The most unusual dates in Cheltenham and Gloucester include chauffeur-driven classic car tours, Piaf tribute nights, a ‘cook your own’ meat eatery and drinks in a disused fire station. From budget to classy you’re sure to find the perfect day or night out.
Unusual dates in Cheltenham and Gloucester
Perched on the edge of the Cotswolds, Cheltenham is a Regency spa town, while Gloucester is a Roman cathedral city. Both offer charming opportunities to get and out about – especially if you want to find someone you can stay in with. Here are some less obvious options if you want a date with a difference.
The Romantic Road
Hire a classic car or book a luxury chauffeur tour. The Romantic Road featured in The Telegraph as one of the Great British Drives. An Area of Outstanding Beauty, the Cotswolds offers some quintessentially charming English countryside. The one day tour leaves and arrives in Cheltenham, taking in Cleeve Hill, Winchcombe, Stanway, Stanton, Broadway, Chipping Campden, Blockley, Moreton-in-Marsh, The Fosse Way, Stow-on-the-Wold and Upper and Lower Slaughter on the way.
Keep your first date simple, with a short stroll that provides flexibility in terms of how long you both hang around. At Purton Hulks in Gloucestershire, you can wander along the canal towpath and check out the abandoned boats. These include wooden concrete barges and an old schooner from WW2 that were intentionally beached here, in an attempt to protect the banks of the River Severn from erosion. Do be aware that the terrain here can be uneven in places.
Indulge in some back to nature joie de vivre, with a visit to the art installations and sculptures of the 18th century Rococo Gardens. The tranquil gardens contain a hidden valley, maze, woodland and follies, as well as proffering beautiful Cotswold views. Following its heyday, the area fell into disrepair, becoming an unloved jungle. Now fully restored, this is now the UK’s only surviving rococo garden and on the Historic England Register of Parks.
Online speed dating in Cheltenham and Gloucester
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Walks with Hawks
Ranked No.1 across the Cotswolds on Tripadvisor, this sanctuary enables you to come up close to the birds of prey. Learn how to handle them, and see them take flight – or view from a comfortable distance as spectators. Or opt for a two-hour owl encounter to discover more about the magnificent creatures’ ways and habits (as you also get to know each other).
The best restaurants in Cheltenham and Gloucester
Eating at a restaurant or heading to a bar for drinks is pretty standard for a first date. Yet it needn’t be normal or boring. These quirky dining and drinking options will set the scene for a more exciting date night.
This French restaurant in Cheltenham is an intimate choice. Located in a basement, its dark and romantic with stone walls and dripping candles. The menu provides authentic gallic cuisine with dishes such as Poisson du Jour and Poitrine de Porc. Book for one of their Edith Piaf tribute nights for a unique experience that feels like a step back in time.
The Fire Station
Housed in a century-old building with exposed brick walls, this Cheltenham bar and restaurant has the original features of an old fire station. Head along for a bottomless brunch – complete with bubbles and two or three courses – if you fancy a boozy, protracted day time date. The presentation is stunning and the vibe is super trendy.
Cook your own organic meat on a hot rock at the table, when you dine at this independent restaurant on Suffolk Parade in Cheltenham. It’s a new arrival to the town’s dining scene and although it’s known for its steaks on stones, it’s also a great option for vegetarians.
Go for an old school American style date. Smokey Joe’s has a retro arcade, jukebox, gourmet hotdogs, waffles, ice cream sundaes and oodles of vintage nostalgia – including a real car! So much so, you might feel like extras in the movie Grease. It may be a fast-food style menu, but everything is actually made freshly to order. So be prepared to spend some time chatting while you wait and sup on some milkshakes. This is a fourth-generation family-run business with a fascinating heritage.
Memsahib Gin and Tea bar
This Cheltenham eating and drinking spot is like no other. Themed on the British Raj period, it serves a unique Gin and Tea Tasting Menu and Afternoon Chai (served in a traditional afternoon tea style). Spirits are crafted in-house at the venue’s micro-distillery and can be explored via tours and tastings too. Celebrating the town’s Memsahib heritage, the bar also presents elaborate six-course tasting menus.
Greek on the Docks
If you can’t make it overseas for holidays this year, don’t despair. You can enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean in a waterside setting, with a meal at Greek on the Docks. Found in the heart of Gloucester’s historic waterway, it offers an authentic menu, served by a Greek family team.
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