A few years ago in the heart of Cheltenham, a classic Georgian Grade II was turned into No. 131. After derelict years opposite the beautiful Imperial Park, a new restaurant and 11 bedroom boutique hotel was restored. My first visit wasn’t the best experience if I am honest, but I have had visited for cocktails once or twice.
However, an unexpected and unplanned lunch time catch up with an old friend warranted somewhere decent for a bite to eat with wine! Even though I wasn’t drinking, an unexpected visit to 131 seemed ideal and I will always give a place a second chance. (unless it was completely horrendous)
Surrounded by the cool kat interior of the bar, I was super impressed with the menu. A little expensive for a lunch break if I am honest, but this was a catch-up. With every last detail remembered and attentive staff we sat back and relaxed. They were experiencing a few technical lighting problems, but it didn’t seem to spoil the atmosphere.
The menu was bursting with seafood delights from Salcombe Cock crab, oysters and lobsters. We were tempted by the lobsters but decided on a day where time wasn’t tight due to work commitments we would return to make a mess with the shells.
I decided to be healthy and have something small so I chose the smashed avocado & soft boiled Cacklebean egg on sourdough toast. The presentation was simple and effective. Provided with plenty of smashed avocado (which in my experience when something similar on the menu is served it lacks a good portion) this was seasoned perfectly and the Cacklebean egg was flawlessly soft boiled. Although small it filled a gap sufficiently.
My lunch time companion decided to make a mess though pasta as he couldn’t with the lobster this time. Linguine Vongole with Palourde clams, chilli, tomato & basil was on the menu. Smelling amazingly fresh, every last scrap was eaten. A generous amount of Palourde clams were emptied from this dish which is good they didn’t scrimp on the portion! So overall it is worth the money.
In conclusion, my visit was much more pleasant than my first and I felt well looked after. The food was infinitely worth the visit and I’m looking forward to returning to No.131 to try again either their dinner or lunch menu and also trying their other venues.