SKIP WALKER visits a stylish addition to the Cirencester restaurant scene

TO FIND a restaurant with a great atmosphere, intriguing décor, good food and reasonable prices is rare in any town or city in the UK.

To find such an establishment in a Cotswold market town is verging on unique, and to be celebrated and supported.

The latest addition to the Cirencester dining scene, which I can hand-on-heart say fulfils all of the above, is Téatro launched in the last week of October.

For those familiar with the town, Téatro has risen from the ashes of the former Vaults bar and music venue at Ingleside, close to the Barn Theatre and just across the road from the Beeches car park on the north side of town.

Anyone who has ever drunk in the Vaults will be astonished at the transformation. Gone is the dingy brickwork, the limited lighting, dark brown furniture and makeshift music stage.

In its place is an extraordinary mix of colour and themes in each of the numerous small dining areas, imaginative flooring, wall coverings and lighting, comfortable modern furniture and a well-stocked bar and cocktail section (serving 24 different gins), at the corner of which a pianist entertains diners with his soft song choices.

For those who just want to drop in to Téatro for a pre-theatre drink or even to spend all evening drinking cocktails, the cocktail menu was due to be introduced in early November.

There is a small lift for those who cannot manage steps. For balmy summer evenings there is a comfortable alfresco dining area in the garden.

If I make it sound a mess I am being misleading; the overall effect is sensational and surprisingly stylish.

The woman responsible for the bulk of the transformation is manager LisaMarie. “Think of Presley and you will remember my name,” she says.

She is justifiably proud of Téatro but admits that it will take some bedding down, which is why, for the time being, it is only open three nights a week - Thursday, Friday and Saturday - and at Sunday lunchtimes.

The food is seasonal European, locally sourced wherever possible, and therefore an ever-changing menu. Both the menu and the wine list are manageably short but there is ample choice on each.

Currently available dishes include nibbles of lamb koftas, fried haloumi (tender and well-seasoned) and hand-made focaccia.

Starters include wild mushroom arancini with fresh truffle and an antipasti platter for two people.

The ham hock rillettes (small rounds of terrine) with quails egg, fig marmalade and peanut brittle was a great combination of flavour and textures.

The salmon fishcakes in a pea velouté were beautifully crisp and topped with a perfectly-cooked poached egg. Both were lovingly presented and the portions were ideal for those eating two courses.

Mains include wagyu burger, two-types of aged steak (sirloin and ribeye), rack of lamb or Catania-style monkfish wrapped in pancetta with diced veg and a sensational sauce.

The rack of lamb was served perfectly pink, as requested, accompanied by a delicately fried cake of crushed new potatoes, a salsa verde and spring veg.

The main dishes are all imaginatively served on attractive scallop-shaped pottery plates, flat enough to comfortably cut food that needs cutting but sufficiently bowl-shaped for the sauces to congregate around the food so that it does not have to be chased around the plate.

The beautifully-caramelised apple, fig and almond tarte tatin dessert was served with vanilla ice cream and the selection of cheeses came with chutney, a chilli dip, celery in a little jug of crushed ice and a delicious wedge of griddled artisan bread.

Other tempting desserts include citrus and vanilla cheesecake and a white chocolate panna cotta in a chocolate crumb and pomegranate sauce.

Vegetarians are well catered for and on the menu for vegans there is one starter of roasted beet and quinoa salad and one main of ravioli marinara made of tofu and vegan parmesan.


Beeches Road,

Cirencester GL7 1BN

Tel: 01285 648238

Disabled access: Yes

Main course prices: from £11.95 to £22.95

TripAdvisor rating: 5/5