Today marks the start of one of my favourite weeks of the year – race week! And I’m stuck in bed with the flu, feeling extremely sorry for myself. So I thought now might be a good time to run you through some of my favourite places in Cheltenham, restaurants worth a visit if you are here this week, or any other 🙂 I love them all, in no specific order, and they are all best suited to certain tastes, as mentioned below. Enjoy!
The Beer Lover – Wild Beer Co at Jessop House
If you read through my blogs, you will find a review of this delicious place. Beautifully decorated with Cotswold charm, this is the Wild Beer Co’s first restaurant. It’s one of Cheltenham’s newer restaurants, they brew their own beers on site. Many of their seasonal dishes are cooked in their beers, and they have a daily changing menu. Great for drinks, food or brunch. My favourite dish was the slow cooked beef, however this was on an older menu. I love the idea of daily potatoes and vegetables, fresh each time you visit.
The Cider Lover – The Stable
Situated in a building that doesn’t seem to have had much luck, The Stable is another restaurant fresh to Cheltenham. They have a few others dotted around the South West, this is something that has been extremely welcomed. Each time I’ve visited it’s been extremely busy, sometimes with live music – which I imagine will be back for race week (however they need to turn the speakers down!) This is another one I have previously written about, and is certainly somewhere I will be heading back to. With a huge variety of ciders on tap, you can try them in half pints, pints or a special tasting board, and the staff are happy to help you choose. They specialize in cider, pies, and pizza, ideal for some great food and drink. Having tried both pizza and pies, I would recommend both but my favourite is the steak and ale pie!
The Food Lover – The Storyteller
It’s been a while since my last visit here, but The Storyteller is most certainly a locals favourite. Situated just on the outskirts of down, this place is an absolute gem. The restaurant is light and airy, similar to a greenhouse, and they do an excellent value lunch menu. If you are looking to head there in the evening, save some space, as you will most certainly want 3 courses! My favourite dishes (and many of my friends favourite dishes) would be wings to start, the burger (which is always a slightly different style of meat, currently elk) or the ribs for main, and the chocolate mud pie, which is a dessert not to miss.
The Movie Lover – The Daffodil
Probably my favourite Cheltenham Restaurant, The Daffodil is absolutely stunning, and has an amazing atmosphere. Recently re-opened under new owners, I am yet to visit since the change, but cannot wait to see what they have done to the place (hopefully not too much!) It used to be a movie theatre, back in the olden days, and most of the original features remain. You still get the feel of being in a cinema, the way it is laid out is incredible, and they often have jazz musicians in to accompany you whilst you eat. A beautiful little cocktail bar is upstairs, and they have offers on cocktails one certain days, with little booths for diners, and a floor of tables downstairs. I’m unsure what their current menu looks like, but my favourite was the Chateaubriand, which came with chips and vegetables for 2.
The Meat Lover – The Tavern
I only need to say a couple of words about The Tavern – The French Dip. The restaurant is set across 2 floors, with a fantastic atmosphere our favourite table was most certainly the chef’s table – which gives you the chance to watch all of the cooking action – a foodie’s paradise! The first of the Lucky Onion group’s restaurants, this was the start of a fantastic legacy, and any of their restaurants are well worth a visit. They have a fantastic menu, based on American food, it is a little pricey particularly for the drinks, but totally deserved. This is where D and I would always pick for a date night, most certainly our first choice. Many of the menu options are lovely, but the French dip is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted – make sure you try it!
The Breakfast Lover – Boston Tea Party
Race week means breakfasts – make sure you fill up before heading out for a day of drinking! Boston Tea Party – another one which has a few dotted around the South West is one of my first choices for breakfast. I don’t drink coffee, but I am assured by D (who has tried them all) that this is the best place in town for coffee. They serve food throughout the day, and are one of the few places that don’t have a cut off time for breakfast, it’s served all day. You can also get alcoholic drinks with your food – perfect for race days! They have an eclectic mix of foods, my favourite breakfast items being the Sausage Bap, or the Pancakes with bacon and maple syrup.
The Pasta Lover – The Gianni
Currently closed due to fire damage, we all can’t wait for The Gianni to reopen. They do the most incredible Italian menu – no pizza just pasta and authentic italian dishes, it is family run and absolutely delicious. The meals are HUGE, I often take half of it home, but you could quite easily share. It is extremely reasonable, and I will be one of the first through the door when they reopen. My favourite meal is pure and simply Spaghetti Bolognese.
The Takeaway Lover – Charles’ Chip Shop
More affectionately known as Charlie’s, if you’ve ever been on a night out in Cheltenham and haven’t stopped here on your way home, you haven’t lived. Unfortunately, this is located next door to The Gianni, and was also involved in the fire, so is currently under refurbishment, which makes me and alot of others really sad when walking home from a night out. But once they’re open again, if you are headed home from a night out and feeling a bit peckish, I suggest you head here. They’re situated next door to a taxi place too – so ideal for getting you filled up and on the road. I’m a big fan of the cheesy chips and jumbo sausages!
The Chip Shop Lover – Simpson’s Fish And Chips
Simpson’s is one of Cheltenham’s favourite landmarks – recently crowned as the UK’s Best independent fish and chippy! I was fortunate enough to be invited to their relaunch, as they’ve had a bit of a makeover. You can sit in and enjoy prosecco with your meal, or get a takeaway. The fish is extremely meaty, and the chips are fresh and fluffy, and the best part is none of it is greasy. Along with loads of other restaurants, you could even try ordering a takeaway through Deliveroo, a great way to get some of Cheltenham’s best food delivered to your door, ideal for a busy week when most places will be full!
These are some of the incredible selection of restaurants Cheltenham have to offer. There are plenty more, some of which I’ve tried and some I haven’t, but I know that they are all very highly regarded, so if you’re looking for anywhere else to eat, there are always a good shout:
- The Suffolk Kitchen
- Number 131
- Monty’s Brasserie at The George Hotel
- Country Kitchen
- Brasserie Blanc at The Queen’s Hotel
- Le Champignon Sauvage
- Montpellier Lodge
- Number Seven
- The Ox
I hope this has helped – enjoy! There are plenty of places to eat in this wonderful town, many of which I’m yet to get round.
Happy Race Week.