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Cheltenham restaurants guide: 10 of the best in town

By This is Gloucestershire  |  Posted: September 21, 2011

  • Montpellier Chapter

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ARE you looking for a good place to eat in Cheltenham?

We've put together a list of 10 recommended restaurants in the town:

From fine dining to pub grub, continental cuisine to the best of British, Cheltenham’s thriving restaurant scene offers something to tickle everyone’s tastebuds.

Whether you are on a budget or looking to splash the cash for a big celebration there is something that fits the bill.

Sue Adie, the press and marketing officer for Visit Cheltenham said: “In terms of the size of town I don’t think I’ve ever come across so many places to eat and all of a very high standard.

“I think there is something for everyone and every taste.”

And with new restaurants such as Jamie’s Italian opening up in the last few months it seems that Cheltenham’s restaurant and cafe culture is set to continue going from strength to strength in spite of the recession.

Sue said: “There is a really extensive and eclectic mix of restaurants and I think they tend to do well because Cheltenham is such a great place to come to and has events all year round.

“It has everything from coffee shops, cafes and al fresco dining which Cheltenham lends itself well to, through to restaurants and bistros.”

So whether you are looking for a curry or classic French cuisine here is our list of 10 of the top eateries in the town:

1. Le Champignon Sauvage, 24-26 Suffolk Rd. 01242 573 449.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 12.30-1.15pm (last order 1.30pm) and 7.30-8.30pm (last order 8.45pm).

Style: Modern French

Prices: Two courses £48, three courses £59, four courses (with cheese and dessert) £68.

Try: The Cinderford lamb, lamb sweetbreads, pea puree, pistachio and wilted lettuce.

With a list of awards as long as the home straight at Cheltenham racecourse –including-two Michelin stars - Le Champignon Sauvage is a true thoroughbred among restaurants.

Run by David Everitt-Matthias and his wife Helen, its cutting-edge French-inspired cuisine, intimate atmosphere and attentive service have proved a winner with critics and customers since they first opened more than 20 years ago.

Despite its incredible success the restaurant still offers great value and must be among the least expensive Michelin-starred establishments anywhere in the country.

2. Lumiere, Clarence Parade. 01242 222200.

Opening hours: Lunch, Wednesday to Saturday 12-2pm. Dinner Tuesday to Saturday 7pm-9pm.

Style: Modern British.

Prices: Two course lunch £22, dinner £42. Three courses £26 lunch, £46 dinner. Tasting menu £47 lunch, £60 dinner.

Try: The line caught Cornish sea bass, truffled linguini, samphire, crushed peas, lobster and brown shrimp dressing.

Recently named Cotswold Life Restaurant of the Year, Lumiere offers contemporary British cooking at its very best in a fantastic location just off the famous Promenade.

Chef John Howe has trained under top names including Heston Blumenthal and John Campbell and is fast carving out a name to rival his former mentors.

He has won great acclaim for his innovative use of local seasonal produce supplemented by fresh fish from the coast.

Lumiere also does a special vegetarian menu.

3. Armagnac, 15 Rotunda Terrace, Montpellier, 01242 525230

Opening hours:

Style: French

Prices: From two courses for £10 (lunch only) to £18.95.

Try: The pan fried duck breast, Armagnac potatoes, braised red cabbage

Owned by former French international rugby star Olivier Azam this little gem of a restaurant is truly fantastique.

Combining top Gloucestershire produce with Gallic flair Armagnac offers great food at affordable prices.

Whether you are looking for an intimate setting to bring someone special or a tranquil retreat from a day’s shopping you will not be disappointed.

The restaurant was recently voted the ‘best lunch in Cheltenham’.

4. The Daffodil, 18-20 Suffolk Parade. 01242 700 055.

Opening hours: Monday-Saturday lunch 12-2pm, dinner 6.30pm-10pm (10.30pm Saturday).

Style: Modern British

Prices: From £12.50 for two courses lunch and early evening to £23.50

Try: One of The Daffodil’s celebrated steaks.

Housed in the Art-Deco opulence of the former Daffodil picture palace, the restaurant offers one of Cheltenham’s most eye-catching and unique dining venues.

And the food isn’t bad either. From succulent steaks to sharing plates and fresh fish The Daffodil offers a wide range of superb locally sourced modern British food.

5. 288 Bar and Wok, 288 High Street. 01242 582346.

288 Bar and Wok

Opening hours: Lunch Tuesday to Sunday 12-2pm (3pm on Saturday). Dinner 6-10pm.

Style: Chinese

Prices: Mains from £6.60 to £7.70.

Try: A selection of smaller traditional Oriental street dishes from the Hawkers Fare section of the menu.

Unpretentious, authentic and simply excellent 288 Bar and Wok serves up authentic Chinese cuisine in a bustling, lively cafe atmosphere.

With its long tables and benches and driven by the passion of owner Pak Wai Hung, it offers a dining experience unlike any other in Cheltenham.

They even grow their own Chinese vegetables.

6. Spice Lodge, Montpellier Drive, Cheltenham GL50 1TY, 01242 226 300

Opening hours: 12-2.15pm, 5.30-11pm - seven days a week.

Style: Pan Asian

Prices: Starters from £3.95, mains up to £15.95

Try: Mussels in a masala cream sauce with white wine garlic and tomatoes.

Located in the former old mansion house on Montpellier Drive, Spice Lodge is a real destination restaurant for lovers of Asian cuisine. With separate dining areas - each with a unique atmosphere - the Indian and Thai food is exciting and the service friendly.

7. Montpellier Chapter Hotel, Bayshill Road, Cheltenham GL50 3AS, 01242 266 708

Opening hours: Breakfast:07.00 – 10.00 , Breakfast w/e: 07.30 – 10.30 , Lunch: 12.00 – 14.30 , Dinner: 18.00 – 22.00, Lounge Service: 10.00 – 22.00

Style: Briish seasonal food and contemporary classics using local ingredients simply prepared.

Prices: Lucnh and early supper menu two courses £12.50 or three courses, £15. First courses from £4.50, mains up to £27 (for a Chateaubriand to share)

Try: Scallops cooked in the half shell with sesame oil, spring onion, ginger & soy.

This dining room has real culinary drama with an open plan cooking area and stunning contemporary styling. If you like simple dishes created to a high standard the Montpellier could be for you.

8. Jamie's Italian The Former County Court, County Court Road, Cheltenham, GL50 1HB, 01242 500 193

Opening hours: Monday - Saturday, Noon - 11pm, Sundays Noon - 10.30pm

Style: Italian

Prices: From £3.75 to £16.95

Try: The seasonal meat antipasti plank for a starter.

Based in the former county court buidling dining here has a real sense of theatre - especially with all the lovely Italian ingredients on display. If you like Jamie Oliver's fresh flavours you'll like it here.

9. Red Pepper, 13 Regent St. Cheltenham, GL50 1HE, 01242 253900.

Opening hours: Coffee lounge Tuesday to Sunday 9am-6pm. Bistro Tuesday to Saturday 6pm-9m and weekends 12pm-30m

Style: Modern European.

Prices: Lunch snacks and sandwiches from £3.50, evening mains up to £13.50.

Try: Roast chump of Cotswold lamb served with dauphinoise potatoes, red wine jus and fresh red currants.

Whether you are looking for breakfast, a light lunch or a pre-theatre dinner the Red Pepper is a great choice for every time of day or occasion. With its fresh food, good service and relaxed atmosphere the cafe by-day bistro by-night has become one of Cheltenham’s most popular eateries.

10. Hotel Du Vin, Parabola Road, Cheltenham GL50 3AQ, 01242 588 450

Hotel Du Vin

Opening hours: 12.30-2pm and 6.30-10pm

Style: Bistro / private dining

Prices:Starters from £4.95 up to £25 for mains

Try: Baked camembert, HDV burger and any grill.

Stunning and cool dining room with a handy cigar shack in the courtyard. Perfect for a business meeting or a special occasion The Hotel du Vin brand is rapdily building to be one of the best in the UK. The bistro uses a lot of fresh local ingredients.

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  • donotpassgo  |  December 26 2011, 4:56PM

    Would be good to see how you quantified this list, what was your measurement system. What places did not make the top ten? Or did you in fact only visit ten venues? Who knows the whole experiment is floored! Also surprised that Jamie's where in the list, have also heard lots of bad reports!

  • Observant  |  December 17 2011, 2:50PM

    Send reporter on a spelling course not an eating one!

  • jamescrosby1  |  December 07 2011, 12:23PM

    Im amazed the Indian Voojan isnt featured given that it topped the poll of readers choices for curry and also won the award for best curry house in Cheltenham in the tiffin cup. This is glos ran both of these stories in May and yet somehow it hasnt made the list! Its all subjective, but when you run a list of the best restaurants you'd have thought you would include one you featured quite heavily earlier in the year! I'd also add Number 7 to the list, had some superb meals in there.

  • Alfredo_  |  November 11 2011, 11:58AM

    I'm surprised Jamie's is in the list. I've only heard bad reports from there, including people waiting 90 minutes for their orders to arrive.

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  • sideshowb  |  November 10 2011, 5:08PM


  • poppydog1  |  November 07 2011, 2:12PM

    Curry Corner not in the Top Ten, unbelievable! Winner of the Taste of the West Gold Award in 2009!.Finalist in Gordon Ramsay's "The F Word" on Chanel 4 in the same year. Obviously Curry Corner does not need to pay for advertising as its reputation speaks for itself.

  • Ain't Misbehavin'  |  November 07 2011, 9:39AM

    Six weeks now. Getting very bored with seeing this advert.

  • donningtondog  |  October 31 2011, 6:35PM

    Probably paying TIG a lot of money for this advertising.

  • sideshowb  |  October 29 2011, 5:37PM

    so are TiG advertising here, as this has been on my first story since sept...

  • bobhoughton  |  October 29 2011, 7:38AM

    I think that the Daffodil is a delightful place to look at and somewhere certainly on the list of places to take friends who are visiting you in Cheltenham as they would be impressed. Unfortunately the only time I have eaten there, six of us chose our meal and, after what seemed like a lifetime, five meals turned up. When the person who served us put the five plates down, she smiled vacantly like someone off The Only Way is Essex and the fact that one of us was sitting with nothing in front of them did not even register. You don'r forgive that kind of thing readily and I haven't been back since.