Cheltenham comes alive during The Festival so in order to maximise your post-racing fun and to spend your winnings wisely, follow these top tips for the best restaurants, trendiest bars and liveliest clubs in town (and the surrounding areas).
The best restaurants in Cheltenham:
A very popular place amongst the racing fraternity and THE place to go if you want to drink, dine and be merry alongside the who’s who of racing. The menu consists of home-cooked favourites and modern European dishes, sourced from local suppliers. Their cocktail menu is extensive and with DJ’s and live music booked for each night of The Festival, it’s a highly sought-after hangout.
The Ivy Montpellier Brasserie
If you are looking for a sophisticated but relaxed dining experience and enjoy luxurious décor, I highly recommend you head to The Ivy Brasserie, situated in the heart of Montpellier. The menu is all encompassing with classic international and British brasserie dishes. They’ve designed a menu of Hot-to-Trot race week cocktails which I’m sure will be resplendent and Guinness, synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day at The Festival, will be on offer too!
For a high-end culinary experience, head to The Daffodil – a hidden gem tucked inside a beautiful old cinema with a fantastic wine list and a unique menu including an array of meats cooked on a Josper Charcoal Grill (their Chateaubriand is seriously good). Service is guaranteed to be top notch.
Head for post-racing drinks in the Gold Cup Bar at the Queens Hotel where super trendy cocktails consisting of locally distilled gins (there are 40 on offer) are rustled up. You can stay put for a more casual supper or move into their Napier restaurant for a culinary treat of creative, locally sourced dishes.
The best Indian restaurant in Cheltenham. It’s refined and sophisticated with mouth-watering Indian dishes which are second to none. They also offer a ‘Prithvi Tour’, a set menu of taste bud sensations for the table – a relaxed but elegant way to unwind after a day at the Festival.
If you wish to branch out of town, check out these nearby jaunts:
The King’s Arms, Prestbury
A hop, skip and a jump (just 1 mile) from the racecourse, the recently opened King’s Arms (part of Raymond Blanc’s The White Brasserie Group) is a perfect post-racing dining spot, especially if you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of Cheltenham town. A unique combination of a traditional pub serving French brasserie food with an English twist, inspired by Raymond Blanc, and a cellar of locally brewed ales and beers, the best wines from around the world as well as artisan gins, spirits and cocktails makes this a definite hot spot.
The Hollow Bottom
Named ‘Gloucestershire’s Premier Racing Pub’, The Hollow Bottom is 10 miles from the racecourse and is well worth the drive. A traditional Cotswold pub situated a stone’s throw away from racehorse trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies’ yard, serving delicious British pub-grub. Live music/DJ’s are booked for each night of the Festival – a high spirited party vibe is guaranteed!
The Plough Inn at Ford
Nestled in the gorgeous hamlet of Ford, 11 miles from the racecourse, this popular and charming 16th Century Inn is a jockey/trainer spotting hive. Located directly opposite Jackdaws Castle, home to racehorse trainer Jonjo O’Neill, and decorated with an array of racing memorabilia, it is sure to get you in the Festival spirit. The Plough serves fresh, local produce and fine Donnington Ales.
If you feel the night is young and you’re keen to party on, head to the following bars/clubs:
A relaxed, go-to bar for a post dinner drink. Popular with large groups looking for that party atmosphere and reasonably priced drinks – loosen your tie, put an extra layer of lippy on and order those mojitos!
To end your night on an absolute high, head to 21 Club – this lively club, split across three levels, is the best spot in town to dance until the early hours (3am to be precise). It’s not unusual to find winning connections from the day’s racing throwing some shapes on the dancefloor which can be found in the basement. You’ll either love it or hate it – most love it.