According to Judge Alan Thomas, who presided at The Old Courthouse in Cheltenham until its closure as a court, in the “early days” … “it was uncomfortable and absolutely freezing.” It was rare that a jury was in court but during one case “they sat each day in hats, scarves and gloves with electric fans warming their feet.”
Thankfully some things are best left in the past and the one thing that The Old Courthouse is most definitely now not, is cold and uncomfortable. There is no need for any hats, gloves or scarves even during the recent Snowmageddons we have experienced here in the Cotswolds and no electric fans are required to warm the feet.
Personally I find that a life size bottle of wine does the job equally as well and luckily The Old Courthouse has a plentiful supply and one of the most impressive wine lists I have ever seen!
Previously an Italian restaurant, The Old Courthouse has been beautifully restored to above and beyond its former glory with the retention of its original remarkable features and a stunning display of artwork documenting its history and commemorating Cheltenham’s racing links. The judge’s chair takes centre stage on the first floor with a commanding view of the bar area and former benches. As soon as you walk into the building, there is a welcoming feeling of calm, warmth, and comfort: such a stark yet incredibly poignant contrast to its days as a courthouse in years gone by. Even the old prison cells located near the toilets now hold an intriguing sense of allure.
Last week, I was very privileged along with my husband and equally privileged pup to have the opportunity to sample some of the very tempting dishes on the menu at The Old Courthouse and review the experience.
After much deliberation as each and every dish sounded just as mouth watering as the last, we decided to start with the warm chorizo sausages along with the crispy baby squid with mango and chilli sauce. Both absolutely delicious! Excellent choices and the perfect start to the meal!
To follow, I opted for the Appleby’s Cheshire cheese, potato and onion pie served with a lovely carrot puree, roast parsnips and red wine sauce while my husband opted for a super size Steakburger with grilled bacon and cheddar cheese, coleslaw and chips. Privileged pup had his eye quite firmly on the whole menu but no chance of him getting a look in as these were most definitely our ‘biscuits’ and we weren’t up for sharing!
Portions are very generous at The Old Courthouse but luckily there is also a coffee and small pudding option for dessert. Again this was an excellent choice and the sticky toffee pudding was just perfect in size, presentation and taste!
Despite its grandness, The Old Courthouse is very much home from home and is no longer a place to feel judged. It would have been quite easy, although completely inappropriate, to have popped on my slippers and dressing gown and settled down for the night with a bottle of the South African Shiraz in the old Clerk’s office, now known as the ‘cosy room.’
Many thanks to Becky for taking such great care of us, and privileged pup. We really enjoyed spending the evening with you at The Old Courthouse and will look forward to returning again soon.
Lady Janey x