If you're ready to get in the Christmas spirit and would like a very traditional, fun and unique experience, there's a little event this December you might want to consider.On Tuesday, December 15, from 7:45pm, there will be carols and seasonal songs performed by the Gloucestershire Morris Men at The Carpenter's Arms in Miserden.
Morris in The Cotswolds
Morris dancing has been traced all over the English Midlands and further North, but it is particularly associated with the Cotswold area, where the most evolved form of Morris was, and still is, to be found. Here it is performed generally by six men and a musician, accompanied in most cases by a fool and sometimes a beast. The men wear a colourful costume or "kit" often based upon white, the old sacred colour.
They also wear bells, wave hankies or sticks, some say to ward off evil spirits. It was invariably a men's dance with very strong ties to the Whitsun time of year with fertility and encouraging crops to growth very much in mind.
In the past, most Cotswold villages had their own individual dances and tunes, but by the end of Industrial Revolution the tradition had almost died out, as the Victorians had introduced many other pastimes and sports. Fortunately, there was a great revival of interest in Morris Dancing in the early years of this century, led by Cecil Sharp who was the person mainly responsible for collecting and noting the dances we perform today.
The Carperner's Arms
The following is an extract from a very recent review by Food & DrinkVenture deep into the Gloucestershire countryside and you’ll hopefully stumble across the idyllic Cotswold village of Miserden. Hidden in this leafy haven lies the rustic charm of the Carpenters A rms. A warm friendly welcome on arrival, coupled with a lively atmosphere makes this the perfect retreat whether you’re sheltering from the winter cold, or looking for refreshment during the searing summer heat.
Our visit coincided with colder climes so the sight of a roaring open fire was instantly met with approval. The eye is drawn from the flickering flames to the traditional oak beams that stretch across the lounge and dining area, beneath which, sit three conveniently placed blackboards. The blackboards, as you’d expect, are brimming with home-baked delights of the traditional village pub variety.
A varied and mouth watering array of starters, including breaded prawns and creamy garlic mushrooms, provide a p e rfect bed for the wholesome mains that are to follow. You will not be disappointed; home-made steak and Guiness pie, Gloucester sausage and mash, and home-baked ham are just a few of the traditional favourites that are offered here and should grace any country menu. Finally, if you’ve room, make sure you sample one of the scrumptious home-made puddings. The Carpenters Arms delivers everything you’d expect from a country pub and more.
Location: Miserden, Stroud, GL6 7JA
Phone: 0845 200 9275
Open: Mon-Thurs 11.30am- 3pm, 6.30pm-11pm; Fri & Sat 11.30am-3pm, 6pm-midnight; Sun noon-4pm, 7pm- 10.30pm