Well well well, look who’s back with her blogging mojo! If you’ve not read my previous post then that will probably make zero sense so I’ll leave a link here for you to have a read. Going back to basics, I’m sitting down with a cuppa and sharing my list of 5 things to do in Cheltenham – because I feel like it’s about time I shared what makes this Spa town so darn special.
Okay, so this town may not have a Zara yet (the pain is real), but it’s located in the heart of the Cotswolds and only a short ride away from Bristol, Bath and Birmingham (who do have a Zara, FYI). Retail therapy aside, Cheltenham is best known for it’s Festivals (horse racing, most famously), the Ladies College and beautiful Regency buildings.
If you had asked 16 year old Kate what she thought of Cheltenham, she probably would have said “it sucks“. Typical teenager, eh?! Although the town has advanced since, with particular progression on our high street (H&M coming to town 4 years ago was a major revelation for Cheltonians) and don’t get me started on all the fantastic foodie hot spots…
For those of you reading this that aren’t familiar with this corner of the Cotswolds, I hope the post will encourage you to explore somewhere new and experience how beautiful Spring is in Cheltenham. And for those who are local and are probably thinking, “stop rambling and just get on with your top 5” – alright, if you insist..
For the Tea Lover
Located on the Promenade, T2 is in great company – calling the likes of Whistles and Reiss neighbours.
The popular tea specialist store launched in Melbourne a little over 20 years ago, with the idea that people of all walks of life could come together under one roof and have ‘conversations fuelled by tea’. Such a brilliant concept, and an idea that makes you want to kick yourself, “why didn’t I come up with it first?“
I’m a big tea fan. Breakfast Tea, Herbal Tea… Iced Tea. T2 stock pretty much every type of tea you could want, alongside the most beautiful tea sets, glassware and travel mugs. I was kindly invited to go along and experience their Tea Masterclass, learning about how to brew tea properly without a teabag in sight!
I’d highly recommend stopping by to try all the different flavours (they also do delicious iced fruit teas), and ask the friendly T2 team questions for top tea tips.
For the Art Enthusiast
I studied Art at A-Level and fell in love with Pop Art pretty early on. As soon as I discovered Roy Lichtenstein’s work, I was obsessed. Over 13 years on and I still have a fascination with this form of art – the bright colours, the font, the composition – you haven’t got to be an expert to enjoy it. From the likes of Lichtenstein, Warhol and Caulfield, this is the V&A’s first exhibition of Pop Art prints – and it’s now come to Cheltenham!
If you’re looking for something to do that isn’t shopping on a Saturday afternoon, why not stop by the Wilson Gallery next to Boston Tea Party (a great spot for coffee and cake after!) The exhibition is on until the 4th June and you can buy tickets here.
For the Jazz Cats
Ah, my favourite time of year. If you follow me on social media then you’ll know how fond I am of this festival. Not only for Jazz lovers, but for anyone who enjoys music and a few drinks in the park. There’s a common misconception that the Jazz Festival is only for hardcore jazz enthusiasts, when it couldn’t be further from the truth in my experience.
With the likes of Gregory Porter, Ben Folds, Laura Mvula and my bae Jack Savoretti (did I actually just use the word bae in a sentence?), the festival invites a whole host of musical talent who have been inspired by jazz music. Not only is a great day (or few) for the family, but the perfect excuse to gather all your friends in one place and enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend in style!
Jazz hands at the ready please…
For the Social Butterfly
Combining two of my favourite things – coffee and pretty gifts – The Willow Tree has been a welcome addition to the town since opening it’s doors earlier this year.
Whether it’s a catch up with friends over tea and cake, looking for gift inspiration or fancy joining in on some brilliant workshops, you must pop in to this little gem and show some support to this new local business. You’ll probably be able to take a few good Instagram-worthy snaps too…
For the Foodies
If you love food and happen to be in Cheltenham on a Saturday morning, why not book yourself on the Cheltenham Foodie Tour! I’ve only recently heard about this, but it offers 6 different dishes whilst you learn about how Cheltenham became the town it is today. With so many food spots in town to choose from, sometimes it can be a little overwhelming and this sounds ideal – especially if you’re indecisive like me! Book your tickets and find out more info here.
Alternatively, pop along to Whole Foods! They have a ton of fantastic foodie events over the coming weeks, including:
Eat Real Food with Emily Watkins, Fri 12th May 7-8.30pm, £10
Gin Fest 2017, Sat 13th and Sun 14th May 12-4pm, Free Entry
Rosé Wine and Cheese tasting, Fri 19th May 6.30-8.30pm, £12
All You Can Eat Genji Sushi, Fri 26th May 5.30-8pm, £19.99 (Under 12s £9.99)
Of course, there are tons of other great things to do in Cheltenham – keep your eyes peeled for more guides like this on the blog soon.
Make sure you leave a comment below if you happen to go along to any of the places I’ve mentioned above – or perhaps tell me what you would have included?