Cheltenham restaurants reviews and news

Well done, you’ve found our Critical Cheltenham restaurants review site.

We’re a Cheltenham restaurants site with a difference. Our restaurant reviews are always based on paid visits.
We’re a bit wary of the rather cosy ‘food blogger’ scene.

We have a no sponsorship, and a #nofreebies approach.  As a result we’re free to say what we think, keeping things real. When it comes to judging value, food and ambience, we’re honest. Join us as we review the good, the bad and the average in Cheltenham.
Our slightly undercover approach also explains why our pictures are so terrible.

Let’s go!

You can read longer reviews of Cheltenham restaurants, or simply check out our scores.
Search here to see if we’ve reviewed or browse categories, below.

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Restaurant reviews

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Café & Bar reviews

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Culture & Shopping


Cheltenham restaurants – reviews

Critical Cheltenham is a restaurant, cafe and culture review website for Cheltenham restaurants and cafes. We’re over here, just to the left of the Cotswolds.

Our aim is to be honest and fair, albeit hopefully amusing along the way too.

Probably like you, we’ve got a little wary of restaurant reviews where the ‘diner’ has clearly been given a free dinner.  That is, in exchange for a favourable review. That issue came to a head when an Australian restaurateur rebelled, in a news story called Cash for Couscous. We also think that there should be more interesting things to say about a restaurant than “my partner opted for the Black Forest gateaux”.  Surely, for example, a good restaurant review should explain what the ambiance is generally like and what you can expect to pay?

Assessing Cheltenham Restaurants and Cafes

Reviews are, of course, ‘just our view’.  As a matter of fact, within our small group we have a wine, coffee and beer enthusiast. There’s a former chef and some former hotel staff.  We have a vegetarian reviewer and an experienced baker. We may get it wrong sometimes, but we try hard not to.

Cheltenham restaurant and cafe reviews

There’s a markedly fast turnover on the Cheltenham restaurants scene, so that restaurants and cafes seem to come and go regularly. We try hard to keep up, consistent with our bank balance. That’s why we haven’t bothered with 131 much yet, to say nothing of The Ivy. Reviews are scored out of ten for food, drink and atmosphere.  Overall, we’re fairly tough in our assessment. High reputations don’t count for much.  It’s what the place was actually like counts.

If you disagree with our reviews, please tell us (you can DM on social media). So as to be fair,  we try not to visit Cheltenham cafes and restaurants for reviews just once. Things unquestionably change over time.

Scoring Cheltenham cafes and restaurant reviews

As a general guide, a score of six or more means we think the venue is reliable. Seven or more and things are getting pretty special. Our score is based on what Cheltenham restaurants set out to achieve, what they charge and not what their reputation is. Points are awarded for what Cheltenham restaurants set out to be versus what they deliver. In other words, a great burger outlet might score more than a pretentious French restaurant. And be equally important to us. With this in mind, it’s horses for courses, as we say in Cheltenham. Especially in March.

Cheltenham restaurants cafes reviews

And finally…

At the end of the day, these reviews are just our opinion. We encourage you to explore for yourself. Remember that restaurants and cafes go through good and bad phases. And they have off nights too. Stay in touch and let us know what you think.