The Matthews Cotswold Flour guide to the Cotswolds!
Here you will find some of our favourite local Cotswold villages, details of the best pubs and bakeries within 5 minutes of the Cotswold Flour mill and some interesting facts about our flour provenance.
Shipton Under Wychwood
Home to the beautiful Matthews Cotswold Flour Mill where all of our 60+ types of flour are produced. Bertie Matthews and his 7 other siblings grew up in Pike House above the mill and most of the houses on the street were built by the Matthews family in the early 20th century. Shipton Under Wychwood is a beautiful Cotswold village and the largest of the Wychwoods in the area. The village sits on the famous Oxfordshire Way footpath which is a 66 mile long footpath that takes you through the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside starting in the Cotswolds and then traversing across the beautiful chilterns before linking up with the Thames Path National Trail.
Local Pub: The Lamb Inn – The lamb inn is a traditional Cotswold pub and has a warm and cosy feeling inside that any traditional pub should give you. Recently opened by the fantastically talented Peter Creed and Tom Noest, born and bred Cotswold gentlemen. However, despite being a traditional english country pub, this inn offers a taste of Italy in the form of delicious handmade pizzas using our Tipo 00 Pizza Flour. Now of course we have had the hard task of taste testing all the pizzas as it is on our doorstep & they are made using our flour, so we can vouch for their quality but don’t just take our word for it if you are passing by make sure you stop off for a pint and a beautiful pizza.
Flour: Matthews Italian Tipo 00 Pizza Pasta Flour – This is an Italian style 00 Flour, ideal for all types of pizza bases. The wheats used for this pizza flour are hard wheats with a protein level slightly lower than your standard bread flour resulting in a smooth flavoursome flour.
Our Italian Type 00 flour is produced from carefully sourced Italian wheat, which is very finely milled producing soft, pure white flour. This flour is perfect for making delicious fresh homemade pasta, pizza and grissini due to its fine, light texture.
Did you know?
The Mill that you see today was built in 1912 by local builder Alfred Groves in Shipton-under-Wychwood, and all flour has been milled from this traditional setting since. In the early years, FWP Matthews concentrated on milling biscuit flour for UK bakers, using the soft wheat grown locally in the Cotswold hills. Customers included Huntley and Palmers in Reading, Peek Frean in Bermondsey (a world-renowned biscuit maker which gave Bermondsey the name of ‘Biscuit Town’) and Jacobs in Dublin, who used the flour to create their iconic cream crackers. The flour was transported by rail in eight dedicated vans, with horse and cart each pulling eight sacks (one tonne) of flour the 25-yard journey between the mill and Shipton Station.
Flour: Strong White Flour
Windrush – Our Windrush Flour is our chosen strong white bakers bread flour. Milled using exclusively premium high protein group 1 UK wheat farmed along the route of the Windrush river and is used by bakers all over the UK due to its consistent performance.
Did you know? The name Windrush was named by Paul Matthews after the river which runs through the Cotswold town of Burford. Several bakers based in Burford use this flour every morning to make artisan bread for the town locals, tourists and even Paul’s lunch.
Pub: The Swan at Swinbrook – The Swan at Swinbrook is another beautiful Cotswold pub which sits on the river Windrush, in the small village of Swinbrook which sits just outside Burford. One of the most picturesque village pubs in the country and a great place to sit by the river with a pint of Hooky or Cotswold 3.8 IPA.
Bakery: Bakery-on-the-hill – Burford – The Bakery on the hill in Burford is a beautiful family run artisan bakery in the village of burford. The bakery bakes using Matthews Cotswold Flour and has a wide selection of savoury and sweet baked treats. (Bertie: Claire and Graham the owners work in the bakeries in bourton and burford every day and have fantastic friendly staff. I go in a few times a week on my way to work in burford for a coffee and sandwich for lunch from home grown, milled and baked bread.)
Fact about the town:
Burford was the site of the battle of Burford and the Golden Dragon. The battle was between west Saxons and Mercians at Burford in AD752. The Mercian standard-bearer who carried the flag with the golden dragon on was killed by the lance of his saxon rival. In the late 16th – 17th century residents of Burford still celebrated the anniversary of the battle by carrying a golden dragon up and down the streets of Burford. Burford is also home to the Burford school which turns 450 years old this year. All of the 8 Matthews children went to Burford over a 30 year period from the 1990s to 2018.
Bakery-on-the-water – The bakery-on-the-water is another beautiful family run artisan bakery that bakes delicious loaves and baked goods using Matthews Cotswold Flour. Customers can enjoy the bakery’s warm atmosphere inside or enjoy a baked treat outside in the beautiful riverside garden or the bakery can make you a picnic to take with you to enjoy further down on the river banks.
Fact about the village:
Bourton-on-the-water’s most iconic feature is the beautiful river that flows through the centre of the village. The river is fed by many springs with the source approximately 10 miles outside of the village and even in the 1976 drought the river continued to flow.
Organic Cotswold Crunch – Organic Cotswold Crunch Flour is a speciality blend of organic strong white flour, malted wheat flakes and malt flour for bread and rolls. This flour is extremely popular due to its flavoursome, malty aroma with added texture from the wheat flakes.
Matthews Churchill Strong White Bread Flour
Matthews Churchill Strong White Bread Flour is an extra strong high protein bread flour. It is finely milled from a blend of high protein hard wheat from the Cotswold village of Churchill. This flour encourages beautiful gluten development and easy kneading and shaping, and contains a 12.8% protein which supports the rise and structure of your bread.
The flour is named after a local village “Churchill” a few miles from the mill, where the grain is grown on the surrounding hills and used to make Churchill strong white flour. The flour is then used to make sourdough bread in the mill surrounding local bakeries.
This flour is chosen as the number one flour for sourdough baking by Cotswold master bakers. The Cotswold Sourdough loaf is served up in the local village pub “The Chequers Churchill” – a popular choice for the Matthews family!
The Chequers in Churchill https://www.countrycreatures.com/the-chequers Enjoy locally brewed beer, or rustic dishes using the very best British ingredients in some well-loved classics. Bertie has have spent years going to this pub due to it’s great atmosphere, fantastic food, awesome artisan bread by Mark’s Cotswold Bakery.
Did you know?
Churchill was originally at the foot of a hill now called Hastings Hill, but on 31 July 1684 a fire destroyed 20 houses and many other buildings and killed four people. The village was rebuilt higher up the hill, with stone houses instead of the old timber-framed and thatched cottages. The fire was apparently caused by a baker who, to avoid chimney tax, had knocked through the wall from her oven to her neighbour’s chimney. The old village can still be seen as grassy mounds in the pastures around the Heritage Centre.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide featuring just some of the beautiful local villages that surround our mill!