It's with great sadness to share the news that Japanese restaurant Koj is closing for good in Cheltenham.
In a statement on his website, Andrew Kojima said
"I am sorry to announce that Koj Cheltenham will not be re-opening. Despite the premature ending, I am very happy to have opened a business in Cheltenham. An initial nine-week trial confirmed in my mind that the town was the right place for my first permanent restaurant. It is a town that is an attractive place to live, work and visit. I have been blessed with enthusiastic, hard-working and outgoing employees. We have been privileged to serve customers who are engaging, fun-loving and loyal. And I have been inspired by other business owners who are supportive, entrepreneurial and passionate.
I am immensely proud of what my team and I achieved in three years and of our own contribution towards enhancing Cheltenham’s reputation for good lifestyle: two glowing reviews in national newspapers, a clutch of awards and multiple listings in the Michelin Guide, The Good Food Guide and Harden’s. While these accolades were not part of the business plan, the recognition for our hard work provided reward and an incentive to maintain and improve on our standards. They also gave me the drive to believe that there was unfinished business to return to once the pandemic had subsided. I felt that there was more to come.
I have been in regular discussions with fellow restaurateurs and my accountants since we closed in March. I had budgeted for re-opening costs such as re-stocking, COVID-19 guideline compliance and re-training. The prospect of incurring these costs was daunting, especially given that business continuity remained at risk through factors out of our control: a confirmed case on site, or further regional lockdowns and restrictions. Nevertheless, I had hoped that if both the virus itself and the guidelines began to stabilise, we would be able to reopen.
The recent rise in infections has prompted the government to impose further restrictions, which could last for at least 6 months. They are the final nail in the coffin for any hope and fight that I had left in me.
The restaurant industry is a broad church. Some restaurants sell food, some sell the experience. Those at the foodservice end of the spectrum are little more than supermarkets with microwaves and places to sit. I always wanted Koj Cheltenham to do more than just satisfy hunger. I also wanted the experience to be affordable enough to make cocktails and dinner an occasional treat, not just for special occasions.
I loved the atmosphere in our small restaurant when it was buzzing, so my initial concern was our ability to retain that character in the current environment. The task of generating revenues that exceed our overheads has been made all the harder by social distancing measures. Consumer confidence, already damaged by both the virus itself and its economic impact, will suffer a fresh blow now that the widely anticipated second peak has lead to further restrictions. And I expect the trading environment to deteriorate further as more redundancies follow. Even our most loyal customers will have to cut back on their occasional treats.
In opening my first restaurant, I realised a dream and expressed my passion. I followed my heart. Sadly, I have concluded that now is the time for my head to rule my heart, so that I can make a fresh start, rebuild my career and make a living to support my wife and our young children through this turbulent time, rather than add to their worries. Without the backing of a wealthy and optimistic investor, I cannot take the risk of incurring further losses and greater debt.
While I have lost a lot, I have gained confidence and experience in rising to the challenge of building and running a business, learning how to manage a team and dealing with setbacks and mistakes. I have had the pleasure of seeing customers delight in conversation, laughter and good food. I have made many new friends, both among fellow business owners and our customers. I have grown very fond of Cheltenham. It has been an honour to serve as a Director of Cheltenham BID. It has been rewarding to work with Marketing Cheltenham, and most recently TURF Cheltenham, on promoting the town’s hospitality credentials.
I look forward to continuing this work even though Koj Cheltenham will now exist only in the memories of its customers and employees and within the pages of my first book, No Sushi.
Amidst the chaos of lockdown when all the pubs and restaurants were closed, three friends created a new kind of dining experience, in a field, with six glasshouses, a gin bar and spectacular views. Within days The Scenic Supper had almost sold out and the response was truly incredible.
Last weekend saw the last summer supper served at their King Stone Farm location, however, the good news is, their winter offering "Twelve Nights" is coming very soon.
There is a brand-new setting in Snowshill and the 12 nights in December will include 4 tables of 6 each evening, 5 course locally-sourced seasonal menu, with optional cheese board for £60.00 per head.
These dates will be available to book from 10:00am 1st October on their website that you can find below.
Stow on the Wold welcomes a brand-new independent wine bar later this month.
The Cellar is a new neighbourhood wine-café serving sustainable wine, locally sourced cheese and charcuterie plates and coffee with a social cause. Overlooking the market square in the town, the wine-café brings a cosy and stylish feel to grade II* listed building, St Edward’s House.
You'll be able to order wine by the glass, carafe or bottle to drink in over leisurely lunches, evenings together and everything in between . With the team on hand for recommendations, explore the wine racks downstairs in the cellar room and shop sustainable wines to suit all tastes.
You can even order a cheese and charcuterie board to takeaway for the perfect at-home spread.
Opening on Friday 18th September, the wine-café is a collaboration between two good friends, Mike and Michael, with a shared love for bringing together people, places and stories.
Mon - Wed 10am - 8pm
Thu - Sat 10am - 1 0pm
Sun 10am - 6pm
Follow The Cellar on Instagram for a peek of what’s inside and news on upcoming tasting events , and visit their website for further information including menus, opening hours and COVID - 19 safety measures.
Japanese restaurant, KIBOU, officially opened its new, larger restaurant and bar on Regent Street in Cheltenham last weekend. The new venue, operated by the original award-winning KIBOUsushi team, features all their signature dishes and includes an extended bar offering with late-night licence.
Serving an extensive range of authentic Japanese food and drink, KIBOU’s menu includes steaming bowls of ramen, made with pork, chicken or vegan broth, freshly prepared katsu curry, and increasingly popular donburi, Japanese rice bowls. Alongside these, you’ll find pillowy steamed bao buns with a variety of fillings, a range of tempura, including their show-stopping softshell crab, and an extensive selection of handmade to order sushi and sashimi, including KIBOU’s signature and much-talked-about volcano roll - salmon, avocado and tobiko futomaki, tempura fried and served with KIBOU house sauce.
Featuring an 80-cover restaurant and spacious bar and lounge, the new cherry blossom-adorned venue aims to transport customers to the bustling backstreets of Tokyo’s adventurous bar and restaurant scene. Cleverly designed to include a range of eclectic and luxurious drinking and dining zones, the large venue conveys an intimate and atmospheric feel, reminiscent of the much-loved original 25-seater basement restaurant, whilst ensuring social distancing measures are met in a sympathetic and relaxed way.
Choose to dine in the main restaurant overlooking the semi-open kitchen and sushi station, the horigotatsu - traditional sunken Japanese style dining area, raised snug overlooking the bar or opulent 6-seater banquettes, featuring a beautiful array of Japanese prints. The venue also includes a plush private dining area for up to 10, and a theatrical 10-seater teppanyaki grill (due to open October 2020).
The large and stylish bar is framed by a projection of Japanese geisha illustrations created by local artist Martyna Sabadasz, who’s original artwork is featured extensively throughout the venue. With an enviable back bar of premium Japanese whisky and gin, KIBOU has extended its drinks offering to include a variety of bang on trend Japanese highballs and an extensive signature and classic cocktail list.
New look KIBOU is a stylish and sophisticated addition to Cheltenham’s flourishing food and drink scene, bringing Japanese socialising, eating and drinking to an expanded audience looking for a grown-up hang out to enjoy authentic food and an imaginative, premium drinks list.
Visit kibou.co.uk/Cheltenham for more information and to book.
There is no better way to celebrate the end of summer than a feast at The Swan at Ascott-under-Wychwood with ex Hawksmoor Executive Head Chef, Richard H Turner.
From Friday 18th to Sunday 20th September, Richard will be cooking abundance of grilled, smoked and spiced food including slow grilled prime rib of beef with bone marrow nihari sauce, devilled monkfish skewer with tomato and curry leaf, spiced tomahawk lamb chops, smoked aubergine with mint pomegranate and cashew cream, the list goes on, including an array of flatbreads and sides.
Saturday has already sold out but spaces remain for Friday and Sunday.
You can find the full menu HERE or at the bottom of the page.
Booking is essential and social distancing rules will be in place.
Adults £30 and children (under 16) £12.
For all the information, visit www.countrycreatures.com/the-village-grill-with-richard-turner
The readers of the Telegraph have voted for their favourite pubs in the UK and have named 3 from the Cotswolds in the list.
The Ebrington Arms, near Chipping Campden, was voted the winner in the "Best for Food" category.
The Potting Shed in Crudwell near Malmesbury was runner-up in the "Pub of the Year" with The Swan at Ascott-under-Wychwood achieved the same position in the "Best for Rooms" class.
You can find all the winners at runner-ups here - www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/pubs-and-bars/raise-glass-telegraph-pub-year-2020-plus-best-pubs-food-families/
To celebrate the launch of The Alchemist Cheltenham (opening in The Brewery Quarter tonight), we have stolen their recipe for a Classic Old Fashioned.
You can try this at home but believe us, if you head to the bar itself, there will be lots of theatre and a cracking atmosphere.
The old fashioned is concocted by muddling sugar with bitters, adding whiskey with a twist of citrus rind garnish.
Getting to it;
Visit thealchemist.uk.com/venues/cheltenham-brewery-quarter/ for all the info about their new Cheltenham bar.
Scoring 98/100 points, Cotswolds-based BeauFort Fifty-Seven is the only British expression to have achieved a ‘Gold Outstanding’ in Contemporary Gin category at the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2020.
The IWSC is often regarded as the most respected awards in the drinks business with the Gold Outstanding medal the competition’s highest, awarded to just a handful of products every year: “this is a genuinely significant achievement” writes IWSC Judging Panel Chair, and World spirits authority Joel Harrison; BeauFort’s Fifty-Seven “neatly encapsulates the creativity and diversity of the Contemporary category.”
Each spirit was tasted blind. All spirits scoring 90 and above were re-tasted by the Judging Committee to ensure consistency across the tasting – so BeauFort Fifty Seven’s success is not to be under-estimated.
BeauFort Spirit, located in Broadway, is the fractious offspring of musician Leo Crabtree, founder of the international selling Fragrance House, BeauFort London.
BeauFort Spirit’s originality lies in part with the ’smoking’ of its liquors and its uncompromising approach in the pursuit of flavour and experience. Working closely with the Halen Môn smokery in Anglesey, BeauFort Spirit hijacked an ingredient originally designed by Heston Blumenthal – an oak smoked water which now lends a distinctive signature flavour into the spirits.
Not a company to shy away from the unusual, the nascent product range is led by the 57% ABV Smoked Sipping Gin, a ‘nod’ to the Admiralty’s ‘Gunpowder Proof’ test.
Executed by Master Distiller Rob Dorsett of Langley Distillery in the heart of the Black Country, this gin is created in small batches in the distillery’s historic copper stills, and finished by Sion Edwards of Union Distillers of Leicestershire, where the high strength distillate is blended to strength with BeauFort’s unique smoked water - a finely executed combination of traditional methods of production and a single-minded approach to sensuality and refinement.
Tasting notes: Oak smoke, juniper and pepper sharpened with fresh lemon peel on the nose. Powerful palate of spice and smoke with a smooth, rounded mouthfeel emphasising the piney bite of juniper.
Botanicals: Juniper, Coriander, Angelica Root, Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Orris, Liquorice, Szechuan pepper, Pink Pepper, Smoked Oak and Hickory Chips.
BeauFort 57 Smoked Gin 57% abv has an RRP of £39.95 per 50cl, through www.beaufortspirit.com or www.masterofmalt.com.
For over 50 years The International Wine & Spirit Competition has rewarded excellence in the drinks industry worldwide. It ensures recognition for the very best wines and spirits. This is the international benchmark for quality, standing out in the crowded world of drinks awards with hundreds of global experts – including buyers, producers, distillers, sommeliers, distributors and influencers – judging wines and spirits throughout the year.
If you have lived in the Cotswolds for a while, you may recognise the Alexiou's name from the wonderful restaurant in Chipping Campden. While still under the same ownership, the name of the restaurant changed a few years ago to Michael's Mediterranean and has been going strong for 35 years.
Fear not, Michael's Mediterranean is not moving to Stow, however his children, Cleo (who has been the Event Manger at the beautiful Aynhoe Park for the last 4 years) and Aris (who has worked in some of the Cotswolds finest establishments over the years- The Wild Rabbit, The Fox, Oddington, of course the family restaurant to name a few) are bringing something special to the town this Autumn.
Alexiou's will be a family fun, Mediterranean restaurant and bar based in Talbot Court, in the heart of the town. Their ultimate goal is to create a space that fuses cosmopolitan elegance with "'one of those' gorgeous tavernas lining a cobbled street on a Greek island,which oozes deliciousness in every way!"
Their menus will combine simple recipes, with stunning flavour combinations, using fresh local ingredients.
Their aim is simply to create a space with delicious food, beautiful surroundings, fantastic hospitality and affordability.
The spaces will be: (in Cleo's words)
THE BAR - Relaxed seating and a very sexy vibe
THE DINING ROOM - Filled with tasteful furniture- combining traditional, naturalistic and elegance!
THE COURTYARD - Filled with overflowing greenery, mirrors, candles, sheepskin rugs and much more gorgeousness!
We can't wait!
Originally scheduled for an April opening, theatre is soon to be served in Cheltenham. The Alchemist will be launching on the 28th August bringing immersive experiences, expertly crafted cocktails and all day dining to Gloucestershire. Creative bar and restaurant concept, The Alchemist is bringing its famed cocktail concoctions to The Brewery Quarter, which is set to be a new favourite with cocktail connoisseurs in Cheltenham.
The 4,500 sqft venue designed by London agency Turner Bates will feature an impressive emerald marbled bar top and signature dark wall murals. It’s not just the menu that plays with your senses as the bespoke mind bending floor-to-ceiling bar takes centre stage and will provide the perfect back drop for The Alchemists signature cocktails. Cocktails served with a dash of theatre such as the Colour Changing One created with Grey Goose Vodka, Briottet Apple, soda & citrus which, as the name suggests, will mysteriously change colour before your eyes! Guests can also opt for The Cherry Poppins; a concoction of Whitley Neil raspberry gin, cherry, strawberry, citrus and a cherry fog bubble that’s sure to set alight anyone’s Instagram feed!
To complement the show-stopping cocktails, The Alchemist Cheltenham will offer an all-day dining menu which of course includes a touch of playfulness, starter dishes such as the Chorizo & Cheddar Doughballs (choose your cheese level with the accompanying syringe) and Tempura Prawn Lollipops. For something more substantial, enjoy Pan-Fried Seabass with spicy Bombay potatoes, coconut yoghurt and charred lime and for a delicious plant-based meal try the Vegan Cauliflower Katsu Curry. To finish, the flaming Cotton Candy Baked Alaska is a must for a dessert with extra-oomph or, for something a little more low-key, order an Espresso Martini & Petit Fours.
The Alchemist Cheltenham will open on Friday 28 th of August at 10am.
For more information, please visit: www.thealchemist.uk.com
Pizza masters Baz and Fred have taken over The New Inn at Coln St Aldwyns.
The duo known for their incredible food at The Stump at Foss Cross will open the pub later this month.
In a statement on Instagram they announced "Roughly a year ago Baz & Fred achieved their childhood dream and opened their first pub together The Stump, a Cotswold pub turned pizzeria. Simple, delicious food done well. It’s been a fantastic first year and we can’t wait for many more to follow and working alongside our awesome team and customers."
"We’ve had such a great time running The Stump so we’ve decided to do it all over again. Introducing Baz & Fred’s New Inn, located in the beautiful village of Coln St Aldwyns. A stunning pub not too far from The Stump. During lock down we introduced a burger night at The Stump which has been an overwhelming success. We thought it was only fitting to increase this offering and give the people more of what everyone clearly wants. As a result of this we have taken to the streets of Coln! Expect smokey blues, booze, burgers & an all-round good time. The main staple of the menu will be a variety of burgers which have been a real hit. There will be other rolling specials, sides and main dishes on offer that will have Spanish, Portuguese and Italian influences plus anything that Baz & Fred feel is delicious enough to make an appearance, which is a fair bit!"
"The New Inn is similar to The Stump. It’s an old roadside Inn that is ingrained into the history of the village. The pub is currently closed so Baz & Fred could move in for renovations and are currently in the process of changing things around, attempting to bring the inside of the pub back to its original design decades ago. Everything is full steam ahead; the new open kitchen is being fitted alongside the new local’s bar plus lots more."
"We aim to be open by the end of the month but please keep your eyes peeled for updates. We can’t wait to see you all down here!!"
The Gunpowder Gimlet was conceived as a way of showcasing Beaufort Spirit's ‘gunpowder proof’ gin in a traditional context - a drink originally issued by the Royal Navy - with a contemporary twist:
This isn’t a ‘true’ gimlet as it does not include Roses lime cordial (originally conceived as a way of preserving lime juice onboard ships); instead Beaufort have created a ‘smoked lime sherbert’ by gently cooking lime juice, pulp and husks briefly with sugar, then smoking in a closed vessel with a smoking gun. Also, in this version, they have lengthened the drink slightly with a gunpowder tea cold brew infusion, made with Temple of Heaven teas. Garnished with a smoked rum / cane syrup reduction with added black food dye.
- 40ml BeauFort Spirit Fifty-Seven smoked sipping gin.
- 40ml Smoked Lime Sherbet
- 15ml Cold Brew Gunpowder Tea
Serve in coupette / no ice
Garnish with ‘Squid Ink’ rum reduction
Shake & fine strain
Beaufort Spirits are based near Broadway in the Cotswolds and produce a delightful Smoked Sipping Gin and a stunning Smoked Demerara Rum.
The Times & The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival 2020 will be streamed free on the Cheltenham Festivals website from 2-11 October.
The Festival will present 100 live-streamed events with a socially-distanced live audience (government guidance permitting) in Cheltenham Town Hall and the Everyman Theatre. And, in a year when international travel is limited, an innovative series of filmed events with major international names, supported by a global network of festival partners and publishers.
The events will be streamed via the Cheltenham Festivals website through a digital hub, where the audience can interact with speakers and other Festival-goers. Visitors to the hub can navigate the virtual Festival site, browsing in the bookshop and exploring activities for book-lovers of all ages.
Announcing that the world’s oldest Literature Festival will take place digitally this year live from Cheltenham, Director of Festivals Ian George said: “We are recreating the spirit of the Festival online and sharing the joy of books with thousands of people across the globe who can’t meet in person in Cheltenham this year. Since lockdown, when we have all needed culture and creativity more than ever, Cheltenham Festivals has committed to bring its Festivals digitally to homes all over the world, for free. As the COVID-19 crisis means we are faced with losing vital box office income from our biggest Festival of the year, we hope that our devoted audiences and friends will keep donating generously so that we can continue our work.”
The Festival is equipping schools and families to run their own Literature Festival, providing 30 free author events, creative writing challenges, draw-alongs and read-aloud sessions available online from 5-9 October to watch on-demand. Plus eight live-streamed weekend events with best-selling children’s authors, poets and illustrators.
In a new partnership with CLPE, the CLiPPA (CLPE Poetry Award) will be awarded live at the Festival on Friday 9 October, with the shortlist announced on National Poetry Day, Thursday 1 October.
The programme will feature content unique to Cheltenham, presenting some of the biggest names in publishing this autumn. Award-winning authors of fiction and non-fiction will join poets, spoken word artists and new voices to delve into a range of topics including travel and adventure, food and drink, lifestyle, history, art and religion.
Through a continued partnership with The Times and The Sunday Times, expert commentators will consider the political, social and cultural ideas that will shape our future as we navigate a post-Covid world.
Guest curators are award-winning British-Turkish novelist and storyteller Elif Shafak and Shamil Thakrar – co-founder of Dishoom, winner of Best Restaurant in the UK two years running and author of the best-selling Dishoom cookbook.
A new unique, intimate dining experience is launching in the Cotswolds.
The Scenic Supper has been created by Toby Baggott, Scott Sullivan and Sam Lawson, three friends of over 20 years who each own small businesses, event styling company, outdoor catering and a local gin, and have all, in their own ways, been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Located at Kingstone Farm next to the the Roll Right Stones, just up the road from Long Compton, the supper offers a pre-selected 5-course tasting menu in five glass houses, each with individual art work and breath-taking views of the Cotswolds countryside.
There will be a bar ready to serve a variety of cocktails, wine, beer & cider throughout your evening.
The supper will be running Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm from Saturday 4th July to Saturday 12th September and costs £50 per person.
You can find the menu, further information and book by visiting www.thescenicsupper.co.uk.
THE STREETS, GARY NUMAN AND LIGHTNING SEEDS TO PLAY DRIVE-IN CONCERTS AT CHELTENHAM RACECOURSE THIS SUMMER!
The Streets, Gary Numan, Lightning Seeds, Dizzee Rascal and Ash are just a number of acts coming to Cheltenham this summer as part of the Utilita Live from the Drive-in concerts, taking place at Cheltenham Racecourse from 29th July - 5th September 2020.
Other names on the list include Tony Hadley, The Zutons, Skindred and Cream Classical Ibiza.
Tickets go on sale on Monday 22nd June at 10am.
Click HERE for the full line-up.
I doubt I'm the only one who has realised that one of their main hobbies was eating out. I love food and the novelty of trying to cook restaurant style (it was nowhere near) food at home has more or less worn off completely and we're back to cooking the same five meals a week that we had before the pandemic.
I got overly excited last Tuesday when I saw The Old Butchers in Stow on the Wold were offering a takeaway menu on the Friday and Saturday... "They do a whole Dover Sole for Christ's sake!"
They were also offering Healing Chicken Broth, Fritto Misto and a Prawn Cocktail for starters, Tempura Crab Roll & Chips, a Prawn Po'boy & Chips and a Rump Steak Burger & Chips for mains, and 1/2 Cold Lobster, Mayo & chips and 1/2 Lobster Thermidor & Chips.
This is incredible, but what the hell is a po'boy?
I googled it. They look amazing. But I really want a burger.
I ordered both (well who needs a summer body?). Over Instagram. And paid via bank transfer. Up yours Deliveroo.
My collection time (which I chose) was at 7pm. There were probably 10 people outside the restaurant waiting. We all kept our distance and nodded a hello, apart from one guy who really wanted a chat from about a metre and a half.
People went up to collect their bags like a university graduation, each getting judged on the amount of food they bought.
My name was finally called and I proudly marched up to the door. "Thank you" I muttered with my hand over my mouth. I realised that she was the fourth person I had spoken to all week.
I got home and presented the bag like a new puppy. We got overly excited once again when we saw The Old Butchers branding on the box. There's a moment of trepidation before opening them as you don't really know what to expect as these place don't normally dabble in takeaways.
The burger looked amazing, as did the po'boy. If it were a film, there would have been fairy dust as each box was opened.
I stole a prawn from the po'boy with my fingers as I eat with my hands now on a Friday, and never on a plate. It had a kick that I wasn't expecting but was incredibly good.
The burger was fat and ridiculously juicy. My white t-shirt looked like Onslow's vest. I didn't care. It was immense. Possibly the best burger I have eaten, ever, and I know that is a huge statement.
Thank you The Old Butchers.
Ordering via Instagram 10
Conversation while waiting 1
**Follow The Old Butchers' Instagram and Facebook for the menus and how to order**
Let's be brutally honest, everything is a little bit crap right now. It's OK to admit that. I was quite enthusiastic at the start, lots of places were offering takeaway and delivery and then within a week, most of them had stopped offering this through absolutely no fault of their own. However, there are a few still going and we'll do our utmost to support them!
Before we start, let's make something clear. I will not make this about me and in no way be getting overly emotional over a portion of fish and chips, I promise.*
It was Friday, which felt the same as the day before, and the day before that and... you see where this is going. I saw on Facebook (where I now spend 25% of my days now, the other 75% is split between actual work, Instagram, Twitter and ringing people) that Greedy's, the local fish & chip shop in Stow on the Wold, was delivering. I'll be completely honest, I don't eat a huge amount of fish and chips but when I do, they usually come from Mermaids in Moreton in Marsh.
Anyway, where was I? I have never reviewed fish and chips before so bear with me.
I replied to their post on Facebook and asked if they deliver to my village 2 miles down the road. I kind of knew they would or it wouldn't be the best delivery service but it was a fantastic conversation starter. They actually deliver to a 4 mile radius that covers Bourton on the Water and Moreton in Marsh Wednesday - Saturday. You can collect still too as long as you call ahead.
Being a Friday (did I mention that?) I presumed they would be busy, and going by their phone being engaged for 27 minutes I was right. I finally got through and ordered cod and chips twice, a large curry sauce and three cans of coke to be used for mixers of any rum I could find around the house. I paid for it over the phone too. This is how far the Cotswolds has moved on in the last 2 weeks. The directions were probably the hardest thing "Go over the first cattle grid, follow the drive until the second cattle grid. Do not fork off (everyone forks off) until you go over the second cattle grid..." They didn't fork off. The food arrived in 20 minutes. I thought it was going to take at least an hour and had prepared for that. The handover was done by shouting into the darkness through the door. Them - "The receipt is in the bag". Me- "Thank you". That was it.
I carried the bag back into the living room like some kind of magic had just occurred. We don't get Deliveroo, or any other delivery services) out in the sticks, this type of thing just doesn't happen to people like us.
Opening them was like opening the first present at Christmas when you were 10. First the wrapping paper (it was the normal chip paper), then a box (I wasn't expecting a box), and there they were, the most amazing looking fish and chips.
They were incredible and I was grateful that I could actually taste them after losing my sense of taste and smell for a week. Always a bonus with food I find.
I know it's nothing huge but a local business thriving in these times is amazing, and they wouldn't know it but they actually made our day a lot better**
**They would know it as I plastered it over Facebook as apparently that's what I do now, I write statuses on Facebook about fish and chips.
Thank you Greedy's, you have a customer (probably about once a month, possibly 2 months) for life.
Conversation with delivery guys 2
Emotional warmth 10
* I failed on both accounts
Wednesday - Saturday. 4.30pm - 8.30pm
The Stump at Foss Cross, located between Northleach and Cirencester, is looking to support the local community and businesses by opening a drive-thru take away service and farm shop, welcome ’The Stump Shack’.
Due to open from Monday, they’ll be bringing out their old events trailers from 2014, giving it a re-vamp, and opening it as a drive-thru pizzeria, produce shop and breakfast cafe. Perfect if you are looking for something quick to eat, pick up your local groceries or even grab a beer or two whilst keeping your ‘Social Distancing’ in check.
Locals will be able to purchase The Stump's knockout pizza - made by award winning pizza duo, Baz & Fred - soups, sarnies, drinks as well as local produce - without having to leave their car. Order from the car, park up and wait for it to be delivered straight to you!
Keeping the community eating well, ’The Stump Shack’ will be working along side a host of local producers, including Sourdough Revolution, Cackleberry Farm, Deya Brewery, The Cotswold Cider Co., Mimi’s Kitchen, The Extra Virgin Farm and many more. They have even found a way to freeze their own delicious pizzas, so everyone can continue to enjoy them from the comfort of their own home.
Two of The Lucky Onion’s restaurants, The Tavern in Cheltenham and The Hollow Bottom in Guiting Power have launched takeaway options in light of the Coronavirus outbreak.
In a message to all their customers, The Lucky Onion said.
In light of current events we have be working away on some different ways to support our local communities in Northleach, Guiting Power, Minchinhampton and Cheltenham Town.
From 5:30pm tonight we will be offering a take-away service for food and drinks at the Tavern in Cheltenham and the Hollow Bottom in Guiting Power.
We are working towards providing further food and drink options at our other properties in the next 24 hours as well as looking into ways we can re-purpose our business to support the current environment.
We will provide further communication on this as soon as we have it.
Please see all our food and beverage offerings below and gives us a call to order.
We will be taking orders from 5:30pm to 9:30pm every night.
Please note* You will need to collect and pay for your order. Our staff will be vigilant with regard to social distancing.
TAVERN TAKEAWAY MENU (To order Please call 07934 716729)
CHORIZO SCOTH EGG £4.5
ROAST BEETROOTS (v) £8
Whipped feta, dill & dukkah
DUCK & PORCINI MEATBALLS £8.5
Slow cooked tomato sauce
THE MAIN EVENT…
PUY LENTIL & VEGETABLE LASAGNE (v) £14
Baby gem, radish & shallot salad
COTSWOLD WHITE CHICKEN MILANESE £16
Garlic butter, parmesan & chicory salad
HOT BUFFALO WINGS & blue cheese dip £8
SWEET STICKY WINGS sesame & spring onions £8
KOREAN WINGS radish & black sesame £8
MAC ‘N’ CHEESE (v) £6
CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD £11
TAVERN BURGER & fries £10
AMERICAN CHEESE BURGER £13
Streaky bacon & fries
BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN BURGER & fries £10
8oz FLAT IRON (ANGUS) £15.5
8oz ONGLET (ANGUS) £18
8oz SIRLOIN (HEREFORD) £22
10oz RIB-EYE (HEREFORD) £26
SIDES all at £4.50
French fries (v)
Tavern slaw (v)
Chilli cheese fries (add 1.5)
Sweet potato fries (v)
DRINKS MENU AND PRICES:
House White - £18
French Sauv Blanc - £22
House Red - £18
Malbec - £26
House Rose - £18
Studio Rose - £29
Prosecco - £26
Nyetimber - £56
Dunkertons - £4.50
Peroni - £4.50
THE HOLLOW BOTTOM TAKEAWAY MENU (To order, please call 07398 620737)
Vegan Burger and Fries £12.50
Cheese Burger and Fries £12.50
Fish and Chips £14.50
House White - £18
French Sauv Blanc - £22
House Red - £18
Malbec - £26
House Rose - £18
Studio Rose - £29
Prosecco - £26
Nyetimber - £56
Dunkertons - £4.50
Peroni - £4.50
Flynn's Bar & Brasserie in Cheltenham has tonight announced that it will not be renewing its lease and will close with immediate effect.
A statement by Kelly Jones on Facebook said "We have made the very difficult decision not to renew our lease and so with immediate effect we are closing our doors.
As you can imagine it is an extremely emotional time. It has been my absolute privilege to work with the most incredible and loyal staff over the last 21 years. We have been so fortunate to get to know and look after our wonderful customers who will all be terribly missed and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your custom over the years.
The first announcements for the Wychwood Festival have been announced and will include The Divine Comedy, Embrace, The Lightning Seeds and Seth Lakeman.
The festival takes place at Cheltenham Racecourse from 29th - 31st May, with over 100 acts performing across four stages, plus music, dance and arts workshops, a circus school and a programme of talks, debates and comedy for all ages.
This Spring will see Cheltenham welcome a brand-new hotel concept focusing on the culture and experience of the beautiful town. Cult Hotels is the brainchild of Julian Dunkerton, co-founder of fashion giant Superdry and the highly successful Cotswold’s hotel and restaurant portfolio - The Lucky Onion.
Inspired by the originality and diversity of each local area, Cult Hotels will be an easy, accessible bolthole for travellers who are big on exploring and big on design.
The George will be the very first and flagship hotel by Cult Hotels made up of five beautifully refurbished Grade II listed Regency townhouses with 46 bedrooms. The original features cleverly weaved in with modern touches.
With well-considered practical elements such automatic check ins and post-box key return, a well-stocked Pantry for guests to visit at any time day and night, Cult Hotels will be tapping into the clued-up urban crowd who value design and exploration. The plan will see the brand rolling into popular cities within the UK and beyond over the next few years.
Socially conscious, the team behind the brand love to repurpose these characterful, older buildings and this will be a cornerstone of the brand as it expands its footprint with ambitious growth plans for the future.
Julian Dunkerton states ‘The name Cult Hotels is a nod to my history and where it all began for me, naturally Cheltenham is home to the flagship hotel – The George. As an entrepreneur I identified a gap in the market to create a new hotel concept that is accessible, approachable & cool. Cult Hotels exists for the savvy traveller who values aesthetic and culture at a fair price. My ambition with this venture is to continue to breathe new life into old buildings and bring a game changing hotel concept to the marketplace”
Room categories and rates start from:
Edgy - £105
Urban - £115
Cool - £125
Culture - £145
The Big Feastival has today announced their line-up for 2020 which sees Sigala, Nile Rogers & Chic and Rag 'N' Bone Man headline the 3 days.
Also confirmed to perform is Swedish pop sensation Zara Larsson who has had a string of top ten hits both as a solo artist and a featured artist including Lush Life, Never Forget You and the massive number one hit Symphony with Clean Bandit. Tom Walker will also be joining the bill: the British singer-songwriter had an incredible year last year with a debut number one album and top ten singles Just You And I and Leave a Light On. Brighton born pop singer-songwriter Maisie Peters and Rock Band Reef are also added to the bill.
Now in its ninth year, the festival has become renowned for delivering music of the highest calibre, world class chefs, award winning street food and an unrivalled programme of family entertainment.
The Big Feastival has also revealed the acclaimed chefs that will be bringing their awe-inspiring masterclasses to the culinary stages, including Marco Pierre White and Mark Hix.
Host Alex James said: “This is now our ninth Big Feastival and I can’t wait to welcome everyone back to the farm. It is such a thrill to see how the festival develops and evolves each year and I have no doubt 2020 will be bigger and better than ever. I couldn’t be more excited at the prospect of Nile Rodgers - the king of funk no less – and CHIC basically playing a gig in my back garden, not to mention hosting culinary rock star Marco Pierre White. The lineup already has something for everyone, with plenty more to come… See you in August!”
The Big Feastival takes place on the Bank Holiday Weekend, 28th - 30th August at Alex James' Farm in Kingham.
Camping and Weekend tickets are on sale now available at www.thebigfeastival.com
Jeremy Clarkson has opened a new farm shop on his farm near Chipping Norton.
Diddly Squat Farm Shop, located on his Diddly Squat Farm, was full of potatoes grown on the farm, horseradish, eggs, apple juice and some bottles of special edition natural spring water that was being auctioned off for charity.
We have no idea of the opening times or whether this was just a publicity stunt as a full film crew was covering his every move. Whatever it was, it was good fun!
It's always an exciting time with Cheltenham just around the corner.
I will start with Annie Mc at Bangor. It was great that she won again and I was so pleased with the way she jumped because it was real testing sticky ground and she jumped out of it like it was good ground. She's definitely going the right way and will be entered in the Novices' Handicap over 2 and a half miles on the Tuesday at the Marsh Novices' Chase and the Plate on the Thursday. It will probably be between the two races on the Thursday but we will be deciding nearer the time.
The journey with Annie has been amazing, with Chris [Hughes] and everyone at Coral, We have been very lucky and you have to pinch yourself sometimes that we have stumbled on such a nice mare.
There was plenty of pressure on my ride on Native River at Newbury but I just tried to take it in my stride. It was a huge day and definitely the most important success of my career so far. Hopefully it will springboard a few more opportunities. He was deadly and jumped fantastically well. The blinkers definitely sharpened him up. I am very lucky.
It's desperately sad to hear that he will miss the Gold Cup and the National and I'm gutted for the Tizzards, Mr and Mrs Broom, Brocade Racing, and Dickie [Johnson]. It looked like he was really coming back to form and it's just really frustrating and unfortunate for everyone.
Copperhead was very good at Ascot last week. He put decent horses to bed very quickly, jumped them into submission really and was relentless in the finish. I don't think we found the bottom of him. Whether he goes for the National Hunt Chase or RSA Chase at Cheltenham, he'll be a huge ride in either race but we'll see where the connections want to go. He's going to be very exciting and will only improve with some summer grass on him.
Photo courtesy of Nigel Kirby