Dining out is an experience to be enjoyed by all. Whether you are stopping for something to eat after a long day and don’t want to put in the effort to cook at home, or whether it’s a pre-planned meet-up with friends or another celebration, going out to eat means that you can spend time relaxing your partner or catch-up with friends, whilst at the same time having some good food.
Eating out can also be a source of ideas and inspiration for new ingredients, techniques and presentations to try at home. It can also be the time for a treat you cannot create at home. There are not many that have a wood pizza oven in their kitchen. If you want to try suckling pig, it’s highly unlikely you’ll want to buy an entire pig to make this yourself and then eat it for the next three weeks.
Many restaurants have a specialisation of cuisine and some of these use ingredients that are not easy to source and may be expensive. In addition, they may need specialised equipment to make even if you have the knowledge and skills, which most do not. Putting all this together, there is something special about having good food cooked by experts.
Dining out is also a social experience, even if dining alone. You are part of that community in that moment, larger than the sphere of your home and family. Whether you are stopping for a quick bite to eat before a show, or returning to a restaurant that has special meaning to you, the focus on the food and on the person or people you are with can be heightened as you do not have to be concerned about the preparations, service or clearing up later.
Going to a restaurant for dinner is a great leveller. You do not need to have any concerns as to whether your guests are well catered for. The restaurant will take some of the responsibility to ensure that everyone has a good time, with great service and knowledgeable staff able to suggest food and drink pairings as well as suggestions for those with special dietary requirements.
Dining out may have a particular focus on the food, but many restaurants are able to cater for special events whether it be Valentine’s Day, an important business meeting or a college reunion. This can remove all the stress of trying to host an event in your own home. The restaurant may have live music, the chance to watch a particular sporting event or other organised event on the day.
Frankie & Benny’s
Combining popular American food with traditional Italian dishes, Frankie and Benny’s is a family-friendly restaurant that also caters for children’s parties. There is a gluten-free menu for both adults and children as well as a fixed price menu, with add-ons available.
Listed as a fast-food chain, Five Guys is more like an American diner. They offer made-to-order burgers, fries & hot dogs, plus free peanuts while you wait. The burgers are very tasty and you can vary the toppings for free from a broad range of choices. The large fries are so generous that for some its too much for two people. You will also want to return for the milkshakes.
Brewhouse & Kitchen
A little different from a traditional pub, Brewhouse & Kitchn has a rustic décor, incorporating brewing equipment since they brew their own craft beers on-site and match every dish on the menu with a beer. Exceptionally knowledgeable waiting staff will guide you through their recommended latest brews. Children and dogs are welcome. There’s a special Sunday menu and it’s a great place if you’re planning a function with options for between 10 – 180 people.
Prezzo Cheltenham Brewery has a stylish, contemporary interior with large windows and a lovely outside seating area that is fully accessible. The service is excellent and the food well cooked even on a busy Saturday lunchtime or Bank Holiday weekend. It has arguably the best salad bar in the Brewery Quarter. The menu includes vegetarian, gluten-free and lactose-free options. There are sharing platters, a range of classic pizzas with the option to add extra toppings. The Prestigio pizzas are made with a larger, crispier base and topped with even more ingredients. Exclusive to Prezzo, their Black Pizza is made from vegetable carbon to give a unique black base. Along with a selection of pasta options, there are also risotto, burgers, chicken and fish dishes to match with side dishes.
A contemporary Chinese restaurant chain with an all-you-can-eat buffet, Real China in the Brewery Quarter is over two floors and features a spiral staircase. Real China serves the best Peking, Szechwan and Cantonese cuisine, all put together from freshly prepared ingredients by chefs from Hong Kong and mainland China so you truly can expect a taste of the real china.
The restaurant décor is stylish, with a simple elegance including traditional Chinese ornaments that creates a unique and attractive environment. If you are planning a party or a business event, Real China offers private booths for up to 30 people.