The Tivoli – Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

I love this place. I visited there for my birthday this year, and they never disappoint. Cheltenham is full of fancy, sometimes overpriced restaurants and I really feel that The Tivoli breaks the norm. I’m not complaining about the fancy restaurants in Cheltenham, it is a foodie heaven, but there are times when you want simple, good food for under £20. The Tivoli is the place to go, having undergone a huge refurb in 2010 they have got the atmosphere just right.

Just outside the town centre, you can park there for free and avoid all of the town centre traffic (and still walk in if you need to). It’s set in a lovely neighbourhood, with some really cute little traditional shops. The menu consists of simple, pub food but cooked to a high standard.

I headed there for a pre-show dinner a couple of weeks ago, before going to see Josh Widdicombe at the town hall. 3 of us arrived, and were quickly served drinks and seated at a lovely little window table. We ordered – D had fish and chips whilst our friend and I both went for the pulled pork bun. We knew we were in a small amount of hurry, with an hour before the performance, but it still gave us plenty of time to enjoy the food.

It arrived promptly – but not too fast that you felt rushed. All of the food looked really appetising, the pulled pork bun and the fish and chips. I was not to be disappointed, the pork was flavoursome and moist, with not too much BBQ sauce, and came in a delicious brioche bun. The thick-cut chips were light and fluffy in the middle, and crisp on the outside. It was a good sized meal, leaving me full and happy, without overdoing it. I would recommend a little more salad on the side though! D enjoyed his fish and chips – which was not too greasy, and again a good hearty size (I don’t think he quite managed it all!)

Service is friendly and prompt, and you don’t feel like they are over-fussing. The restaurant itself is a little maze, there are lots of different areas and rooms, as it is in an old regency house. It is beautifully decorated, and great for parties as you can hire out a room. They also have a garden at the back, which is perfect in the sunshine, with heaters for when it gets cold. They do have a set menu which is available on weekdays, but we chose to order from the A La Carte menu. All of them are a reasonable price – you are looking at around £12-£13 average for a main course.

Overall, if you are looking for somewhere smart and simple, where you can relax and enjoy good food in a chilled atmosphere, I would highly recommend the Tivoli. We will most certainly be returning.

8/10.

Have a good day,

P xx

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