Find and book great restaurantsFind a Restaurant
|Address:||24-26 Suffolk Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 2AQ|
|Price: £64.00||Wine: £12.00||Champagne: £29.00|
|Opening Hours:||Tues-Sat 12.30-1.30pm 7.30-8.45pm|
This review hasn't been rated yet.
I must admit I have been eating here for every year since the place has been open. Cheltenham has seen various places come and go. There have been various places that came and were going to show us how it is done. A A Gill has dismissed this restaurant (and lauded Purslane – there is a connection). Where now is Pat MacDonald who was going to show Cheltenham how it was done? And yet, funnily enough, this place is still here. How can that be?
Of course, it could be the various experts and guides are being bribed, or are ignorant, or are wilfully obtuse.
Or perhaps some amateurs (a term I use advisedly) do not in fact know what they are talking about?
There is no background music (hooray). The loos are acceptable (it is a restaurant after all). You cannot hear the conversation on the next table (space is generous). The art on the wall is original (one's tastes may differ – some art I like in a gallery I could not stand at home, and v.v.). The prices are reasonable (£28 for a two course lunch today, another few quid for a great selection of petits fours and coffee).
The flavours are interesting, not dull. Any vegetarian should advise of that fact when booking. As the food is not pre-packed, the chef can make modifications (the meat element can come out a fish course) within reason. Everything is very fresh, lots of it is very local, and much is seasonal.
The staff turnover is very low (of the four there today, only one has joined in the last year). My paleo diet (ye gods) niece was catered for successfully. The menu changes monthly and the place has an almost family atmosphere. If you want to talk to the staff, you can, but they won't interrupt you if you do not want to, which is as it should be. Menus are not left on the table and not everyone can recall every detail of their dish.
Water and bread are available for free (though perhaps there are limits – I have not pushed this).
Sadly, though mobile phones are discouraged some ignoramuses seem to unable to eat a meal without one, or taking pictures of their meal. I suppose next we'll have selfies. Still, the place is informal enough that it will survive even that.