Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Cheltenham
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Cheltenham restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 43 restaurants in Cheltenham and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Cheltenham restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Cheltenham Restaurants
1. The Slaughters Manor House British, Modern restaurant in Lower Slaughter Copsehill Rd - GL54
Blessed with a picture-perfect village setting, this well-established hotel restaurant (nowadays under the Brownsword group) is a light, airy space whose fine dining food – afternoon tea to eight-course tasting menus – makes the most of local and foraged ingredients. It attracted limited feedback last year, but all positive.
2. Lumière British, Modern restaurant in Cheltenham Clarence Parade - GL50
“On our foodie tour of the area’s culinary heavy hitters (four in four nights) Lumière was by far the best in every way! – the food itself, the artistry and invention of the cooking, the front of house…!” Jon & Helen Howe’s small (just 24 covers) venture “benefits from a feeling of intimacy and calm” and scored the top ratings in town last year. Jon Howe’s food is “out of this world” with “some very good flavour combinations, some very clever and precise cooking” – all “without pretentious twiddles”. Dishes are delivered by the “serene and endlessly helpful Helen in charge of a small team” and “you are made to feel your dining experience is uppermost in their minds rather than your visit being an opportunity for them to ‘showcase’”. “We liked it so much that we went back to Cheltenham just to eat there again!”
3. Prithvi Indian restaurant in Cheltenham 37 Bath Road - GL53
“Clever, well-imagined” and “delicately spiced food, unlike any normal Indian restaurant” distinguishes this “superb” venue, named after the Skanskrit for ‘Mother Earth’. Opened in 2012, it has now moved house into a “much more elegant setting” opposite Pittville Park. Top Tip: “a relative bargain for lunch”.
4. Bhoomi Indian restaurant in Cheltenham 52 Suffolk Rd - GL50
After six years in business this popular Indian closed its doors in August 2018… only to relaunch with a new Indian BBQ and South Indian plates concept (plus thali deal) just weeks later. On early reports, it’s “another great addition to the surfeit of excellent locals”, delivering “sublime food and exotic tastes”.
5. Le Champignon Sauvage British, Modern restaurant in Cheltenham 24-28 Suffolk Rd - GL50
“Shame on the inspector who was responsible for removing one of this outstanding restaurant’s stars” – fans are still scratching their heads about Michelin’s October 2018 decision to demote David & Helen Everitt-Matthias’s famous venue to a single gong. To be fair, the “somewhat suburban” décor has always grated with some diners here, as have odd incidents of “stuffy service”. And our own survey has seen a rise in minority reports of “well-cooked but unexceptional” cuisine (with a slight hit to its ratings as a result). And yet, for the most part, feedback on this “calm” and “low key” dining room just outside the city centre – where David is, famously, always at the stoves, with Helen front of house – remains a rhapsody of praise: “a one-off passion project from husband and wife team demonstrated in every superb and gimmick-free dish” – “a masterclass in ‘fine’ dining with very precise preparation, presentation and exciting flavours” that’s “expertly and efficiently run both front of house and in the kitchens”. (“It is the yardstick against which we measure everything else: we visit four or five times a year despite it being a six-hour round trip – it's worth the price, and why they lost a star is a total mystery!”)
6. L’Artisan French restaurant in Cheltenham 30 Clarence St - GL50
“Quaint” and “very French” (“in a non-posey sort of way”, i.e. “like being in a really good quality restaurant in provincial France”), the Ogrodzki family’s diminutive Gallic haunt was “thoroughly enjoyed” by reporters again last year thanks to its “beautifully presented and perfectly cooked” traditional fare.
7. Purslane British, Modern restaurant in Cheltenham 16 Rodney Rd - GL50
“A real gem”, Gareth Fulford’s “friendly” backstreet outfit is “far better than the rather unprepossessing exterior suggests”, with “very well cooked fish” the star of a menu that’s “creative” – with “exquisite flavour combinations” – if a little too “cheffy” for some tastes. It took some flak for seeming “a little overpriced” last year, and an interior that’s “buzzy” and “very relaxing” to fans is, to sceptics, “dreary”.
8. Tavern Burgers, etc restaurant in Cheltenham 38 Evesham Road - GL52
2019 Review: “They’ve got a great menu of American-inspired comfort food” at this bar/bistro in the city-centre “and some real mastery at the grill. Brunches are good too”. Top Menu Tip: “whole deep fried globe artichoke with greek garlic mayo”.
9. The Coconut Tree International restaurant in Cheltenham 59 Saint Paul's Road - GL50
Not a huge volume of feedback, but good ratings all-round from those who do comment on this cheap ’n’ cheerful, modern Sri Lankan street food café: the original of a now five-strong mini-chain stretching from Oxford to Cardiff.
10. East India Cafe Indian restaurant in Cheltenham 103 Promenade - GL50
2019 Review: A “pretty little cellar restaurant on the Prom” combining “charming service” and “very creative and delicious ‘Raj’ food”, from street food to tasting menus; it’s “quite expensive”, but then still “cheaper than Gymkhana!” Plush new sibling ‘Memsahib Gin & Tea Bar’ opened two minutes’ walk away in November 2018.
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