Cotswolds Lavender Lemonade and Gin Fizz Recipes

I’m pleased to share my recipe for Lavender lemonade. Of course, fresh picked lavender is best for aroma and flavour.

Lavender Lemonade

Cotswolds Lavender Lemonade with Cotswolds Honey

Makes 6-8 large servings

(Ingredients listed below are best sourced in the Cotswolds if possible).
2 – 3 cups full of fresh lavender blossoms or more if easily available – grown in the Cotswolds. Remove most of the stalks.
(If fresh lavender is not available culinary lavender may be substituted)
1 jar (or to taste) Cotswolds Honey – must be from honey sold in a glass jar.
3 cups of de-ionized or distilled water.
4 lemons (organic and from the Cotswolds if possible).
5 Cups of cold water – (or more or less to taste).

All kitchen items used to prepare this lemonade must be made of glass or stainless steel and the spatula must be wooden.
The method of squeezing the lemons must be done using glass or stainless steel.
The strainer used for the lemons and for the lavender must be plastic or stainless steel (Most strainers are not made of stainless steel).



Lavender LemonadeThis is what will give the lavender colour to the lemonade.

Lavender Lemonade

Use either a stainless steel saucepan or an ovenproof glass dish to heat the distilled water or de-ionized water.
If distilled or de-ionized water is used it is possible to store any leftover infusion in the fridge for up to two weeks and use it for more lavender lemonade.
If tap water is used this ruins the infusion if it is to be stored in the fridge.
Tap water may be used if all of the infusion is used immediately.

Lavender LemonadeHeat distilled water and just before it boils remove it from the stove top.

Save 2 or 3 Table Spoons of the heated water and set aside.

Lavender LemonadePlace the lavender blossoms in the heated water.
Prod and stir with wooden spoon occasionally as lavender steeps for five minutes or so.
Pour the 2 or 3 Table spoons of de-ionized water that was set aside onto the Cotswolds honey.
Stir to soften enough for it to be poured.Lavender LemonadeStrain the lavender infused water through a plastic sieve into a glass container.
Lavender LemonadePour into glass bowl to check for any remaining plant material. If found strain again or remove.

Squeeze the lemons and strain (through plastic strainer) Set aside.
Put the lemon juice into a large pretty glass or ceramic jug.
Add cold water in stages.
Add honey in stages until desired sweetness.
Add lavender infusion to the lemonade until whole jug of lemonade turns a lavender hue. Store any remaining infusion in a glass jar in the fridge (for up to two weeks) for more lemonade.
Add ice cubes and garnish with slices of lemon, lemon wedges, paper parasols or other decorations.
Enter competition (below)

Lavender Lemonade

 Cotswolds Lavender Gin Fizz

Lavender Lemonade

25 ml Gin
1/4 Lemon (organic if possible)
20 ml Lavender Syrup
Elderflower cordial
6 Plain ice cubes

2 or 3 small frozen black grapes
6 Lavender infused ice cubes (optional).
(See Recipe for Lavender Infusion in Lavender Lemonade Recipe above).
3 or 4 Sprigs of fresh lavender (optional).

Add Gin, Lavender Syrup and plain ice cubes to a cocktail shaker.
Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Add lavender infused ice cubes.
Fill cocktail glass with Elderflower cordial.
Enter competition (below)

 Lavender Lemonade


Send me a copy of your Cotswolds LAVENDER LEMONADE AND/OR GIN FIZZ PHOTO with your own decorations.
The WINNER of the most inventive decorations submitted will receive as their PRIZE a Kindle copy of my book:
COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: Discovering a Beautiful Region of Britain on a Quest to Buy a 17th Century Cottage (Available on Amazon)
This can be gifted to anyone of your choice
The winner’s photo will appear on my website
and be Tweeted on my Twitter site @DizWhite
Send your entry to
Competition is ongoing – prizes given periodically.

Photographs by Randall Montgomery

Cotswolds Memoir:

Now available in Paperback, Kindle and Audio Book

Cotswolds Memoir_DizWhite

Discovering a Beautiful Region of Britain
on a Quest to Buy a 17th Century Cottage
(Larrabee Libraries)

Available on:


A portion of the proceeds of every copy of this author’s book COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: Discovering a Beautiful Region of Britain on a Quest to Buy a 17th Century Cottage is donated to Cotswold conservation institutions.

Lobster Bisque with Puff Pastry and Cotswolds Butter


Lobster Bisque

Lobster Bisque

This luscious lobster bisque is enhanced by using locally churned Cotswold Butter which is available at many Cotswold farmer’s markets. Below is the link to farmer’s markets in the region. This link and other useful foodie information appear in the Travel Guide of my book COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: Discovering a Beautiful Region of Britain on a Quest to Buy a 17th Century Cottage. (Available on Amazon in Paperback, Kindle and Audio Book)

Serves 4

2 each 1¼ to 1½ lbs. live lobster
6 cups Water
2 cups Dry white wine
2 cups Fish stock
½ cup Melted butter, salted (Cotswold if possible)
1 cup Onions, finely diced
½ cup Carrots, finely diced
½ cup Celery, finely diced
1 tsp. Garlic, minced
½ cup All-purpose flour
¼ cup Cognac (or Brandy)
1½ cups Tomatoes, seeded and diced (fresh or canned)
1 tsp. Paprika
½ tsp. Thyme
¼ tsp. Ground red pepper
1 cup Heavy cream

Ready-made puff pastry
1 Cotswold egg
1 tbls cold water

1.Place the water, the white wine and the fish stock into a wide, deep pot (or a Dutch oven), and bring to a boil on high heat.
2.Place lobsters, topside down, in the broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook covered for approximately 6 minutes. With a pair of tongs, turn lobsters and cook covered for another 6 minutes.
3.Remove lobsters from broth and put them to the side. When the lobsters are cool enough to handle, begin removing the meat from the shell, dicing the pieces into ½-inch cubes. Store the lobster meat in the refrigerator until later. Place the lobster shells back into the broth, reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 20 minutes.
4.Strain the broth through a sieve into a container and store in the refrigerator until later. Discard the lobster shells.
5.Put your pot (or Dutch oven) back on the stove under medium heat. Pour in the melted butter.
6.Once the butter is heated up, add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Sautee for 3 to 4 minutes.
7.Add the cognac (or brandy) and cook until the alcohol has evaporated.
8.Mix in the flour, stirring with a heavy gauge spatula or spoon until the mixture is blond in color and has a buttery aroma.
9.Mix the diced tomatoes, paprika, thyme and ground pepper with the cold broth from the refrigerator. Then, pour the broth slowly into the butter and vegetable mixture. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes under medium low heat, stirring frequently so not to burn.
10.Remove bisque from heat. Blend small amounts of bisque in blender and then puree. Puree all of the bisque and pour pureed bisque back into pot with remaining amount.
11.Add chopped lobster meat and heavy cream, heat and serve. If the soup is too thick, thin it by adding milk or water prior to serving.

Lobster Bisque

To add puff pastry:
Allow bisque to cool over night
Pre-heat oven to 350F/200C/180C fan/gas 6
Fill ramekins almost to the top with the cooled bisque (if filled to the
top, the bisque will wet the pastry and prevent it from rising)
Roll out a square of puff pastry to overlap the ramekin by an inch or so
Brush pastry with a mixture of egg beaten with a tbls of water
Place ramekins in oven for 20-30 minutes or until pastry is puffed up and browned

Cotswolds Memoir_DizWhite

New! Cotswolds Memoir is now available as an AudioBook in addition to Paperback and Kindle

Click below to order


A portion of the proceeds of every copy of  COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: is donated to Cotswold conservation institutions.

Secret Cottage Tour in the Cotswolds-Guest Blog

High res 5.04MB Secret Cottage

Take the Secret Cottage tour of the Cotswolds
Where can you go to see grown men kicking each other’s shins in the name of sport?
And where might you see a stone that marks the only point in Britain where four counties once met?
And did you know there are 125,000 miles of dry stone wall in Britain?
These are some of the fascinating things you might discover on a unique day tour of the Cotswolds.
You may have heard the word ‘unique’ before and become a bit sceptical, but the Secret Cottage tour, run by Becky Simpson really IS unique.
Because not only do you get to enjoy a bespoke tour of hidden Cotswold villages, picturesque scenery and stunning views, but throughout the day, Becky takes you back to her 500 year old listed thatched cottage for morning coffee, buffet lunch and traditional cream tea.

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It’s your chance to see how a real English family live.
And come on, admit it – you’ve driven past those pretty cottages and been dying to look inside. You’re probably full of questions like “Isn’t it dark with those small windows and thatched roof?” or “Is it draughty, even when the inglenook fireplace has a roaring fire in it?”
Perhaps you’re wondering whether you need to duck your head to go through the doors or maybe you’ve never seen an AGA before.
Better than seeing the AGA, you’ll be treated to warm scones, freshly baked from the oven, served with lashings of cream and jam.
And you can find out for yourself how it feels to step back in time, sit by one of the three inglenook fireplaces, enjoy the wild English country garden and explore the winding stairs inside the cottage.

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The tour lasts six hours and Becky will pick you up and drop you off at Moreton-In-Marsh station. From there you’ll drive through unspoilt countryside, quaint villages and points of interest – many of which are inaccessible by public transport. Having lived in the area for 25 years, Becky has a wealth of knowledge at her fingertips. Interspersed through the day are the memorable trips back to her cottage where a warm welcome awaits you.
Visitors are overwhelmed by the experience of being invited into a private home and many describe it as ‘fairyland’. Already ranked by Trip Advisor as #1 of 18 ‘Best Attractions in Moreton-in-Marsh’ and #2 of 91 ‘Best Activities in the Cotswolds’, Becky delivers a bespoke, memorable tour guaranteed to please and with plenty of surprises.
People take the tour to discover hidden and secret picturesque villages, they want to be catered for and pampered and they want to take in the breath-taking English countryside without the hassle of driving.
Although Becky welcomes tourists from all over the world, even locals love to take the Secret Cottage tour.

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“They don’t have to drive down narrow, winding lanes; they can discover places they might not have known about (or can miss when driving) AND we serve delicious food throughout the day; so they can treat themselves and fully relax.” explains Becky.
Here are a few facts and figures about the Secret Cottage Tour
Pick up from Moreton-In-Marsh at 10:15
Drop off to Moreton-In-Marsh at 16:30
Cost – £85 to include all food and drinks served at Secret Cottage
Open – every day throughout the year
Further information, please call Robin on +44 (0) 1608 674700, email or visit the following website

Make this Cotswold Lamb Wellington


Cotswold Lamb Wellington Recipe

In both Metric and Imperial Measures
Serves 4-6


1 kg (2-3 lb) leg of lamb. Use Cotswold Lamb if possible.
Bone and trim the lamb or have butcher do this.
10 mushrooms, sliced
1 package of ready-made puff pastry
½ cup chopped shallots
3 cloves finely chopped garlic
Handful of fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
1 tbsp. butter (Cotswold Butter if possible)
2 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1 egg (Cotswold egg if possible)


Pre-heat oven to 350F/200C/180Cfan/gas 6
Melt butter in frying pan
Add garlic, shallots and mushrooms and sauté for 3 minutes
Season with salt and pepper. Set aside
Heat the olive oil in a large pan
Brown the leg of lamb for 2 minutes on each side
Season with salt and pepper and set aside
Wait 10 minutes before assembling the Wellington
While the lamb cools roll out the pastry to a thickness of ¼” (75 cm) thick
Beat the egg in a bowl together with a tsp of water
Line a baking tray with parchment baking paper
Place the puff pastry sheet on the baking paper
Place the lamb on one end of the pastry
Spread the mushroom mixture evenly over the top of the lamb
Roll the pastry over the lamb, tucking in the sides as it is rolled
Coat the ends of the pastry in the egg mixture and pinch together
Brush the egg mixture over the remaining parts of the rolled Wellington
Place the cooking tray in the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes until the pastry is golden and dry to the touch
Cover the lamb with a sheet of kitchen foil and let stand for 10 minutes
Slice in thick sections and serve


Cotswolds Memoir_DizWhite

New! Cotswolds Memoir is now available as an AudioBook in addition to Paperback and Kindle

Click below to order


A portion of the proceeds of every copy of  COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: is donated to Cotswold conservation institutions.