Gloucestershire alfresco dining guide

Make the most of the sunshine and dine outdoors, with inspiration from SoGlos’s Gloucestershire alfresco dining guide.

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Discover some of the best places to eat outside in Gloucestershire with SoGlos's tasty guide.

With longer days and warmer weather on the way, there’s never been a better time to eat outside.

From sunbathed terraces to riverside hotspots, head to a Gloucestershire pub or restaurant offering alfresco dining options.

Alfresco dining in Cheltenham

Alfresco dining at The Brewery Quarter

The lowdown

The Brewery Quarter in Cheltenham offers everything from fragrant Asian dishes and juicy burgers to craft beer and cocktails – with plenty for vegetarian and vegan diners to tuck into and lots of places to dine with little ones, too. 

Menu highlights

With outdoor dining and meaty, veggie and vegan options at many Brewery Quarter restaurants, there’s something to satisfy every tastebud. Grab a table outside Pho to enjoy a taste of Vietnam, with the country’s national dish, pho, as well as creamy curries, fresh summer rolls and plenty more on the menu.

Burger and beer fans are spoilt for choice, with BrewDog serving up burgers, buffalo wings and its cult craft beer; Hub Box offering burgers, hot dogs and beers with Cornish produce taking centre stage; and Brewhouse & Kitchen dishing up pub classics like burgers, beer-battered fish and chips and beer-can chicken with a drink pairing recommendation to wash it down with.

Try something a little different at The Alchemist, with its creative food menu offering quirky dishes like chorizo and cheddar dough balls, cheeseburger bao buns and Korean fried chicken burgers, as well as boozy brunches. Or head to The Botanist to try one of its famous hanging kebabs; enjoy classic Italian dishes at High Street favourites Prezzo and Pizza Express; or sink your teeth into prime cuts at Son of Steak. There are tasty toasties and lunch options on offer at SOHO Coffee Co. too, ideal for an alfresco working lunch.

SoGlos loves

It’s not just the fantastic food that makes Cheltenham’s Brewery Quarter a must-visit: there’s plenty of entertainment for before, during and after dinner – including social darts at Flight Club; adventure golf at Mr Mulligans; nostalgic fun at Hollywood Bowl; the biggest blockbuster movies at Cineworld; and even escape rooms at Escape Hunt.

How to book

Visit thebreweryquarter.com.

Alfresco dining at The Queens Hotel

In partnership with The Queens Hotel  |  queenshotelcheltenham.co.uk

The lowdown

More than 180 years old and located in the heart of Cheltenham, The Queens Hotel is an elegant, upmarket venue offering alfresco dining in its gorgeous garden – reopening for the summer season on Thursday 4 May 2023.

Menu highlights

With dishes made for sharing, including succulent platters of build-your-own Chinese barbecue pork bao buns, The Queens Hotel is an ideal spot for friends to gather in the summer sun.

Choose from Thai style mussels served in a spicy coconut, coriander and lemongrass sauce, with crusty bread for dipping; cous cous salad with beetroot, pumpkin seeds, preserved lemon, spring onions and parsley aioli; lemon fried tiger prawns; and filled feta parcels.

Plus, serving drinks from a selection of local British and Cotswold suppliers, sip on English wine from Cotswold vineyard, Woodchester Valley; signature spirits from Cotswold Distillery; and Jeremy Clarkson's Hawkstone lager, brewed with ingredients from his famous Chipping Norton farm. There's also a special vodka spritz menu from the award-winning Edwards Vodka.

SoGlos loves

Throughout the summer, enjoy bottomless prosecco on tap, served every Monday to Friday from 4.30pm to 6.30pm. The experience costs £20 per person and includes nibbles.

Don't miss live music in the garden from from 4pm to 8pm every Saturday in May, too. 

How to book

Visit queenshotelcheltenham.co.uk.

Alfresco dining at The Nook on Five

In partnership with The Nook on Five  |  thenookcheltenham.co.uk

The lowdown 

Presenting 'modern British dining with an iconic vista', enjoy panoramic views and impressive food at The Nook on Five as its rooftop terrace finally opens for alfresco dining.

A real sun trap on a hot day, the terrace has 14 covers — with an indoor table guaranteed in the super stylish restaurant and bar if the weather changes. The Nook on Five is located on the fifth floor of the Quadrangle, overlooking Imperial Gardens.

Menu highlights

The Nook's new spring à la carte menu boasts sumptuous starters like lobster ravioli served with lobster bisque and herbs; rabbit and chicken ballotine with chicken liver parfait, charred baby onions and a kumquat gel; and for vegans and veggies, there's a wild garlic and chive pancake, served with salt baked artichoke, charred asparagus, cashew nut cream and walnut ketchup.

Equally opulent main courses includes herb crusted lamb with miso aubergine puree and seasonal vegetables; Skrei cod in chorizo beurre blanc, served with mussels, salty fingers, tapioca crisp and salmon roe; and a classic five-ounce dry aged fillet steak, with glazed short rib, truffled mushrooms, a pickled onion ring and pommes anna.

Vegetarian diners are well catered for, too, with the choice of a pan-fried gnocchi dish, plated up with wild garlic, baby carrots, asparagus and a perfectly-poached egg; or the vegan-friendly soy, chilli and garlic tofu option, served with chargrilled purple sprouting broccoli and a kimchi fritter. 

SoGlos loves

At Cheltenham's only rooftop restaurant, it's all about the view! Looking out over Imperial Gardens, across Cheltenham's Regency skyline and towards Cleeve and Leckhampton Hills, The Nook offers an alfresco dining experience like no other.

How to book

Simply walk in for a chance get a table on the rooftop terrace. Online booking is unavailable, but you can call The Nook on Five on (01242) 650948 to check availability each day.

For more information, visit thenookcheltenham.co.uk.

Alfresco dining at Hotel du Vin

In partnership with Hotel du Vin  |  hotelduvin.com/cheltenham

The lowdown

Soak up the sun at Hotel du Vin this summer, where guests can indulge in a whole range of alfresco party packages — including everything from delicious food and gin stations to fabulous barbecues and DJ's — available throughout June, July and August 2023. 

Menu highlights

Sure to make for a memorable gathering for friends, families and colleagues throughout the warmer months, Hotel du Vin has two packages on offer as part of its Summer Soirées. 

Package one offers guests exclusive use of Bistro du Vin and the terrace, with a barbecue, glass of Pimms or prosecco each and a DJ; while package two offers welcome canapés, a glass of Pimms and either an ultimate buffet or three courses from the prix fixe menu, along with exclusive use of the Bistro du Vin and terrace. 

Party hosts can also choose from a selection of add-ons including a gin station featuring a kilner jar of gin and tonic with a selection of summer fruits to garnish; a bucket of 12 mixed beers; and a bucket of 12 mixed soft drinks. 

SoGlos loves

Summer Soirées can be booked all week long, with package prices starting from £50 per person from Sunday to Thursday and £55 on Friday and Saturday. 

How to book

 Call Hotel du Vin on (01242) 370584 or email events.cheltenham@hotelduvin.com.

Alfresco dining in the Cotswolds

Alfresco dining at Wild Thyme and Honey

In partnership with Wild Thyme and Honey  |  wildthymeandhoney.co.uk

The lowdown

Nestled in the heart of the Cotswolds, near Cirencester, Wild Thyme and Honey offers a selection of stylish and welcoming private dining spaces.

They're perfect if you're planning something a little special, including three alfresco dining domes, situated along the babbling Ampney Brook.

Wild Thyme and Honey sits snugly next to its stylish pub, The Crown at Ampney Brook, both of which have been lovingly restored to create a beautiful space for the local community.

Enjoy wonderful views of the surrounding countryside as you dine on seasonal, farm-to-table dishes from considerately curated menus.

Whether you’re stopping for a lunch with friends, enjoying a three-course dinner with the family, or an afternoon tea for two, the domes are an idyllic way to create everlasting memories.

Menu highlights

The team takes pride in serving hearty farm-to-table menus that roll with the seasons and make eating out feel like a proper treat.

Inspired by the great Cotswolds countryside and local farmers, diners can expect everything from Tunworth cheese soufflés to Butts Farm sharing steaks cooked to perfection on a dedicated Robata Grill.

At the centre of the action is a good-looking open copper kitchen, where chefs cook up hearty dishes such as jazzed up classics like prawn cocktails and crème brulées.

Thirsty? Perch at the bar to watch cocktail shakers mix classic and bespoke recipes, or take advantage of the enomatic machine and get stuck into fabulous fine wines by the glass.

SoGlos loves

Where else can you while away an afternoon or evening, tucked away in your own crystal maze style dome?

With gorgeous views of Ampney Brook, these light-filled, cosy spaces are a unique treat for an occasion to remember.

How to book

Visit wildthymeandhoney.co.uk/eat-at-the-crown/.

Alfresco dining at The Dial House

In partnership with The Dial House  |  dialhousehotel.com

The lowdown

A picturesque paradise offering charming Cotswolds views, guests of The Dial House Hotel in picture perfect Bourton-on-the-Water can now dine alfresco in its beautiful airy new tipi venue, Maxi’s Tipi Lounge.

Whether you love basking in the breeze during the day or prefer to get cosy under a starry sky, the spacious outdoor tipi is the perfect place to relax, enjoy a drink and let the world go by with some delicious gastronomic delights.

Savour an array of tapas style street food, delectable sharing boards or a delicious stonebaked pizza in the garden.

Menu highlights

Enjoy a street food inspired menu and experience flavours from around the world with family and friends, by the fire, inside the cosy tipi.

Served from midday to 8pm from Wednesday to Saturday or midday until 4pm on Sunday, the all-day menu is packed full of flavour.

Choose from smoked duck breast, celeriac and apple remoulade charred gem lettuce; Moroccan spiced lamb, tabbouleh, toasted cumin crème fraîche served on a warm freshly baked flat bread; soft tacos, chipotle glazed shredded pork, chopped salad, mojo verde sauce; wood fired sourdough pizza and classic charcuterie boards.

Classic cocktails are on the menu, ranging from punchy espresso martinis through to refreshing Aperol spritz and delicious negronis.

There's an extensive wine and gin list as well as beers, ciders and soft drinks to sip in the sunshine.

SoGlos loves

The gorgeous new tipi is an idyllic outdoor oasis and is perfect for summer gatherings and parties.

Dotted with comfortable seating areas, protective umbrellas and sparkling with fairy lights throughout the magnificent garden, Maxi’s Tipi makes for an extra special venue for any occasion.

How to book

Visit dialhousehotel.com

Alfresco dining at The Old Stocks Inn

In partnership with The Old Stocks Inn  |  oldstocksinn.com

The lowdown

The Old Stocks Inn is a 17th century country hotel and restaurant that has been elegantly and sympathetically restored and refurbished by the current owners. With original beams, Cotswold stone walls and quirky room layouts, the inn is a wonderful mix of heritage charm and modern luxury. Located in the heart of Stow-on-the-Wold, one of the Cotswold's most picturesque market towns, the inn prides itself on being 'luxurious, but not stuffy; elegant, but not pretentious; and quaint, but not twee.'

Over in the restaurant, head chef Ian Percival works tirelessly to ensure the regularly refreshed menus showcase the best ingredients the Cotswolds has to offer. The restaurant team create hearty, British dishes with a modern twist, taking inspiration from the seasons and locally-available produce. While outside, the private walled garden at The Old Stocks Inn is one of its best-kept secrets. This idyllic secret garden, which is more than two hundred years old, is the perfect spot to enjoy lunch, an afternoon drink or even an early supper.

Menu highlights

The Old Stocks Inn relishes in serving up seasonal British cuisine with a touch of its signature quirkiness. Diners can feast on tantalising delights such as ham hock terrine with pineapple and chilli chutney; smoked cheddar and soft herb gnocchi with roast asparagus; pan fried fillet of fish with ham hock choucroute and creamed potato; and poached apple with vanilla wine poached pear and apple sorbet.

With vegetarian and vegan options available; a brand-new six-course tasting menu; dedicated children's options; as well as specially selected wines, ales and expertly mixed cocktails, this is an alfresco dining experience not to be missed. 

The restaurant is open evenings throughout the week from 6pm to 9.30pm, with lunch served on Saturdays from 12pm to 2.30pm and on Sundays from 12pm to 4pm.

SoGlos loves

The Old Stocks Inn's head barman is renowned for his bespoke cocktails that you won't find anywhere else. We're obsessed with the Resting Spritz Face, with Penrhos rhubarb gin, fresh pink grapefruit, elderflower and prosecco; and the Cotswold Mule made with Blacklion vodka, stem ginger, fresh lime, ginger beer and bitters.

How to book

Visit oldstocksinn.com.

Alfresco dining at Téatro

In partnership with Téatro Bar & Restaurant and Ingleside House  |  teatro-ciren.co.uk

The lowdown

The stylish Téatro Bar and Restaurant is one of the Cotswolds' chicest spots for alfresco dining, with a summer à la carte menu; award-winning cocktails; and a prime location near the centre of Cirencester.

Menu highlights

Known for serving up modern British cuisine using the very best locally-sourced ingredients, Cotswold foodies can tuck into dishes like beetroot carpaccio with whipped goat's curd and crispy walnuts; pan fried scallops with Jerusalem artichoke and radicchio; or crispy shredded duck with Asian salad, honey and soy to start with, and moules marinere with fries; crispy pork belly with sweet potato puree and Asian slaw; garden pea risotto with crispy tenderstem broccoli; or the Téatro burger with bacon jam, cheddar and onion mayo for the main course.

Or there's the Josper grill menu, where diners can choose from native breed pork chop, flat iron steak, sirloin, ribeye or chateaubriand served with watercress and a roscoff onion, with a selection of sauces including blue cheese and mushroom, peppercorn or garlic butter and sides like garlic and goat's curd courgettes, chilli buttered broccoli, or truffle and pecorino fries. 

Its award-winning cocktails are not to be missed either, with everything from a classic mimosa or aperol spritz, to more creative drinks like the Bakewell Burst with amaretto, lime, raspberry, soda and prosecco; or the Oscar with peach schnapps, triple sec, coconut, prosecco and soda. There's two for one cocktails every day from 7.30pm to 9.30pm, too. 

For early risers, Téatro also offers a breakfast menu until 10am during the week and until 10.30am at weekends. 

SoGlos loves

For something a little different to your usual Sunday roast, Téatro serves up its Chill Grill menu for £19.95 every Sunday from 12.15pm to 2.30pm, with main dish options including spatchcock poussin with lemon, garlic, chilli and thyme; harissa halloumi and Mediterranean vegetable kebabs; peppered bavette steak; and gilt-head bream en papillote, served with a selection of salads including heritage tomato, basil and mozzarella; potato and caper; and simple leafy salad — ideal for a relaxed Sunday lunch in the sunshine. 

How to book

Visit teatro-ciren.co.uk.

Alfresco dining in the Forest of Dean

Alfresco dining in Gloucester

Alfresco dining at Coal Kitchen

In partnership with Coal Kitchen  |  coalkitchen.co.uk/gloucester-quays

The lowdown

One of the hottest dining spots at Gloucester Quays, waterside restaurant Coal Kitchen is located in the Pillar and Lucy Warehouse and has a large south-facing terrace, perfect for alfresco dining.

Proudly independent, many of its ingredients – including its bread, meat, flour, eggs and coffee – are all sourced from suppliers in Gloucestershire and the south west.

Menu highlights

Coal Kitchen's popular bottomless brunch is back – and it's bigger and better than ever before, with a menu refresh and extended dining hours for spring.

From Monday 1 May 2023, diners can sit down for 90 minutes of brunch time to feast on a dish from each section of the updated bottomless brunch menu, plus a selection of drinks. From sourdough pizzettes and chicken tacos, to Asian noodles, full English breakfast or vegan flatbreads – finished off with a mimosa fizz, cappuccino or maybe even both – the Coal Kitchen brunch won't disappoint, whatever your culinary tastes.

The bottomless brunch is available from Sunday to Thursday all day, and Friday and Saturday until 4.30pm, costing £35 per person.

The eatery's latest set menu is also available throughout the day, featuring two- or three-course options, with tantalising choices like beef koftas, beetroot hummus, courgette and spinach linguine, steak frites and ice cream for pudding. Rest assured, there's something for all tastebuds and dietary requirements, including vegetarians, vegans and little diners. The set menu costs £14.95 for two courses and £15.95 for three.

SoGlos loves

It's not only the food that's fantastic — Coal Kitchen's cocktails are sublime, too. Relax in the cosy cocktail bar or on the waterside terrace with glass of fizz, a mocktail, or — new for the sunny season — a 'Springtime Spritz', a delightful mix of rhubarb and ginger gin, elderflower and pink grapefruit, finished off with a garnish of edible flowers.  

How to book

Visit coalkitchen.co.uk.

Alfresco dining at Nineteen at Brickhampton

The lowdown

Overlooking the eighteenth green, the patio at Nineteen at Brickhampton is the perfect place to enjoy the sunshine, relax and unwind on summer evenings with an ice-cold drink and fabulous food. It also screens all the major sporting events throughout the year, so you’ll never miss out on any of the action.

Menu highlights

Serving breakfast in the sunshine, diners can enjoy everything from a posh breakfast buttie with smoked bacon, sausage, mushrooms, hash browns, fried egg and cheese in a toasted brioche roll, to a plate overflowing with a hearty full English or vegetarian breakfast.

For lunch, try the barbecue options including charred pork belly rib and melt-in-the-mouth 10-hour pulled pork roll. There’s also an appetising selection of beef, chicken, dirty and veggie burgers, margherita and meat-topped pizzas, omelettes and chicken salad, as well as lots of lighter bites like sandwiches and baguettes with a variety of tasty fillings.

The French dip, featuring thinly sliced overnight roast topside of beef warmed in a rich beef gravy inside a toasted brioche roll topped with cheese and served with a side of fries, is definitely a must-try!

SoGlos loves

Vegetarians aren’t neglected or an afterthought at Nineteen, with creative dishes including buttermilk-fried Quorn burgers, plant-based burgers, no meat buffalo fries, smoked jackfruit rolls and vegan nut roasts on Sundays.

How to book

Call (01452) 858602.

Alfresco dining at Gloucester Quays

In partnership with Gloucester Quays  |  gloucesterquays.co.uk

The lowdown

Enjoy dockside drinks and dining at Gloucester Quays, with a fantastic selection of restaurants offering pasta, pizza, noodles, tapas and plenty more – with outdoor seating right by the waterside.

Menu highlights

Packed with popular restaurant chains, there’s plenty of options for diners of all persuasions. Those with globe-trotting tastes can enjoy Italian-inspired pizza, pasta and salads at Zizzi and Pizza Express; steaming bowls of ramen, bao buns and spicy katsu curries at Wagamama; classic French cuisine like confit duck, beef bourguignon and moules frites at Côte; or moreish mezze at The Real Greek

There’s classic pub fayre matched with its very own beers at Brewhouse & Kitchen; American-style comfort food like burgers, ribs and wings at TGI Fridays; while Bill's, Coal Kitchen and Portivo Lounge offer relaxed, all-day dining from brunch to dinner – with Portivo Lounge offering tapas boards ideal for sharing and Coal Kitchen hosting bottomless brunch at the weekend, too.

High street favourites Five Guys and Nando's are always a hit with families. Vegetarians and vegans have lots to choose from, too, with dedicated veggie menus at Côte, Portivo Lounge, Pizza Express, TGI Fridays and Wagamama.

SoGlos loves

Once a month, Gloucester Quays also plays host to some of the south west’s very best artisan food and drink producers at Orchard Street Market, giving foodies the chance to sample and buy everything from handcrafted spirits, local cheeses and delicious baked goods to tasty street food.

How to book

Visit gloucesterquays.co.uk.

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