With a mission to create a beautiful Regency coffee house, delivering excellent food, drink and service from dusk to dawn, The Find has proved to be a popular addition to Cheltenham’s foodie scene since its arrival in November 2017. If you haven’t found it yet, fear not and read on; we went along for dinner with some fellow bloggers, having already enjoyed the daytime offering on several occasions with friends.
A Warm Welcome
During the day, the downstairs area is great for a quick coffee and cake, brunch with friends, and visiting with your pet pooch; owner David keeps some dog treats behind the counter so they don’t feel left out! The vast array of baked goods, including fashionable cruffins, are made by our favourites Salt Bakehouse and The Bakers Table, who also offer a fantastic selection of delicious vegan and gluten free cakes.
On this particular evening, we arrived in the downstairs lounge and were greeted with a choice of cocktails including espresso martinis and a Chuka gin. The spirit shelf above the counter features an incredibly wide array of local drinks including perennial favourites Sibling, Cotswold Distillery and Chase. It’s lovely that the extra bit of effort has been made; I hate finding the generic Bombay Sapphire and Hendricks that so often adorns back bars.
After a quick catch up, we moved to one of the upstairs rooms to sit down, relax and enjoy some canapé starters. The highlight for me was a watercress soup served with a delicate golden bread-crumbed quail’s egg that burst in my mouth. Salmon cured with local Garden Tiger gin, and a duck and pistachio terrine on homemade oatcakes with beetroot chutney were equally delicious. I’d have happily eaten any of these as a proper starter but it was nice to try them all in miniature. Particularly when I can snaffle seconds!
Poulton Hill Wines
The Find focusses on finding local artisan suppliers who deliver consistent quality and flavour. This dedication extends to their wine list too, featuring Cirencester based vineyard Poulton Hill Estate. As a relatively young and small family-run vineyard, we’ve not come across Poulton Hill before. After this, we wish we had though! Vineyard manager Natalie talked us through a selection of their current offerings including a 2013 English Sparkling Rose, bursting with fragrant strawberries and a lengthy mousse. We’ll definitely be heading to the cellar door and grabbing some of this for summer; it’s a very easy drinker and we love that it grows within 30 minutes of our house. A perfect demonstration of how growing the right produce in the right region can deliver outstanding results.
The Main Event
One of Sarah’s least favourite things about being pregnant is that she can no longer enjoy her steak rare. Nevertheless, The Find rose to the occasion with a well done but beautifully tender piece of Aberdeen Angus sirloin, juicy and packed full of flavour. It’s worth noting that this is possibly the thickest sirloin I’ve ever seen; even Desperate Dan would have been happy with this bad boy! It came flanked by a stack of outstandingly good triple cooked chips; crisp, golden outer shells hiding fluffy, cloud-like interiors, a rich, piquant béarnaise sauce and, as Sarah declared, “the best creamed spinach” she’s ever tasted. It’s hard to better a quality cut of beef when you treat it right; The Find are certainly contenders for Best in Show.
Having carefully formulated a plan to steal some of Sarah’s steak when she wasn’t looking, I turned attention back to my main; cod loin on a bed of chive crushed new potatoes, leek fondue and a prawn bisque. Again, the fish was a seriously chunky affair. It flaked apart beautifully though, releasing clouds of lightly salty steam under the pressure of my fork. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the fondue; thankfully it was a delicious creamy success. Somehow I’ve managed to go my entire life without really tackling prawns (hopefully you won’t judge me too much!). If this prawn bisque was anything to go by though, I’ve been seriously missing out. It brought the dish together so well that by the time I’d remembered my nefarious steak wrangling plan, Sarah’s plate was sadly empty. Bugger!
Dessert descended into a giant sharing platter, full bellies fighting envy at the gooey creations appearing on our neighbours’ plates. Sarah thoroughly enjoyed her ginger and treacle sponge with soft, sharp rhubarb and clotted cream, and I made short work of a delicate vanilla panna cotta with blood orange and dark chocolate hazelnut biscotti.
They were both utterly lovely and beautifully presented, but the undoubted star of the show was The Find fondue; a bowl of rich, glossy Belgian chocolate, pillow soft homemade rhubarb marshmallows, chocolate brownies, fresh strawberries and huge profiteroles. We nabbed a fellow diner’s plank and sampled a few bits before conceding defeat and pleading for a doggy bag; one guest enjoyed it so much that he ploughed on through and completed it solo. A cracking effort given all we had eaten, but if I’d had room, I so would have done the same.
Not wanting to risk hunger striking on the way home, we went back to The Find’s coffee house roots; a fruity filter coffee and what could happily be described as death by chocolate rounding off the evening nicely. We’re talking dark, unctuous chocolate truffles flavoured with The Find’s own espresso and dusted in cocoa powder. Incredibly rich but oh so very good, especially when dipped in the leftover chocolate fondue. I couldn’t quite manage a second one though!
In addition to being the perfect venue for daytime treats, The Find opens for dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings. It can also offer private bookings on other days of the week. The trendy interiors, carefully curated by Shadowplay Design and Culpepper & Co, perfectly accentuate the regency townhouse feel whilst remaining homely; think high ceilings, light and airy spaces, gorgeous foliage and splashes of rich, vibrant colour. There is pretty much a room for every occasion, and they’re perfect for relaxing throughout the day.
There’s even a fully managed office space on the top floor offering individual desks; ideal for people looking to work outside their own four walls and potentially collaborate with other creatives. Sounds ideal if you normally work at home alone. I’d probably spend all my time downstairs drinking coffee and eating cruffins, but The WorkPlace has proved so popular, it’s already looking to expand. Watch this space.
Final Thoughts on The Find
So perhaps where The Find truly stands out is in its flexibility… whilst plenty of other venues offer “private dining”, it often constitutes a cramped room next to a loud and frenetic main dining area. If you’re lucky, you might even get a few tweaks to the standard menu. In contrast, The Find offers a fully bespoke offering and has the facilities and passion to make it really work for you; whether you are after the perfect venue for a special family meal or really fancy pushing the boat out and hiring the whole townhouse for an event. We know several people who have hosted private functions there; they’ve all given it a resounding thumbs up. We’ll certainly be heading there for future celebrations.
If you just fancy a meal out on the weekend, then we’ll finish by saying that this was one of our favourite meals in recent memory. The food is outstanding, the staff led by the charming David and Claire deliver impeccably relaxed and friendly service, and the surroundings make for a truly special night out that feels a bit like the perfect night staying in at home with friends. Try it and you’ll wish you’d found The Find sooner!