Number 12, in the heart of the trendy Suffolk area in Cheltenham is owned by Northern Irishman Michael Murray and his wife Georgina. It must be one of the longest established restaurants in a town where they open, close, or change hands at a frightening pace. This is a great credit to the stamina and hard work of Michael and Georgina as well as the fine reputation that they have carved out for themselves. Georgina somehow juggles looking after her 3 boys under 10 with working front of house whilst Michael takes total responsibility for the kitchen. Limited overheads, of course is one of the secrets of success but it goes further than this.
In the 60 seater, non-smoking restaurant, everything is served fresh. They use local suppliers wherever possible and everything is home made - bread, deserts, sauces and stocks.
The restaurant itself, which is only open in the evenings, has a cosy feel about it, with subtle lighting, freshly cut flowers and a welcoming open fire place. The conservatory and courtyard make this an ideal venue for small weddings and parties of up to 50 people and private bookings are encouraged. It is quite evident that Michael and Georgina have put their heart and soul into this place. You are guaranteed a relaxed and enjoyable evening at a most reasonable price. The menu changes regularly and there are a number of theme evenings which prove extremely popular- apart from Christmas and New Year, the next theme is Aussie Day in January but the answer is to get yourself on the email list to be kept informed of the themes and events (i.e. Fish week or Game evenings)
Michael and Georgina rarely advertise! After 12 years they have established a fine reputation. During the day they run the Café Museum in the Cheltenham Art Gallery - quite how they have the energy is anyone's guess, but I suspect that this is the secret of their success.
Naturally a new and comprehensive wine list helps make the evening flow, but it is the combination of so many things I have mentioned that makes this the place to be seen and above all else - Its great value for money.
Tel: 01242 584544
Fax: 01242 269544
Open: Tues - Sat 7pm - close