Category Archives: Food


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I met Yumiko Kojima-Tivers, the translator of this blog yesterday. It’s always a pleasure to see her and I’m always amazed at her knowledge of the Cotswolds.


One thing we often talk about is how to create opportunities for visitors to truly experience English life and culture – which is part of the reason for this blog – and how it seems now that so many visitors from Japan want to have a different, deeper kind of experience of the Cotswolds and England, to meet local people and learn how life is for them.

彼女との会話の中でしばしば挙がることは旅行者にいかにしてイギリスの暮らしや文化を経験していただく場を作るかということ ー それがこのブログを始めた理由の一つでもあるのだが ー そして、最近の日本からの旅行者がいかにコッツウォルズ、イギリス国内で今までとは違ったさまざまな体験をすることを希望しているか、また彼らは地元の人との交流を通して,そのライフスタイルから何かを見出したいと思っていることだ。

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It’s how I feel when I visit Japan. Amongst other experiences, I have loved hanami; the chance to try chankonabe at a sumo-beys; an onsen visit; a night at a Buddhist temple on Mount Koya; making soba noodles and having an ikebana lesson. For a westerner these are really memorable experiences, but sometimes it takes a little courage or support from local people to discover or try new things.


This is not a commercial blog, but I would like everyone to know that Yumiko has
created a new service (Culture Tourism UK) because her idea is so close to how I think that travel should be. Yumiko’s idea draws on her experience as a guide in England, talking to clients from Japan and developing an understanding of Japanese people’s interest in the UK. The key phrase is ‘in depth’ and so Culture Tourism UK has two sections. One is staying and learning at Denman (The Women Institute’s lovely residential college in a village not far from London. The Women’s Institute is an organisation for women which has branches all over the country and has Queen Elizabeth as its patron. ) and the other is a bespoke tour of UK for individuals and small groups, mainly in the Cotswolds.

このブログは商業目的ではない。しかし今回由美子が立ち上げたカルチャーツーリズムUKに関しては皆さんに知っていただきたいと思っている。何故なら彼女の旅に関する考えは私が感じていることにとても近いからだ。彼女のアイディアはイギリス観光ガイドとしての長年の経験から生まれたものだ。日本からの旅行者との会話を通して、彼らがイギリスに何を求めているかを考えた結果である。大切なことは「内容の深さ」だ。そこで彼女はカルチャーツーリズムUKを二つの分野に分けた。そのひとつはデンマンカレッジでのカルチャーレッスン(デンマンカレッジはThe Women’s Institute’s直営の宿泊施設を伴うカレッジでロンドンからさほど離れていない小さな村にある。Women’s Instituteとは全国に支部を持ち、エリザベス女王が後援者である大規模なイギリスの婦人協会)、そしてもう一つは主にコッツウォルズを巡る個人や小グループのための完全オーダーメードの旅のコーディネートだ。

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The first clients arrive at the end of May! They will be spending time in London, visiting the V&A Museum. Later they will spend time at Denman, spending a day baking for afternoon tea, staying overnight and enjoying a talk on afternoon tea culture. The tour then continues with a Cotswold visit to see some of the most beautiful English countryside and making a visit to Woburn Abbey, (which is where the afternoon tea culture started . After some more time in London, the tour ends. Yumiko accompanies throughout to ensure that clients have the opportunity to enjoy, discuss and understand their experiences.

Information at:


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A Word About British Food. And a Visit to a Fish and Chip Shop. イギリスの食べ物に関してひとこと。そしてフィッシュ.アンド.チップスのお店について。


It seems that Britain’s food image isn’t very good worldwide. Whereas people travel to France or Italy because of the food, research tells us that many people view British food with suspicion.  Certainly our style is different, often with an emphasis on quantity, large pieces of meat etc which must be unpleasant to visitors from Japan who are more used to quality of presentation.


Things aren’t all bad though. Raw materials – ingredients – in Britain can be very high quality, with good standards or organic production and organic integrity.  My own theory is that much of the best English food is served at home.  For that reason I don’t often eat takeaway food.  There are maybe four main kinds of takeaway food here – which are based on Britain’s history as a country with an empire. Almost every town, or even large village will have an Indian and Chinese takeaway and many have a Thai Restaurant (So you see, we quite like rice!).

しかし、事態はそれほど悪いものではない。原材料 ― 原料 ― に関してはイギリスはスタンダード、オーガニック生産や完全オーガニック性とともに質がとても高い。私自身の意見は、最高のイングリッシュフードは家庭で食べるに限るということだ。こういう理由から私はめったにテイクアウトは利用しない。


The fourth style is thought to be our national dish – fish and chips. In fact I had fish and chips today, although this is quite unusual for me – heavy food!  Britain has an estimated 10,500 fish and chip shops and on any Friday, one in five takeaways are from the chip shop. An estimated 229 million portions of fried fish are sold in the UK every year.

4番目は我々独自の国家的食べもの ー フィッシュ&チップスである。実は私は今日、フィッシュ&チップスを食べたのであるが、これは珍しいことだ。 ― 私にはヘビーすぎる食べ物なのだ。イギリスには想定10,500のフィッシュ&チップスの店があり、金曜のテイクアウトの5件に一件はフィッシュ&チップスだそうだ。また毎年想定2億2900万の魚のフライがイギリスで売られている。

The UK’s favourite fish choice is cod, which accounts for six out of 10 portions sold. Haddock comes in second, at 25 per cent. The remaining 13.5 per cent includes hake, halibut, plaice, pollock and sole.


Sadly, not many fish and chip restaurants are very high quality – if you visit the UK, please be careful and ask advice to find a good one. I think that the restaurant that I went to today is a good one. It’s called Simpsons in Cheltenham and so here is my guide to a good Fish and Chip shop and what to look out for if you want good English Fish and Chips. 


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The place has to be spotlessly clean of course. And it’s nice to see an award in the window and a queue of people waiting to get in. This Fish and Chip shop takes sustainability very seriously – stocks of Cod (the traditional ‘fish and chips’ fish) are threatened and so they also offer alternatives, only use wild fish from sustainable grounds and sends its waste fat to be made into bio-fuel. All very good to see.

もちろん店内は完璧に清潔であること。窓にはアワードを受けた証拠であるスティッカーが貼ってあり、外には席の空くのを待つお客の列ができている。このフィッシュ&チップスの店は‘持続性’をとても真剣に考えている ー コッド(伝統的なフィッシュ&チップスに使われる魚)は将来的存在が危険な状態にあるために、その他の魚を使うことや、持続性のある場所で取れる野生のコッドを使い、廃物となる脂肪はバイオ燃料になる。大変いいことだ。

I think it’s also good when the Fish and Chip Shop (we call them ‘Chippies’ affectionately) have well designed menus. To me, that means they are taking care of all the details.


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So I ordered a takeaway which was delivered in a smart cardboard box (keeps everything warm).  All very nice too – the traditional accompaniment is bread and butter and a cup of tea. Not especially healthy – mind you I only do it once a month!


全て良かった - 伝統ではバターを塗ったパンと紅茶と一緒に食べる。特別健康的とは言えないが - まあ、一か月に一度だから良しとしよう。


Three Signs of Autumn 秋の兆し


When the weather is fine, September is an enjoyable month in the Cotswolds. It does, however, feel slightly lost between between two seasons. Summer is nearly over, Autumn is coming… we lose our long sunny days and we look forward to Autumn colour.


Now the fields themselves are changing colour as farmers stack up the hay and plough the fields turning them from straw to brown, their tractors followed by colonies of birds investigating the newly turned soil for insects.


Hay bales are enigmatic things. When I was young they were stacked in the barn at the back of my grandfather’s farm. We played there and made houses from the bales. There were chickens too and sometimes they laid eggs in the hay. The smell and rough sensation of touching straw are very enigmatic. I had my first kiss in a straw barn.


The signs of the end of summer are straw bales, the change in colour of fields and also the arrival of blackberries. They’re delicious cooked with apples. Preparing them stains your hands and your lips as you steal a few from the pile.



Some most welcome visitors to the Cotswolds 日本のロイヤルファミリーをコッツウォルズにお迎えして。

One of my jobs (I work freelance) is to help to promote a well-known Manor House hotel, called Lords of the Manor (  Although this blog isn’t about advertising,  I thought that you might be interested to know that the hotel was today honoured by Royal visitors from Japan.

フリーランスとしての私の仕事のひとつは有名なマナーハウス (ホテルであるローズ.オヴ.ザ.マナーをプロモートすることだ。このブログは広告のためでは決してない。しかし、今日、日本のロイヤルファミリーをお迎えする名誉に授かったことは読者にも興味を持っていただけるかもしれない。

Their Imperial Highnesses Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko Akishino visited for lunch. Accompanied by Mr Keiichi Hayashi, the Japanese Ambassador to the UK, the Royal party their visit to the Michelin starred hotel and famously beautiful village of Upper Slaughter. The couple toured the hotel gardens and took several photographs.

秋篠宮殿下ご夫妻が昼食のためにローズ.オヴ.ザ.マナーホテル立ち寄られたのだ。英国駐在林大使と共にご夫妻はミシュランの星を持つホテルの他、その美しさで知られるアパー.スローターの村、そしてホテルのガーデンを周られ、写真を写されるなどされてお楽しみいただいた。photoThe visitors enjoyed a lunch of Ravioli of Mushroom with Chicken Consomme followed by Braised Lamb Fillet, Crushed Peas, Rosemary Pomme.  Lunch finished with Treacle Tart, Raspberries and Clotted Cream.


Photograph shows the visitors with Mr Sunil George, Asst. Restaurant Manager and (right),  Paul Thompson, General Manager.


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Garden Tour ガーデンツアー


We moved into our new house about 18 months ago. The back garden was simply a rectangle of  grass and so we have been making a new flower garden. Although the house was built in around 1820, the garden has Victorian walls on three sides, which has inspired our planting.


Here’s a quick tour of progress in a typical small Cotswold back garden…



We started with roses and plants such as this Forget- Me-Not. The strong blue against the rough wall is beautiful. Next to it, climbing up a frame, we’ve grown sweet peas,  a traditional, Victorian flower. In those times (around the late 19th century) if a lady wore sweet peas it was a rather scandalous message of encouragement to her lover.



Continuing, we have some pansies, another flower with meaning for the Victorians – as a gift from a man to a woman, the meaning was that he was thinking of their secret love. However it was said to be an unlucky gift for a woman to a man.


IMAG2218Along one border we’ve planted White Willow Herb, Daisies, Buddleaia and Geraniums.  Buddleaia attract butterflies. White Willow Herb was, a long time ago, used a bit like aspirin, to relieve minor aches or pains – these days we’re happy just to enjoy its pure brilliant white colour, especially in the early evening when it stands out as the garden gets dark.


IMAG2217IMAG2216Here’s a plant that is called ‘Snow in Summer’, another plant with a long history in English gardens (at least back to the 17th century).



The foxgloves are beautiful ,these are also a pure white, but have a little maturing to do:



We ran out of space for vegetables, so bought a raised bed. It has already paid for itself with lettuces, coriander, spring onions and radishes. Beans are still to come.

We ran out of space for vegetables, so bought a raised bed. It has already paid for itself with lettuces, coriander, spring onions and radishes. Beans are still to come.



And of course the whole thing is supervised by Danny the Cat.



Shopping – Cotswolds Style

Now that it’s Spring (and even beginning to feel like Summer), it’s good to sometimes ignore boring supermarkets and try a more unusual style of shopping.



On Saturday, a very warm day, we started by driving past nearby Winchcombe to buy some apple juice from Hayles Fruit Farm. Nextwe passed typical roadside Cotswold hedges, covered with spectacular white hawthorne blossom and what the local people call ‘cow parsley’. We headed for Farmcote Herbs, which is run by Tim and Jane. Here we bought parsley, thyme, basil, coriander and 3 different types of chilli plant.  Tim grows everything himself and has a menu of unusual types of chilli plants for sale – the British love spicy food.

私たちはヘイルズ果樹園で作られるリンゴジュースを買うために、近くのウィンチカム方面のドライブに出かけた。それはとても暖かい土曜日であった。コッツウォルズの道端でよく見かける白いサンザシの生垣や、地元の人が‘カウパセリ’と呼んでいる白い花が咲いている。果樹園の次の目的地はティムとジェイン夫妻が経営するファームコート.ハーブズだ。ここではパセリ、タイム、バジル、コリアンダー、そして3種類のチリの苗を買った。ティムは珍しい種類のチリを含む全ての苗を自分で栽培、販売している。- 英国人はスパイシーな食べ物が大好きなのだ。


We drove on past the Lavender fields at Snowshill, which are just beginning to show their colour.  We visited Old Farm, a farm shop near Moreton-in-Marsh, to buy some cheese,  bread, pork sausages, new potatoes and onions.  We tried a taster of ‘Righton’s Ruin’, a new cider named after the owners. Sarah and Simon Righton.


By now we were hungry, so we stopped  at my favourite Pub in the Cotswolds, which is the Plough Inn at Kingham. Emily Watkins, the Chef proprietor, is very skilled at finding local producers and takes the trouble to make almost everything in the kitchen ‘from scratch’ (that means ‘from the start’), from beautiful ingredients. As it was a hot day, I had a classic, deceptively simple ‘Ploughman’s lunch’. You see ‘Ploughman’s lunch’ on many English pub menus – it usually includes bread, cheese, pickles, butter and tomato or salad. Emily’s was perfect. Homemade bread, ham and a delicious Double Gloucester cheese came with salad – delicate leaves that you knew had been picked nearby and very recently.

さて、そろそろお腹もすいてきたのでコッツウォルズで私が気に入っているパブに行くことにした。キンガムにあるプラウ.インだ。オーナーシェフであるエミリー.ワトキンズは地元の生産者を見つけるのが得意だ。そして彼女は彼らの素晴らしい材料を使って、ほとんど全てのものを彼女のキッチンで作るように努力している。その日は暑い日だったので私は迷わずにシンプルでクラシックな‘プラウマンズ.ランチ’をオーダーした。‘プラウマンズ.ランチ’は多くのイングリッシュパブのメニューに載っている。- パン、チーズ、ピクルス、バター、そしてトマト、またはサラダがついてくる。しかし、エミリーのものは完璧だ。ホームメードのパン、ハムと美味しいダブルグロスター.チーズにサラダが皿を飾る。サラダのデリケートな葉を見れば、それは直前に、そしてすぐ近くで摘まれたものということがすぐにわかる。

On the way home we stopped at another farm to buy a chicken and some eggs.


Just as we got back we noticed that the local junk shop had a garden table and chairs for sale. These are things that our garden has needed for a long time, so I bought them at 1/4 of the price of the garden shop versions.  And very nice they look too…



It was a great day for shopping and it beat going to the High Street…  it’s also a nice feeling to support growers and farmers who make high-quality food in the Cotswolds.