Jamie’s Italian, Cheltenham

A couple of weeks ago I was very kindly invited along to Jamie’s Italian in Cheltenham. I had visited before but not for a while so jumped at the chance.

The restaurant has quite a unique setting inside a former county court in the centre of town. There are two floors for eating where you’ll find original features including the press box, the jury box and the judges’ table. The toilets are situated in the basement, formerly where you would have found the cells. Is it just me that enjoys checking out an establishment’s toilets?

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I took my sister, Nat along for the ride. We don’t always get to spend that much time together so it was a real treat to enjoy her company, accompanied by good food and drink.

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We were seated in a prime spot, with a great view of the rest of the restaurant and one of the kitchens. Before delving into the menu, the staff were on hand to tell us about the specials they had on that day.

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Nat was sold by two of the specials – a Risotto to start and the Lamb Ragu for mains. I went for the Italian Nachos, followed by the Italian Steak Frites.

The seating was especially perfect for Nat, she loves to people watch so whilst we waited for our food she had a good old nose around whilst I sipped on my rosé.

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Before she got too engrossed in the daily going-ons of the table next to us our starters arrived.

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Nat’s risotto was a great choice, smooth and creamy with some texture coming from the peas and pieces of fennel. I didn’t know what to expect with my Italian Nachos but they came up trumps too. Soft, cheesy ravioli squares with crunchy edges and a spicy sauce for dipping.

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Next up were our mains. The lamb had been cooked perfectly, on top of a generous sized portion of pasta and a sprinkling of crunchy breadcrumbs. My steak had been marinated with some incredible flavours, the kale and pickles slaw was a nice accompaniment – I felt it cancelled out some of the chips I was gorging on.

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Finally, for pudding I opted for the Lemon Meringue Cheesecake and Nat had the Cherry Frangipan. I didn’t try the Frangipan as I’m not a fan but Nat managed to wipe the plate clean, so I’d say it was a hit. I loved my Cheesecake, suitably creamy with the added dimension of the meringue on top and a sour sauce made for a great balanced pud.

A splendid meal, in great surroundings with attentive staff – definitely worth a visit sometime soon! If you want to find out more check out the Jamie’s Italian website here.

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