Restaurant review: All Bar One, Cheltenham
Whether visiting the Literature Festival or The Showcase at Cheltenham racecourse this weekend, there's always one place in Montpellier which is guaranteed to be buzzing day and night – All Bar One.
The venue has seen several incarnations over the years but is thriving under its current owners making the most of its great location in Montpellier Walk.
It's the perfect spot to meet friends for brunch before hitting the shops, taking the family out for Sunday lunch before enjoying a stroll in Montpellier Gardens or meeting friends for an after-work drink.
It manages to be all things to all people because of its relaxed atmosphere, stylish and spacious surroundings and simple, varied menu which is served all day.
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Breakfast options include smoked salmon and scrambled egg bagel, chorizo frittata and a full breakfast for those heading off to the races.
The main menu is broken down into quick lunches, salads, noodles and risottos, burgers, world tapas, big and sharing plates.
All Bar One is also family friendly with plenty of high chairs.
We called in early one Friday evening with our 16-month-old and felt completely at ease among the 20-somethings getting ready for a night out. The good thing about All Bar One is that the lively chatter and music in the background drowns out any tantrums so people are almost oblivious to the fact children are there at all.
We ordered a flatbread pizza for our daughter (the kids' menu is two courses for £5.95), a great value, fresh pad thai (£7.50) and a selection of tapas including pan-fried padron peppers, the trio of dips including butterbean and rosemary, roasted red pepper tapenade and hummus, and patatas bravas.
While three tapas doesn't amount to much in some restaurants we had to move to a larger table to accommodate a large chopping board laden with dips, olives and toasted breads and a mountain of spicy potatoes. They were all delicious, especially the hot peppers which were salty and moreish, and our daughter loved the hummus and tapenade too.
For dessert, I ordered an eton mess (£4.50) which was served in a tall glass piled high with cream, meringue and fruit, my husband went for a rich chocolate brownie (£5) and our toddler polished off a great big bowl of bananas, strawberries and blueberries.
Happy with our lot, we sneaked home by 7pm, just as the weekend was getting started for the bright young things around us.