British, Modern Restaurants in Gloucestershire
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. Jesses Bistro British, Modern restaurant in Cirencester The Stableyard, Black Jack Street - GL7
2018 Review: “Romantically located behind the main road” down an alleyway, this cosy town-centre bistro is “part of the adjacent family butchers” – “meat dishes are king” but all the locally sourced fare here is consistently highly rated.
4. The Bell at Sapperton British, Modern restaurant in Sapperton
A “charming, lovely and well-run village pub” that “has had its ups and downs, but seems to be on an ‘up’ at the moment”; and serving an “interesting but not over-ambitious menu”.
5. 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 last 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.
6. No. 3 Restaurants British, Modern restaurant in Cheltenham 12 Royal Crescent - GL50
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. Horse & Groom British, Modern restaurant in Moreton-in-Marsh Upper Oddington - GL56
2017 Review: In an attractive Cotswold stone building, this “stylish” hilltop venue – a gastroboozer with “very comfortable” rooms – makes a “great place for a romantic meal or night out” thanks to its “consistently good food”.
8. 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”.
9. 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!”)
10. The Swan at Southrop British, Modern restaurant in Southrop
2018 Review: Part of the sprawling Southrop Manor estate, with its boutique hotel, holiday cottages and cookery school – this plush, ivy-clad gastroboozer continues to garner solid marks for daily changing menus sourced from the kitchen garden.
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