Who doesn’t love a good pudding? The Great British Pudding is an institution. And by pudding, I don’t mean that creamy chocolate or banana flavoured stuff with whipped cream you get in America; I mean proper British puddings. Big, hearty, heavy puddings – mostly warm and mostly served with a LOT of custard.
If you’re in the UK, there is a hotel in the Cotswolds which hosts The Pudding Club. Yes that’s right – an actual club for puddings. Does life get any better?! The Club was formed to retain the traditions of British puddings and celebrate them with an evening of eating them! There is a long waiting list of around 3 months so plan in advance, but the whole experience is one to remember.
The Pudding Club is hosted at The Three Ways House Hotel every Friday night in a small village called Mickleton. The best way to reach the area is by car as there aren’t many train stations nearby. The journey is 2 hours from London, 45 minutes from Birmingham or 1 hour from Oxford. There is ample parking on site.
I recommend staying the night at The Pudding Club to make a bit of a trip of your visit. The surrounding countryside is beautiful and well worth exploring the next day (and by then you will need to burn off all those pudding calories). The hotel has 50 rooms, some of them pudding themed (spotted dick room, anyone?!). The Pudding Club also normally starts at around 7.30pm and doesn’t finish until around 10pm so it makes sense to stay over.
So, how does the evening work? Well, you’re given a table number and then sit at one of the large communal tables with other people. It sounds scary but it’s actually great; everyone is in a good mood and it’s so much fun. You then have a light main meal, followed by the night’s 7 puddings being introduced one by one. You’re then invited up 7 times, selecting one pudding at a time from the serving tables. You can have your 7 puddings in whichever order you choose.
The 7 puddings we had were sticky toffee pudding, jam roly poly, syrup and ginger pudding, rice pudding, chocolate mousse, blackcurrant and lemon sponge and apple crumble. It’s safe to say after eating all of these puddings, I was rolling in to bed with serious stomach ache. But totally worth it!
You can make a weekend of visiting The Pudding Club by combining it with visits to multiple places nearby. The surrounding countryside is beautiful, and there are lots of walks which start in Mickleton and follow the local public footpaths, as well as local National Trust sites. My favourites were a walk from Mickleton to Kiftsgate Manor, Hidcote Gardens and Broadway Tower.
Walking from Mickleton to Kiftsgate
To burn off some of the pudding, a nice walk the next day is exactly what your body needs. Walking from Mickleton to Kiftsgate takes about an hour and takes you through some lovely British countryside. Unfortunately for us, it was SO incredibly muddy that we were soon sinking in to the fields. We persevered though and were glad we did!
Broadway Tower isn’t a proper castle, but it looks so cool up on the hill. There’s also a lovely cafe and little shop on site, and the views out over the fields are beautiful. The Tower is about a 10 minute drive from Mickleton.
Hidcote Manor Gardens
Hidcote Manor Gardens is a National Trust property. It is famous for it’s ‘rooms’ of gardens. The entrance price is very high at £15 each, so we didn’t actually go in to the Gardens as we just thought that was too much, but we had a walk around the site round the public footpaths.
The Pudding Club makes for an amazing experience – and it’s definitely a bit of a different night out. Making a weekend of it is also a great idea, and I hope this post has been useful if you’re planning a trip there yourself. If you do go – enjoy the pudding, especially the sticky toffee, which was amazingggg!