Saturday, 3 August 2013

Cotswold Lavender Tearoom, Broadway

This is a small but elegant little place set in acres of lavender fields. The cafĂ© is fresh feeling, all scrubbed pine, large bright windows, pink cheeked young staff. The menu is a small one, but really perfectly formed. It is the kind of place that you would expect to sell home made stuff and it does. Lavender scones? Check. Teacakes with butter and optional jam? Check. Victoria sponge? Check. Selection of fruit and herbal teas? Check and check.

Access is OK - the car park and driveway are very gravelly, so expect a bumpy journey but as the shop and tearooms are in a converted barn there is enough room. There are also seats outside if the weather is conducive.

Sadly, though, the place is in danger of being wrecked. I don't mean physically. We have been visiting here fairly regularly, and it is has been busy but never overrun. Now it looks as though the coach firms have discovered it. On our last visit, the place was a sea of tourists. I suppose that makes me a snob, wanting to keep this particular discovery to myself; but the whole ambience of the place is ruined by Cotswolds tourism doing what it does best. That is, taking a small, attractive environment and unloading hordes people into it so that the charm of the place is stomped beneath pounding feet. Yes, the lavender farm is beautiful - the views are stunning, the smell intoxicating. It has an odd, very faint buttery vanilla scent, not at all what you would expect. But all you could see were people's hot, shiny faces and all you could smell was traffic fumes. The tearoom itself was swamped. Four cyclists were stretched out on chairs, regaling each other with their effing adventures, what an effing brilliant time they were having raising all this effing money. People clogged the queue wanting to know if there were any 'dinners', there were no seats inside or out - and it was just bloody awful.

Still, we Shakespeareans are hardy souls, able to weather the direst adversity. If you visit here and find coaches and crowds, I recommend foregoing the whimsy that is usually one's default position in times of crisis. Instead, adopt a stern demeanour and if anyone squeezes past you in a plastic cagoule and oversized, over-laced trainers, smack 'em one.

No comments:

Post a Comment