The Royal Charlton Kings

  • Food 6/ 10

  • Drink 7/10

  • Atmos 7/ 10

The Royal Charlton Kings Pub building a following.

The Longer Read St Mary’s church was built in 1190 by the Bishop of Hereford. The church now serves as centrepiece to the roundabout in the ‘village’ of Charlton Kings. The Royal is located opposite the churchyard and is owned by the same people who run The Strand in the centre of Cheltenham.

The pub has adopted the Farrow and Ball type colour scheme that pretty soon every pub that aims to be high-end-gastro-pub will be painted. The owners have also fitted in an impressive wooden bar and comfy leather chairs. A little formulaic then, but the beer offered at the bar ticked all the right boxes for variety, locality and quality. The pub was pleasantly busy  – with a great mix of people, always the sign of a good pub. A pint of Mosaic from Gloucester Brewery was in great condition. Traditional bitters were available for those who wanted them. Throughout the evening the staff were exceptionally helpful and friendly.

Food at The Royal Charlton Kings

It was a little chilly, so we sat by the fire and shared some olives. These came with chargrilled bread, but were let down by a really naff olive oil for dipping. Gastro Pubs should be able to offer customers an excellent burger, and the “Royal Beef Burger” (£12.50) pretty much delivered. It came in a great bun, with bacon and Cheddar included in the price (choose from bacon, Cheddar, Stilton, mushrooms, salsa, guacamole or garlic mayonnaise). The burger was almost an inch thick, which might’ve explained the long wait, but unfortunately it was a shade dry.

The chips however, were some of the best I’ve ever been served in a pub. Rump steak was cooked perfectly (as it should be) but served on a very cold plate (as it shouldn’t be). The food was all tasty, but attention to a few little details could’ve made it truly special.

The Royal – Recommended?

We’d recommend the Royal as a place to go for a pub lunch or a good beer. It was (all too) easy to relax in a comfy chair by the fire. I loved that there is an interesting selection of books amassed by The Royal – everything from Tom Wolfe’s A Man in Full to Jeffrey Archer, which is a pretty inclusive range.

Nice pub and one that people are talking about at the moment.

54 Horsefair Street, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham. GL53 8JH
Tel: 01242 228937   Web: