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The perfect Sunday Lunch on your doorstep

January 2021: On a wet and windy Saturday in lockdown, we went to the beautiful Suffolks in Cheltenham for a lovely pub lunch!!

No, we haven’t gone mad.. No, we didn’t break any rules.. No, we hadn’t found an open pub in some alternate universe where Covid-19 wasn’t keeping us indoors for months on end…….. we simply went out for a takeaway with a difference, and came straight home when we’d picked it up.

The “Non-Prep” Sunday Roast Box

We went to The Suffolks Arms in Cheltenham, the new and exciting addition to the Cotswold dining pub scene, to pick up their “Non-Prep” Family Sunday Roast Box. We were excited, we were pretty sure we were in for a real culinary treat, because we had been to The Suffolk Arms a few months back for one of the most delicious lunches we’ve ever had in the Cotswolds or anywhere.

Read about our visit to The Suffolk Arms here: A FANTASTIC DINING PUB.

Put on the apron and get it on!

On Sunday, as I was just about to put the apron on and “get it on” with the two boxes of Sunday lunch ingredients and the two bags of enormous Yorkshire puds, life happened!!! Sunday turned into one of those days where nothing goes right, things break and drama thrives! And in the early evening when order had been restored in the happy home, it was just too late, so our Sunday lunch didn’t happen…. but not to worry, this particular Sunday lunch was well wrapped up and was turned into Tuesday night dinner.

I created a feast

As I set out on this culinary experience created by The Suffolk Arms, I wasn’t sure what to expect and what was expected of me. I realised I was expected to do some of the cooking of this feast, but I didn’t know if my limited cooking skills would stretch! Well, happy to report that they very much stretched, because I (I!!) created feast worthy of any top-class pub in the country as I followed the easy instructions supplied in the box. It was easy, everything was prepped and all I had to do was a bit of coating and frying, and then the oven did the rest.

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Ritual Roasters ∙ Cafe and Coffee Mecca in Cheltenham

In the heart of Cheltenham lies a haven for coffee afficionados and curious cafe-goers alike: Ritual Coffee Roastery, Brew Bar & Kitchen. It’s more than just a cafe and coffee roastery; it’s a sort of temple to the humble bean and a fantastic cafe.

Step inside, and the intoxicating aroma of freshly roasted coffee washes over you. This isn’t a samey coffee chain; it’s a community hub, a vibrant space created for and by baristas with hearts as warm as their espresso machines.

The magic of Ritual Coffee Roasters unfolds in the brew bar, where beans sourced from the world’s finest origins are transformed into wonderful cups of coffee. Forget syrupy concoctions and milky shadows, here, coffee takes centre stage, its nuanced notes celebrated in meticulously crafted pour-overs and espresso shots. 

So, next time you find yourself in Cheltenham, check out Ritual Coffee Roasters and discover a world where coffee isn’t just a drink; it’s an experience, a conversation, a journey of the senses.

Enjoy your coffee with a delicious piece of cake or a lovely lunch, lovingly created by the super star chef in the Brew Bar’s kitchen.

Let the warm embrace of the cafe envelop you, let the aroma of roasted beans guide your way, and savour the taste of passion poured into every cup. It’s a taste of the Cotswolds.

Address: Unit 31-32, Lansdown Industrial Estate, Gloucester Rd, Cheltenham GL51 8PL.

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 8am-4pm (note that the kitchen closes 3.30pm).

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Easter Afternoon Tea Picnic at Cowley Manor

March 2020: At Cowley Manor we’ve had some of the best, most fun, most wonderful times we’ve had as a family in all of the Cotswolds. And our Easter Afternoon Tea Picnic was one of those times. Matthew, Noelle and I rocked up on over Easter last year and thought we were in for a scrummy afternoon tea treat. And we were, sure, but little did we know that the always amazing staff at Cowley Manor had decided to work their magic and make our afternoon tea experience extraordinary… we should have known, of course, because they always go above and beyond.

On this beautiful and warm 18th of April in 2019, the Cowley staff suggested we enjoy our Easter Afternoon Tea outside… on the lawn… picnic-style! Well, we needed no convincing, we were absolutely game so off we went to a take on a fun afternoon in one of the most beautiful and exciting gardens in the Cotswolds. As our afternoon tea was being prepared, we went for a walk… we started at the oversized swing, went on the little stream and the lion heads, then we walked past the big lake and on to the secret garden where it is believed Lewis Carroll was inspired to write Alice in Wonderland.

The gardens surrounding Cowley Manor are magnificent. You can spend hours and hours here exploring and walking and enjoying nature, something we have done on many, many occasions. On this day, at the end of our garden “expedition”, we went to the amazing hammocks on the lawn just outside the hotel, a perfect spot for relaxing, having a little snooze or just enjoying the spectacular views of the garden.

Then it was picnic time. A blanket was laid out and our Easter Afternoon Tea was served in a lovely picnic basket and then beautifully laid out for us. We chose our picnic spot, the left corner of the large lawn in front of the hotel, the perfect spot, we thought, as here we had a view of both the stunning hotel, the lake, the woods and whole of the garden. Wonderful!

The afternoon tea was so delicious. We’ve had quite a few themed afternoon teas and we love them… it’s always such fun to find out what special treats we’re being offered on any theme, and the Easter aspects of this afternoon tea was a super-delicious simnel cake, scrummy hot cross buns and a fun take on eggs and soldiers (a delicious tropical mousse being the egg, a thin shortbread being the soldier). It was delicious… all of it. And we enjoyed this Easter Afternoon Tea Picnic so much, we can’t wait to go back again every year at Easter time.

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Al Fresco Dining at Ellenborough Park

Summer of 2021: It’s so interesting to see what all the restaurants, hotels and pubs in the Cotswolds are doing to create outdoor spaces for dining and drinking this Spring. So many of them have created some wonderful seating areas, and we’re enjoying trying them out. So, when we were on our way to enjoy an al fresco dining experience at Ellenborough Park this week, we were talking about what they might have done, knowing only that they had these fabulous round pods and that it would no doubt be amazing… because everything they do at Ellenborough Park is just plain amazing.



Completely, Totally Fabulous

As we arrived and walked up towards the hotel, we realised that we had greatly underestimated how fabulous this brand-new outdoor seating area was. It’s spectacular. It’s wonderful. It’s completely, totally fabulous. And as it gets darker, all the lights make it magical.

As Great As Always

The best in service and comfort is a given at Ellenborough Park, and while moving everything inside out, they have not skipped a beat in service and comfort levels. We were greeted warmly, and all members of staff were lovely and super professional, even though their walk from the kitchen to tables was four times longer than normal, and a new part of their job was now keeping guests warm with a steady flow of blankets and fire heaters. They were exactly as great as Ellenborough Park staff always is, just outside.

A Great Night

We were seated, and everyone ensured we were warm and comfortable. We ordered drinks and food from the new menu; our personal fire pit was lit, and a great night had taken off nicely.

Best Burger Ever

The food from the new menu was lovely. We ordered the mushrooms and the calamari to start. Absolutely delicious. For our mains, we had the pork and the burger. For Robin, the mushroom starter was his dish of the night; for me, it was the burger, which was right up there with the very best I’ve ever had.

The Perfect Finish

And as we all know, nothing finishes a lovely evening off as a sticky toffee pudding. So that’s what we ordered from the dessert menu, which was perfect. The sticky toffee pudding was the perfect way to finish a wonderful evening, along with coffees that doubled as hand warmers (it was getting a bit nippy as the sun had gone down).

NOTE: We had this experience in the summer of 2021 when dining outdoors was being explored by hospitality businesses all over the world due to the pandemic. You’ll be pleased to know that Ellenborough Park has kept their amazing AL FRESCO DINING option. Book your outdoor experience HERE.

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