Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Gloucestershire
Hardens guides have spent 29 years compiling reviews of the best Gloucestershire restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 141 restaurants in Gloucestershire and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Gloucestershire restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Gloucestershire Restaurants
1. The Old Passage Inn Fish & seafood restaurant in Arlingham Passage Road - GL2
“A long way from anywhere but worth the drive”, say fans of this “lovely spot beside the River Severn”, who hail its “reliably good cooking of high-end fish”. Its ratings were dragged down this year, though, by a couple of mediocre reports: “after several visits I’m baffled by the sky-high score: the food is pleasant enough but not exceptional”.
2. Lords of the Manor British, Modern restaurant in Upper Slaughter Stow-on-the-Wold - GL54
“Never fails to impress with its superb cuisine and overall experience” say fans of this well-known, picture-book Cotswolds mansion (under the same owners as The Feathers in Woodstock), where reports this year were more consistently upbeat than in recent times. In April 2019 (rather late-in-the-day for survey feedback), the hotel changed its offer – simplifying the menu in the long-established main dining room – and launching a new dining space, ‘Atrium’, with a £95, eight-course tasting menu from chef Charles Smith. In the circumstances, it seems best to suspend a full rating till next year.
3. Corse Lawn Hotel British, Traditional restaurant in Corse Lawn
The Hine family’s long-established country house hotel has a scenic location, occupying a rural Queen Anne house next to a duck pond. Baba Hine, la patronne of 40 years standing, still cooks breakfast and her son Giles nowadays presides over the cellar established by her late husband Denis. The restaurant is old-fashioned in design, although its traditional cooking (with Chris Exley nowadays at the stoves) has somewhat moved with the times. Feedback was limited this year, and hence we’ve held off on a rating.
4. 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 this 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!” (STOP PRESS, the restaurant closed for eight weeks in summer 2019 after Jon Howe broke his ankle walking, but is now up and running again).
5. 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”.
6. 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”.
7. Ox Barn at Thyme British, Modern restaurant in Southrop Southrop Manor Estate - GL7
“The coolest restaurant in the Cotswolds” right now – this gorgeous, new barn-conversion “designed for the London trendy set”. It’s part of Caryn & Jerry Hibbert’s ‘village within a village’ adjoining the “stunning village of Southrop”, recently described in The Times as “a Disney-perfect vision of the English countryside”: a collection of restored barns and other buildings that now form a complex of hotel, spa, pub, restaurant and events centre. Even those who say it’s “blindingly expensive” say Charlie Hibbert’s eclectic modern British fare is perfectly “acceptable” and fans say it’s “properly modern, excellent and unusual”.
8. 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!”)
9. The Fox Inn British, Modern restaurant in Moreton-in-Marsh Lower Oddington - GL56
This gentrified, ivy-covered Cotswolds inn, handily placed for Stow-on-the-Wold and Daylesford Organic, is “excellent in every way”: decent real ales, comfortable setting and British cuisine which, while “not cheap”, is “very, very good”.
10. Made By Bob British, Modern restaurant in Cirencester The Cornhall 26 Market Pl - GL7
Cooking of “exceptional quality” ensures that this long-established open kitchen/deli venue in the town centre is “always busy, with a vibrant atmosphere”. It’s “great” for breakfast and lunches, with dinner served on Fridays and Saturdays.
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