I first reviewed The Tavern back in 2013 when What Naomi Wrote was just a few months old. What a treat it was to go back to this old favourite of mine, and why not write about a restaurant twice? We were in Cheltenham for my best friend's wedding(!) and the next day was Easter Sunday, so I booked us a table at The Tavern to help set us right after what was a very emotional day.
This restaurant is steeped in nostalgia for me, with memories of meals out in my final year of university and celebratory end-of-assignment breakfasts. There isn't much that tastes better than comforting, familiar food.
From the top: Three sliders - mackerel & cucumber, beef & red onion and ham hock and pea puree. Burnt end mash, shoe string fries, mac n cheese. I didn't try the sliders but everything else was comforting and delicious. The burnt end mash is essentially ridiculously creamy mash with herbs and little chunks of 'burnt' ends of beef - just total melt-in-the-melt indulgence. I love mac n cheese that resembles that American stuff you get in a packet - but of course tastes a million times better. Just out of shot was the fried chicken with tuscan salt and herb mayonnaise:
This was juicy, crispy fried chicken with a fantastic, vibrant green mayo for dipping. It reminded me of Bone Daddies' fried chicken - pretty good with ramen, pretty good on its own.
For puddly-wud I was so involved in what I ordered that I forgot to take a photo of my mum's and dad's, but they were all very good indeed. I went for the lemon meringue pie, expecting something like what I had in Bar Lobo, but what came was this: a lemon meringue pie made just for me - and still warm! The meringue was like nothing I'd ever tried before - soft and silky and slightly crisp on the top. The lemon filling could have been stronger but that's just my personal taste. Paired with a black coffee (in the prettiest cup and saucer) this was a fine dish to end a truly satisfying meal.
The Tavern exceeded my existing expectations with even slicker service, some of the friendliest staff I've met in a long time and a chilled atmosphere. I caught the train back to Bristol with my tummy full and heart happy.