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. 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”.
4. 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!”)
5. 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”.
6. MBB Brasserie 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.
7. The Five Alls British, Modern restaurant in Lechlade Filkins - GL7
“A real pleasure” – takeover by a chain (Cardiff’s Barkby Group, at the helm as of 2018) hasn’t led to a fall in fortunes for this eighteenth century village boozer; it continues to deliver “very enjoyable”, “well-sized and well-priced” grub (including the “perfect Sunday roast”) that’s “worth travelling some way for” – and, while it “gets pretty packed, it appears the kitchen is used to that and copes admirably”.
8. 5 North Street British, Modern restaurant in Winchcombe 5 North St - GL54
“A true passion for inventive food is demonstrated time after time” at Gus & Kate Ashenford’s “friendly and efficient” former tearoom in a Cotswold village. “Meals are as great as ever, whatever Michelin says”, say regulars bemused by the loss of a long-held star in 2018 – “we’ve found exciting and memorable flavours in every dish”.
9. The Butcher’s Arms British, Modern restaurant in Eldersfield Lime St - GL19
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”.
10. 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”.
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