Last week we spent 24 hours in Cheltenham, mainly to eat at Le Champignon Sauvage about which I’ll be posting a review tomorrow. We also had lunch at a pub/bistro I’d heard good things about called the Royal Well Tavern which has this year been awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand and recently picked up a glowing review from the Observer’s restaurant critic, Jay Rayner
It’s run by a couple of young guys called Sam Peaman and Humphrey Fletcher who both worked at The Glasshouse in Kew. Fletcher, the chef, has also worked at Kensington Place and The River Café which gives the restaurant impeccable Modern British credentials.
Because of our blowout the night before we stuck to the starters which included a half pint of prawns and mayonnaise, warm chorizo and chickpeas, a particularly tasty lamb kofta with spiced aubergine and mint yoghurt and the dish that is the subject of today’s match - duck pâté with duck rillettes and cornichons.
I instinctively reached for the Loire red that was featured on the menu with it - a light, fruity, Cabernet Franc-based Anjou l’Ardoise 2008 from Domaine des Rochelles that had just the right degree of freshness and acidity to offset the fattiness of the charcuterie.
A perfect match. And a very nice restaurant indeed.