It was our first date night for a few weeks and there was one place I had been desperate to take him – The Tavern.

Location: The Tavern, Cheltenham

I’ve been a big fan of The Tavern for years. The amount of times I go on about how good their burgers are (they really are the best in Cheltenham), how it’s a great ‘date night’ location because of the flattering light and how Instagrammable the interior is… and did I mention how good their burgers are?!

They have recently launched a new menu (hoorah) and I was very kindly asked to go along and sample some of the delights they offer. How could a girl say no? Especially after weeks and weeks of dropping hints to my love about going to The Tavern for burgers and cocktails, I was desperate for him to try them (he’s quite the burger connoisseur).

It was Friday night, date night, and we made our way into town with empty stomachs – ready to fill them with delicious food and drink. Firstly, the service is always brilliant. We ordered two Espresso Martinis to kick the night off (best one’s I’ve had in Cheltenham), and perused the new menu. One thing I noticed straight away was the variety of dishes on offer. When I had last eaten there it was practically a burger-only menu, which I didn’t complain about (especially when they are that good), but it now allows me to eat there on the days where I don’t feel like burger and fries (it’s a rare occasion though).

Starters.

We ordered the new Spicy Pork & Fennel Meatballs – which were perhaps the best meatballs I’ve ever eaten! Quite a statement I’m sure you’ll agree, and I’m surprised I even agreed to share them. Next time, I’m ordering two portions. Usually when something is labelled as ‘spicy’ I tend to hold back a little (probably why I agreed to share), but the fennel really complimented the other flavours and helped settle the heat on my palette.

We also ordered the Cornish Seaweed Salame with pickles, which went down a treat. We both love gherkins (it’s an in-joke we have that I won’t bother explaining – minds out of the gutter please) and the shallots were beautiful, and they both complimented the seaweed salame perfectly.

Mains.

It was a no-brainer for me, it had to be the American Cheese Burger & Smoked Streaky Bacon & Fries. A classic choice, and one I was looking forward to all week. Although I was more excited for D to try it than he probably was… maybe.

D chose the Wiltshire Lamb Chops, Lentils, Rainbow Chard & Salsa Rossa, which was stunning. I’m fortunate that he shares food (although when it comes to burgers, I’m lucky to get a bite), because that lamb was cooked to perfection. Perfectly accompanied by the salsa and the lentils, I’ll definitely be ordering that next time.

Corr, look at that! Served more on the pink side with crispy bacon and a side of fries, I’ll let the picture do the talking…

I mean, if burgers and lamb chops aren’t your thing, there is also:

Char-Grilled Steak from the West Country

Hereford Beef Short Rib

Loch Duart Salmon

Westcombe Ricotta Malfatti

Whole Dorset Brown Crab

Old Spot Pork Milanese

& more.

Absolutely spoilt for choice.

After another round of espresso martinis, we opted for the Sticky Toffee Ice Cream Sandwich to end the night on a high. The Chocolate & Peanut Butter Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream had sold out so we’ll have to return again to try…

The phrase, ‘stick a fork in me, I’m done’, came to mind. Seriously, seriously good food.

We spent a good few minutes discussing how good the meal was, and how date night’s like this should be a regular occurrence. Next time though, D said he’ll be ordering his own burger so he hasn’t got to share.

Make sure you pop in to try the new menu at The Tavern – invite your friends along, make a date night out of it, take the parents out for a treat… there’s something for everyone. You can follow them for serious food envy over on Instagram here.

Have you tried the menu out? Leave your recommendations in the comments.

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