The Suffolk Kitchen, Cheltenham

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This time last year Alan and I were sunning ourselves on a beach in Tuscany. I say sunning, it was a little less glamorous when I got really bad sunburn on my backside and stomach… I digress, the main reason for my reminiscing is that it has been a year since Alan got down on one knee in the sand and asked me to marry him. We chose to use this as an excuse to go out for a nice meal in town.

It’s normal to have random anniversaries in your relationship as a reason to go out for fancy food, yeah?

We were going to go to one of our favourite Italian places but at the last minute I suggested we try somewhere we hadn’t been before. Cheltenham has so many nice independent restaurants, there are new ones cropping up all the time and some staple establishments that have a regular following. The Suffolk Kitchen has been around for a few years now, so it was about time we gave it a go.

The menu prides itself on being the best of British, offering seasonal dishes with ingredients being sourced locally and across the UK. We couldn’t wait to delve in and pore over our options.

Once we had been seated we were given some water for the table and a plate of homemade bread. Always appreciate these added extras – especially when you don’t need to ask. We had two types of bread, one was salt and pepper flavoured white bread, the other mustard wholegrain bread. Both delightful and fresh.

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We chose our food from the small but varied menu and toasted our one year engagement with a glass of rosé.

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The atmosphere inside is cosy and inviting, with warm lighting aided by candles dotted around. The space is narrow but long which adds to the intimacy.

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We were in the midst of discussing honeymoon ideas (he wants Vegas, I want Asia = we may have to go alone), when our starters arrived. I had ordered the warm duck confit, served with coriander pancakes, a creamy celeriac slaw and a plum and spring onion sauce. A tasty twist on duck pancakes.

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Alan went for the mini crab cakes, which were tossed in a spring onion dressed salad with a lemon and lime aiolo dip. The crab cakes were bursting with fish and the dip complemented them perfectly.

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After our starters we had high expectations for our mains. Luckily, they did not disappoint.

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I went for the chilli glazed salmon with ginger rice and coriander dressing. The fish was juicy and I loved the ginger rice.

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Alan had to go for the steak. They had run out of rib-eye, so treated himself to the fillet. The steak was perfectly cooked, tender and came with an oxford blue cheese bonbon that melted in your mouth.

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We opted to just look at the dessert menu and both conveniently found something we liked. I had the vanilla pannacotta with berries and Alan had the raspberry and dark chocolate marquise.

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Both went down a treat and the evening was finished on a high. If I haven’t convinced you already, you must try Suffolk Kitchen. The atmosphere, service and food was splendid.

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You can find The Suffolk Kitchen along Suffolk Parade or visit their website here.

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