Where to eat in Cheltenham

After feeding the mind, Cheltenham is the perfect place in which to nourish the places words can't reach. A few steps away from the Town Hall lie a host of restaurants, cafes and bars ready to provide vital sustenance to revive the intrepid Festival-goer. 81 Restaurant, Bistro & Bar (81 The Promenade, Cheltenham Tel: 01242 222466) serves delicious Modern British and Mediterranean food and is open Tuesday to Saturday for both lunch and dinner and also for Sunday lunch.

Just two minutes walk away from the Town Hall, it will be having specially extended opening hours throughout the Festival. Equally convenient is the Montpellier Wine Bar (Bayshill Lodge, Montpellier St, Cheltenham Tel: 01242 527774) which serves a changing menu of local and seasonal produce in its highly recommended winebar and restaurant.

The Festival's new Voices Off programme of events takes Festival-goers out from the Town Hall and the Everyman Theatre into pubs, cafes and restaurants all over Cheltenham. Before hearing poets Neil Rollinson and Matthew Sweeney at Peppers Cafe Bar (Regents St, Cheltenham Tel: 01242 573488) sample continental food in their cafe and brasserie.

After hearing The Story of the Blues at Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum visit the Museum Cafe (Clarence St, Cheltenham Tel: 01242 237431). O'Hagan's (37 High St, Cheltenham Tel: 01242 584929), which is one of Cheltenham's best Irish pubs, hosts free Irish music and stand-up poetry, whilst the Whole Hog pub (Montpellier Walk, Cheltenham Tel: 01242 523431) offers wild performance poetry and blues music from the irrepressible ZZ Birmingham and the fabulously named Carmen Piranha, as well as the chance to wind down in a laid-back atmosphere.

The Queen's Hotel (The Promenade, Cheltenham Tel: 01242 514724) lies across the Imperial Gardens from the Town Hall and provides a marvellous base for watching Festival life, it offers an A la carte lunch and dinner menu as well as afternoon tea and drinks in its elegant lounges and bar. For a rest from the bustle of the Festival, The Prestbury House Hotel & Restaurant (The Burgage, Prestbury, Cheltenham Tel: 01 242 529533) about ten minutes drive from the centre of Cheltenham provides a haven of peace and relaxation.

Its rooms provide luxurious accommodation and lunch and dinner is available every day throughout the Festival. The nearby Kingshead House Restaurant in Birdlip (Tel: 01452 862299) offers an A la carte lunch menu, as well as a fixed price dinner menu and accommodation in Birdlip, one of the Cotswold's most beautiful villages just fifteen minutes drive from the Festival venues.

And of course, the Literary Festival's own welcoming cafe at the Town Hall (Imperial Square, Cheltenham Tel: 01242 521621) and the enticing cafe at the Everyman Theatre (Regent St, Cheltenham Tel: 01242 255021) both provide quick, delicious food right at the heart of the Festival.

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