When asked about Gloucestershire, people from outside of our county would probably think of farms, big green open spaces and cosy pubs. They might even know about the history of Gloucester and the elegance of Cheltenham.
The Gloucester Old Spot is the epitome of a traditional Gloucestershire pub – warm, inviting and offering fantastic food and drink.
I have a friend from Worcester and with its close access to the M5, this is the perfect meeting place for us. It’s half hour away from her and I. There is ample on-site parking too.
The pub is inviting and warm for a cold January afternoon and its neutral interior bar area is elegant and charming. In fact, Gloucester Old Spot is one of two pubs in Cheltenham featured in The Good Pub Guide. The bar area is to the right of the entrance and the dining room to the left.
The dining room is striking. Deep purple walls are complemented by exposed stone, original antique oil paintings and taxidermy stags’ heads. On this occasion we sat near the wood burner in the room.
I ordered the Balsamic Red Onion and Goats Cheese Crottin Tartlet with Chargrilled Romesco Salsa and Rocket Salad. As it is January I thought just this as a main would be healthy enough!
When it arrived it was beautifully presented. The goats cheese and balsamic red onion worked really well together – the red onion was really sweet. The tartlet shortcrust pastry was crisp around the edges but unfortunately soggy underneath. I would have preferred it crispy all around and I’m assuming that it should have been.
What I was really impressed with was the Romesco Salsa. Romesco is a nut and red pepper sauce and this particular salsa had a sun-dried, Mediterranean taste to it. Extremely moreish.
This dish was lovely for a light lunch, regardless of the pastry, as the flavours worked really well and even though it was tasty, not too unhealthy.
I recommend a visit to the Gloucester Old Spot, whether you live in or outside of the county. It’s one of the places that make you love Gloucestershire even more.
I’ll be back for dinner some time.
The Gloucester Old Spot, Piffs Elm, Tewkesbury Road, Cheltenham. GL51 9SY. Tel: 01242 680321