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Christmas Market Round-up!

What better way to nail your Christmas shopping this year than by combining it with a Cotswold mini break? Shop til you drop at designer outlet Bicester Village, historic Stratford Upon Avon or a whole host of gorgeous independent festival Christmas markets.

We’ve listed them all in our area so you can plan in any shopping recovery in front of our roaring fires with 2 Rosette food and gorgeous relaxing bedrooms. Take advantage of our 3 for 2 night and Winter deals - treat yourself & take the pain out of the shopping this year!

NOVEMBER

Cheltenham 22 Nov - 15 December (market plus over 140 independent boutiques & shops)

Oxford - Christmas Lights Festival - 16-18

Blenheim Palace - 17-20 - Living Crafts for Christmas Fair

Woodstock - at the Hopcroft Holt Hotel with artisan traders & Santa’s Grotto on Sun 18th

Moreton in Marsh - 24 November

Tewkesbury - 25 November

Broadway - 30 November

Blenheim Palace wonderland of illuminations in the estate grounds plus indoor Cinderella experience in the state rooms inside - From Fri 23rd Nov - January 13th

DECEMBER

Chipping Campden - market & light switch-on with 40 stalls, entertainment & food - Sat 1st (and market on Sunday 2nd too)

Kelmscott Christmas Craft Fair - 3rd Dec

Stow on the Wold Annual Christmas Tree Festival plus festive food, funfair & Father Christmas - 6-9th

Broadway - late night shopping & carol singing & street entertainers until 8.30pm - 7th Dec

Stratford Upon Avon - 7-9th - Big Christmas fair with over 150 stalls!

Oxford Christmas Market - 7-22nd

Cogges Manor Farm Xmas market, near Witney (60 stalls plus Father Christmas!) 8th & 9th

Sudeley Castle display of light & sound with ‘Alice in Wonderland’ theme - 8-30th

Chipping Norton - 70 stalls great for foodies and arts and crafts gifts - Sun 9th

Christmas Gift & Fashion Fair at Cheltenham Racecourse - 14 & 15


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Woop woop!! Two Rosettes!!

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Woop woop!! Two Rosettes!!

So over the moon right now to be able to announce that we were awarded 2 AA Rosettes for our food this week.

As usual the AA inspectors somehow managed to avoid our radar and surprise us in the morning after a nights stay and dinner the night before. Good job every customer is a VIP at The Killingworth Castle!!

According to the AA, 2 Rosettes are only awarded to "the best local restaurants, which aim for and achieve higher standards, better consistency, greater precision is apparent in the cooking and obvious attention to the selection of quality ingredients."

We join only a handful of foodie pubs in Oxfordshire to receive this accolade and are very proud of our hardworking team. So if you want somewhere to eat if you're visiting nearby Blenheim Palace, or just fancy a night away in a lovely country pub, then check out our menus and rooms .

I feel that the tide might be turning for our independent pubs in the UK. Some of the big restaurant chains are announcing big closures. An independent pub offers a unique experience and focuses on local produce and knowledge for locals and tourists alike. With our new Head Chef, Dave Hall fully ensconced with a great team both in the kitchen and front of house we are so glad to get this recognition as a foodie place in our beautiful Oxfordshire. 

Hope to see you soon! 

 

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Circus done Cotswolds style

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Circus done Cotswolds style

If, like me, you think you don't like going to the circus, then you should take yourself off to see Gifford's Circus.

It is a spectacular show that captivates your imagination like no other. Nothing Disney about this show, this is real life actors, fabulous show people, daring gymnasts and a clown famous in his own right, Mr Tweedy! Two key things: 1. It's beautiful, a traditional tent structure, costumes, set and sequences that must take half a year to perfect and 2. It's REAL. Nothing fake, just honest and inspiring entertainment.

Tatler called it 'Britain's poshest circus'. Tatler would...

The circus tours all over the Cotswolds and it's coming to nearby Daylesford Organic in Kingham on 24th MAy-4 June and our neighbourhood stately home Blenheim Palace on 7-11 June.

It's accessible, fun and utterly exhilarating for all ages. If you've never been BOOK TICKETS NOW!

 

http://www.giffordscircus.com/

 

 

 

 

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Indulge in  Cotswold 'grass'

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Indulge in Cotswold 'grass'

It's the season when everyone in the 'shires' goes a bit mad for the green stuff they call 'graaasss'. No, not that illegal stuff, but our wonderful, local vegetable, asparagus. It has such a short season, we all go a bit gaga for it and it's on our menus for as long as we can get our country mits on it.

And with good reason, it's delicious. So we're celebrating our wonderful local vegetable with an Asparagus Feast at The Killingworth Castle on Wednesday, 6th June. And you're invited. Check  the full menu here. 

We've got 6 rooms left if you fancy plotting up for the night and making a minibreak of it. Check our rooms here.

On the night, there will be some asparagus canapes to kick off the evening and an optional wine tasting with each of the three courses. To book a table call one of the team on T: 01993 811 401

If Seafood is more your bag (or feasting in general) you might also be interested in our Seafood Feast on Tuesday, July 11th. Menu to follow soon.

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Do Not fear...the weekend is here!

Do Not fear...the weekend is here!

It's been a looong week and what with all of the extra snow dumps this Winter, it's felt like Spring is really taking its time to arrive.... So we thought we'd reccomend a few things to do this weekend or book now to look forward to!

Chastleton Manor National Trust House & Garden

A 400 year plus house and garden that is like stepping back in time. The house and garden are open this Saturday and Sunday 1-5pm. It's a stunning example of early 17th century architecture with a Jacobean garden including a 400 year old tree and beautiful topiary. It's a house bursting with history too, with links to the Jacobite Rebellion, the Gunpowder Plot and as the home of croquet! Near Moreton in Marsh.

It's also Cogges Manor Farm opening weekend too, another fab National Trust property in Oxfordshire. Pop along between 10am-5pm this weekend where you can feed the rabbits & pigs, see cooking demonstrations and wander round the house & garden. OX28 3LA

But if you want to make the most of St Patricks Day then come to the pub. We've got live music this evening from two bands and during the day we've got some lovely special Irish lamb stew on the menu and the stout will be flowing through the Six Nations finale! See details below.

And finally, how about booking tickets to have something amazing to look forward to? Blenheim Palace are running some amazing gigs in the ground this Summer and what a backdrop!? With the palace just round the corner from us, why not book some tickets and have a night away with us?

Nile Rodgers & Chic plus Soul II Soul - 14th June

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - 15th June

Elvis Costello & The Waterboys - 16th June

More info & tickets here 

https://www.blenheimpalace.com/whats-on/events/nocturne-live.html

 

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Do date nights avoid divorce?

Do date nights avoid divorce?

It's a somewhat gloomy title, but if you're in your 40s (particularly) you might want to take advantage of our Valentine's Night package after ready these statistics I've just stumbled across...

I was reading an article saying how important it is to go on the odd weekend or night away with your partner. Recharging batteries in your early 40s, it seems, can be crucial to those who are often juggling busy careers with small children at home who are subsequently more susceptible to divorce than any other age group. Cripes!

Apparently women are the most likely to file for divorce in every age group, until you hit your 40s when the tables turn and men are more likely to throw in the towel (highest divorcing age group is 40-44 then 45-49).

It made me realise that the figures probably do have a point. We welcome couples all the time, usually only for a night or two because it might be their only kid-free night that year. What always amazes me is how happy and recharged they look when they leave the next morning. 24 hours to reconnect and talk about something other than bin day or the school bully. Obviously helped by fine wines, fabulous food, a lie in and an uninterrupted soak in the tub...

Apparently the "ideal age" to marry to avoid a future split is between 28-32 but I'm not sure how real ("swipe left") that is in our world now where it's so hard to meet people in the real world and not on a phone screen.

What do you think? Is it a load of nonsense? If there's one thing I do agree with, whether you've got kids or not, it's that I'll always grab the chance for a night away with my husband. I've just had to get better at doing more of the booking and expecting less of the whisking away...;)

So don't forget to recharge your batteries. If you need a night away maybe take advantage of our Valentine's or Winter Break package. Check our new 'Offers' page below.

 

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5 reasons to go to the Pub

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Pub o' Clock

Okay, so I've got a vested interest in this one... but, landlady ranting aside, it's just been reported that BRITISH PEOPLE ARE HAPPIEST IN THE PUB. 

It's been scientifically proven that drinking beer and sitting in the pub makes us feel good. Tell us something we don't know I hear you cry .... but there are generations that actually don't.

Is there a direct correlation in the rise of social anxiety and isolation with our pubs calling time for good? Old folks might be missing their post offices and community centres but at least they can go to one of 10 zillion garden centres (all about the easy access and toilets don't you know...). 

But young people are using pubs less. I propose they take a leaf out of us Generation X-ers and Baby Boomers who, incidentally, I look forward to mingling with later.

With that in mind, and for the folks planning to spend their evening swiping tinder on their sofa.... here are my Top 5 reasons to go to the pub tonight... (number 5 is my favourite).

1. Pubs make you feel good. Malted barley, used in most beers, contains 'hordenine' which activates a desire to eat and drink for pleasure rather than hunger. And then the brain fills with dopamine which makes us happy. FACT. 

2. Our pub gives you value for money! Our pints are 10% cheaper than the national average - and in our own county of Oxfordshire. Feel for the poor souls in London who are paying up to 6 quid now for less than a pint in a can that looks like Tango pop from the 80s...

3. Pubs give you a sense of belonging. Editor of The Good Pub Guide, Fiona Stapley said; "We feel we belong, we matter and for a while the cares and clutter of daily life can be left behind." Christ, you might actually meet Mr Tinder instead of just checking him out online...

4. Your pubs need you. This country has lost A THIRD of its pubs since the 70s. The licensed and catering trade, much like our high streets, are being taken over by huge chains (many of whom avoid paying their taxes by taking their money overseas). So by going to the pub, at least a freehold one, you are supporting an independent, small business.

5. It's a REET LAFF.

Mines a glass of redders. Bottoms up darlings!

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Winter's coming...have a night on us!

Oxfordshire is so vibrant in the Autumn & Winter. To celebrate our fifth Winter at The Killingworth Castle, near Woodstock, we are giving away a free nights' luxury bed & breakfast.

The seasonal colours at Blenheim Palace, round the corner from us are stunning this time of year. And after the explosion of reds and golds, the palace does Christmas like nobody else when it is decorated within an inch of its life. Tastefully of course! 

Local towns and villages put on some of the best Christmas markets in England and with Bicester Village round the corner, it's a cracking spot for Christmas shopping.

So use Christmas shopping as your excuse and come and have a stay with us, we're right at the 'Gateway tot he Cotswolds' and bed down with a large glass of red in front of the fire. It's all about you at this time of year so orchestrate your escape now! Or sod the shopping and just have a foodie break.

Most of our regulars know about our newsletter (you can sign-up at the footer of our website home page).  If you haven't already our Winter Deal is a free nights B&B when you book two nights (See website for Ts & Cs). All you have to do is eat dinner with us on at least two of the three nights (such hardship :)). You can book this directly on the website or give us a call to take advantage T: 01993 811401.

www.thekillingworthcastle.com

 

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Blenheim Palace

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Rave Food Review for new chef

Our new Head Chef, Chris Ellis is taking food at 'The Killy' to a whole new level right now. Chris used to be Head Chef at our sister pub, The Ebrington Arms near Chipping Campden, where we've retained two AA Rosettes for seven years.

We were sad to see him go earlier this year but it was thankfully short lived as he called and said he wanted to come back into the fold. Although we're sad when good staff go, we're exceedinly proud when we've been a stepping stone in helping them reach their next role, or even a dream job. It sounds and literally was cheesey for our General Manager a couple of years ago - he had always dreamt of running his own cheese empire / deli and now he's doing it very successfully. 

Chris decided the grass was in fact greener back in the 'happy dysfunctional family' of our Yubby pub team (a term coined buy one of our staff also) and we couldn't be more happy to welcome him home. Running alongside some creative a la carte dishes, Chris always has some pub classic dishes, but executed to the next level. If you order a pie for example, it's encased in proper homemade pastry and packed with the highest quality meat so we hope it's one of the best you've ever had.

But don't take it from us how good he is, like some sad gushing parentals... take it from the powers that be, the Chief Food Critic from The Oxford Mail and The Oxford Times, Katherine McAlister, and come and try us soon!

Click for review >

 

 

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