Sunday 18 February 2018

Gloucestershire alfresco dining guide

Make the most of the spring and summer sunshine and dine alfresco at one of the top Gloucestershire restaurants listed in SoGlos’s eating out guide.

From roof top terraces to luxury picnics, SoGlos has hand-selected Gloucestershire eateries offering the finest alfresco dining options.

With spring underway and the great British summer on the horizon, there’s never been a better time to eat outside. So, make the most of the warmer months and tuck into some of the tastiest grub in Gloucestershire, outdoors in the fresh air.

Alfresco dining in Cheltenham

The Shutters Inn

Alfresco dining at The Shutters Inn width=

The lowdown: The Shutters Inn is a traditional family-run pub located in Gotherington near Cheltenham. Following extensive renovation, the pub reopened in September 2016 and offers visitors a relaxing spot to eat, drink and unwind. Its rear grassed garden is a lovely suntrap that’s perfect for alfresco dining and has seating for up to 70.
Menu highlights: Run by former chefs, the pub has a foodie focus and uses seasonal and locally sourced ingredients where possible for its traditional pub dishes. Diners can expect classics such a fish and chips; steak and ale pie; breaded scampi; toad in the hole; homemade faggots; sausage and mash; and shepherd’s pie. Its lunchtime menu, served from 12pm to 6pm, features a Ploughman’s lunch, a variety of sandwiches and paninis, jacket potatoes, and a full English.
SoGlos loves: On Sundays the pub serves its popular roast, with the choice of meats including beef, shoulder of lamb, chicken, turkey, and a vegetarian option, served with all the trimmings.
For more info: Call (01242) 300240, email, or visit directly.

Montpellier Lodge

Alfresco dining at Montpellier Lodge width=

The lowdown: Montpellier Lodge is located in a renovated park-keeper’s house in a beautiful setting adjacent to Montpellier Gardens. Its outside courtyard space is perfect for summer dining, with plenty of tables where you can enjoy a leisurely lunch, post-work cocktails and nibbles, or an alfresco dinner on balmy evenings.
Menu highlights: The restaurant specialises in using produce from the south west for its menus, which favour seasonal ingredients and flavours that draw inspiration from Mediterranean and Asian cuisine alongside classic British dishes. Its menu includes a selection of appetisers, such as rosemary and sea salt focaccia, and mixed olives, which are ideal when paired with a cold glass of white. Diners can expect to enjoy starters of sashimi of scallops with compressed cucumber and apple, confit lemon, vanilla dressing and baby sorrell; while the deli sharing board, complete with a selection of cured meats, homemade piccalili, warm sourdough and chutney, is perfect for lunchtime dining in the sun. For main course, tuck into an Aberdeen Angus beef burger, served with bacon jam, crispy onions, caramelised onion mayo and fries; beer battered cod loin with pea velouté, baby spinach, crispy potatoes, pickled cucumber and tarter sauce; a selection of steaks; or one of the summery salads. If you’ve got a sweet tooth then save room for one of the decadent desserts, or enjoy a scoop of ice-cream or sorbet for the ultimate seasonal finale to your meal.
SoGlos loves: The extensive wine list includes many by the glass, while the bar also serves up a range of cocktails, including its signature Montpellier Lodge Punch, which is perfect for summer socialising!
For more info: Call (01242) 262666, email or visit directly.

Alfresco dining in the Cotswolds

The Kings Head Hotel

Alfresco dining at The Kings Head Hotel

The lowdown: The roof top garden of the contemporary Cirencester hotel and restaurant offers a delightfully secluded spot for enjoying a spot of alfresco dining. Bathed in morning sunshine, the terrace is the ideal place to go for a relaxing coffee, while it’s also perfect for lunches, along with dinner on balmy evenings. With the British summer somewhat unpredictable, alfresco dining is weather dependent, but if it’s not possible to eat outdoors then guests can retreat to the hotel’s stylish restaurant.
Menu highlights: The King’s Deli menu is available at lunchtimes, with dishes spanning charcuterie platters, mussels, a range of sandwiches, the Kings Head burger, and more, along with a choice of nibbles that make the perfect accompaniment to drinks. The restaurant’s à la carte menu is available in the evening, with sample dishes including pan seared sea trout with provençale vegetables; mushroom and blue cheese risotto; steak and chips; and fish pie.
SoGlos loves: For a summertime twist on afternoon tea, head to the roof terrace to enjoy the hotel’s signature sandwiches, cakes and pastries outdoors, and for an extra special occasion opt to have a glass of Champagne alongside your pot of tea.
For more info: Call (01285) 700900, email or visit directly.

The Maytime Inn

Sunday lunch at The Maytime Inn

The lowdown: Benefitting from far-reaching views of the Cotswold countryside, The Maytime Inn’s stunning garden makes the perfect setting for enjoying a spot of alfresco dining at the country pub near Burford. The sun-soaked space has plenty of tables for leisurely lunches or early evening drinks and dinner, while the grassy area, complete with picnic tables, is ideal for families or visitors with four-legged friends. The pub also benefits from an outdoor bar, and if you’re feeling competitive, you can challenge your mates to a game of pétanque.
Menu highlights: The Maytime’s varied menu includes pub classics such as beer battered fish and chips; home-baked honey and mustard ham with free range eggs and hand cut chips; a sage and wild boar burger; and a selection of sandwiches. There’s also an à la carte menu featuring seasonal starters, mains and desserts.
SoGlos loves: There’s nothing quite like a drink in the sunshine and The Maytime has plenty of real ales, bottled craft beer and ciders to sample, along with more than 85 different types of gin, including many local brands.
For more info: Call (01993) 822068, email or visit directly.

The Hollow Bottom

Alfresco dining at The Hollow Bottom

The lowdown: The Hollow Bottom is a traditional country pub located in the Cotswold village of Guiting Power which benefits from a spacious rear garden that’s perfect for soaking up the sunshine. The decked space has plenty of tables for alfresco dining, while the outside bar means you can restock your summer drinks easily. And, there are patio heaters for when the evenings get chilly, and umbrellas if you need to shield from the sun.
Menu highlights: The varied menu has something to tempt all palates, with dishes spanning burgers, pizzas, wraps, and plenty of bar nibbles to keep hunger at bay. The pub also serves more substantial dishes including daily roasts, fish and chips, steak and chips, and sausage and mash. The children’s menu has plenty to offer young diners and there are also delicious desserts to choose from.
SoGlos loves: In addition to stocking draft beer favourites, the bar serves two monthly rotating ales from local breweries along with a choice of ciders.
For more info: Call (01451) 850392, email, or visit directly.

Alfresco dining in Gloucester

Café Rene

Café Rene

The lowdown: Undoubtedly one of Gloucester’s most popular pubs, Café Rene offers a home-from-home dining experience for those wanting quality restaurant food in the comfort of friendly a pub. Picnic benches, complete with brightly-coloured umbrellas, are situated just outside the doors – not far from the historical Speaker’s Corner at St Mary de Crypt – giving diners the chance to enjoy a relaxed and informal meal in the sunshine.
Menu highlights: Café René’s famous homemade Desperate Dan burgers are sure to satisfy any appetite, coming in a variety of sizes – the Mini Dan quarter pounder, Desperate Dan half pounder and Very Desperate Dan pounder – all seared on the authentic chargrill for extra flavour, with a veggie option on offer too. Served in a lightly toasted bap with homemade salsa, salad garnish and choice of potato, the Desperate Dan burger is an easy contender for the title of ‘Best Burger in Gloucester’. Or for a suitably summery and lighter alternative, plump for specials including pan fried whole trout with almonds, lemon and dill, served with salad and potatoes, for example.
SoGlos loves: If you’re a real ale fan, you’re in for a huge treat at Café Rene, which has an extensive range of beers, including many from Gloucestershire breweries, whether you’re looking for something to accompany your meal or just a pint or two in the summer sunshine.
For more info: Call (01452) 309340, email or visit directly.

Alfresco dining in Stroud

The Oak

Alfresco dining at The Oak width=

The lowdown: Situated in the charming Cotswold town of Painswick, The Oak is a family-run pub that has a lovely sunny courtyard garden that's just perfect for alfresco drinking and dining. The sister pub to The Falcon Inn is run by Charlie and Lucy John, with Lucy responsible for creating the tempting selection of traditional home-cooked dishes that visitors can tuck into.
Menu highlights: Sample lunch dishes include baked Camembert with caramelised balsamic onions and a garlic baguette; crispy breaded crab cakes with sweet chilli sauce; soup of the day; and The Oak platter which is brimming with homemade scotch egg, glazed ham, strong cheddar, pickles, local chutney and Hobbs House bloomer. There are also a host of sandwiches to choose from, while the more substantial dishes including mac ‘n cheese with streaky bacon; burger with blue cheese and bacon; steak and chips; pie and mash; and a rack of barbecue ribs, with vegetarian options available. Fans of real ale also have a host of beers to choose from, while there are plenty of wines, spirits and soft drinks that can be enjoyed while soaking up the sun.
SoGlos loves: The surrounding area has plenty of walks to tempt visitors of all ages, while the dog-friendly pub means you can refuel with your four-legged friend in tow.
For more info: Call (01452) 813129 or email

Stonehouse Court Hotel

Alfresco dining at Stonehouse Court Hotel width=

The lowdown: Set on six acres of grounds and with views overlooking Stroud Water Canal, Stonehouse Court Hotel certainly offers a peaceful setting for enjoying a spot of alfresco summer dining. The 17th century manor house hotel prides itself on serving delicious menus using seasonal and local ingredients where possible.
Menu highlights: The hotel’s Court Brasserie menu can be enjoyed both indoors and on the hotel’s terrace, with its small plate dishes, including sautéed chilli tiger prawns; roasted chorizo and onion; breaded brie and cranberry; and rustic bread and balsamic, perfect for savouring outdoors. The menu also includes the likes of spiced chicken with guacamole, sour cream and jalapenos; a chef’s salad of the day; burgers; and sea bass with chorizo, new potatoes, red pepper and tiger prawns. Diners can also choose from the Lounge & Terrace menu, which features sandwiches, fish and chips, antipasti platters and more.
SoGlos loves: It’s also possible to have afternoon tea outdoors, with a choice of cream tea, or the traditional tiered stands brimming with cakes, sandwiches and scones. And for the ultimate celebration, why not indulge with a glass of Champagne?
For more info: Call (01453) 794950, email or visit directly.

© SoGlos
Thursday 20 July 2017

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