Eating Out After Lockdown: No. 131, The Promenade, Cheltenham.

Eating out has been one of those things I've simultaneously really missed and not thought about a huge deal during lockdown. For the majority of the last few months I have been staying with my family who are massive advocates of home cooking over takeaways so I've been enjoying the home comforts that go along with that. However, my boyfriend and I are big foodies and one of our favourite things is going out to explore new places and eating amazing food. 

So when the restrictions eased and restaurants opened, we decided to book into somewhere lovely and treat ourselves to some delicious food and drink that we didn't have to prepare ourselves. 

No. 131 is an upmarket hotel and restaurant situated in the heart of Cheltenham. It neighbours The Ivy and Brasserie Blanc (owned by renowned chef Reymond Blanc) so it's certainly in good company. Neither of us had been before but we often walk past it and the pretty outdoor dining area was certainly a plus for us, particularly at the minute. I wouldn't say I am nervous about being out and about in public but I am in busy places and being outside in the fresh air away from other people definitely helped me to feel more at ease and enjoy the experience instead of worrying about Covid. 

But onto the good bits... the food and drink!

To be honestly I hadn't looked at the menu before we went so I wasn't really sure what to expect. In general I think there was a good variation of options including meat, fish, vegetarian and vegan. I'm pescatarian and my boyfriend eats meat so overall we were well catered for. I'm not sure if it is a running theme or changes with the menu, but I think the food had an overall Asian feel to it.

Drinks wise, No. 131 has a fantastic selection of cocktails, wines and spirits and actually has a separate bar called Gin & Juice to the side which boasts one of the largest selections of gins in the country. This is still on our list of places to go as we didn't end up making it over in the end. However at No. 131 I had a mojito and my partner had wine - both were delicious! 

Now onto the food... I went for a broccoli and quinoa salad with salmon (above) and my boyfriend had a chicken poke bowl (below). Don't worry if that's sounding a bit too healthy, we got fries as well! 

Overall I definitely enjoyed the food even if it was a tad expensive for what you got. But everything tasted super fresh (no microwave meals here!) and expertly prepared and I would certainly go back. I think I'd be interested to see how the menu evolves over the winter months as in my opinion it felt very summery - which was perfect for sitting out in the sunshine but perhaps less so when it's -5C outside!

All in all we had such a lovely evening and I would recommend No. 131 for anyone looking for a special, luxury experience. 

Have you been out to eat anywhere nice recently?


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