Andy Briggs has my dream job. He tours the region seeking out the very best local produce – meats, charcuteries, cheeses and other delights. He loves meeting producers and tasting their products to gain inspiration. He’s the creative chef behind Stable Pizza’s recipes inspired by this wonderful produce. With 17 different locations, local really does mean local. Each restaurant has a specially tailored menu including a GCHQ pizza for Cheltenham.
Inspired by gourmet pizzas in Sydney Australia, on returning to the UK 10 years ago Andy, his brother and sister-in-law were determined to create their own versions and set up Stable Pizza in Dorset.
These pizzas a very definitely not Italian in style. Here the emphasis is on tasty toppings on a thin, crispy sourdough base. Jerry the sourdough starter started life in 2009 with some apple peelings. Now Jerry is used across across Stable Pizza’s 17 venues. As you can imagine, looking after the starter is an essential part of the pizza chefs duties, Just in case there are any hiccups, there is always a little in reserve. You can watch the chefs at each venue, – you do have to go upstairs in Cheltenham to see this).
My first taste of a Stable pizza was at a Cotswold Bloggers event, and I was bowled over. The second time, I went to the Cheltenham Stable Pizza to taste the new Spring menu.
Suffice to say, Stable pizzas are very good. The base is very light and crisp and not at all chewy. The flavours are imaginative and differ to any you might find elsewhere. Most importantly, here is just the right amount of topping
There’s no heavy indigestible cheese. Instead, as on the pizza I chose, Billy the Kid, there’s a light smattering of goat’s cheese, paired with mushrooms, spinach and heavenly toasted hazelnuts.
On my husband ‘s pizza, that week’s special The Ol’ Thumper, there is a savoury ragout of rabbit, leeks, Bath pig chorizo, Lord of the Hundred’s Sheep’s Cheese and Grated mozzarella – very tasty indeed. Andy explains he was inspired to create this one by rabbit stews he ate in his childhood. There’s Ali Baba planned – lamb koftas with a honey and lemon drizzle.
The menu changes each quarter but there are certain pizzas that are always available due to popular demand – there were ructions when the West Country Porker was temporarily removed.
Cider – a perfect pairing
With a Cotswold location, what could go better with your pizza than cider?
There cannot be many places where you can choose from more than 60 ciders. But which to choose?
We’re enjoying discovering cider – it’s not something we drank in Scotland so own personal cider sommelier Jamie, introduced us to 5 very different ciders, ranging from Joe’s dry cider from the Purbeck cider company to a cherry flavoured cider, Reveller from Orchard Pig. He explained the different styles and methods of cider making too. The cider board is definitely a great way to discover your preferred style of cider. I particularly enjoyed the Devon Red from Sandford Orchard and it was fascinating to try the draft version of Blow Horn, Horn Blower. The 5 1/3 pint samples can be tailored to your tastes or interests.
A sweet finish
I just had to try the sweet Nutella pizza for dessert. Apparently, this was a small sized pizza! I then realised I had chosen hazelnuts a second time that evening – you can never have enough hazelnuts. The textures were lovely with a creamy topping. My husband tucked into 3 scoops of ice cream from Yarde Farm particularly enjoying the Cornish Orchards cider sorbet.
If you’ve become bored of pizzas, I promise you’ll be wowed by those at Stable Pizza. The Cheltenham venue located in the heart of the city is warm and welcoming. We can’t wait to taste some of the other toppings on the menu and also the sharer boards of charcuterie and the pies. Look out for the special offers on Tuesdays.
Stable Pizza Chelthenham
40 Clarence Street
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Danielle was invited by Stable Pizza to visit the restaurant. Thanks to Stable Pizza for the large photos.