Food, drink and arts and crafts in central Cirencester
Are you shopping in downtown Cirencester or simply strolling around the centre to take in the view and in need of a spot of lunch? If you fancy an unfussy yet wholesome lunch served by friendly staff in artsy surroundings, you should look no further than the Brewery Arts Café.
Situated in the very heart of Cirencester’s pedestrian area, this café is loved by the locals who visit regularly, not least because its price to quality ratio is so attractive. And on top of being centrally situated, the café is set within the charming Brewery Arts complex, a collection of delightful artists’ workshops, where you can witness local art in the making – from glass-blowing to watercolour painting, jewellery and textiles crafts. It’s a great place if you want to buy something unique and original or commission a bespoke piece of jewellery or artwork. And all without upsetting your accountant. I had a bespoke Christmas card made some years ago, for a special someone, and it did not go into the recycling bag!
When it comes to the food, you really can’t go wrong. If you are an early riser and in town and peckish, the bacon and sausage sandwiches will surely satisfy. The bread is fresh, chunky and cushion-soft and the fillings definitely satisfying. Admirably, these are only available until 11:30am; no all-day breakfast here, which is something I applaud, not least because it makes room for the lunch fare which is even better.
Lunch at the New Brewery Arts does not really come more honest, fresh and generously portioned in the town. The salads, always crunchy, fresh and full of flavour – and presumably nutritious – are a delight, and definitely to be recommended. For something heartier, the piping hot soups – roasted tomato is virtually ever-present and ever-delicious – should hit the spot served with the delicious bread or a cheese scone. Another staple of the menu is the selection of quiches, again full of flavour and always creamy and satisfying and accompanied by a salad that is almost a meal in itself.
It doesn’t stop there either. If you need something sweet to really set off your lunch, or if you’re popping in for afternoon tea or coffee, there is a fine selection of tarts and cakes and other sweet treats that are just the thing. Try the apricot frangipane tart, the treacle tart or the espresso slice: all delicious.
So there it is: whether for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea, or anywhere in between, it’s hard to look past The New Brewery Arts Cafe. And it comes with a royal recommendation too – HRH, Prince Charles opened it officially after a refurbishment in 2008 (The café’s, not the Prince’s).