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Fabulous foodie trail in the Forest of Dean

Foodies rejoice! We have something that will really get you drooling. The Delicious Dean Tastebuds Trail is a culinary itinerary which takes you on a gastro-fabulous ride through the Forest of Dean. Who knew it was a hotbed of artisan produce? Here's the secret map.

The Forest of Dean is rich in fabulous flavours, artisan expertise and bistro-style bites, due in part to it championing sustainable farming, lush meadows and traditional orchards. Add to that a rather lovely micro climate and a band of intrepid artisans popping up to bring us amazing local food and drink.

We’ve created a magical mystery tour of the very best spots to sample it first hand, from local award-winning restaurants, cafés, pubs and on-site experiences.

Here’s where to head…

For those with a sweet tooth there’s an itinerary that takes in The Chocolate Bar in Lydney, an artisan maker specialising in delicious chocolates. From here call into the Mallards Pike Café for a slice of cake overlooking a beautiful lake with unique wildlife, or visit Taurus Crafts in Lydney, which serves superb food and drink that’s organic and sustainable.

The cheese-a-holic route takes in the multi award-winning Smarts Farm in Churcham, supplier of the round of Double Gloucester used for the infamous annual Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling event. Forest Deli in Coleford has one of the best cheese counters in the region; while Hanley Farm Shop and Café at Tidenham is a much-lauded spot for lunch and place to sample Cheddar made from the milk of the farm’s very own cows.

For tasty tipples, the iconic Fountain Inn at Parkend, with its steam train and iron works history, is a great pit stop for walkers, cyclists and motorists alike with its array of real ales and delicious food. Across the county find the 16th Century Red Hart Inn at Blaisdon, the multi-award-winning and current Forest of Dean Pub of the Year, which is a welcome retreat after completing one of its many walking trails.

If you’re curious for the pure nectar of artisan cider or perry, join the family at Severn Cider in Awre to sample some of its products and explore their riverside heritage orchards.

Wine seekers will love Three Choirs

For a foodie overnighter, hunker down at the Three Choirs Vineyard in Newent and combine your stay with a tour and tasting at the state-of-the-art winery and visitor centre, and lunch or dinner at the on-site brasserie. Deeper into the forest is the Tudor Farmhouse Hotel overlooking the gaze of Clearwell Castle, which dates back to the 13th Century and is described as a “culinary oasis”.

Tudor Farmhouse will blow your socks off

Explore breathtaking nature on your doorstep with a stay at the Speech House Hotel near Coleford, a 17th Century royal hunting lodge constructed for Charles II.

The AA Rosette Verderers’ fine dining restaurant serves seasonal dishes in sight of the historical raised courtroom gallery. For an extra-special experience the Delicious Dean Tastebuds Trail recommends the county’s best seafood at Severn & Wye Smokery’s beautiful The Barn restaurant; a meal cooked by a private chef from Harts Barn Cookery School at a location of your choosing; or Crafternoon Tea at the Lydney studios of magical mosaic artist, Rachel Shilston.

Harts Barn Cookery School

Find out more here.

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