Cheltenham Restaurants: What’s Opened, What’s Closed, What’s Good.

November was the month that your Cheltenham restaurants reviewer got a bit bored with with burgers. But only a little. First up, Five Guys opened. No review as such, as we avoid international restaurant chains. For an indulgent burger experience, once in a while, it’s hard to beat.

That said, the fine folks at Bhoomi have opened Holee Cow. This new burger operation in Clarence Street, in the last few days. We thought, on a quick visit after it opened, that it has a lot of promise. The service was in ‘learning’ mode though. We’ll give them time to settle down before reviewing properly. The menu is short and to the point and the puns are good.

Cheltenham’s first Korean restaurant, Ginger and Garlic, opened on the High Street. Head there fore a bimbambap and kimchee fix. And it has karaoke booths!

At the other end of the High Street, in Grosvenor Street, we liked the look of new Indian takeaway, Delhi Heights. This, too (it’s hard to keep up) opened in the last few days.

Coffee, Coffee Shops and, er Chelmsford

The big cafe opening this month was The Find, in Regent Street. On two floors, good coffee, unfeasibly large cakes, food OK. This place has a lot of ambition and the design work is terrific. You should visit.

In other Coffee News, Cheltenham will lose its Costa crown to Chelmsford, when that City opens its 13th branch. Cheltenham currently holds the title with 11. Sigh. The shame.

Speaking of ambition, The Coconut Tree, Cheltenham’s restaurant of the moment has recently opened a branch in Oxford. Bristol coming any day now too.

Following Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, the company announced that it would close its two stores in Cheltenham and Scotland. The Cheltenham store, including cafe, closes tomorrow. Read our original review here to see what you missed. It’s a shame as Whole Foods added something to the Cheltenham food scene (and the butchery was excellent). Sadly a Cheltenham location never really added up for this group.


Cheltenham Restaurants Opening Soon

The Ivy Montpellier Brasserie opens on the 13th December, reservations now open. It’s trading on the celeb image of the original London restaurant, but let us not forget that there are over 20 around the UK now. This venerable brand is rolling out. There’s one in Guildford for heaven’s sake. Anyway let’s hope the Cheltenham restaurant has bags of charm. It will be interesting to see what they make of the Rotunda in Montpellier.  Could be good – the hoardings are now off!

Also in Montpellier, Giggling Squid seem to have gone quiet about their opening date. John Lewis have announced that they won’t open until Autumn 2018. May we have our pavement back soon?

The Old Courthouse (where Jamie Oliver’s, er, pukka Cheltenham gaff was) is set to open ‘early 2018’, although new owners Brunning and Price have published some sample menus  so you can get an indication of what we’re in for.

Industry conversation is all about costs at the moment. Food prices are rising, Chefs share tips on where to find the cheapest butter via social media and cheaper cuts of meat are finding their way onto every menu. Staff costs are rising too. Managers grumble about the cost of agency chefs, as some chefs find that the way to a better work/life balance is to work that way. I would say that there’s something of a Cheltenham restaurants bubble at the moment, like bitcoin. On the other hand, business seems pretty good.  The other gossip at the moment is about a recent ‘hands in the till’ bust locally, but we can’t say too much more for obvious reasons.

With winter nights coming on, we’re thinking its time to visit some of those smaller,  cosy Cheltenham restaurants that we like so much again – Petit Coco and East India Cafe come to mind.