From LAX, nonstop service to London's Heathrow Airport is offered on Air New Zealand, British, United, Virgin Atlantic and American. Connecting service (change of planes) is offered on Continental, American and United. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $731.
From London's Paddington Station, you can take the train to Cheltenham for about $75 round trip (http://www.nationalrail.co.uk. From Heathrow, it takes about two hours to drive the 95 miles.
To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (international dialing code), 44 (country code for England), 1242 (area code for Cheltenham) and the local number.
WHERE TO STAY
Hotel du Vin, 1 Parabola Road, Cheltenham; 588-450, http://www.hotelduvin.com. A quiet hotel just off the main center, with sleek, modern lines, a lively bar and excellent restaurant. Doubles from $232.
George Hotel, St. George's Road, Cheltenham; 235-751, http://www.stayatthegeorge.co.uk. Boutique, upmarket hotel with complimentary traditional English breakfast and one of Cheltenham's finest restaurants, Monty's Bar & Brasserie.
Holiday Inn Express Hotel Cheltenham Town Centre, Dunalley Street, Cheltenham, 548-200, http://www.hiexcheltenham.com. No-frills budget hotel centrally located near shopping and major tourist destinations.
WHERE TO EAT
The Daffodil, 18-20 Suffolk Parade, Cheltenham; 700-055, http://www.thedaffodil.com. This former Art Deco movie house has been converted to a stylish and popular restaurant with a Monday night jazz cabaret. Top-notch nouvelle cuisine and excellent wine list. Entrees $20-$30; prix-fixe lunches from $21.50 to $25.
Brasserie Blanc, the Queen's Hotel, the Promenade, Cheltenham; 266-800, http://www.brasserieblanc.com. In the heart of the shopping district, this large, fashionable, often-crowded French brasserie sparkles. The duck breast with blackberry sauce is scrumptious. Entrees $15.50-$29.
Shezan Restaurant, 4 Montpellier St., Cheltenham; 525-429, no website. This midpriced eatery offers excellent takeout Indian food. Entrees $9-$15.
Daylesford Organic Farm Shop, near Kingham, is a temple to slow food. (1608) 731-700, http://www.daylesfordorganic.com. Noshes $2-$25. Sit-down lunch entrees $16-$21.
The Midcounties Co-operative, 8 Montpellier St., Cheltenham; 244-907, no website. Small supermarket serving the local student population with good sandwiches, salads, soft drinks and beer. Sandwiches $5-$8.
TO LEARN MORE
Cheltenham Tourist Information Center, 77 Promenade, Cheltenham; 522-878, http://www.VisitCheltenham.info. Offers bus tours with trained guides to various Cotswolds destinations. $46 each.