The Suffolk Kitchen – Cheltenham

Last weekend my Dad came up for his birthday, along with a few members of the Paige clan. We had a lovely (but slightly disastrous weekend) – we’d planned to do aqua venture at Cotswold Water Park, but the thunder and lightening got in our way. We then headed out for lunch instead, and had to try a couple of pubs before someone would take us. But eventually we had an amazing lunch at The Green Dragon which is halfway between Cirencester and Cheltenham.

I had (luckily) planned in dinner at The Suffolk Kitchen, somewhere D and I have previously been for lunch, but never dinner.

Atmosphere

Being a Saturday evening, it’s not surprising that it was full. They’ve got a great reputation, and the customers flowing through the door replicate that perfectly. I enjoy the feel of the place, it’s very ‘Cheltenham’ though, definitely somewhere for a special occasion in the evening, very different to the relaxed feel of the lunchtime environment. The only thing I feel could be better is the way the tables are laid out, we were a table of 8 which is always tricky but we felt very far away from each other!

It is quite loud in there as well, due to how packed in you are, and with a lack of windows it’s pretty warm. I definitely enjoyed it more on a Tuesday afternoon with few people in the restaurant.

Service

We did have to ask for a few things, it wasn’t perfect but there was certainly an element of realisation from the staff that this was the case. The waitresses seemed new, which may add to the effect, but I always feel it’s a tricky one when you’ve asked for the bill at the end and have to re-ask because they’ve forgotten. I felt that they did a good job throughout the night, but lacked that certain edge that makes me race about service. I really like it when a team goes above and beyond, but I can forgive them as it was a busy Saturday night.

The team were very friendly, but it was difficult to hear them over the buzz of the place, and this added to slight confusion when the food arrived.

All in all I think they had a busy night and did a good job of keeping it under control, but I guess I base the service on whether I’d be happy to tip MORE than 10% (tipping is another matter, but I have been known to in circumstances where the service has been 👌🏼) and on this occasion I wouldn’t have.

Food

The menu is slightly misleading, I actually really like the menu but it does state at the bottom ask your server for the daily specials. I thought this meant there would be additions (I always like to see a chefs special on the menu, it shows their creative flair), but it actually was just the dishes that had certain catches of fish, and the soup of the day.

There are some great options though, I chose a salad having eaten a large lunch, which is unusual to me but it sounded good so I went for the Greek salad (with added chicken). It was the biggest salad I’ve ever seen, perhaps I didn’t need the chicken but I do love a bit of meat! It was fresh and summery, and perfect for the mood I was in. IMG_6396

My starter was one of my ultimate favourites, breaded halloumi. Came on a bed of salad with sweet chilli sauce.. let’s face it I’ll definitely be returning for some more. IMG_6392D had the park belly with creamy potato, I tried a little and it was delicious. (I was a little jealous if I’m honest). IMG_6398There were numerous other dishes around the table, the one that stood out which was a disappointment (annoyingly, after the day we’d had) was Dads steak. The waiter had misheard him when he asked for nothing on the plate but steak & chips, and it arrived with tomatoes on. He asked them to change it, and unfortunately due to the fact we could see the kitchen, watched them take the tomatos off and return the steak. Thank goodness he’s not allergic. The manager did apologise at the end when we mentioned this, and said he’d speak to the staff about it as it shouldn’t have been done.

We didn’t order dessert as we were so full after a day full of food (and drink!) but they kindly brought out a birthday dish, with a candle and some yummy profiteroles!

Price and Rating

Pretty standard prices for this type of restaurant, if you’re having a few drinks and a 3-course meal it will probably cost you around £40-£50 a head. Great for a light lunch though, as they do light plates for around £6 each.

I know this place is great, and I would happily return, but I definitely think it’s more of an intimate restaurant for date night, or a lunchtime meal with friends.

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P xxx

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