L’Artisan brings France to Cheltenham via both its cuisine and interior design. Walk into this quaint restaurant and take in the Baroque-style features with the canary yellow walls, white and gold accents, white tablecloths, chandeliers, ceiling mouldings and ornate mirrors, all delivering a simple, fuss-free space with a calming laissez-faire attitude.
The restaurant was started by couple Yves and Elisabeth Ogrodzki, who have been in the French restaurant industry for years and wanted to move away from the expensive and formal French dining stereotype, creating food that appeals to the eye, the nose and the taste buds. The restaurant dishes up carefully plated meals that are authentically French and leave you with that feel-good factor. Open Tuesday to Saturday for lunch from 12pm and dinner from 6pm, L’Artisan aims to deliver the “a la Française” experience to customers without the price tag.
Expect hearty French cuisine, packed with flavour and plated sensibly with care. If you pop by for a lunchtime visit, start with the soup of the day or a smoked salmon and prawns salad with a Marie-Rose sauce. For mains, tuck into a light smoked salmon omelette with a vinaigrette salad on the side. Another delicious option is the traditional beef bourguignon which is cooked in a Burgundy wine and served with vegetable and mash or fries. If you’re feeling extra peckish, you can add a side of pommes-frites or French-style vegetables.
When ordering from the à la carte menu, you’ll find traditional starters such as a variation of rabbit, escargot in garlic butter and garnished with parsley, or a classic poached duck egg served on a bed of duck confit and cassoulet beans. We love the look of the traditional beef tartare or the veal “noisettes” which are pan-fried and covered in a creamy apple and Normandy cider sauce. Finish with a trio platter of French cheeses or the indulgent crème brûlée.
L’Artisan regularly has Tour de France specials where guests can taste French food from different regions from a two- or three-course menu over a two-week period. The restaurant also provides cardboard straws, and recycles both glass and cardboard.