got out this is somewhere special to go for a relaxed, delicious meal in magnificent surroundings where the kids can run wild on the adjacent play park and even VIPs (Very Important Pooches) are catered for!

Open from Monday-Thursday from 9am-5pm; Friday and Saturday from 9am-9pm and on Sunday from 9am-4pm. To book a table or find out more, go to https://www.thelakesbyyoo.com/food-and-drink/



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