Friday 3 July 2020

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 Outdoor Inn

The lowdown

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.

Menu highlights

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!

SoGlos loves

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.

For more info

Call 07713 111130 or visit directly.

Alfresco dining in the Cotswolds

The Maytime Inn

The lowdown

Enjoying far-reaching views of the Cotswold countryside, the AA rosette award-winning Maytime Inn’s gorgeous garden makes the perfect setting for enjoying a spot of alfresco dining. 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!

Menu highlights

The Maytime Inn’s seasonally-changing menu is comprised of locally-sourced food, meaning diners will enjoy an authentically Cotswold culinary experience. Choose from traditional pub meals to à la carte dishes – or why not enjoy a sandwich or perhaps a sharing board in the sunshine with a nice bottle of wine?

There’s nothing quite like a drink in the sun and The Maytime has plenty of real ales, bottled craft beer and ciders to sample – along with more than 150 different types of gin, including many local brands. There’s also a very good wine list (with almost all wines available by the glass).

SoGlos loves

If you fancy a summer getaway, The Maytime also has six individually-decorated en-suite rooms that offer a delightful base for exploring the Cotswolds.

For more info

Call (01993) 822068 or visit

Téatro Cirencester

The lowdown

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.

Menu highlights

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.

SoGlos loves

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.

For more info

Call (01285) 648238, email , or visit directly.

Egypt Mill in Nailsworth

The lowdown

Egypt Mill is a cosy hotel and restaurant in Nailsworth, housed inside a 16th century mill. With original features throughout, including a working water wheel, exposed beams and flagstone flooring, the restaurant has a homely and welcoming feel. Sit back in the waterside seating area and enjoy impressive food and wine menus in the sun. For those making a weekend of it, there are 32 en-suite double and twin rooms, as well as self-catering apartments, some of which are dog-friendly. Whether it’s for a big celebration or a relaxed catch up with friends, a meal on Egypt Mill’s terrace is a sensational summertime treat.

Menu highlights

Egypt Mill’s main menu options include duck and blackberry terrine; Scottish scallops; and breaded brie for starters. Coq au vin; home-battered fish and chips; three bean chilli burger and Thai green curry for mains. While chocolate and orange tart; peach Bellini cheesecake and sticky toffee pudding feature on the dessert menu.

For Sunday lunch, choose from topside of beef; chicken breast; pork loin or nut roast, all served with homemade Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables and pan roast gravy. Diners can also opt for a filled Yorkshire pudding, where the delicious roast comes served inside a giant yorkie pud.

For those starting the day off right, the brunch menu include the likes of eggs benedict; pancakes and bacon or sausage rolls. The children’s menu is sure to keep the little’uns happy, with spaghetti bolognaise; chicken goujons; pizzas and veggie nuggets on offer.

SoGlos loves

Not only does Egypt Mill host regular events throughout the year, it’s also available for private hire. With rooms to suit any celebration, the hotel and restaurant also boasts a dancefloor and carefully curated function menus.

For more info

Call (01453) 833449, email, or visit

Alfresco dining in Gloucester

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 or visit directly.

Alfresco dining in Stroud

Stonehouse Court Hotel

The lowdown

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.

Menu highlights

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.

SoGlos loves

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.

For more info

Call (01453) 794950, email or visit directly.

Toni’s Kitchen

The Lowdown

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.

Menu highlights

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.

SoGlos loves

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.

For more information

Call (01453) 751328 or visit directly.

© SoGlos
Friday 05 July 2019

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