Cheltenham – what we learned in the last month.
It was good to see the opening of The Sober Parrot in St James Square. It’s an alcohol-free cafe and venue. Coffee is pretty good, cakes are on point and we’ll be back soon to try lunch. Details here. Look forward to seeing what events they have lined up. Their Bakewell Tart, of all things, was nearly the best thing we ate this month in a Cheltenham cafe.
Nearby, the Cafe at Chapel Arts is now run by the people behind O’Hara’s Coffee House. The brownie size has increased (yay!) and all is well. We’ve loved the various exhibitions at Chapel Arts this year – such an asset to Cheltenham.
The Cheltenham restaurant scene could be looking up soon. Planning permission has been given for refurbishment of The Quadrangle, which is that 1970’s block next to the Town Hall. It was aquired by a UK pension fund in January 2017 for just over £11m. Their plans for the site include office refurbishment blah blah – and a new sixth floor with (ta-rah!) a rooftop restaurant. That would be fun. Fingers crossed. A while back there was talk of a rooftop restaurant on the BHS site which never happened.
Planning permission has also been given for something called Cicheti in Regent Street. Cicheti are those snacks served with wine (usually) in tiny Venetian bars, if you’ve been lucky enough to find an authentic one. So possibly a new wine-bar-with-tapas coming to town.
Montpellier Lodge closed suddenly recently. There are signs in the windows saying that it will open soon. One of our sharp-eyed Twitter followers noted that Montpellier Lodge Ltd was registered at about the same time. One possible interpretation of that is that the same ownership will re-open the restaurant, Pheonix like, after a bit of a rethink. There are others. Let’s see.
Crossways Guest House, got in touch on Twitter to point out that the Thai Brasserie, in Montpellier Terrace has closed. The owner has retired.
Just out of town, there was also news of yet another multi-£million investment at The Frogmill, to include a 100 cover restaurant.
Love and support to the staff at White Spoon who suffered a late night robbery recently.
Back in Cheltenham, the town centre is now entirely surrounded by burger joints, with the opening of Moody’s Place, which offers California Style Burgers and Cocktails. The restaurant is on the site of the old Bierkeller which closed quoting an unsustainable business model.
Our social media / freebiewatch leads us to guess that the Drawing Room restaurant at Cotswold Grange (in Pittville Circus Road) is on a bit of a promotional push at present. It’s usually an indication that the chef is on a mission.
Meanwhile, and we actually paid for all of these, here are some recent…
…Cheltenham things that we enjoyed:
Best thing we’ve had to eat in the last month: A chestnut-flour biscuit thing, served with walnut mousse at L’Artisan, cheered us up no end, in that endless April grey weather. (This were two componants of a dish called A Walk in the Forest)
Best restaurant experience: The Tavern, on a Saturday night, was a great mix of up for it diners, good service and food. Good times. We’re getting to like this place more.
Best coffee: This is getting boring: Scandinavia Coffee Pod (again).
Best drink: Deya Brewery’s ‘Invoice me for the Microphone’ (Citra and Mosaic IPA) was bloody marvellous.
Farmers Market Watch: Two terrific Adeys Sirloin steaks for £13. Why would you buy from a supermarket?