Bars in Cheltenham: 18 of the best places to go
PUBLISHED: 13:18 07 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:25 02 July 2020
Whether you’re looking for a cosy pub, a trendy bar or a venue with local beers and live music – you’re guaranteed a good night out in Cheltenham
The Promenade, GL50 1NW
Following a recent makeover, No.131’s new Gin & Juice bar is bound to be a hit among Cheltenham’s partygoers. The Lucky Onion family of properties is synonymous with its contemporary, chic styling, and with its Instragram-worthy, cabana-style interiors, Gin & Juice is no different. Get the drinks in and dance the night away with the in-house DJ keeping the party going until the early hours.
Try: There are 350 – yes 350 – gins to try at Gin & Juice. If gin isn’t for you, there’s also a rum and fizz bar, plus plenty of cocktails to sample!
The Brewery, GL50 4FA
Describing itself as a ‘wondrous world of botanicals’, the interiors of the Botanist are seriously cool. Succulents hang from the ceilings, potted plants are cosied between tables and there’s even a feature flower wall. There’s always a lively, informal vibe during the week, and even live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
Try: The Botanist brand is well-known for its carefully concocted cocktails – and there’s something for everyone. If you like something with a kick go for the Wheatgrass, a blend of wheatgrass, fresh ginger, lemon juice, elderflower cordial, bergamont liqueur and gin.
2A Ormond Terrace, GL50 1HR
The bartenders at Lily Gins know their cocktails, and know their cocktails well. Browse a menu of delicious classics and inventive concoctions, and the experienced staff are on hand to ensure each drink suits your taste. The quirky, lounge-style décor, charismatic bartenders and fantastic playlist make for a jovial, party atmosphere that has evening drinkers returning again and again.
Try: Lily Gins make a mean Pornstar Martini, alongside a long list of creative cocktails, but if that isn’t your bag bar staff are happy to concoct something to suit your tastes.
10 Bath Road, GL53 7HA
Boasting an extensive collection of whites, reds, Roses and bottles of fizz, and offering a selection of over 300 wines each week, there’ll be something to suit even the most discerning of drinkers at The Grape Escape. The team are friendly and on happy to help you pick your libation for the evening – and you’ll always end up with a good recommendation.
Try: Friday night drinkers should take advantage of £10 taken off any bottle of fizz before 8pm – clink!
Parabola Road, GL50 3AH
Nestled in the Montpellier district, Hotel Du Vin is the go-to bar for celebrating a special occasion in Cheltenham. There are comfy leather sofas in abundance and a relaxed atmosphere - perfect for catching up with friends after work or leisurely at the weekend.
Try: Wine lovers can enjoy tasting sessions in the Laroche wine tasting room with a purpose built cigar shack.
Clarence Parade, GL50 3NY
Spread across three floors of cool, contemporary decor, Clarence Social is a trendy spot serving a tasty brunch menu in the morning right through to mixing cocktails until the early hours.
Try: We recommend trying to find the ‘hidden’ speakeasy bar in the basement and enjoying table service from the knowledgeable bartenders.
Bayshill Road, GL50 3AS
The warm, intimate bar set within Malmaison, boasts open fireplaces and a library as a backdrop to its killer cocktail range. Recline into one of the sofas or relax in the conservatory as your waiter delivers drinks to you – no need to go to the bar!
Try: The Malmaison Fizz: a delectable concoction of Maison Champagne, Finlandia Grapefruit, Kamm & Sons Ginseng and Belvoir elderflower.
7 Ambrose Street, GL50 3LH
There are so many reasons why we love the award-winning Bottle of Sauce. The beers are great, the burgers and brunches are delicious, and whether you’re visiting for a quiet coffee in the morning or a boozy Saturday night, there’s always a great feel and atmosphere to the place.
Try: Monday to Friday, 5pm-7pm, the After Work Drinking menu includes a pint for £3, a glass of Prosecco for £4 and a house cocktail for a fiver.
Bayshill Lodge, GL50 1SY
One of Cheltenham’s most established drinking spots, Montpellier Wine Bar has stayed in the same spot at the end of Montpellier Terrace for over 40 years; and they certainly know a thing or two for making sure their guests have a good night. Whether you visit during the week or weekend a lively atmosphere is guaranteed, and it’s a wonderful sanctuary after a long day to share a bottle of wine or bubbles with friends.
Try: Wind down for the weekend with 2 for £10 cocktails every Thursday and Friday evening.
4 Montpellier Walk, GL50 1SD
Door 4 has rapidly become a popular drinking spot: well known for their extensive menu of inventive cocktails, carefully hand-picked wines and tasty sharing boards.
Try: Need somewhere to host a birthday party, hen do or just a catch up with family and friends? Door 4 have a private room with a cocktail bar or the entire venue can be rented for the night.
The Brewery, GL50 4FA
Sleek and sophisticated, the art-deco styling and subtle lighting of Babel make for a striking setting to enjoy a few drinks with friends. Relax on the low slung leather eating with cocktails or fizz (50% off bottles of Prosecco and Champagne 5-8pm on Saturday) and have fun seeing the weekend in.
Try: Gin lovers should try the garden punch served in a dainty teacup.
18-20 Suffolk Parade, GL50 2AE
Sip champagne in style on The Daffodil’s circle balcony, overlooking the busy restaurant and open kitchen below. The former cinema boasts an Art Deco interior and plenty of space to accommodate the weekend crowds.
Try: Soothe those Monday blues with The Daffodil’s 2-4-1 martinis and live jazz.
50 Suffolk Road, GL50 2AQ
Reminiscent of a trendy New York loft style lounge with industrial decor, Bar 50 is a popular drinking spot in The Suffolks loved by locals and visitors that stumble across it. Well-known for their expertly-crafted cocktails, including a delicious Espresso Martini, it’s also an atmospheric setting for a leisurely evening with a bottle of fizz.
Try: When the weather allows, try to grab a table outside and enjoy a glass of bubbly in the sunshine.
10/11 Suffolk Parade, GL50 2AB
Whether you want a pint of Guinness, a good glass of wine or try a new craft beer, make sure you visit the popular Retreat for an evening tipple. A vibrant wine bar with a cosy outdoor area at the back – it’s always packed with locals and enjoys an animated crowd of drinkers every weekend.
Try: Busy, lively and lots of fun, pay a visit to the Retreat on a Friday and Saturday for a great start to your night out.
St James Square, GL50 3PU
Housed in the former fire station built over 100 years ago, the aptly named bar-cum restaurant boasts enviable modern interiors and always attracts a thriving crowd all week long. Take a seat at the bar, watch the bartenders climb and clamber up ladders to the top of the well-stocked bar and sip on a Cotswolds gin and tonic or lovers of the Aperol Spritz should try a Brit Spritz – you won’t be disappointed!
Try: If you’re visiting on a Saturday or Sunday morning, indulge in a boozy bottomless brunch. Two courses alongside unlimited Prosecco costs £30.
11/13 Montpellier Arcade, GL50 1SU
If liquor is your thing, then John Gordons needs to be your first stop in Cheltenham. The specialist whisky, wine & champagne saloon bar in Montpellier is an intimate venue, with an impressive back bar selection.
Try: Don’t miss the Siblings gin, locally made by a quartet of siblings in Gloucestershire, best served with tonic and blueberries.
201 London Road, GL52 6HU
You can find Sixways Wine Bar a short walk from the town centre (or an even shorter walk from the train station). This cosy, vibrant bar not only offers guests a wide array of wines – with a selection of 100 whites, rosés and reds – but also an interesting variety of gins too!
Try: Enjoying a decadent sharing cheese board with a glass of red is a great way to spend a leisurely lunchtime.
10 Ormond Terrace, Regent Street, GL50 1JD
AquaVitae is a contemporary and popular bar with a cocktail menu to match. It has a welcoming and informal environment and it’s the ideal venue to catch up with friends over a drink at the end of the week. For those hoping to continue the party into the early hours make your way into the adjoining 21 Club, a cosy basement bar, playing music until 3am.
Try: Keep your eyes peeled for their ‘Bottomless Prosecco’ evenings. For two hours on selected Saturdays, you can enjoy unlimited fizz for £14.95. Bargain!