Restaurant Q&A: Simon and Nicky Haly at the Green Dragon, Cheltenham

The Green Dragon, Cockleford

The Green Dragon, Cockleford - Credit: Archant

Simon and Nicky Haly are into their 15th year at this classic country pub

Simon and Nicky Haly of the Green Dragon Inn

Simon and Nicky Haly of the Green Dragon Inn - Credit: Archant

Name: Simon and Nicky Haly

Restaurant: Green Dragon

Address: Nr Cowley, Cheltenham, GL53 9NW

Tel: 01242 870271

How long have you been at the Green Dragon Inn?

We are just into our 15th year after moving from Devon, although, we knew the area as we had a pub in Hereford years ago and used to stop in Cheltenham en-route to Nicky's Mum and Dad's house in Oxfordshire.

What brought you here?

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We are part of a small group of pubs and Inns called Buccaneer Holdings which are spread over the South West of England, and an opportunity to run the Green Dragon came up just at the right time as our children were about to change schools and we were ready for a new challenge.

How has the Green Dragon changed over the years you've been there?

Well let's say it doesn't get any easier! Cheltenham and the surrounding areas has a lot more competition now and generally the standards are high. Food has become the mainstay of most pubs and the local is becoming harder to run on drink alone. We have been lucky to have a long-standing core of excellent staff which makes the Green Dragon a friendly place to visit.

What's the best thing about being in the Cotswolds?

Where to start? 1. Probably the countryside full of lovely villages and amazing scenery. 2. Racing; some of the best National Hunt racing there is. 3. Being so central to many great towns and cities for shopping. 4. All the festivals in Cheltenham.

What's special about the Green Dragon?

It's a country pub with traditional values offering a weekly changing menu, daily specials and a warm welcome. Whilst still retaining its original features of log fires and beamed ceilings.

We also have nine recently refurbished guest rooms and a function room for weddings and parties.

If you could choose one dish from your current menu what would it be?

Our signature fish pie, which has a light white wine cream sauce with a herb pinenut crust.

...and what to drink with it?

We have a new wine list which has a great new wine for us from Italy - 'Pecorinl' - or we also have a great selection of soft drinks for those who are driving or who don't drink alcohol.

Which local suppliers do you use?

We use all local butchers: Jesse Smiths, Peter Jefferies and our roast lamb on Sundays comes directly from the local village. Our cheese selection comes from Cheltenham Cheese, plus the award-winning Cerney Goats' Cheese. We also try to use as much local produce from our suppliers when in season, too.

How would you spend your ideal Summer's day?

On a sunny day, maybe a visit to Hidcote Manor Gardens followed by drinks and food with family in Cheltenham.

Green Dragon sample dinner menu:


- Hot sticky glazed chicken wings with BBQ sauce & salad garnish, £6.50

- Vegetable anti pasti (cherrybell peppers, artichokes, misto olives, mozzarella cheese & sunblush tomatoes) with crusty bread, £7.25

- Butternut squash & spinach ristotto with parmesan shavings, toasted pine nuts & balsamic glaze, £6.50

- Smoked mackerel & beetroot salad with a horseradish & dill mayonnaise, £6.75

- Chicken Caesar salad with anchovies, croutons & parmesan shavings: ample £6.95; generous £13.95

Main meals

- 10oz chargrilled ribeye steak with melted Oxford Blue cheese & cherry tomatoes, £24.50

- Free-range chicken breast with lemon & black pepper, and a rocket & red chard salad, with new potatoes or fries, £16.95

- Grilled rainbow trout fillets with a rocket pesto sauce, £17.95

- Steak & kidney suet pudding with homemade minted mushy peas & fries or new potatoes, £15.25

- Pan-fried 10oz Barbary duck breast with a plum sauce, £19.95

- Thai green white fish curry with basmati rice & prawn crackers, £18.95

- Chargrilled 10oz sirloin steak, £24.50, or 10oz rump steak, £20.95 (28-day aged); with vine tomatoes & field mushrooms, peppercorn & brandy sauce, Stilton sauce or garlic butter, £2.90

- Vegetable chilli with basmati rice & corn tortilla crisps, £12.95

Children's menu*

- Spaghetti bolognaise with garlic bread & shaved parmesan, £6.75

- 100% chicken nuggets, £6.25

- Grilled Gloucester Old Spot chipolata sausages, £6.25

- Cod fish fingers, £6.25

- 6oz battered cod, £6.25

* These dishes are served with a choice of fresh vegetables, beans or peas, and chips or new potatoes

To find out more, and to book your table, visit

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