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Pepper Crescent

Abigail Evans tries out the vibrant Pepper Crescent. crack

A friend and I decided to go for lunch at the highly-acclaimed Pepper Crescent, on a lovely and sunny Friday afternoon. Pepper Crescent is an eatery that is situated along a beautiful row of regency houses in Royal Well, behind the bus station located in the centre of Cheltenham.

Although situated in a basement, Pepper Crescent is wonderfully bright and airy. Filled with vivid green décor, this spacious café is an unexpected underground delight. The staff are welcoming, as is the line of freshly baked cakes sitting on the counter as you enter.

After ordering an elderflower pressé (I resisted the urge to have wine, which incidentally is served in extremely gorgeous glasses) and being seated outside, we took a moment to look at their rather vast and scrummy-looking lunch menu. I would have happily stayed indoors if it wasn’t so sunny, and sat in their cool and funky lime green chairs, with a couple of little booths located around the cafe.

I’m one for playing it safe; I always lust after something that I wouldn’t usually have and then end up ordering a tuna sandwich. However, I couldn’t play it safe at Pepper Crescent as there was nothing average or boring on the menu. It’s nice to know where your food has come from and seeing that Pepper Crescent use locally based produce adds to its charm.

After much deliberating I decided on having the antipasti for one, which sounded like a feast for two, but in my defence I was hungry. I have to say I was sorely tempted by their crayfish and avocado salad - maybe next time. My friend went with the halloumi, chicken breast and sweet chilli sauce ciabatta.

When my antipasti arrived it was fair to say that the generous portion shocked me and as you can see from the photo it was beautifully presented. Undeterred I tucked in; the bread was warm, the fish and meat were extremely tasty and I must find out what dressing they used for their salad because it was divine! The halloumi and chicken ciabatta looked equally as tasty, served with salad and crisps.

Pepper Crescent offers the perfect antidote to chain cafés and restaurants. Its convenient location and mouth-watering menu make it the perfect place to meet for lunch or breakfast. On this occasion I was here with a friend but it’s certainly a place I’ll use for business meetings as the booths and tables are well spaced, giving each area a private feel. The food was beautiful, fresh and flavoursome; I will definitely be returning.

Pepper Crescent,12 Royal Crescent, Cheltenham, GL50 3DA.

Tel: 01242 572958