Quote from Visitor’s Book – June and Neil, Sussex ‘Wow! What a place, what a lady. Just so superb in every way’.
Scene – the forbidding portals of the Old Court House on a dark, damp evening with a chill wind blowing through the streets of Cheltenham. Few people are abroad and those that are, scurry towards their destinations with heads bowed – be it the pub, restaurant, night club or other scurrilous assignment. However we three, temporarily refugees from Hanover House B&B, are on a mission. To enter, feloniously or otherwise, the inner sanctum of the Old Court House was our target, do or die. We must penetrate, investigate and dissect the evidence presented, so that we can carry the word, good or ill, back to our devoted clientele about the best places to receive succour and succulence in the metropolis.
Back to earth – Veronica, Charlotte and I headed for Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant, almost on a whim to check it out, having been impressed by our first visit when we cased the joint. Veronica and I had headed along St George’s Road by ourselves, Charlotte having scuttled back to check whether she’d left her hairdryer on – a form of OCD I think, and had to catch us up. Veronica looked over her shoulder and saw the distant figure of Charlotte hurrying to catch up, Seeing us look round, she put on a mincing step, and Veronica remarked, I thought, ‘look at those awful genes’ – and I thought, where did she get them from, her mother or father – but no, as usual I had the wrong end of the stick and Veronica was referring to her denim ‘jeans’!
Even for a Monday night, the place was packed – principally with 25-35 age group we noted (Charlotte was OK, falling into the lower end of this age bracket), but service and food were superb. We waited only a minute or two for a table in the lower restaurant, not unfortunately in the actual courtroom, but there was a good ‘buzz’ and the whole experience was very positive.
Talking of Cheltenham places to stay and eat, Hanover House B&B got a prominent mention in Nathaniel Parker’s (Inspector Lynley etc) Cheltenham in the Daily Telegraph on 17th July http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/celebritytravel/8615026/Nathaniel-Parkers-Cheltenham.html, when he extolled the delights of Cheltenham and all it has to offer. Although he didn’t stay with us himself, in the attached ‘Cheltenham Essentials’ section, two places were recommended as somewhere to stay – Montpellier Chapter, who aren’t in our league, and Hanover House, describing us as ‘an informal family b&b set in a Grade II-listed Victorian town house’ with pretty bedrooms. I wonder who picked us up? Must have been a satisfied journalist guest…