British, Modern Restaurants in Gloucester
1. The Woolpack Inn British, Modern restaurant in Slad Slad Road - GL6
In Gloucestershire’s lovely Slad valley, “Laurie Lee’s local has just gone from strength to strength over the years – although it’s not clear what Laurie Lee would think about it now, as while it’s still all scrubbed tables and good cider, it now also has a talented chef producing high-end pub grub”. “Sometimes the food is exceptional” (it was on Giles Coren’s June 2022 visit) – “service has been varied, but everywhere is struggling with staff… but on the right day, a visit here is magical”.
2. Le Champignon Sauvage British, Modern restaurant in Cheltenham 24-28 Suffolk Rd - GL50
“A place to eat for people who prefer food to Instagram…” – “No visit to Cheltenham is complete without a meal at the delightful Champignon Sauvage” according to the many fans of David & Helen Everitt-Matthias’s long-established foodie temple, which remains one of the more commented-on rural restaurants in the UK. For its many long-term devotees, “this is the yardstick used to judge everywhere else as its combination of skill, service and value is so hard to beat”. Famously the kitchen is never open when David isn’t in it to cook, and the result is “innovative, often-foraged seasonal dishes” – “precise, original and beautiful cooking that never strains for effect” and “whose flavours sing on the plate”. “Friendly and professional service to match is provided by Helen”, who also presides over the “super wine list with a great selection of half bottles”. No-one has ever pretended the rather sedate room is a riot, but fans say “its serenity encourages conversation” and “still don’t understand why this outstanding restaurant lost its second Michelin star a couple of years ago”. Ratings here dipped a little this year, however, on one or two mixed (if far-from-damning) reports. Typical would be “our favourite last year was somewhat off its game this time and lacked a little sparkle”; or “the food was great as ever but the room felt dead… the wrong sort of hushed”. Perhaps the strains of these pandemic times? Or “maybe it’s just that everywhere else has upped its game?” Still, for the majority, “it’s wonderful and creates some of the best things ever eaten”.
3. The Butcher’s Arms British, Modern restaurant in Eldersfield Lime St - GL19
2021 Review: It’s still early days for Grain Store chef, Mark Block, who took over this celebrated county inn in January 2018. While there’s the odd complaint – of food that’s “competent but has no zing” – the general sense is that, despite the former regime being “quite a tough act to follow, it’s doing nicely under the new ownership”: no longer chasing Michelin stars, but “very much a rural pub with good food”.
4. No 131 British, Modern restaurant in Cheltenham 131 Promenade - GL50
2022 Review: In a prime town-centre location, this luxurious hotel (ultimately owned by Superdry founder Julian Dunkerton) is converted from a trio of Georgian townhouses. On limited feedback in this survey, the themes here are the same as in previous years: “attractive setting and good food… but all at a high price”.
5. The Ivy Montpellier Brasserie British, Modern restaurant in Cheltenham Rotunda Terrace, Montpellier Street - GL50
“Do ask to sit under the rotunda” – which makes this spin-off from the national chain “a memorable place to eat”. “The food is not memorable, but overall it is fine and predictable, one can rely on getting a decent meal”.
6. No. 3 Restaurants British, Modern restaurant in Cheltenham 12 Royal Crescent - GL50
2022 Review: Rugby World Cup AND Celebrity MasterChef winner Phil Vickery has opened his own restaurant, with his wife Jules and chef Tom Rains, after a year of running a delivery service, No.3 at Home.
7. Lumière British, Modern restaurant in Cheltenham Clarence Parade - GL50
“Our best meal of the year!” – “we benchmark all fine dining experiences against Lumière and nobody beats them”, say fans of chef Jon Howe and his front-of-house wife Helen’s small restaurant, whose “unassuming exterior camouflages” a “gastronomic delight”. “Sophisticated, balanced dishes with exquisite flavour” are “served with skill and passion” – and it’s “come through lockdown even better than before”.
8. Purslane British, Modern restaurant in Cheltenham 16 Rodney Rd - GL50
Chef-patron Gareth Fulford’s “intimate restaurant with great food and wine” is “a long way from the sea, but the fish is always beautifully cooked and so tasty”. It’s also “fantastic value”, offering a range of options from 2 to 7 courses. “This is up there with my favourites – I just wished we lived nearer”.
9. Cowley Manor British, Modern restaurant in Cowley
Opened in summer 2023, this Cotswolds country house hotel near Cheltenham is now part of the Paris-based Experimental Group (owners of the Henrietta Hotel in Covent Garden). Jackson Boxer, chef-patron at high-profile London venues Brunswick House and Orasay, has been hired to take charge of the menu offered in the 50-cover dining room; there is also a 50-seat dining terrace.
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