“ Address: Shurdington / Cheltenham / Gloucestershire / Telephone: 01242 862268 „
Dropped into the Cheeserollers yesterday for Sunday lunch with my wife and had a really good lunch. With a good choice of 3 roasts with the trimmings £15 for 2 and with a wide choice of excellent beers and friendly service it was a good way to spend a dull Sunday lunch, would definatly be going again we left stuffed Good luck to the new owners
This pub serves good pub grub. We had 2 starters, 2 decent steaks and 2 puddings and it was all well cooked and tasty. Ok it is not cordon bleu but that is not what we wanted. The beer we drank was fine too. The garden would be nice on a summers evening or at lunchtime. There were 2 other groups eating in there with us. By 9.30pm it was emptying, the Landlord said lunchtimes are much busier. Would be fine for families.
It was the attractive name of this pub/restaurant, situated on the main A46 close to Cheltenham City Centre, that drew me in for an evening meal recently. The pub was close to the hotel where we were staying, and it is easy to reach from the city centre itself as well as being only a few km from the main M5 motorway.
The car park was towards the back of the hotel, and it was extremely dark, having no lighting, although the upside was that we were able to see an extremely starry night. However on balance, a little bit more car park lighting would have been reassuring.
From the car park visitors can enter the hotel from the rear, through two entrances one of which leads into the main hotel restaurant and the other leads to a corridor and the bathrooms. We were directed to the latter with a sign. This isn't perhaps the best entry into the pub, as it was certainly in need of refreshing, and there was plenty of "junk" piled up in the corridor, which did not add to the aesthetics.
However, lots of not particularly attractive pubs can still produce great food, and we decided we would have a drink, and most likely eat. The restaurant area itself was quite dated, the spindly furniture and sideboard cabinet full of ornaments detracting from the wonderful floor. This restaurant could be so much nicer with a little bit of expenditure on more modern furnishings.
The menus were on the bar, and we were able to take a quick glance, the fayre was simple, but then this is what we were after. Prices were fairly attractive, and there were some additional specials on the chalk board. We ordered wine, by the glass, although the choice was limited to one bin, a chardonnay, never my first choice, although it was drinkable and adequate when chilled.
After much deliberation, I opted for a Lamb Balti and my dining companion ordered fish and chips with peas. We were the only diners in the restaurant part of the pub, although there were many diners in a separate area adjoining, which reassured me that something must be good for them to be quite full.
Our food came quickly, almost a little too quickly I felt. I was instantly disappointed. My "Lamb Balti" was nothing more than a plate of pilau rice, with curry sauce poured over. There was no sign of much lamb, so much so that I had assumed that they had sent the vegetarian curry by mistake. I did in fact find a small cube of lamb which confirmed it was meant to be the balti.
The fish, on the other hand was absolutely massive. It completely filled the plate, and was quite thick, with batter.
I had a few forkfuls of my curry, before I decided I would have to send it back. It simply was not good. It was warm enough, although not overly so, and its presentation and texture tasted exactly as if it was some kind of processed meal, with boil in the bag or microwaved rice. The rice had a kind of peculiar taste, similar to meals of that sort, and there was no way that it was freshly cooked for me. Chef meanwhile was propping up the bar...not showing any desire to prepare decent food for his customers. The curry sauce was just bland, mainly tomato based, and barely representing a curry, but more like a concoction using one of these tomato based sauces (which I NEVER buy even for home), with perhaps some additions. I think it must have been the same for the vegetarian curry, as it contained a large amount of vegetables which one does not normally expect to find in a lamb balti.
The bar was busy, and I have never sent a meal back in my life as I can recall. However we managed to get someone's attention, who duly came over. I advised her of my concerns. the response was that she found it odd, that she had had the same meal that afternoon. I didn't particularly appreciate this bit of customer care, and my opinion of the cheese rollers may have been marginally higher had she not attempted to argue with me about the quality of my meal. I did not argue but simply reiterated that the dish was simply not a lamb balti, and I would not be paying for the meal, although I did not want anything else at this time, the moment for wanting food having passed. She did take it away without further quibble and we were effectively left alone for the remainder of our time there.
The fish meanwhile - the large size of the fish had meant it had suffered in the cooking process. It was simply too large to have been cooked effectively and the batter was not all that great. The edges of the fish and the batter were edible, but towards the centre, the fish was just unappetising, and inedible and hard. I thought the chips were reasonable enough, I have eaten worse, but certainly eaten a lot better.
I was bitterly disappointed (and left feeling hungry!) after my experience at the Cheese Rollers Inn. I always look for independent inns with passionate chefs who want to produce good quality home fayre and I hoped that this pub fitted that bill, but alas it did not. I could have eaten a bar meal at the beautiful hotel I was staying in for a couple of pounds more per head, and I regretted not doing that as to a degree picking the wrong place spoiled that part of my evening.
The pub part was busy, no doubt a local for the residents of the area, as well as a focal point for the community in general and this contributed to the ambiance of the pub, but the restaurant is definitely not recommended based on my experiences.