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.
Dine in the sun outside one of Cheltenham’s most stylish hotels. Located just a few minutes away from tree-lined Montpellier, Malmaison’s Chez Mal Brasserie caters for both guests and non-residents. Focussing on serving seasonal dishes with global influences from France to New York, Malmaison promises that its menus are a rare breed. Benefitting from a recent refurbishment to its restaurant area, Malmaison’s signature quirky and contemporary style offers opulent surroundings accompanied by delicious dining. The outdoor dining space offers the perfect place to enjoy perfectly-poached eggs benedict and fresh coffee, while soaking up the morning rays, right through to a lazy afternoon lunch over a bottle of crisp white wine.
Promising generously-filled sandwiches and salads, burgers, and light bites throughout its lunch menu, the Chez Mal Brasserie is a laid-back location for a relaxed afternoon of outdoor dining. If you’re making it a boozy affair, why not begin with an aperitif cocktail such as the fruity Chez Mal Cocktail alongside some artisan breads or olives. To start, Fried salt and pepper calamari; citrus cured salmon; or beef fillet capaccio are on hand to tempt your taste buds. But it’s the Malmaison’s 28-day aged beef menu which really offers some of the restaurant’s most delicious cuts of meat, ranging from the Signature Cotes du Boeuf – 450 grams of well-marbled ribeye, through to Black Angus grain fed fillet steak. To end your afternoon of feasting, try the rich and delicious Valhrona dark chocolate mousse; or if you’re feeling fruity, the mulled wine poached fruits and vanilla panna cotta is sure to impress.
The stunning patio courtyard is an oasis of calm, perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of Cheltenham’s busy town centre. Offering a range of bistro tables perfectly positioned for a social brunch, through to individual tables poised for an intimate alfresco evening, Malmaison’s lush, green patio area is the ideal location to lose yourself on a summer’s evening.
Call (01242) 370655 or visit malmaison.com directly.
One of the most fun and unique places to dine in Cheltenham, The Outdoor Inn is a pop-up bar and music venue located on a previously derelict space in the heart of Cheltenham town centre. The transformed area promises a festival feel, and regularly collaborates with local food businesses including Picknix Grill, Bella Mia Pizza, The Indian Guy, and Marinades – who can provide customers with delicious street food, alongside a fun, relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
Interestingly, the menu at The Outside Inn is whatever you want it to be!
Alongside its regular street food collaborations, The Outdoor Inn offers a bring your own food policy, meaning guests can enjoy deliveries from any of Cheltenham’s delicious eateries, delivered straight to the venue. It’s clearly a popular spot too, with a line of Deliveroo bikes regularly queued around the venue waiting to drop off food from all corners of Cheltenham!
Combining the idea of a German beer garden with an alfresco bar, The Outdoor Inn is a passion project of Matt and Jay, who transformed an unoccupied piece of land into a summer paradise.
The venue is open Thursday to Sunday throughout the summer, as well as ad hoc evenings when the weather is good, making this a real destination when Cheltenham is graced with some sunshine! It’s the perfect location for gathering groups of friends to enjoy a summer’s evening, with space for up to 120 people to enjoy food, beer, and regular live music performances.
Call 07713 111130 or visit theoutdoorinn.co.uk directly.
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. And, while you’re there, make sure you get someone to take a picture of you in the giant chair!
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. Of course, 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 140 different types of gin, including many local brands.
If you fancy a summer getaway, The Maytime also has six en-suite rooms that offer a delightful base for exploring the Cotswolds.
Call (01993) 822068 or visit themaytime.com directly.
Literally meaning Theatre, Téatro is a hidden gem just a short walk from the centre of Cirencester, promising breathtaking décor and stunningly presented food which tastes just as good as it looks. Boasting a gorgeous alfresco dining space, Téatro wants to provide its guests with an unforgettable experience in unique surroundings. Choose a gin from Téatro’s extensive artisan gin collection and relax in the courtyard garden, complete with stylish and comfortable seating; while on Friday and Saturday evenings, guests can enjoy live music in the piano bar, providing the perfect atmosphere for a memorable summer’s evening in the heart of the Cotswolds.
Téatro sources its ingredients locally where possible, with many of its meats, fish and vegetables travelling from independent firms based in Cirencester itself, Tetbury and nearby Cricklade. To start choose from dishes including taleggio cheese souffle featuring shaved raw king oyster mushroom with a garden salad; seared red mullet with Cotswolds heritage tomatoes, basil and lobster oil; and beef carpaccio, made up of a Hereford beef fillet, crispy artichokes and pecorino mayo. Main courses include Packington pork, where a tasty tenderloin wrapped in pancetta is nestled between a braised pork cheek, rosti, sprouting broccoli and heritage carrot puree, and served with crackling; or the delicious squid ink risotto, featuring crab beignets with horseradish and brown crab and crustacean oil. For dessert, choose from chocolate mousse with torched mandarin, jelly and beurre noisette powder; pineapple tarte tatin with coconut ice cream; or a zesty lemon sorbet with a shot of Limoncello.
Téatro works closely with The Barn Theatre, providing the perfect location for a pre-show dinner, or post-performance cocktail late at night. The venue also offers a regular steak night and Sunday lunch options.
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.
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.
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.
Call (01452) 309340 or visit caferene.co.uk directly.
A stunning example of 17th century architecture, Stonehouse Court Hotel is a beautiful manor house hotel in peaceful countryside between Stroud and Gloucester. Overlooking Stroud Water Canal, the venue boasts glorious views and a range of dining options perfect for celebrating the summer. Guests can enjoy both lunch and dinner alfresco on Stonehouse Court’s beautiful garden terrace overlooking the perfectly manicured lawns, with views of the Stroud Water Navigation.
Dining at the Court Brasserie provides access to a range of scrumptious starters, mains and desserts from the a la carte menu, alongside nibbles such as marinated kalamata olives; cheddar cheese beignets; and sunblush tomato, feta and polenta bites. Starters include twice baked cheddar cheese souffle; barbecued pork belly; and ham hock fritter. Dine on mains such as pan-fried sea trout; collar of pork with chestnut mushroom soufflé; and buttermilk poached ling fillet. While desserts including raspberry and banana baked Alaska; Granny Smith apple tart tatin; and bergamot lemon cheesecake to tempt you at the end of the meal.
There are also a range of tempting classics from sirloin steak through to burgers, fish and ships, and Cajun chicken for those craving a more traditional dish.
If you want to celebrate a special occasion, guests can enjoy private dining at Stonehouse Court Hotel, with The Crellin Room available for group bookings. The stunning space on the ground floor offers private access to the gardens, providing a delightful atmosphere for board meetings and private dinners. The venue also boasts the 1601 cocktail bar, an ideal destination for a tasty summer beverage with friends.
With pretty outdoor seating on the banks of the River Frome, Egypt Mill certainly makes a delightful choice for alfresco dining in Nailsworth. The independent bar, restaurant and hotel is housed in a converted mill and benefits from plenty of original features, including a working water wheel, exposed beams and flagstone flooring.
Its delicious daytime menu includes dishes such as goat’s cheese croquette with pea purée; crab and gruyère tartlet; fish and chips, and burgers, along with a selection of wraps and paninis. There are also more substantial dishes to choose from, spanning steak and chips, and pan-search salmon with crushed new potatoes, while it also serves a tasty brunch menu. On balmy summer evenings, the patio is ideal for pre-dinner drinks and alfresco dining, whether you’re craving pan-fried seabass or surf and turf. Save room to sample some of the decadent puddings, with sample desserts including lemon swirl cheesecake, sorbet or ice cream, and chocolate fondant with fresh raspberries.
Whether you fancy a pint, a refreshing G&T or a perfectly chilled glass of wine, order your favourite tipple and then retreat to the garden and soak up the relaxing backdrop of the riverside setting.
Call (01453) 833449 or visit egyptmill.com directly.
Adjusting its menu to fit with the changing seasons, Toni’s Kitchen is an authentic Italian, family run restaurant from the team behind SoGlos’s Takeaway of the Year, Fat Toni’s Pizzeria.
Based in Stroud’s Bisley House, the venue is home to a stunning outdoor dining space, which is a fabulous sun trap during the summer. Providing the ideal spot to enjoy a romantic alfresco meal on a warm evening, the versatile venue is also a great choice to meet friends and catch up over delicious food in the gorgeous courtyard surroundings.
With lunch, dinner and Sunday lunch menus, there’s no end of options for those looking for authentic Italian fayre in the heart of the Cotswolds. Toni’s Kitchen’s summer offering is the perfect choice for enjoying alfresco, with starters including chicken parmigiana with crispy organic chicken strips, marinara sauce and parmesan; tempura vegetables with roast garlic mayo; and torn buffalo mozzarella with Heritage tomato bruschetta with basil pesto. Main options include pan fried fillet of stone bass with a pea, courgette and mixed seafood risotto; home-cured pork cheek with San Marzano tomato and basil rigatoni; and wild mushroom and truffle lasagne. Delicious desserts include classics such as Tiramisu and Eton Mess, along with more contemporary treats of Stracciatella ice cream pancake roll, served with hot bourbon butterscotch sauce.
The restaurant also offers a completely vegan menu, with a range of starters, mains and tasty desserts. Gluten free options are also available.
The garden at Toni’s Kitchen is home to a range of home-grown fruit and vegetables, used to produce delicious dishes in the restaurant.
With a menu that’s constantly changing to match the seasons, diners at Toni’s Kitchen can guarantee that they’ll enjoy the finest produce available, no matter what time of year they visit.
Call (01453) 751328 or visit toniskitchen.co.uk directly.
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