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Photo by Alison Plummer
  • By Alison Plummer

The Arts and Crafts movement was an artistic and social movement that emerged in England in the late 19th century. It aimed to counter the industrialisation and mass production of the Victorian era and encourage a return to traditional craftsmanship, individuality and beauty in everyday objects.

One key centre of the movement was Chipping Campden, a small town in The Cotswolds region of England, due largely to the influence of Charles Robert Ashbee and his Guild of Handicraft. Ashbee, an architect, designer, and social reformer, relocated the Guild from London to Chipping Campden in 1902 with the vision to revive the skills of medieval craft guilds with artisans producing quality handmade objects using traditional techniques.

The Guild included disciplines such as metalwork,  jewellery, furniture and textiles, producing pieces characterised by attention to detail, craftsmanship, and incorporation of natural forms and motifs such as bees. Today you can see artisans at work at the Guild of Handicrafts. Find flatware/cutlery and tableware at Robert Welch Design, admire buildings associated with the movement and follow its history at Court Barn Museum.

Michael's Mediterranean Restaurant, High Street, Chipping Campden, UK

Hart Silversmiths - Guild of Handicraft, Chipping Campden, UK

Huxleys, Cafe & Brasserie, High Street, Chipping Campden, UK

The Bakers Arms, Angel Lane, Broad Campden, Chipping Campden, UK

Robert Welch Studio Shop, Lower High Street, Chipping Campden, UK

Maharaja Indian Cuisine, Lower High Street, Chipping Campden, UK

Hart Silversmiths - Guild of Handicraft, Sheep Street, Chipping Campden, UK

The Noel Arms Hotel, Lower High Street, Chipping Campden, UK

Bistro on the Square, Campden, High Street, Chipping Campden, UK

Best Places for Breakfast in The Cotswolds

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Photo by Alison Plummer

Michael's at Woolmarket House

Mediterranean restaurant with a brunch menu. Fire up your tastebuds with “Shakshuka”, made with chorizo, eggs, crushed fresh tomatoes and spinach, baked in a terracotta dish and served with warm pitta bread. Or “Huevos Rancheros” – chilli con carne served with fried eggs. For milder tastes choose the smoked salmon with eggs or an avocado muffin.

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Cafe Huxleys

Cafe and brasserie with cosy inside dining and outdoor terrace in the town centre.  Open for breakfast, brunch and lunch, also dinner at weekends. Think granola or artisan pastries, sausage/bacon sandwiches or avocado on toast with goat cheese. Oven-baked frittatas include mushroom with thyme and teleggio cheese. The bakery serves takeaway coffee, sandwiches, pastries.

Best Things To Do in the Morning in The Cotswolds

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Photo by Hart Silversmiths

Hart Silversmiths, Guild of Handicraft

In the last operating workshop of the Guild of Handicraft, Hart craftsmen design and make domestic silverware, jewellery and ecclesiastical and civic silver. George Hart was a silversmith with the Guild when it moved from London’s East End to Chipping Campden in 1902 and today the craft is continued by his grandson David Hart, with Derek Elliott, William Hart and Julian Hart. Watch them at work upstairs and see the Guild of Handicraft gallery on the ground floor, showcasing the cooperative of 28 artists, ceramicists, designers, furniture makers, glass makers, metal workers, photographers, sculptors, stone carvers, textile artists and wood carvers.

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Photo by Alison Plummer

Robert Welch Design

Designer and silversmith Robert Welch created tableware, cutlery/flatware, barware, and homewares that grace homes all over the world. In 1955 Welch established a workshop and studio in the silk mill that had been home to C.R. Ashbee’s Guild and School of Handicraft. Here the silversmith worked to commissions in silver but investigated the cheaper option of stainless steel. Visit the shop to see the stunning designs and find a little something to take home.

Best Places for Lunch in The Cotswolds

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Photo by Cotswold House Hotel

Bistro on the Square

In the centre of Chipping Campden, Bistro on the Square is warm and cosy in winter, or a place to dine al fresco in warmer months. Open for lunch seven days a week, with sharing platters, soup and sandwiches. Also afternoon tea and Sunday brunch.

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Photo by Noel Arms

Noel Arms

Wide selection here for lunch (or dinner), sandwiches, light bites including soup, and baked camembert.  Pub classics go upmarket with Jerusalem Artichoke and truffle ravioli, moules frites with chorizo, Breton chicken pie. Curry selection includes Ceylon style black lamb, and Thai king prawn curry.

Best Things To Do in the Afternoon in The Cotswolds

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Window shopping

Explore the Chipping Campden High Street, looking out for Louise Pocock’s milliner’s shop window (entry by appointment only).  Louise was showcased at nearby Court Barn recently as she is an artisan, designing according to the principles of handmade craftsmanship. See details such as the bee, letterbox and handles on the Woolstapler’s House door, once home to Arts and Crafts crusader, C.R. Ashbee. Rosary Cottage once housed a bookbinding business. The entire High Street is Cotswold eye candy, including the medieval wool market.

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Photo by Alison Plummer

Court Barn

The museum of craft and design showcases  nine crafts and workshops established in the area, including C.R. Ashbee and Robert Welch. Also the Hart family silversmiths, Paul Woodroffe stained glass and book illustration, Katharine Adams bookbinding and Gordon Russell Furniture. Telling the history through storyboards and artefacts, Court Barn also has exhibitions, and some hand-crafted items for sale.

Best Places for Dinner in The Cotswolds

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Photo by the Maharaja

The Maharaja Indian Restaurant

A local institution for many years, the Maharaja is the restaurant of the Volunteer Inn, offering Indian dining and takeaway that can be delivered within a six mile radius. The yummy chicken “Shaslik Bhuna” is baked in the clay oven, there’s lamb tikka, tandoori king prawns, biryanis, baltis and so many of our Indian faves.

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Photo by Bakers Arms

The Bakers Arms

At nearby Broad Campden, the Bakers Arms is a real Cotswold country pub, long a favourite serving the classics. Think  scampi and chips, cottage pie, chicken and leek pie, beer battered fish and chips. Also steaks and burgers. Desserts such as treacle tart, and hot chocolate fudge cake.

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