My Favourite Places: Susie Whitfield
We chat to the Cotswolds Baking Workshop's Susie Whitfield to find out where she chooses to hang out in our glorious shires (and beyond). Read on for fabulous shopping, sipping and sightseeing inspo.
It’s a heck of long way from Route 66 in New Mexico to Evesham in the Cotswolds! But lucky for us, American Susie Whitfield has made our shires home to her fantastic business The Cotswolds Baking Workshop.
Now holding mouth-watering baking classes from her home studio near Evesham, both online and in person, you couldn’t be in better hands if you want to learn a new dish, get some core skills or perfect your existing repertoire – she even won Gordon Ramsay’s Culinary Genius USA in 2017!
So where does such a well-travelled lady go in her own spare time? Read on to find out …
Temple Guiting Pantry, Temple Guiting
My two favourite things are eating and shopping and this little gem does both exceptionally well. Housed in the village’s former post office, the restaurant is on two floors. After a delicious lunch, I like to venture into the well-curated section of chic homeware and accessories. And they stock all the flavours of Tony’s Chocolonely! There are some great walks in the Windrush Valley and definitely some picture-postcard photo ops nearby.
Blockley Village Cafe, Moreton-in-Marsh
This is a great place for lunch (don’t miss the halloumi fries!) or for tea and freshly-baked scones or a doughnut after a walk around the beautiful village or local countryside. We often take visitors to the area here and it always has great food and service in a light and airy atmosphere. The small grocer next door is a convenient stop for the enticing selection of local produce for sale.
Todenham Manor Farm, Todenham
We love doing the circular walk from home to Todenham – a favourite Saturday outing. Another great source of local produce such as Cacklebean eggs, and ribeye steaks for a weekend treat – they even deliver. The butchers are friendly and helpful and the meat is exceptional, you can even visit the pigs on your way in. Also worth a visit is St Thomas à Becket Grade 1 listed 14th Century church in the village.
Chipping Campden High Street
I love a few hours browsing in Chipping Campden and enjoying the beautiful architecture. There is an antique shop on the high street packed full of treasures with a ‘secret’ basement room perfect for mooching. I’m always on the lookout for interesting pieces for my baking photography and it’s a great source. There are also plenty of wonderful indie shops and eateries.
Hidcote National Trust, North Cotswolds
I love to visit the beautiful ‘Garden Rooms’ at Hidcote and I am inspired by the property having been purchased and developed by a fellow American in the early 1900s. No matter what the season, there is always something to appreciate. Be sure not to miss taking the Monarch’s Way from the car park to nearby Hidcote Bartrim to see the thatched stone cottages that once housed the gardeners.
Taste of the Country, Shipston-on-Stour
This is a foodies paradise, stocked full of local produce. I often pop in for local ingredients for my baking such as Matthews Cotswold flour and Netherend farm butter. They also have great selection of hard-to-find cooking ingredients and excellent deli food, fresh bread, and cakes to take-away for an impromptu picnic.
Burford Garden Company, Burford
I can spend hours here! Everything is beautiful and I love that I can shop great brands like Penelope Chilvers and Pom Amsterdam without having to travel far. It is also a great place for gifts. The restaurant serves delicious food in a convivial atmosphere. Christmas is absolutely magical at Burford Garden Company with their incredible displays – there are so many ideas and so much inspiration for decorating your home.
Blue Bean Coffee Shop, Shipston-on-Stour
This cafe, just on the edge of the Cotswolds, serves the best coffee in town and is a great place for a bite to eat, a friendly natter, and a great source of information about the area. I’m looking forward to meeting friends here after lockdown restrictions lift. The cakes are absolutely delicious, especially the Millionaire’s Shortbread. Owners Sharon and Karl bring their bohemian Brighton style to rural Warwickshire.
Cotswolds Grey, Morton-in-Marsh
We have found some great pieces and inspiration in this eclectic interiors shop. Don’t miss visiting the two smaller showrooms out the back. Prices are affordable, the staff is extremely helpful, and the stock is always changing so there is always something new to see. They also feature work from local artists and photographers.
Seven Tuns, Chedworth
Tucked away at the bottom of a winding road, from the outside this looks like an ordinary village pub. However the food and wine is far from ordinary! This is a great pub serving great food. The perfect stop after exploring nearby Chedworth Roman Villa and seeing the stunning mosaics said to date from the 5th Century. You can even walk to the pub from the Villa but be warned, the path can be muddy. Be sure to save room for pudding – they are to die for!
Santa Fe, New Mexico USA
This has always been a special place to me. I grew up an hour away and always visit Santa Fe for as long as possible when I go back to the U.S. There is amazing Adobe architecture, New Mexican food, and gorgeous shops selling turquoise and silver jewellery. Canyon Road is full of art galleries and slowly rises to the foothills of the mountains. The stunning La Fonda hotel on the Plaza is a great base for exploring.
For more information on the Cotswolds Baking Workshop, or how to book one of the brilliant cooking and baking classes click here to read more. Head to www.cotswoldsbaking.com or call Susie on 07786 838294.