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Meet The Chef: Rowan Hinder, Chef At The Retreat


We sat down with Rowan to find out a little more about why eating at The Retreat is so special.

Stroud Times enjoyed a sumptuous lunch cooked by the talented young chef.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, including your where you are today, professionally, and what got you here?

I am a Stroud-born chef who has a massive passion for cooking and serving food. I have been lucky enough to work in some of London’s best restaurants and in my home from home which is Burgundy, France. Spending so much time back in Stroud during the pandemic has reignited my love for the area and all the great produce on offer. I am now very grateful to have found an amazing place to serve it in. 

DSC00478 | Meet The Chef: Rowan Hinder, Chef At The Retreat

What’s your signature dish?

Lobster Thermidor.

What are the most important considerations when crafting your menu?

Seasonality is top. Then how fresh and local the ingredients are. 

How would you describe your cooking style?

Classical French technique with modern British influence. 

DSC00439 | Meet The Chef: Rowan Hinder, Chef At The Retreat
What we tried: The Retreat British Beef Burger.

Do you have a favourite time of year or such of ingredients that you look forward to working with?

Spring is definitely the best; so much fresh produce coming to life!

What is your favourite ingredient?

Salt, we wouldn’t get very far without it! Second, to that is probably garlic.

DSC00428 | Meet The Chef: Rowan Hinder, Chef At The Retreat
What we tried: The Retreat’s Homemade Pie of the Day.

What’s your favourite piece of kitchen equipment?

A spoon for tasting! 

Where’s your favourite place to dine?

That’s a tricky one!! So many great places on our doorstep.

What do you think is the most overhyped food trend?

I don’t think any are overhyped. 

DSC00457 | Meet The Chef: Rowan Hinder, Chef At The Retreat
What we tried: Sticky Pear and Ginger Cake served with ice cream and maple syrup.

How would you describe the food you create at Retreat to somebody who’s never experienced your kind of food?

Honest, no-nonsense food that has been prepared and served with as much locally sourced and seasonal produce as possible.

How do you go about menu planning?

I speak with my suppliers about what the best produce is on offer and work around that. Our menus change every few weeks so we can be sure to stay with what’s fresh and current. 

What would you be doing if you weren’t a chef?

Honestly, it’s not something I’ve ever thought about. I’ve always wanted to do this… maybe an F1 driver or an Elvis impersonator! 

What’s your favourite takeaway or comfort food?

Fish & Chips all day long! 

DSC00474 | Meet The Chef: Rowan Hinder, Chef At The Retreat


Small Plates 

Mezze of Olives, Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables, Manchego & Homemade Focaccia £8.50

A plate of Charcuterie & Cheese with Chutney, Mixed Leaves and Bread £8.50

Chalk Stream Trout “Pastrami” with Vodka Crème Fraiche, Pickles and Rye Toast £8.50

Mushroom Arancini with Garlic & Herb Vegan Mayonnaise (plant-based) £7.50

Vintage Cheddar & Colcannon Croquettes with Mustard Mayonnaise £8.00

Black Pudding Faggots on Creamy Mashed Potato with Stout & Onion Gravy £8.50

Monday – Thursday enjoy 3 small plates for £20! Perfect for sharing…

Large Plates

Vegetable Tartlet of The Day (plant-based)) £12.00

Served with crushed new potatoes & mixed leaf salad    (add shaved parmesan for £1.00)

The Retreat British Beef Burger £13.50

Served in a Hobbs House bun with cheddar, tabasco mayonnaise, lettuce, beef tomato, gherkin ketchup, side of triple cooked chips & house salad

(Add bacon, caramelised onions, stilton, braised brisket, brie, battered onion ring – all £1 each)

Handmade Pie of The Day £14.50

Made in house & served with choice of mash or triple cooked chips, buttery vegetables and stout & onion gravy

Fish of the Day £14.50

Please ask your server for more details


House Salad £3.50 Truffled mac ‘n cheese £4.50

Beer battered onion rings £3.50 Braised brisket mac ‘n cheese £6.00

Triple cooked chips £3.50


All served with house pickles & mixed leaf salad 

Mature Cheddar and Red Onion Marmalade £7.95

Wiltshire Ham with Piccalilli or English Mustard £7.95

Smoked Streaky Bacon with Crunchy Lettuce & Beef Tomato (BLT) £7.95

Somerset Brie with Chilli Jam or Cranberry Sauce (add smoked bacon for £1) £7.95

Roasted Vegetable with Coronation Vegan Mayonnaise (plant-based) £7.95

Chalk Stream Trout “Pastrami” with Vodka Crème Fraiche & Cucumber £7.95

Rare Steak, Caramelised Onion & Stilton – served hot with a battered onion ring £9.95


Some of our menu items contain nuts, seeds and other 

allergens. There is a small risk that tiny traces of these may be in any other dish or food served here. 

We understand the dangers to those with severe allergies. Please ask a member of staff who may be able to offer an alternative choice.

Sweet Things

Lemon Treacle Tart served with Vanilla Ice Cream £7.50

Sticky Pear & Ginger Cake (plant-based) served with Rosemary Maple Syrup £6.50

Bread & Butter Pudding with Dark Chocolate and Choice of Ice Cream £6.00

Selection of British Cheeses served with Crackers & Chutney £9.00

Including smoked brie, Somerset goats’ cheese, Shropshire blue & truffled Snowdon cheddar 

Selection of Local Ice Creams (please ask your server for more details) £2 per scoop

All our dishes are freshly prepared using locally sourced products from independent Stroud traders whenever possible.

All prices include VAT at its current level of 20%


Phone: 01453 750208
Website: The Retreat at Stroud | 28 Church Street, Stroud (retreatstroud.com)


All imagery supplied by Matt Bigwood

Your chance to feature in Meet The Chef

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Please email: ash@stroudtimes.com for further details.

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