Monday, 18 June 2018

Local Eat Treats #70 Still Shining Bright at Star Bistro

I’ve been to Star Bistro both at Royal Crescent and Ullenwood now, on numerous occasions; sometimes for coffee and cake, sometimes for breakfast, sometimes for brunch, sometimes for a quick lunch, and sometimes to go all out and have three courses of fine food. And do you know what? It’s never let me down. Not once. They crisp my bacon just right, their poached eggs are never snotty - always oozy, the cakes are tempting, the choices numerous, some of it fancy, some of it just bloody good, the atmosphere relaxed, and the staff friendly and helpful. Plus, they just keep getting better and better. Those who have tried it, love it. And those who haven’t, are missing out!

So, just by way of introduction, Star Bistro at Royal Crescent is the café style venue, right in the centre of town and open weekdays until 3.30pm. Star Bistro at Ullenwood does all that Royal Crescent does, plus some, because here, they also offer a lunch menu to satisfy the most discerning of foodies. These are just some of the reasons I chose Star Bistro to be in ‘The Squad 2018’ (a carefully selected group of my favourite foodie places in Cheltenham and beyond).

I wrote a blog post on them just last year which you can take a look at here, so rather than repeat how good it is, let me tell you what they’ve done of late to up their game – even more so!

First up, the Ullenwood bistro is perfect for me to eat fancy food without booking a babysitter. They’ve got a play area, loads of toys and books, it’s all accessible with great changing facilities, there’s plenty of open space, it’s relaxed, it’s not stuffy and they offer a children’s menu that I absolutely love. They’ve got stuff like jam sarnies, burgers and hot dogs to please everyone, but also salmon and haddock fishcakes, homemade soup and lemon tart for foodies-in-the-making. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, they serve each of these dishes with cutlery so cute it’ll make your lips curl up. By the way, one glimpse at the children’s lemon tart and you’ll be wanting your very own; don’t go sticking your fork in and stealing a mouthful though, because it’s on the adult menu too, so you can enjoy a whole one to yourself!

Also at Ullenwood, as well as the fancy stuff and informal favourites, they have introduced charcuterie boards which are perfect as a starter to share, or a main course for one. I can quite imagine myself sat up there on a sunny day, tucking into one of these, with a large glass of white wine. Offering something for everyone, you can choose from the cured meats, cured fish or vegetarian option which includes charred & marinated halloumi and a mushroom and chive pate. I am actually salivating just typing that out! Charred and marinated halloumi! Each board comes with a whole host of pickles and chutneys, and of course, the amazing bread made on site, with their butter, which is NEVER simply just butter! 

Finally, let me share a little more about the bistro in town. It’s only in the last few months that I’ve been popping into the Royal Crescent venue on a regular basis, and it is now my favourite spot for breakfast. As I said in the intro, they get it right every time. I have devoured their eggs Benedict on many an occasion and their full English is a mean one, showcasing the best of local produce. I’ve also visited for quite a few chai lattes and rather a lot of cake, but what I still need to do is pop in for some lunch. I really love that they often have specials on the menu which have been developed and cooked by students themselves. How fab is that?! Last week, it was Ralph’s beetroot burger with sweet potato fries that took my fancy.

On that note, I’m organising my next trip to both Ullenwood and Royal Crescent, you see, I can’t choose between one or the other because they’re both so flippin’ good, but quite different from one another too.

Have you been to one or the other? Or indeed both?

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