As you’d expect from a wealthy Regency town in the Cotswolds, Cheltenham has some top-class restaurants where you can be wined and dined to your heart’s content. Here, we’ll introduce you to some of the best restaurants in Cheltenham, from fine-dining to more casual options for everyday eating that won’t break the bank.
A well-established Michelin Guide restaurant, with an AA triple rosette award and named AA’s Restaurant of the Year for England in 2017, Lumière occupies the upper echelons of eateries in the country, let alone Cheltenham or the Cotswolds. You’ll find it on Clarence Parade, which is just a five-minute walk from our Cheltenham Town Centre hotel. It’s a fabulous fine-dining restaurant offering a five-course dinner menu, or a nine-course tasting menu, both of which incorporate the finest seasonal British produce in perfectly balanced dishes that taste as good as they look. As far as eating experiences go, you’ll struggle to find better.
If you like seafood, Purslane Restaurant on Rodney Street is your best option. Oddly enough, the head chef of this fine-dining fish restaurant comes from a family of butchers. It means he’s always considered fish to be a luxury. It shows in Purslane Restaurant’s menu. The fish is sustainably sourced from small-boat fishermen, who use hand lines and nets off the coast of Cornwall, and is plated up with the finest local produce from the Cotswolds. They don’t just specialise in seafood though; when it’s on the menu, it’s difficult to resist the venison, and the suckling pig starter is sublime.
Down the road from The Wilson gallery, practically in the grounds of Cheltenham Minster, you’ll find The White Spoon. It’s another of the Regency town’s hidden gems when it comes to fine dining. By and large, the menu consists of modern takes on British classics. Absolutely everything is made in-house from local ingredients, even going as far as the smoked butter. The restaurant itself is in a lovely setting with reclaimed timber tabletops, tonal decor and stylish tableware. All in all, The White Spoon ticks all the right boxes so while it’s not exactly cheap, you’re absolutely getting what you pay for.
Alternatively, just around the corner from The White Spoon is L’Artisan. It’s a French restaurant with a neighbourhood vibe, except it’s slap bang in the middle of town. Don’t be fooled by the casual surroundings and friendly welcome, they take their food very seriously here. It’s plated to perfection – so much so that you barely want to disturb it – and it tastes so lip-smackingly good you’ll want to come back the next day to try something else.
Staying with the French theme, Petit Coco Bistro is our other pick for the title of best French restaurant in Cheltenham. You’ll find this lovely little traditional subterranean bistro just off the High Street on Bath Street. It’s somewhat of a hidden gem; the kind of place you’d walk right past if you didn’t know it dished up some of the finest French cuisine you’ll find this side of the English Channel. It tops our list of recommendations if you’re looking for somewhere for a romantic dinner for two.
We’ll round things off with a couple of Cheltenham’s Indian restaurants. They’re not your everyday curry houses though. Both blur the lines between Indian cuisine and fine dining to delicious effect. We haven’t included them just because Brits love a curry; they’re without doubt two of the best restaurants in Cheltenham, period.
First up, in the Montpellier Quarter, just opposite Cheltenham Town Hall, is the East India Café. The menu is well and truly mouthwatering. If you want a recommendation, try the Railway Lamb Curry, which is inspired by a similar dish served on the East Indian Railway that opened in 1867.
Or, go to Prithvi on Bath Road. Both outside and in, you can barely tell it’s an Indian restaurant; the facade is stylish and understated and the designer decor is discreet and sophisticated. You could walk in, get chaperoned to your table and take your seat, blissfully unaware that the moment you open the menu, you’ll find a list of innovative, incredible Indian and Bangladeshi-inspired dishes. Put simply, Prithvi thoroughly deserves its place in the Michelin Guide.
Come to the Cotswolds and stay any one of our Cheltenham hotels while you explore the most complete Regency town in the UK. Whether you're planning your visit around Cheltenham's festival calendar, or you simply fancy ticking off some of the town's top attractions such as Sudeley Castle, take your pick from our three conveniently located hotels.
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