Sunday, 1 July 2018

The Bestest #7 So What's Your Favourite Place to Eat?

People are always asking me what my favourite place to eat out is, but I can never give a definitive answer, so I thought I’d write a blog post on it instead of reeling off the same spiel each time.

So, why can’t I answer this question? It’s because I honestly don’t have one favourite place. A meal out isn’t just about the food for me, it’s about the surroundings, the service, the occasion, the company, the vibe, and of course, the bill and the value for money. I have many favourite places in and around the county and each of them are suited to different occasions, the people I’m with and the budget. So, I’ve managed to get my list down to a modest, erm…twenty! But hey, when you consider how many fabulous places we have in Gloucestershire, I reckon that’s really good going!

So, in no particular order, I’ve tried to categorise these in some way, so I’ll start with…

The Posh Nosh Places
  • Tudor Farmhouse is out in the Forest of Dean and it’s such a flippin’ perfect setting for dinner and drinks of a summers’ evening.
  • Star Bistro at Ullenwood is one of those places that will pleasantly surprise you. Not only do they cook up fine food, they also provide learning opportunities to young adults with complex disabilities.  
  • The White Spoon is my go-to place for great food in town, and now that PJ’s in nursery, I really must go and visit them one lunchtime for a long-awaited treat! They do an incredible set lunch and early dinner menu which means you can dine in style without the price-tag.
  • The tasting menu with accompanying wines at Bhoomi absolutely blew me away. This is the place to go if you want fine-dining Indian food, it really is superb!

Family Favourites
  • If it’s burgers, dirty fries, chicken wings and pizza you’re after, you really can get no better than The Bottle of Sauce.
  • Undoubtedly the best chip shop in Cheltenham, if not the UK still, is Simpsons. It was also the first foodie blog post I ever wrote for Honeybourne Line! You can eat in or take-out, although I’d always suggest eating in and making an evening of it!

Spectacular Places
  • The Ivy Brasserie in Montpellier is one of those places that everyone wants to go to for their birthday, anniversary or any other special occasion. It’s the surroundings that set this place apart from the rest and the food and the cocktails ain’t half bad either!

Cafés and Coffee Shops
  • The Find is a relative newbie but my gosh, isn’t it good?! It must be, it just got voted the best café in Gloucestershire at the So Glos awards!
  • Madison’s is my local, so you’ll often see me up there filling my face with yet another of their lovely – and generous – cakes.
  • If The Canteen were in Cheltenham, I swear to God, I’d live there!

The Trend-Setters
  • The Coconut Tree came out of St Paul’s and they’re now taking over the world, or so it seems. Sri Lankan street food with a very cool vibe, what’s not to like?!
  • The Tavern is so cool, I’m not sure I really fit in, but I don’t care, I absolutely love it. With regularly updated menus, specials and breakfasts, lunches, dinners and cocktails (and mocktails), there’s always an excuse to return!  
  • The pub might be traditional, but the food is something else. It’s all about Thair street barbecue food at The Railway and quite frankly, I can’t get enough of it!
  • Kibou Sushi can’t put a foot wrong. Serving the tastiest ramen in the county and a whole host of sushi and non-sushi dishes, they are a Japanese restaurant with something for everyone.

Drinks and Nibbles
  • The Grape Escape is the perfect spot for drinking a glass or five of wine and nibbling on cheese and charcuterie between sups.
  • Wild Beer at Jessop House might not be what you’d expect from someone like me who isn’t keen on beer, but their small tapas style plates are so flippin’ good, that this place had to make the list.

For Sunday Roast
  • There’s a few good ‘uns about and I’ve written a blog post on the best, but my absolute favourite is The Ox. And, I’ve been back time and time again, and they’re consistently bloody amazing!

Food On The Go
  • Maison Chaplais impresses me with even the simplest of things like sarnies, pork pies and pastries. And oh my word, their sausage baps of a Sunday morning are just the thing!
  • The Sandwich Box always has queues out the door, and once you’ve been, you’ll know why.

The High Street Name
  • I’m nearly always one to support the indie places over the chains, but if somewhere gets it right, why not?! For me, it’s Wagamama on Clarence Street. They have one heck of an extensive menu, their food is so incredibly fresh and packed with flavour, you can eat in or order it on Deliveroo to eat at home, the manager and team are fabulous and it doesn’t cost the earth. I’m sold on it.

So, there you have it, my top twenty! I’d love to hear your faves too!

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