Harden's survey result
For 25 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 60,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.
“Husband and wife have yet to miss a service” at this “sophisticated” and pioneering 30-year-old near the town centre, long renowned as one of the UK’s top culinary destinations. For its large fan club – foodies especially – it’s a “yardstick by which all else is measured” thanks to the dedication of chef David Everitt Matthias and his “wildly inventive” cuisine (which, for example, included foraged ingredients long before the current vogue for them); plus the “always interesting wine list”, about which his wife Helen is “exceptionally knowledgeable”. The ambience of this “self effacing, restrained and quiet” venue can – especially at lunch time – be somewhat “iffy” though; and ratings here nearly slipped due to a couple of unusually duff experiences reported this year.
“Genuine food served by genuine people” is the essence of the ongoing success of the Everitt-Matthias’s foodie legend – “celebrating 30 years next year, from a husband-and-wife team who have never missed a service… if the restaurant is open, they are always there”. It’s “a two-Michelin-star restaurant which has never rested on its laurels, with David’s dishes constantly evolving and wowing guests and critics alike” (“foraging has become the norm these days, but David was doing it years before the rest caught up”) and Helen’s service coming with “total knowledge of the food and wines”. The “pleasant” but low-key room is perhaps the weakest link, but “don’t we make our own atmosphere? It was an amazing experience!”
This wasn’t a vintage year for the Everitt-Matthias’s foodie legend. To fans, chef David remains “the unsung hero of British cooking”, and they report “food that’s always breathtaking, ahead of fashion and trends in terms of influence, and yet for a Michelin two-star not over-priced or pretentious”. Even many supporters would concede that the ambience of this low-key dining room can seem “flat” however, and what is “excellent and understated” service to fans can also seem “unengaging” to the uninitiated. More concerning, though, were the unusually high number of disappointments in this survey when it came to the cuisine – “nothing to actually complain about, but little character or sparkle to match its lofty ranking.”
“Unpretentious but perfect”; “disarmingly humble yet utterly driven” chef David Everitt-Matthias “continues to amaze” at this acclaimed dining room, where his “magically intense” cuisine is served by wife Helen’s “brilliant and personable” staff; as ever, though, the decor can seem “a less certain attraction”.
24-28 Suffolk Rd, Cheltenham, GL50 2AQ
|Tuesday||12:30 pm-1:30 pm, 7:30 pm-8:30 pm|
|Wednesday||12:30 pm-1:30 pm, 7:30 pm-8:30 pm|
|Thursday||12:30 pm-1:30 pm, 7:30 pm-8:30 pm|
|Friday||12:30 pm-1:30 pm, 7:30 pm-8:30 pm|
|Saturday||12:30 pm-1:30 pm, 7:30 pm-8:30 pm|