Cheltenham pubs and bars - 10 places to enjoy a drink
With its eclectic mix of chic bars and traditional pubs Cheltenham offers arguably the best nightlife anywhere in the county.
From the bustling Bath Road to trendy Montpellier and the town centre there an array of establishments for all occasions.
Nicola Collins, communications and web team leader at Cheltenham Borough Council said: “There is a fantastic selection of night life in Cheltenham. The town has over 100 pubs and bars ranging from traditional ale houses to late night cocktail bars. Cheltenham also has a thriving night club scene with a wide variety of options for students and local residents alike.”
Most of the venues also offer excellent food and are equally at home serving Sunday lunches or providing a perfect starting point for a night on the tiles
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And whether you are looking for a pint of real ale in front of a log fire or a fancy cocktail in a contemporary setting the town has something for everyone.
The entertainment on offer is just as diverse as the destinations themselves with live music venues like the Frog and Fiddle and places to play classic pub games like the Brown Jug.
From chic wine bars to the very best of the great British pub Cheltenham offers a guaranteed good night out or a variety of great places to wile away a few hours.
Here is our guide - in no particular order - to 10 of the best pubs and bars in town.
1. The Railway , New Street, GL50 3QL, 01242 522 925.
Food and drink: More than 20 different types of sausage served in a variety of ways.
Entertainment: Occasional live music.
Great for: A lazy afternoon wiling the world away after sampling the famous Sunday sausage roast.
Open: Lunchtimes and evenings daily.
Tucked away in a residential street 5minutes walk from the town centre, The Railway offers a cosy, relaxing retreat away from main drag.
Renowned for its sausage kitchen with than 20 different varieties, it is particularly popular on Sunday lunchtime when the famous sausage roast is served.
The bar’s mismatched wooden furniture gives it a stylish individuality while the secluded garden and deck areas are perfect for long summer evenings. With not a TV screen in site the Railway is proud of its status as a ‘no football’ pub. It sister pub The Swan is also worth a visit.
2. The Retreat Wine Bar Wine Bar, 10/11, Suffolk Parade, 01242 235 436
Type: Wine bar and bistro.
Food and drink: Nearly 40 hand selected wines and a menu of freshly prepared light bites from burgers to salads and filled pitas.
Entertainment: Theme nights, televised live sport.
Great for: Getting the party started on a Friday/Saturday night.
Open: 12am to 12pm daily. Lunch 12pm-3pm.
A favourite starting point for a night on the town the Retreat successfully combines the decor and drinks menu of a stylish wine bar with the relaxed atmosphere of a popular pub.
A favourite with the cool kids fresh out of Cheltenham’s numerous high profile public schools the bar has also been visited by none other than Royal revellers Prince Harry and Zara Phillips.
But in spite of the lineage of previous patrons the Retreat is in no way elitist offering a guaranteed good time for everyone who steps through the door.
3. The Jolly Brewmaster, 39 Painswick Road, GL50 2EZ, 01242 512 176.
Type: Real ale pub
Food and drink: Cheltenham’s largest selection of real ales and ciders.
Entertainment: Weekly pub quizzes.
Great for: Putting the world to rights over a few jars of real ale.
Open: 12pm-1pm Monday to Saturday, 12am to 10.30pm on Sundays.
Cheltenham’s premier pub for real ale and ciders the Jolly Brewmaster was named ‘Neighbourhood Pub Of The Year’ at the 2011 Cotswold Life Food and Drink Awards.
The popular watering hole near the busy Bath Road offers six ciders, seven ever-changing cask ales and the kind of warm and relaxed atmosphere where minutes turn to hours in the blink of an eye.
The traditional bar is supplemented by a spacious beer garden which features a regular barbecue during the summer.
4. Monty's Brasserie, 41-49 Saint George's Road, GL50 3DZ, 01242 227 678.
Type: Brasserie and cocktail bar
Food and drink: Cheltenham’s premier cocktail bar and two rosette dining experience.
Entertainment: Live music every Friday, Saturday and last Thursday of the month.
Great for: Escaping from the drudgery of the working week with a cocktail and a little taste of the high life.
Open: Bar open from 5pm, Tuesday to Saturday. Restaurant open from 10.30am daily, lunch 12pm-2pm, dinner from 6pm.
Sophisticated and contemporary, a visit to the cocktail bar at Monty’s offers a stylish slice of escapism and fun. The wide array of drinks are all made to order using fresh ingredients. And the themed evenings such as ‘Mojito Wednesdays’ and‘2 for 1 Fridays’ mean you won’t have to break the bank to sample them.
The spacious seating area is the perfect place to catch up with friends and you can even book your own cocktail-making class.
The bar also offers a table service and a range of bar snacks.
5. The Royal Oak, 43 The Burgage, Prestbury, 01242 522344.
Food and drink: Hearty homemade pub grub and real ales.
Entertainment: Skittle alley, regular food and drink festivals.
Great for: A Sunday roast and a pint of ale in a traditional setting.
Open: 11.30am 11pm Monday to Saturday, 12am to 10.30pm.
Featured in the Good Pub Guide and the Daily Telegraph’s top 70 inns, The Royal Oak is arguably the premier traditional pub in Cheltenham.
The nearest pub to the racecourse, the Oak has become a firm favourite with race-goers and also with walkers looking to warm up after a stroll on the nearby Cleeve Hill.
With its homemade food, real ales and cosy low-beamed bar the Royal Oak offers the very best of the quintessential British pub experience.
6. The Frog and Fiddle, 313-315 High Street, GL50 3HW, 01242 701 156.
Type: Pub and live music venue
Food and drink: Home of the famous cocktail teapot. You can bring your own food in.
Entertainment: Live music, theme nights, pool, televised sport and a regular pub quiz.
Great for: Checking out the best up and coming bands in the area.
Cheltenham’s premier live music venue, The Frog is the place to catch up and coming bands.
The Barn has seen numerous top acts pass through its red brick walls from the Brit award-winning Mumford and Sons to a whole host of local favourites.
The bar boasts a pool table, nine TV screens and a jukebox. A favourite among students, drinks prices are among the lowest in town and you can even bring in your own takeaway.
7. All Bar One , 18 Montpellier Walk, GL50 1SD, 01242 523 431.
Type: Bar and restaurant.
Food and drink: Wide range of wines, cocktails and beers. Tapas, light bites and main European-style meals.
Entertainment: Party bookings available.
Great for: A post-work de-stressing drink in one of Cheltenham’s prime locations.
Open: Monday to Wednesday and Sunday, 10am-11pm. Thursday to Saturday 10am-12am.
Refurbished and re-launched earlier this year All Bar One has quickly become one of Cheltenham’s most popular and vibrant destinations.
Overlooking Montpellier Gardens, the bar’s bright interior, rustic tables and wine glass chandeliers has given it a laidback sophistication to match its location.
Whether you are after a quick pint, a cocktail or a meal with friends All Bar One offers a welcome refuge.
8. The Beehive, 1 - 3 Montpelier Villas, GL50 2XE. Bar: 01242 702270, restaurant: 01242 579443.
Type: Gastro pub
Food and drink: Local ciders and beers including ale brewed at Cheltenham’s Battledown brewery. Top notch, freshly made food featuring a range of British classics with a twist.
Entertainment: Summer BBQs, Christmas Party bookings.
Great for: Sampling locally sourced food and drink. Or brunch and a free minibus ride to the racecourse.
With its beer garden and barbecues in the summer to its roaring log fires in winter, The Beehive is a pub for all seasons. And with its a la carte restaurant upstairs and snug, traditional bar downstairs it also offers something for all occasions. The 2010 Cotswold Life ‘Neighbourhood Pub of the Year’ the Beehive is more than just a local boozer. It has also featured in Time Out magazine’s list of places to eat outside London and the Michelin’s guide to eating out in pubs.
It’s locally sourced food and drinks offer you the chance to sample the best Cheltenham has to offer in a warm and welcoming pub atmosphere.
9. Montpellier Wine Bar, Bayshill Lodge, GL50 1SY, 01242 527 774.
Type: Wine bar and bistro.
Food and drink: More than 40 different wines and a light, vibrant food menu.
Great for: A glass of wine and a light al fresco lunch watching the world go by at one of the wine bars street-side tables.
Open: Daily, brunch from 10am-12pm, a la carte menu from 12pm-3pm, Monday to Thursday and 12pm-9.30pm Friday to Sunday.
One of the places to be seen in Cheltenham, the Montpellier Wine Bar brings a spot of cosmopolitan cafe culture to the streets of Cheltenham.
The outside tables Montpellier Street offer a perfect place to watch the world go by over a glass or two of vino while the stylish interior offers a relaxed yet sophisticated spot to escape from the daily routine.
In addition to its extensive wine list and enticing menu the bar also offers a range of Pimms variations and cask ales.
10. The Brown Jug , 242 Bath Road, Leckhampton, GL53 7NB, 01242 521736.
Food and drink: Homemade pub food and a selection of real ales, ciders and fine wines.
Entertainment: Skittles, darts and televised sport.
Great for: A few pints, a homemade burger and a game of skittles with friends.
Open: Daily 11am-11pm.
A bustling pub on the Bath Road, the Brown Jug is a great place to meet friends over food, live sport on the TV or a game of skittles. A lively and welcoming venue the pub boasts excellent homemade food and a good range of beers, wines and ciders.
A cosy retreat in the winter the Brown Jug also offers a sheltered back yard perfect for winding down on a warm summer evening.