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 Brewery Quarter in Cheltenham is a foodies' dream, offering everything from fragrant Asian dishes and juicy burgers to craft beer and cocktails - with plenty for vegetarian and vegan diners to tuck into, too.
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 new venue Pho to enjoy a taste of Vietnam, with the country’s national dish, pho; 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 favourite, Prezzo; 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.
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 the Brewery’s new venue, 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
Alfresco dining at Cowley Manor
Packed with scenic views of manicured gardens and beautiful lakes, Cowley Manor's terrace is the perfect suntrap for a delightful alfresco dining experience. Visitors can snooze in the garden’s hammocks after some fabulous food, or curl up under heaters and blankets with a G&T to stargaze as the evening draws to a close.
Offering food with a view, visitors to Cowley Manor can enjoy coffee in the sunshine with the hotel’s bountiful breakfasts. Serving freshly baked pastries, smoked haddock and smashed avocado, there’s also a hearty start to the day with full English breakfasts and three egg omelettes.
Mussel and seafood chowder, slow roasted duck leg and smoked chicken pizza are just some of the highlights on the hotel’s lunch menu. Guests can also tuck into the lighter bites on offer including Cowley rosemary focaccia, pumpkin and goats’ cheese arancini and fried dusted calamari.
The buttermilk vanilla bake with white chocolate crumble and poached rhubarb is definitely one to try – not to mention the Moroccan spiced pork tenderloin and Cornish pollock.
Complete with an award-winning spa with an outdoor pool and several outdoor cinema events this summer, Cowley Manor is an alfresco lover’s paradise with plenty of entertainment. What’s more, the hotel is surrounded with 55 acres of grounds to explore – perfect for pooches and children alike to enjoy the fabulous fresh air too.
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Alfresco dining at Ellenborough Park
Just a short drive from Cheltenham, Ellenborough Park is a 15th-century country estate that offers alfresco dining in rural surrounds – complete with heaters and blankets to keep diners cosy on chillier days.
Its five show-stopping carriages provide sheltered outdoor seating for lunch, afternoon tea and dinner for up to four people; while larger parties can soak up the rays on the suntrap Taittinger Terrace or relax on the South Lawn.
New for 2022, Ellenborough Park’s outdoor dining menu has been designed with alfresco eating in mind, focusing on flavoursome tapas dishes. Vegetarian highlights include the soy glazed tofu and burrata with tomato, basil and balsamic; while meat-eaters can tuck into pressed ham hock, confit duck leg and crispy whitebait, served with tartar sauce.
Sharing dishes also take centre stage, with the honey, truffle and walnut baked camembert served with focaccia croutons, sure to impress diners; and the cheese and charcuterie board delivering on umami flavour.
Diners can pair their small plates and sharing platters with traditional summer dishes, from fresh pea risotto to stone bass with wild mushrooms. Meanwhile, the afternoon tea option proves ever-popular for special occasions.
Ellenborough Park has recently upgraded its Cedar Pavilion – a pop-up eatery inside a South African-inspired stretch tent – that’s also available for alfresco dining. Festoon lighting and wooden tables help to create a rustic atmosphere, while the setting itself boasts spectacular views over Cleeve Hill.
How to book
Alfresco dining in the Cotswolds
Alfresco dining at The Scenic Supper
Surrounded by the lovely pastures of Todenham Manor Farm, The Scenic Supper provides guests with a unique dining experience in its sustainably built glasshouses, nestled in the beautiful Cotswolds hills near Moreton-in-Marsh, whilst offering stunning views.
First launched in 2020, the dining experience was designed by three school friends in response to lockdown, after their own hospitality businesses were impacted by the pandemic.
It proved so popular, The Scenic Supper continues to attract discerning foodies from near and far – with the chance to book one of seven socially distanced glasshouses, suitable for two to eight guests.
The Scenic Supper offers a signature set menu that changes monthly, created with sustainable and locally sourced food. The unique venue champions a ‘Farm to Fork’ ethos and diners can expect award-winning, grass-fed rare breed beef and pork, as well as locally sourced meat, bread, fruit and vegetables.
Dishes include TMF beef, marmite hollandaise and celeriac pavé; TMF lamb pithivier, white onion purée and braised wild garlic; TSS tomato sourdough, buttermilk and smoked Cotswold rapeseed oil; rhubarb ripple parfait with white chocolate; local cheese and homemade chutney.
Topping off one of the most unique dining experiences in the Cotswolds, The Scenic Supper team have now also built two new eight-seater greenhouses – which means even more room for friends and family – with heating, plus a new pathway to each pod – so regardless of the weather, you won’t get muddy on the way.
How to book
Alfresco dining at Teatro
Located within Ingleside House hotel in Cirencester, Téatro is an award-winning restaurant with a piano bar and an impressive outdoor dining area for catching up with friends and family, or making ‘date night’ extra special.
And as the Barn Theatre is right next door, you can easily combine dinner and a show, or enjoy an overnight stay at Ingleside House, so you can make the most of the cocktails – along with everything the Cotswolds has to offer.
On the pre-theatre set menu, diners can opt for two or three courses, including classics such as cheese souffle and vanilla crème brûlée, alongside more adventurous options created with ingredients like burnt cucumber and apple gel.
Those with more time to spend can get stuck into a selection of crowd-pleasing appetisers such as deep-fried halloumi, rosemary focaccia, baked camembert and grilled prawns.
And there are plenty more Josper-grilled dishes you can follow that with, like sea bass, cauliflower steak, baked mussels and a 20oz Chateaubriand, while Téatro’s signature burger comes stuffed with reblochon cheese and short rib.
Maybe try and save some space for a boozy ice cream sandwich for dessert though.
With parasols to keep you cool when the sun is beating down and a firepit to keep you cosy in the evening, you could easily spend hours soaking up the atmosphere in the super stylish courtyard at Téatro, which is lit by festoon lights as night begins to fall.
If you’re really lucky with the weather, you might even get to see the jazz musicians venture out of the piano bar on Friday and Saturday nights to entertain guests outside instead!
How to book
Alfresco dining at The Ox Shed at Cotswold Farm Park
Food-loving locals can experience Cotswold Farm Park after hours, when the stone-bottomed pizza oven is fired up at The Ox Shed bar and restaurant – with live music sessions to look forward to on selected Wednesday and Saturday evenings throughout summer 2022.
Evening food at The Ox Shed is served between 5pm and 8pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with drinks available until 8.30pm and the restaurant closing at 9pm.
Cotswold Farm Park’s evening pizza menu consists of crowd-pleasers like Margherita and pepperoni; the controversial Hawaiian, scattered with pineapple chunks; while lovers of all things hot will love the ‘spicy diablo’, topped with fire roasted peppers, jalapeños, ham and pepperoni.
For veggie diners, there’s the ‘Mediterranean’, with chargrilled vegetables, olives, fresh basil and fire roasted peppers bringing those holiday flavours; and vegans are well catered for with the ‘polpette vegane’, topped with vegan mozzarella and meatless meatballs.
Anyone arriving a little earlier in the evening can sample some of the lunch menu, too, with last orders for options like burgers, battered fish with skin-on-fries, hearty sausage and mash and loaded mac ‘n’ cheese taken at 4pm.
With sets from super-talented musicians, Cotswold Farm Park’s live music events are totally free to attend and open to everyone. Gather under the stretch tent at The Ox Shed for an evening of local talent, hearing from contemporary country singer-songwriter, Devon Mayson, and Amazon Music Breakthrough artist, Frazer Lepford, from 5pm on Wednesdays; with music from Lauren April, Hannah Woof and more starting at 6pm on Saturdays.
How to book
There’s no need to book but for more information, including performance dates, visit cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk.
Alfresco dining in Gloucester
Alfresco dining at Gloucester Quays
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.
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; or classic French cuisine like confit duck, beef bourguignon and moules frites at Côte Brasserie.
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 Bills, 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 Nandos 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.
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
Alfresco dining at Nineteen at Brickhampton
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.
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!
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.