8 Well Walk, Cheltenham, GL50 3JX | (01242) 228555
Situated in the centre of Cheltenham, The White Spoon offers a refreshing alternative to fine dining, serving up expertly prepared dishes within a relaxed environment.
Sometimes you can believe the hype, a usually cynical SoGlos discovered, tucking into ‘the best Sunday lunch in Cheltenham’ at The White Spoon.
The White Spoon is a destination Cheltenham’s serious foodies have been progressively raving about since it was first opened by chef proprietor Chris White and his partner Purdey Spooner in September 2015 – turning what had been a Thai restaurant emblazoned in silk and gold, and a chintz tablecloth-covered tearoom, into a bright, contemporary restaurant with copper lights, gleaming glassware and reclaimed timber table tops.
Consistently complimented for its impressive cooking, use of fresher-than-fresh ingredients and commitment to making everything from scratch, the small independent restaurant in Cheltenham town centre has managed to successfully combine quality fine dining cuisine with a genuinely laidback atmosphere – with friendly and knowledgeable service too.
Following our onion seed-speckled bread baked in a flower pot, the standard for lunch was set with the starters: a rich and manly ox cheek served with crispy Alsace bacon and charred cauliflower, which carnivorous males regularly suggest should be made into a main course; as well as a lighter, more delicate Cornish red mullet, with blackened cucumber and a fresh fennel and asparagus salad, complete with crisp squid ink crackers which our two young children devoured.
Sunday lunch is the great leveller – something most Brits have grown-up eating – and we were beyond impressed to discover just how far The White Spoon had elevated its roast beyond the humble meat and two veg you might get at a country pub.
Perfectly crispy roast potatoes, a tender hunk of juicy Kelsmcott pork loin, a swirl of rich gravy and the calorific crunch of crispy crackling – The White Spoon wasn’t shamelessly bragging when it dubbed its roast the best in Cheltenham. And the tender, medium-rare beef sirloin and plump Yorkshire pudding on the opposite side of the table? The best in Gloucestershire, we’d wager.
With all waistline-worries temporarily forgotten – and a break for a runabout in the churchyard opposite for the little ones – two of The White Spoon’s most popular desserts provided a pleasing end to a lunch we found it hard to find fault with: a decadent dark chocolate parfait with praline ice-cream and salted toffee popcorn; and a sweet, traditional treacle tart on crumbly pastry with a swirl of blackberry and scoop of milk ice-cream.
Agreeing that it was the best cooking we had experienced in Cheltenham for a long time – and the best Sunday lunch we had probably ever enjoyed – sorry mum – in just over six months The White Spoon has rightfully earned itself a band of fiercely loyal regulars. We’re just annoyed it’s taken us this long to join them.
For more information call The White Spoon on (01242) 228555 or visit thewhitespoon.co.uk directly.
By Michelle Fyrne
Monday 25 April 2016
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