Cheltenham Rocks

Rocking Cheltenham with: Roseann Thompson

Next up in our series of Rocking Cheltenham with: we speak to local foodie blogger and new mum Roseann Thompson. Roseann writes for the Honeybourne Line blog (details below), and has the enviable task of getting to know all our local dining spots.

Here we catch up about Roseann about her top suggestions for eating out in Cheltenham, and some of her favourite places with new dining partner, PJ (10 months).

Name Roseann Thompson
Number of children 1
How old are they? 10 months
Occupation Foodie and currently on maternity leave from the 'real job' a Relationship Manager for The Children's Society

Hi Roseann! Thanks for taking the time to chat, we love what you’re doing on your blog and Instagram - reminding us of all the lovely places to eat in Cheltenham. Tell us, what are your absolute family favourites for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?

Oh gosh, I have so many favourites it’s hard to choose! But with family in mind…

• I love Bottle of Sauce who do a mean brunch on weekends and the best burgers and pizzas the rest of the time. Just be sure to get a portion of their Buffalo Fries!

Smokey Joe’s is fab for a naughty brunch and an even naughtier milkshake. They have plenty to keep children entertained and play all the music my Dad used to play in the car when we were growing up.

• Speaking of milkshakes, I am quite partial to a Shakes2Go where you can get your favourite chocolate bar, sweet or cake, blended into a milkshake. We often take my niece and nephew there and then go over to Sandford Park to sip and enjoy.

• For lunch, Jolly Nice (Stroud) on a sunny day is perfect. You can sit outside, eat ridiculously good burgers and ice creams and let the children roam free.

• For a more traditional lunch, Star Bistro up at Ullenwood, offer fine dining as well as a more informal menu. They have fab choices for little ones too, as well as plenty of space and toys.

• Dinner would have to be at home as bedtime is 6.45pm which kind of limits going out anywhere…so, Deliveroo and take-aways have become our new best friend. We love Fat Toni’s (you actually cannot beat their pizzas), Simpsons Fish & Chips (they really are the best in the UK), Poco Culina (for a healthier and meat free option) and Kibou Sushi (because I love EVERYTHING they do).

It looks like you still manage to enjoy plenty of Cheltenham’s sophisticated eateries but having a child in tow does change things. Where are your favourite places for a mum-date over coffee?

This list is ever changing as PJ grows and her needs changed. At first, she was content to watch me eat cake and natter (which was lovely and made maternity leave everything I dreamed it would be), but now, she’s got to the stage where she wants space to move, she wants to play and needs lots of stimulation (which makes me think its time for her to go to nursery, and me back to work). So, for this stage, my favourite places are:
- Café Boho in The Suffolks who have a great children’s area downstairs
- Gloucester Services Southbound who have a fabulous children’s play area both inside and outside
- The Wilson Café who have recently put in a children’s area with comfy sofas to boot
- School House Café which is actually my old playgroup so it’s rather special to me, but they also have a fab children’s room and are really reasonable with their pricing.

And if you have chance for a swish afternoon tea with friends? Where would you go?

I’ve tried loads of afternoon teas and nowhere beats Ellenborough Park, especially if you can get the big sofas in front of the fire for the afternoon. It’s pricey, but it is extra special and in beautiful surroundings.

When you’re not testing out the best places to eat, where do you like to take your daughter for a day of fun?

Being on maternity leave, I try to do everything on a budget, so we haven’t really had many grand days out as yet! But I do want to do one or two before I go back to work in July. My Mum treated us all to a day out at Cotswold Wildlife Park which was lovely as PJ loves animals, so maybe I should try Cotswold Farm Park soon as I’m sure she’d love it.

She also loves water and sand, so I’d like to go to the beach at Cotswold Waterpark.

She’s still tiny but do you have any favourite playgrounds yet?

I love walking round Pittville Park, in fact, I quite fancy a go on the zip wire myself! We took PJ for the first time a couple of weeks back and she loved playing with the water and sand. It’s also the perfect excuse to stop for an ice cream at The Boathouse on the way home.

We live quite near King George V playing fields and they’ve got a fab playground in there too. PJ loves the big swing and the see-saw. I did take her on the big slide but my hips got stuck half way down, so I won’t be trying that again! Haha.

What about any other low-cost or free activities you’ve enjoyed with your daughter in town recently?

Bounce and Rhyme (at the Cheltenham Children’s Library) is great for entertaining PJ and it doesn’t cost me anything. And my favourite group is Tiny Tots on a Thursday morning at Cambray Baptist Church. It’s £1 and they have so many toys and activities and even provide the children and adults with drinks and snacks.

Do you have any Cheltenham events you’d recommend to other new mums?

I haven’t really done any ‘mum’ events, in fact I’m probably the most unmumsy person you’ll ever meet or speak to. If there was a scale for mumsiness, you’d have your mumsy mums, the middle-ground ones, the unmumsy mums and then there’d be me – all on my own!

We took PJ to the jazz festival – just the free bits, and that was lovely. She loves to listen to music and have a boogie. And I’ve got a ticket for the gin festival in July, because, every Mum needs gin, right?!

Is there anything you think Cheltenham is lacking for local families?

I feel incredibly lucky to live in Cheltenham and to be bringing PJ up here. I’m sure there are things we are missing, but for a town, I think we do well. We have loads of facilities and punch above our weight in terms of the festivals we have here.

Lastly, just for fun – if you could live anywhere else, where would it be and why?

I honestly think I’ll always live in Cheltenham. I absolutely love it here. I have a huge family and a fab network of friends and I wouldn’t want to be away from any of them for very long. However, I’d happily have holiday home or two. I’d have one in central London for city breaks and one in Spain for that much needed sunshine.

Roseann Thompson is an unmumsy Cheltenham mum and the taste buds behind food blog Honeybourne Line, happiest discovering and sharing the finest local eateries.

Roseann's blog, Honeybourne Line, is a fantastic source of honest reviews of local places to eat with real-life, important information (like portion size!), you'll be reading with a smile on your face but beware reading whilst hungry... you have been warned.

Follow Roseann on Instagram or Facebook