Three weeks ago I wrote a new guide to eating and drinking in Rugby for the blog and at work I had published a new map and website to promote local venues. Then life took over and I didn’t get round to publishing it.
Two weeks ago, as the effects of coronavirus hit it became a bewildering battle to keep up with which cafés, bars, pubs and restaurants were still open. I couldn’t quite get my head around how could I responsibly post and tweet about them without contradicting government advice on social distancing. It made my head swim.
Then came the final shock of total shut down on Friday 20 March with business owners, food and drink producers and hospitality staff seeing their livelihoods disappear overnight.
In the eight years that I have been writing this blog I have met some amazing people and hopefully introduced readers to venues, products and events that they may not have found and fallen in love with otherwise.
This is what will keep me going until this craziness is over, so this a temporary pause on the blog but not goodbye. Keep safe and see you again on the other side.
James Sherwin has a thrilling announcement for foodies in Shropshire – his pop-up Wild Shropshire has finally found a permanent home!
He says: “We’re thrilled to have had the official sign off from the bods in suits and have been busy knocking down and rebuilding walls. We’re also having heated discussions regarding the bathroom decor, we may even throw it over to a Facebook poll to give you the final say.
“After much teasing we can also reveal our new location! We will be in Green End, Whitchurch, conveniently nestled in beautiful North Shropshire. Our opening date is 3rd April and bookings are now live on our website.”
In other news, Hatton Arms in Warwick has re-opened. Here is what Coventry Live and Eat With Ellen think of the revamp and new menu.
Looks like we are in for a marvellous March – in a chef pop-up / street food takeover / nosh up in a brewery / hot cross bun baking kind of way. Hop over to the Events page and see where the month takes you. https://wp.me/P1DX8Z-g
Bread, beer, mussels and frites are on the menu in this week’s Table Talk.
Just in time for Real Bread Week, Sarehole Mill is back baking for the people of Birmingham, thanks to launch of its new bakery and the restoration of the site’s Victorian bakehouse. It has been nearly 150 years since the original bakehouse was in action at this famous property. New baker Siri Kaur will be preparing freshly baked food in the café and take away loaves and sweet treats for the shop.
Great to see that local street food business The Flying Cows has scooped Best Street Food at ITV The Food and Drink Awards and are finalists in the National Burger Awards. These burger boys only serve the best quality locally-reared beef and you can usually find them at the Digbeth Dining Club.
Next week my local Merchants Inn will be transformed for their Ccafé Belgique nights, where they will be showcasing the best traditional Belgian food. A £10 deposit is required with tables bookable at the pub.
I haven’t visited the Lazy Monkey yet and now there are two more new venues to look out for in Coventry.
Launching on Friday 28 February is a new supper club by Table & Wine. Open on Friday and Saturday nights at Emily’s on Earlsdon High Street, they will specialise in small plates rather than serving starters and mains.
Over on Spon Street in the city centre the venue that was Truth and Alibi bar and the Blue Bistro is getting ready for its next reinvention. Luke Truslove is the new owner of the eaterie that will offer coffee, small savoury plates, brunches, afternoon teas and an evening taster menu in The Green Dragon. Due to open at the end of the month.
The oldest pub in Kenilworth, The Virgins & Castle, is about to welcome new business owners.
Marc Hornby and Jonathan Carter-Morris will take over the pub, after a refurb by Everards Brewery, in March.
Jonathan lives in Kenilworth and will be a familiar face as he has managed The Almanack in the town centre and The Rose & Crown in Warwick. He said: “Having lived in Kenilworth for the last five years, I’ve enjoyed many a pint in The Virgins. It’s a beautiful pub, with incredible character and heritage. When the opportunity came to take it on, Marc and I jumped at the chance.”
Jonathan and Marc will welcome customers from Friday 13th March 2020 with customers able to enjoy new menus in time for Mother’s Day and Easter. With four cosy snug rooms to escape the world and enjoy a quiet drink, The Virgins & Castle also has a dining room that will serve customers during lunch and dinner times with classic and traditional pub food and plant-based menus .
A Winter Beer Festival, brewery tour, couples cocktail masterclass, an afternoon tea and a Belgian café pop-up all feature in my top tips for February. Hop over to the Events page for more details.
We popped over to Leamington earlier to have lunch at The Neighbourhood and tucked into Philly Cheesesteak from Stripclub Street Food and Korean Fried Chicken from Canoodle.
The transformed pub still has a huge bar area, but the ground floor is now home to eight street food vendors, which will be rotating.
You simply choose where to sit, buy your food (cards only) then a waitress brings it over to you.
On the menu today were @stripclub_streetfood, @thatsmaturetoasties, @phataphatfood, @canoodlestreetfood and @thelittlecookiemumsters as well as coffee and cakes from Coffee Architects from over the road, so there was plenty to keep the families with young children and hipsters happy.
Bit of a different vibe in the evening with a DJ, this Warwick Street venue gives you the street food experience indoors all day.
A trio of local food stories featuring a new ale, new C4 food programme and new street food market.
The Falcon hotel has teamed up with the local Bridgnorth Brewery to create a new Falcon Ale. Described as a modern craft beer with a citrus flavour, the beer will be served in the Bridgnorth venue’s bar and restaurant.
Shropshire chef Adam Purnell will be appearing on C4 alongside Heston Blumenthal on Tuesday 21 January. In a new show ‘Crazy Delicious’ features three contestants who forage for ingredients to create a fantastic feast. The six part series airs at 8pm.
A new indoor street food market and bar has opened in Leamington. The Neighbourhood has a roatating selection of eight food traders, coffee shop and DJ in the evenings.
January is already setting the bar high for 2020, with a host of local chefs from Glynn Purnell to Stu Deeley creating special dinners and events for us to enjoy this month.
All the details are over on the Events page.