The Old Passage named the Cotswold’s Restaurant of the Year 2018

The Old Passage took home the most coveted prize at the Cotswold Life Food and Drink Awards on Monday – Restaurant of the Year.

Despite being a small, independent restaurant in the small village of Arlingham, The Old Passage fought off stiff competition from popular restaurants in Cheltenham and Chipping Campden to win the award.

It completes a fantastic 12 months for the restaurant, located on the banks of the River Severn. In October last year The Old Passage celebrated its 10th anniversary, closely followed by winning Best Seafood Restaurant in the South at the national Food Awards.

Then in April, Waitrose magazine named The Old Passage one of 10 best places to eat fresh fish in the country.

Owner Sally Pearce, said: “The last 12 months have been a real whirlwind of celebrations for us at The Old Passage and this last award is the icing on the cake, especially since nominations came from the public. As a small independent restaurant, it’s tough to compete with the growing chain restaurant offerings, especially when we’re not in a town or city centre.

“However, we’ve always played to our strengths and that seems to work. People travel here to eat because of the beautiful rural location and river views, and our food offering is unique and high quality. We have a commitment to sourcing the very best quality seafood we can including oysters and lobsters, which we always have available. And our head chef Jon Lane and his team are constantly innovating and experimenting with new dishes to delight our diners.

Sally added: “I’d like to say a big thank you to Jon, to my front of house manager Rosita Redwood, and the whole team at The Old Passage, because we wouldn’t have got this award without them.”

The judges of the awards said they were ‘wowed’ by the amazing selection of seafood available and the warm friendly service at The Old Passage. They said: “The location of the restaurant is superb with breath-taking view of the riverside, the ambience made the judges feel at home and it was commented that they couldn’t have asked for friendlier service. The seafood sampled was cooked to perfection and it was learnt how they source as much produce as locally as possible and sustainably catch their seafood, which impressed the judges.”

Wine and food pairing evening – this time we go to Portugal

Our monthly wine and food pairing evenings are growing in popularity. These events are great fun, relaxed and informal, but also informative.

You’re sure to come out with your palette tested and your mind opened to new wines you may not have tasted before. At the same time, you’ll enjoy delicious food that matches with each wine.

On Wednesday, July 4th, we’re going to Portugal! Well we wish we could actually go, but instead we’ll be bringing the wines and food to you.

Our wine expert Frederik, who has over 12 years’ experience in the industry, will take you through a selection of Portuguese wines and these will each be accompanied by small plates of food by our head chef Jon Lane.

A guest who came to our last event left a review on our Facebook page, which gives you a good idea of these events: “Fantastic evening of wine paired with amazing food. Well worth trying these evenings held on the first Wednesday of every month. Met some lovely people and learned a lot about wine I wouldn’t normally have tried before. Lovely staff in a pretty restaurant surrounded by amazing views. Stayed over and treated to a sumptuous breakfast, scrambled eggs with crab and smoked salmon. Highly recommend! 5*”

If you want to stay after like this couple did, we have two double en-suite rooms and we do fantastic breakfasts!

These wine evenings are held on the first Wednesday of every month, starting at 7pm, and are £32.50pp. To book call 01452 740547.

Treat yourself to an Old Passage breakfast

We like to say, there’s breakfast and then there’s an Old Passage breakfast. Some people don’t know that for six days a week we are open for pre-bookable breakfasts.

We have a large breakfast menu with a fantastic selection of items, right the way from porridge and fruit platter through to a Full English, scrambled eggs with fresh crab and smoked salmon and even half a lobster with Champagne!

It’s certainly a treat, but what better way to start the day than a beautiful breakfast and then a leisurely walk along the River Severn (or the other way around), depending on how early you like to get up!

A few of our favourite dishes on the menu include:

Pan perdu with roasted strawberries and honey

Perfect if you have a sweet tooth and want something light and fruity. This is a luxurious French toast.

Traditional grilled kippers with a warm potato & horseradish salad, caper butter

You either love them or you hate them, but we love a traditional kipper, all smoky and soft. It’s such a wonderful way to start the day.

The Pilot’s Special

Scrambled egg, fresh crab, smoked salmon and lobster on toasted brioche. What an absolute delicious collection of ingredients, a real special occasion type of breakfast – or just treat yourself for no reason! This is decadent, delicious and scrumptious first thing in the morning.


You can enjoy breakfast Tues-Sat from 10am – 11am or Sundays 9am – 11am, simply ring to book in advance.

The Old Passage is one of the top 10 places to eat fresh fish in the UK!

The Old Passage has been featured by Waitrose magazine in their list of the ‘top 10 places to feast on fish straight from the sea this summer’.

The article, in the May edition of the magazine, includes some well-known seafood restaurants from around the UK including the likes of Nathan Outlaw’s restaurant in Rock, Cornwall.

We are delighted to be featured in the guide, amongst the best fish restaurants in the UK. The feature says: ‘On the banks of the River Severn, this is a light, airy restaurant in which to indulge in some first-class seafood. Dishes might include seared scallops or plaice with cuttlefish. Or push the boat out with the seven-course taster menu. Time your visit to catch the Severn Bore tidal wave and celebrate with a special three-course breakfast.”


French wine and food pairing evening

The next in our monthly series of wine and food pairing evenings is to be held on Wednesday, May 2, and it will explore wines from the South of France, including the Langeudoc and Cotes du Rouillsson areas.

These are fun, informal evenings where you’ll learn lots about the wines you taste and how to match them with food to get the very best from them – you’ll also just enjoy drinking great wine and eating delicious food!  What more could you want?

The evening starts at 7pm and will be hosted by our fun and knowledgeable wine expert Frederik Van Niekerk, who has over 12 years experience in the industry and is WSET qualified (Wines and Spirits Education Trust).

The previous two wine tasting events, on South African and then Spanish wines, were a big success, and we’re planning to run these regularly each month so you can build up your knowledge of wines from around the world – and generally have a nice evening out.

By the way, we have two double en-suite rooms if you want to stay after the event. The cost of the evening is £32.50, you’ll need to book in advance over the phone, call 01452 740547.



Our list of five things to do this Easter

We hope you’re looking forward to the long Easter break coming up. We’ve got some ideas for ways to spend the break (which incidentally all involve visiting The Old Passage!). We’d love to see you, and now the weather seems to finally be on the turn, Arlingham is a beautiful place to visit, as well as nearby canal-side villages like Frampton-on-Severn.

1. Enjoy some delicious eggs for breakfast, visit the Old Passage one morning! We serve breakfasts, which are pre-book only, but are a wonderful treat for you, your friends, or the whole family. Eggs are on the menu, of course, in many different ways, including with salmon and crab. We have traditional items like porridge and a Full English – on the other hand we have lobster and champagne!

2. Take a long walk along the River Severn. As spring finally arrives it’s time to dust off those walking shoes and take a stroll around Arlingham and along the River Severn. There are several sign-posted walks. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, pop in for a spot of lunch.

3. Enjoy some seasonal spring delicacies. Crab is good at the moment and so is pollack for example, but a favourite with our diners at the moment are our amazing St Austell Bay deep sea mussels, you won’t taste anything better. They are plump, large and juicy and Jonnie from The Flying Fish (our fish supplier) was even on BBC2 with Tom Kerridge talking about them last week!

4. Watch the Severn Bore – an amazing natural phenomenon. If you still haven’t seen the Severn Bore, you are really missing out. This unusual tidal wave that flows up the river at certain times of year is a real spectacle and surfers often ride the waves, making it great fun to watch. We have a few tables left for our famous Bore Breakfast on Saturday, March 31st. Booking is essential. The Bore is due at 07.52am and a delicious three course breakfast will be served after.

5. Enjoy a romantic evening meal. A long weekend – must be the perfect excuse to go out for dinner! We’ll be open in the evening on Friday and Saturday for the Easter weekend, Sunday we are open for breakfast and lunch only. Mondays we are closed.

Spanish wine and food pairing evening

Hot off the back of our fantastic South African wine event, we’re pleased to invite you to a Spanish wine and food pairing evening, hosted by a wine expert, with food to match by our head chef.

These wine and food pairing evenings are fantastic fun, a delicious treat, and a great way to learn about wines and broaden your taste and knowledge on wine types.

A few of the food plates that accompanied the wines at our South African event in March

On Wednesday, April 4th at 7pm, we’ll be hosting our next one, which will focus on Spanish wines – some well-known ones and some much less-well known, to give you a real feel for the spread of excellent wine this country has to offer. Each wine will be accompanied by small plates of food by our head chef Jon Lane.

The evening will be hosted by wine expert Frederik Van Niekerk, who has 12 years experience in the wine industry and is WSET qualified, which is the Wine and Spirits Education Trust.

You will need to book tickets in advance, they are £32.50. To book call 01452 740547.


A Mother’s Day treat

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, are you searching for the perfect treat for your mum on Mothering Sunday (March 11th)?

The Old Passage will be open for delicious and indulgent breakfasts, which you could follow up with a refreshing walk along the Severn in Arlingham – a great way to start the day. Or why not start off with the walk and finish up at The Old Passage for a lazy lunch? We’ll have our full ‘a la carte’ menu on offer, so plenty of choice from classic fish and chips, to mussels and lobster.

Or our beautiful fritto misto below is a lovely sharing starter, including crispy oysters, smoked haddock croquettes, crab samosas and squid.

You will need to book, both for breakfast and for lunch, either online or call 01452 740547.

Wine and food pairing evening

We are delighted to announce another of our popular wine and food pairing evenings at The Old Passage.

Enjoy an evening learning about, and of course tasting, South African wines, with wine expert Frederik Van Niekerk, from fine wine suppliers Domaine Direct, on Wednesday, March 7th. Frederik has over 12 years experience in the wine industry and is WSET certified, which is the industry training for wine professionals from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust.

He will be taking everyone through a selection of well-known and not so well known wines from South Africa, and this will be accompanied by small plates of food from our head chef Jon Lane to perfectly match the wine. This will be a fun, friendly and informative evening of fantastic wine and food.

The evening starts at 7pm, and should last around two hours. The cost for the evening is £32.50 per person. Pre-booking is essential and we are only taking phone bookings for this event.