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It may be hidden away in one of Cheltenham’s Regency terraces, but Jon and Helen Howe’s smart little restaurant is cherished for its personal approach and “consistently good food” – he cooks while she oversees front-of-house in friendly, engaging style. The cream and white dining room may feel a tad formal, but service is refreshingly free from airs and graces. Likewise, the kitchen tempers ambitious, whimsical ideas with good sense and a respect for the basics, transforming high-spec produce into thoroughly modern dishes ranging from Springfield Farm chicken with smoked eel, Jersey royals and wild leeks to day-boat turbot partnered by bulgur wheat, ratatouille, salsify and brown shrimps. Locally reared lamb in a good call in season, while desserts mighty include a cheeky riff on sticky toffee pudding involving a soufflé, salted lime caramel and custard. Prices are surprisingly modest (particularly at lunchtime), and there are plenty of inviting possibilities on the approachable wine list. “Our first choice when eating locally”, noted one fan.
Square Meal’s Best Restaurants in the UK 2015 is compiled using votes from our annual survey, last conducted in May and June 2015. Thousands of readers and bloggers took part and the results were moderated by the Square Meal editor and his nationwide team of professional reviewers. The survey does not ask for or include any restaurants in London. Click here for a full list of Square Meal’s Best Restaurants in the UK.
This wine list is a great example of doing simple things well. It’s beautifully presented without being gimmicky, and impressively accurate and consistent. The wines are fairly priced and well-chosen for the clientele, with a good spread of prices.
UK's Top 100 Restaurants 2015
Cheltenham Spa Station 1km
Winchcombe Station 10km
Cox's Meadow 1km
University of Gloucestershire 1km
Fri-Sat 12N-1.30pm Tues-Sat 7-9pm
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