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The Apple Tree

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My other half had been away to Canada for a few days and I was left at home, with Shadow, to hold the fort. The house was quiet, I could hear myself think and I wasn’t nagged for eight whole days! Bliss. Absolute and utter bliss!

The kitchen was unusually clean, not as any real reflection of my efforts, but more of an indication as to my adversity to using that particular room. Personally I prefer the ‘lounge’.

However, the lounge isn’t such a great place when there’s a power cut on the day of my other half’s return. Having just completed a 12 hour flight, followed by a 3 hour drive back to her parents and then a further 2 hour drive back to Cheltenham you can imagine her mood upon entering the house... so much for the bliss.

‘Let’s go out for dinner darling’ I proffer tentatively, uncertain as to the response that would be forthcoming. ‘OK, that would be nice’, came the reply. Phew, I’d said the right thing. Eight days is a long time to be out of practice when it comes to mind reading!

Leaving the ‘darkness’ behind we headed off in search of the 21st century. It was duly decided that we didn’t want to ‘do’ Indian, Chinese, Cantonese and such like, but instead fancied some good old fashioned English grub. But where we pondered?

Ah ha! The Apple Tree. An old favourite of ours and one that holds fond memories.

The Apple Tree, at Woodmancote, is one of the first places that I ate at when I first migrated to Cheltenham a squazillion years ago. It’s a beautiful, old fashioned country inn. A ‘proper pub’. And delightful.

So, we’re both ‘familiar’ with this establishment from our courting days. But that was a good few years ago and as such ‘once upon a time’.

A pleasant enough ‘young lad’ showed us to our table, took our drinks order and gave us the menu. ‘This is different’, we duly noted, but still looked good and offered what we were looking for. Good old fashioned English grub. We placed our orders and enjoyed a trip down memory-lane.

Now the fun begins... but first I must say that the food was very good. I think you’re hard pushed to find a good steak in Cheltenham. The Apple Tree certainly serves up a great steak. The food is excellent. The service, or lack thereof, is something to marvel. To say that the ‘lights are on, but nobody’s home’ would be an understatement. We thought we were still at home in the dark!

‘Dopey’ was pleasant enough. Likeable, but slow. He never actually bothered to ask us if our food was alright or if we needed anything else. He did, however, inadvertently provide us with some mild amusement. ‘Sleepy’, on the other hand, who took over half way though our meal, may as well have been asleep. She was far more interested in the antics of ‘Happy’, who was nothing more than irritating, and far too busy prating about having a jolly of her own.

Twice we had to get up and go and find our waitress, ‘Sleepy’, and ask her to bring us the correct order. Since when is ‘no salad’ the New Forest and cream... custard? Then, having asked ‘Sleepy’ twice for the bill, I gave up and went to see ‘Grumpy’ at the bar to pay.

It turns out that the manageress, ‘Snow White’, is off on maternity leave. It shows. As they say, when the cat’s away, the mice will play. Certainly not a case of ‘Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, it’s off to work we go’. More one of ‘it’s off to play school we go.’

Pity. The food is very good, great value. However, the service, whilst partially amusing, certainly isn’t the ‘fairest in the land’. More a ‘Brothers Grimm’!

The Apple Tree
Stockwell Lane
Woodmancote
Cheltenham
Gloucestershire
GL52 9QG

Tel. 01242 673277



Third Party Reviews

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk

“Allow at least an hour (even if prev booked) to be served, and that's if you're lucky"

Whatever has happened to the Apple Tree at Woodmancote.

On two recent occasions we have upped and left. The first occasion we were told upon arrival that there would be at least an hour's wait for food - Ok, although not happy, at least we were told and the choice was made to go elsewhere.

On Saturday I had pre-booked a table for 6 people for a birthday lunch. Waited 40 minutes in the restaurant before having to go the bar ourselves to order our own drinks only to be told there would be at least another 45 minute delay upon ordering food - a chance to order food would have been encouraging - so again we left.

The restaurant and bar were full and the two pleasant waitresses were doing their best but clearly unable to cope. How demotivating for them.

I can only guess that the pub has had a change of management as regular bar staff and waitresses were noticeably absent.

Whatever changes/cost cutting the Apple Tree has undergone, it's just not working which is a great shame as it was one of the few eating places you could rely on for good service, a good atmosphere and excellent pub food.

Another one bites the dust!



Distinctly Average

Its location and outside appearance would lead you to believe that you've found a little gem, tucked away from the madding crowds of Cheltenham. However, you've been misled.

The bar and dining areas are large and traditionally decorated, and the bar menu teases with its range of traditional pub staples. The food, on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired.

I'd chosen the beef & Ruddles pie with real chips. I like pie. I like beef. i like chips. Perfect. When it arrived, though, i started to regret my choice. Pies are a long-standing classic on the British pub menu, and a French Fry can't beat a Real Chip at any game. Or so I thought. The pie's filling was pretty good, with tasty gravy and a decent amount of meat. The crust was also not too shabby, though rather thick and dry at the edges. The vegetables on the side and the chips, though, were awful. The carrots had obviously been waiting to be used for a few days, and the chips seemed like they'd been reheated from an earlier serving.

We chose not to stay for dessert, fearing more disappointment.

It's a shame. There are, I'm sure, plenty of other pubs in and around Cheltenham that offer traditional British fare at comparable prices but at better quality, but although The Apple Tree looks the part it just doesn't deliver.



Chain pub disguised as village pub - beware!

With it's promising quaint exterior and log fires (not lit), the village pub gave off a good initial impression. As you approach the bar, which has a few too many neon back lit pumps, the local feel is slightly lost. The menu looked promising, no local foods, but a good choice, however when our food arrived it became clear that the meals were just a selection of chain pub type dishes, prepared with the same loving care as those on minimum wage can muster. Although the staff were polite, they appeared uninterested and the manageress seemed a little exasperated with them.

Overall we would actively avoid going here again, especially with so many excellent restaurants in the surrounding area.