The Old Courthouse
The Brunning & Price pub group’s newest restaurant may be housed inside one of Cheltenham’s grandest buildings, but the atmosphere is far from stuffy. The 19th-century building retains many key features from its former life as a courthouse, with contemporary touches added throughout the decor, furniture and table dressings.
The menu offers plenty of variety in taste and texture, presented in a modern yet unpretentious way. Everything on the starter menu sounded appealing, but I opted for a perfectly cooked platter of crispy baby squid with mango and chilli sauce, while my companion delighted in her chicken liver pâté.
Over a dozen choices on the main-course menu posed a serious dilemma. Our deliciously plentiful harissa-spiced belly pork with Dauphinoise potatoes, and pan-fried chicken supreme didn’t leave much room for dessert, but thanks to the wonderful coffee and a small pudding option, I was also able sample a miniature version of what was possibly the best crème brûlée I have ever tasted. The downstairs bar is relaxed and primarily stocks locally sourced beverages, as well as an impressive array of over 100 gins. With space for private functions and live music in the bar every fortnight, judge and jury will no doubt agree that The Old Courthouse is well on its way to carving out a reputation as one of the town’s best places to be.