There’s nothing quite like a night experiencing the best bars in Cheltenham. More known for it’s famous Regency design and the Gold Cup at Cheltenham racecourse, once you’ve enjoyed a night in Cheltenham you’ll be itching to return.
As its popularity soared in the 18th century, the wealthy and the humble alike would pour into Cheltenham to bathe in the restorative waters of its mineral springs.
Now, we descend on Cheltenham to pickle ourselves in an entirely different kind of liquid. Wine, gin, whiskey and, of course, some top-notch cocktails.
The Best Cocktail Bars In… Series
Best wine bars in Cheltenham
Let’s begin with wine.
The Retreat is a truly iconic Cheltenham spot for tourists and locals alike. It’s been a swanky staple of the Cheltenham high street since the 80s and is well worth a visit, whatever you’re thirsty for.
Whether you’re looking to enjoy a long, luxurious lunch or a cheeky evening tipple, you’ll feel welcomed by The Retreat’s sumptuous red walls and friendly staff.
Head over on the 2nd Thursday of any month to score yourself a coveted table at their monthly Supper Club.
If you’re in the mood to sample some of the finest wines around, get yourself down to The Grape Escape on Regent Street.
The quality shown across their expertly curated selection of international wines is sure to boggle the mind and delight the palate of any connoisseur.
It’s a wine list made by wine lovers, and that passion shines through every drop. If you get the chance, we’d recommend trying to time your trip with one of The Grape Escape’s Tasting Events for a night of incredible flavours, wine-wise sommeliers and a guaranteed good time.
Best music bars in Cheltenham
Few things in this world make a more delightful pair than cocktails and jazz. And there’s nowhere in Cheltenham that owns that combo better than The Daffodil.
It’s hidden away inside a 1920s cinema that contains so many beautiful original art deco features you’ll soon be swooning like a silver-screen star.
Their aim is to bring a hefty dollop of glamour to Cheltenham’s modern nightlife by offering a selection of classic cocktails mixed to an impeccable standard, as well as an array of in-house creations, alongside a live jazz band and an atmosphere to die for.
Another great shout if you’re on the lookout for live music is the iconic Frog & Fiddle. They’ve got a stellar selection of craft beers, cocktails and wines behind the bar, as well as pool tables, sports across 14 screens and live music almost every night.
The place to come for good tunes, good beer and good times.
They also have a huge outdoor seating area for you to enjoy when the weather’s warmer, giving you yet another reason to spend the whole day inside Cheltenham’s Brewery Quarter. As if you needed one.
Best pubs in Cheltenham
Sometimes, all you need in life is a really good pub. If this is one of those times, don’t hesitate to get yourself down to The Bottle of Sauce.
It’s declared by some to be the best burger joint in Cheltenham, and it’s also renowned for putting out some truly incredible wood-fired Neapolitan pizza.
Behind the bar, there’s a wide range of booze for you to choose from – with craft beer, craft cocktails and mouthwatering whiskies all clamouring to be consumed. The interior decor is refreshingly quirky, and the atmosphere is ever-friendly.
From the outside, The Vine looks like a pretty standard pub. But step through the door and you’ll be delighted and surprised to find the sumptuous scent of authentic Thai food heavy in the air.
The menu is beyond incredible, with a separate menu offering fully vegan Thai food.
Pair that with an assortment of local beers and wines, and a respectably extensive spirits bar, and you’ve got a recipe for a good time.
Best themed bars in Cheltenham
It wouldn’t be a Cocktail Society blog post without mentioning where you need to go to get the best whiskey in town. John Gordons isn’t just a bar – it’s also an emporium for you to get any spirit you could possibly want, and a prime spot for a casual tasting session.
The bar has more than 200 whiskies to choose from, 150 gins and nearly a hundred wines, and the staff are some of the friendliest and most knowledgeable we’ve ever met. So get yourself over, grab a table and get your taste on!
Enchantment, excitement and outstanding service – that’s what you’ll find once you step into the fairyland realm of Imperial Haus.
We highly recommend grabbing a cocktail at the bar and then exploring every unexpected nook and cranny of the place.
If you can’t make up your mind which of their cocktails you want to sample, simply tell the staff the flavours you like and they’ll make a recommendation that’s sure to tickle your tastebuds.
Supremely Instagrammable and insanely delicious.
Best cocktail bars in Cheltenham
No. 131 is the Cheltenham destination for splendidly crafted cocktails.
We knew it was going to be good as soon as we had a glance at the cocktail menu, which has been pared back to just six delicious options.
We highly recommend reserving yourself a table for a late-afternoon tea and sticking around until cocktail hour. With a four-star hotel attached to the bar, you might just find you never want to leave.
And last, but certainly not least, there’s Memsahib Gin and Tea Bar. Their menu is inspired by British/Indian fusion cuisine, with a focus on local sourcing and sustainability.
The food is great, but, if we’re honest, it’s the gin we came for. Memsahib serves sixteen varieties of their signature gin, all of which are infused with different kinds of tea and botanicals.
Let the staff pair your gin selection with one of their perfectly matched tonics for a truly exquisite drinking experience.
Our personal favourite is the Indian Masala Gin, paired with a simple tonic that really lets those spices shine.
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