If you know Cheltenham, you’ll know The Daffodil. It’s got to be the most well-known restaurant in the town, and rightly so. In the 1920’s The Daffodil was a cinema – or a picture house as they called it back then – and still to this day, it’s retained all the glitz and glamour of a bygone era.
I’d usually recommend The Daffodil as a place to go to celebrate a special occasion, but they’ve introduced a Curtain Raisers menu which makes it an affordable option (at £13.95 for two courses) to celebrate almost anything - like the start of the weekend for example! This menu is available from 5pm-6.30pm and also on a Friday and Saturday lunch time.
We booked in for a Friday evening, and were greeted with a glass of fizz to relax into the weekend in style.
We decided to skip starters and were instead treated by the chef to an appetiser of scallops with ham hock terrine, crispy bacon and pea puree. Now, if you’re an avid reader of my blog (which not even my mum is so I very much doubt you are), you’ll know I’m a bit funny when it comes to seafood; so I must admit I panicked a bit when this was put in front of me, and even more so, when Sarah - my fabulous eating partner for the evening – told me she couldn’t eat shellfish! I cut into one of the scallops, and gingerly placed it in my mouth. Not long after that, the whole lot was gone and I was happy to polish Sarah’s off too! What a fabulous combination of flavours and textures – and now I know I like scallops! Thank you to Tom Rains (the head chef) for putting me out of my comfort zone.
On to the mains and Sarah ordered the BBQ Pulled Pork Roll which was served with root vegetable slaw, chips and apple ketchup – not to mention a sizeable piece of crackling. Sarah offered me her crackling, as in actually gave it to me, because she doesn’t eat crackling!!! And yes, that statement deserves every single one of those exclamation marks. I mean, who doesn’t like crackling?! I obviously accepted.
I ordered the Open Ravioli with grilled vegetables, tomato fondue and salsa verde (which by the way doesn’t really complement crackling). How should I describe how delicious this dish was to you? Perhaps I should tell you that once I’d cleared my plate, I slathered a piece of bread from the middle with butter and mopped up the leftovers with it. Yes really, in a fancy restaurant. My mum would hang her head in shame; it’s just a good job she won’t read this!
For dessert we both had the Mango & Passionfruit Cheesecake with raspberry sauce and a cocktail each. There was silence as we both tucked into the cheesecake and put the first forkful into our mouths. We then just looked at each other and nodded – yes that’ll do nicely. That cheesecake (and my whole meal actually) was a fabulous ode to summer.
What an awesome way to start the weekend, and it didn’t break the bank either!