You lucky Cheltenham folk.
You have a great new restaurant. It’s called The Fire Station and it’s in St James’s Square.
As you may have guessed, it’s the old fire station and it’s been transformed into a great eating and drinking space on two floors.
We were fortunate enough to have been invited to a soft opening dinner and had the opportunity to choose from the whole dinner menu. It’s completely on my radar because of the middle eastern influences on the menu.
It’s a very casual place to eat and has a very cosy feeling. It’s open for breakfast in the morning, through to lunch and dinner in the evening with a great brunch menu on Saturdays and Sunday lunch.
Both her indoors and myself enjoyed the experience and can’t wait to return.
Service is friendly and efficient and we started the evening with a couple of cocktails. I was a good boy and stuck to a non alcoholic virgin cooler of elderflower and mint, which was really refreshing and Simone went for a pink grapefruit fizz, which she really enjoyed.
It was great to see a favourite of mine on the menu, N’Duja croquettes with aioli. Sadly you don’t see N’Duja on a menu too often in these parts. It’s a really spicy and flavoursome spreadable sausage and was very, very scrummy. The wife enjoyed a chargrilled squid dish with chermoula. All great flavours and as you can tell some interesting regional influences, which I don’t think you will find anywhere else in Cheltenham.
It must have been my lucky night because I was able to enjoy another favourite of mine, a slow braised beef shortrib with a chipotle glaze. All main dishes are cooked or finished with a charcoal grill and come with house fries and a salad. Simone settled for a Cumin lamb leg with z’atar and flatbread. Both were heavenly and we chose an equally heavenly side of aubergine with chermoula with bulgar wheat and yoghurt.
It would have been impossible to resist a dessert and we settled with a chocolate and praline parfait to share. Just perfect – and concluded with a very special espresso from The Scandinavian Coffee Pod who, uniquely, have a roastery in Cheltenham.
I would so recommend this place. We had no idea what to expect but it’s just a great social gathering venue and I urge you to try it soon.
So, thanks to The Fire Station for a great evening.