Our travels often take us past the greeny-grey pub on the corner of Ambrose Street and Clarence Street; in its former guise as The Quaitch, we kept on walking but recently we were intrigued to see some building work underway. A quick bit of Twitter and Instagram stalking led us to The Bottle of Sauce… and boy are we glad it did!
A mere £500,000 refurbishment later and the transformation is remarkable. Stepping inside, there is an L-shaped bar with industrial brick walls, a huge copper beer menu and a fun neon Dodo, the logo of their parent company. Don’t stop there though… continue to explore and you’ll find a cosy snug, a trendy private dining area for up to 12 guests and a games room complete with ping pong and table football (why don’t more places have these? So much fun for a drunk night out or a lazy Sunday afternoon).
Our favourite area was outside though…a large courtyard bordered on one side by folding glass doors leading into a canteen dining area. There is a DJ booth ready to pump out the latest local sound and you can see the chefs beavering away in front of the awesome authentic wood-fired pizza oven. In the summer, I predict this being one of the top Cheltenham spots with beats, burgers, beers and BBQ.
So having firmly established that we love the surroundings, what does The Bottle of Sauce have to offer for the discerning foodie? Think 48hr proved sourdough Neopolitan pizzas, dirty dirty burgers and wings (I tried the kimchi buttermilk chicken “Mother Clucker” and my mouth is still watering), as well as a tasty selection of sides and salads. It’s exceptionally good value and they have some brilliant half price lunchtime and Monday evening offers that make it even cheaper. Ludicrously cheap in fact, given the high quality of the ingredients used.
Fear not if you are just after some lubrication; there is a well curated selection of craft beer and cider (Arctic pale ale anyone?) and the cocktails are both unusual enough to make you want to try them and delicious enough to make you come back for more; Sarah’s espresso martini was a particular highlight. They even have their own infused rum which will change regularly.
If you haven’t worked out that we love it by now, you’re probably distracted and singing Christmas songs. We’ll just finish by saying we’ve already planned to squeeze in two more visits before Christmas. Hopefully we’ll see you there, ping pong bat in hand!