Saturday, 31 October 2009

Toute Sweet, Cheltenham

I'm a big fan of American-style diners; I think it has something to do with my cooked breakfast obsession. So when I heard about Toute Sweet, advertising itself as an American diner despite the French-sounding name, I knew I'd have to visit.

This is not just a diner, though. On Friday nights, they have a 'theme night' where they serve a three course meal based on a particular cuisine. The menu is fixed, though you can find out in advance what you'll be eating; I found it quite entertaining that the only ordering I had to do was to stick my hand in the air when they asked "who's a vegetarian?"

Pea Soup

The evening when I visited, the theme was "A Taste of the Highlands" - or to put it another way, Scottish.

For starters there was pea soup; thick, creamy, and delicious, with just a touch of fresh mint. The main course featured more peas (are peas particularly Scottish? I have no idea), this time as an accompaniment for vegetarian haggis - something I've never eaten before, and of course I can't comment on the resemblance to 'real' haggis, but it was pleasantly spicy and felt suitably filling and warming for a chilly evening.

Vegetarian Haggis

Dessert was advertised as butterscotch tart, though there was no pastry in evidence - "butterscotch pudding" might have been more accurate. But butterscotch-anything is a winner in my book, and I wasn't disappointed.

Butterscotch pudding

One other thing I have to mention, although I didn't try one myself, is the Smurf-flavoured milkshake from the menu. I've never been a fan of milkshake in any flavour, but my friends seemed to enjoy theirs, and it's certainly a great colour!

Smurf-flavoured Milkshake

I really enjoyed every mouthful of my meal, and it's a bargain at £10 for three courses (and BYO with no corkage charges, since they're not licensed for alcohol). The portions weren't huge, but I don't usually order three courses and I couldn't have eaten more.

The restaurant is a tiny place with bright pink walls; the 'diner feel' is there in subtle touches, even down to a miniature jukebox in one corner, despite being housed in a typical Cheltenham terrace that could never fit seating booths.

We'll definitely be going back for more Friday night fun - but I'm also going to have to arrange a visit during the day, to eat chocolate-chip pancakes try out the daytime menu.

Address:8 Prestbury Road, Cheltenham
Style:American diner
Date Visited:23 October 2009
Link:Toute Sweet group on Facebook


mangocheeks said...

This looks like a lovely little place. I love the colour on that milkshake. What flavour was it?

Although I live in Scotland, I am not Scottish (but Welsh) and I think you are right about the peas being not particularly Scottish. They could have easily made a tattie soup or one with swedes. Anyway, the veggie haggis looks very good. I would have been delighted all that for a tenner.

Christina said...

An interesting blog you have here Rachael! Pea soup with carrots and bacon bits and/or ham is delicious!
Whenever my Mother served Chicken Salad she always served Peas as the vegetable. I think women can admire other women's photos without being labeled a lesbo. Im not one but your picture on this site is more distinct and attractive than you as Rachael's ramblings!

Jacqueline said...

Well, apart from the veggie haggis of course :)

Jacqueline said...

It all looks great but not particularly Scottish!

ladyfi said...

It all looks delicious - apart from that strange blue drink...

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