Vintage leather banquettes, a speakeasy style bar and a stuffed peacock in the dining room: you don’t need three guesses to suss that The Ox, and its 1920s gentlemen’s club glamour, is part of the notoriously cool Hyde & Co clique, says Kathryn Lewis
Opening in the basement of one of Cambray Place’s regal town houses last October, The Ox is Cheltenham’s slickest city centre haunt. The kind of place you’ll want to take your friends before it goes viral, evening proceedings should start with cocktails in the courtyard prior to a phenomenal feed in the underground dining quarters.
VISIT FOR the steak – ‘cos dinner doesn’t get much sexier than a hunky slab of sirloin and a stack of chunky triple cooked chips now, does it? With some of the West Country’s best cuts (courtesy of Bristol’s Buxton Butchers) hitting The Ox’s charcoal Josper oven, we recommend going all out with the 30oz T-bone steak for two and a bottle of Tomero malbec – YOLO.
DON’T VISIT just for the steak. Head chef Piotr Antkowicz’ creative cookery skills surpass the grill. Take the smoky charred octopus tamed with a sweet citrus quinoa and tangy tomato jam in our starter or the traditional carrot cake – taken to stylish new levels with carrot puree and a ginger sorbet.
WE LIKED the sophisticated drinks offering. Split into groups such as ‘made for steak’ and ‘sunshine in a glass’, the wellstocked wine list is a handy resource for those still swotting up on oenology. Heads up on the cocktail menu too, as the pre-steak, with-steak and post-steak recommendations mean you’ll probably want to schedule in a couple of extra hours in bed the next day.
INSIDER’S TIP On a budget? Take advantage of the early bird offer and get stuck into a 6oz rump, skinny fries and a glass of house wine for £14 between 5pm-7pm.
What we ate (dinner)
Drinks Spritz – Compass Box Orangerie, cranberry juice, Campari and Wild Beer Sleeping Lemons
Starter Charred octopus, citrus quinoa, tomato jam
Mains 6oz rump steak, triple cooked chips, charred chilli romesco
Pud Carrot cake, vanilla mascarpone, carrot and ginger sorbet