Table Talk – October

This month I’ll be looking for some Autumn cheer in Stratford upon Avon, at the three week FEASTS festival.  From Friday 2 – Thursday 2 October, local restaurants, cafes and hotels will be cooking up a range of offers, events and competitions to enjoy. For the full details visit and check out the Facebook page .

Congratulations to #nom, Oakchurch Farm Shop and Fletchers Cider for winning 3 star awards from Great Taste. 

The judges loved   the “thick and smooth, creamy and salty, perfectly pitched” Droitwich Salted Caramel from #nom in Bromsgrove, which is made using a brine salt extracted from beneath Droitwich town and double cream from a nearby dairy.

Oakchurch Raspberry Sorbet from Oakchurch Farm Shop in Staunton-on-Wye near Hereford, described by judges as “raspberries picked at their pinnacle and then preserved in ice, nay not preserved but enhanced, leaving you wrapped up in nostalgic memories”

And the three -year matured Fletchers 1802 Vintage Cider from Fletchers Cider in Far Forest, Worcestershire, was “a drink to be savoured and celebrated” with notes of “toffee and caramel, moving through butterscotch to smoke and bonfires.” 

Tailors in Market Place Warwick has recently marked their thirteenth birthday with a refurb. They have new tables, new colour scheme, artwork from a local artists and sewing machines to reflect the building’s former use.

Table Talk – September

Just a little round-up of offers and events in Kenilworth, Leamington and Coventry to get your teeth into this month!

Book a table on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday in September The Cross in Kenilworth  for £10 off your food bill per person. (Offer is only applicable for the A La Carte menu or the Tasting menu.)⠀

Also, every Monday throughout September the Virgins and Castle pub will have six different burgers for you to choose from and they will be half price!

I’m looking forward to my next trip over to Leamington to visit the new bigger shop of Cenu Cacao. The independent bean to bar chocolate maker now has more room for all their chocolates and truffles in Regent Street.

JamaIcan, Mexican, Spanish or Venezuelan   – take your pick of your favourite cuisine at the series of dinners taking place at Temperance in September. Four courses from £20 with live music.

Until Sunday 20 September, Digbeth Dining Club will be turning the iconic Coventry Cathedral into an outdoor beer garden with some of your all time favourite street food regulars, local brewers and bars as well a great DDC soundtrack. Bars will be provided by the Bayley Lane, Twisted Barrel Brewery and Tap House + BeauFort Spirit and street food will rotate each weekend.

Table Talk – August

After what feels like ages it is great to be able to share Table Talk with you again!

StrEATS food

So starting in Coventry with two new openings this week. The team behind Monsoon Estates Coffee  opened a new street food takeaway and coffee shop in Spon End on Monday.  StrEATS will be open till 8pm serving dishes including corn dogs, skin on fries and homemade slaw.

Byatts beer

On Thursday (20th) Playwrights Café is opening their second branch at Unit 12, St Nicholas Street, on the canal basin. Open for breakfast and lunch, check their Facebook page for menus.

The Court House Warwick afternoon tea

There are three dates to enjoy a new afternoon tea at the historic The Court House Warwick.  At £15 for adults and £9 for children, guests can tuck into a selection of sandwiches, scones and cakes served on vintage china on 22, 29 and 30 August. Booking is via Facebook  or 01926 830808.

Newbold Spirits.jpg

Newbold Spiced Rum and Dry London Gin (distilled in Leamington) are now stocked in Gallachers of Rugby 

The Almanac eat out to help out

The Clarendon Arms, Harringtons on the Hill, Rocking Horse Coffee Shop and The Almanac  are among the local venues in Kenilworth taking part in #EatOutToHelpOut this month. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday you will receive 50% off your food and soft drinks bill (up to £10 per person).

The Cookery School at Salt

Did you know that Michelin star restaurant Salt also has a cookery school upstairs? The Cookery School at Salt  will be delivering a wide range of courses from bread, pasta and pastries to dinner parties and perfect Christmas dinners which are priced from £95 for a half day course.

Warwickshire Gin Company

And finally! Look out for The Warwickshire Gin Distillery new distillery  which is due to open in Neilston Street, Leamington in September.

I’m making a couple of changes to this feature –  I’ll be posting this update monthly instead of weekly and I’m focusing on just Warwickshire, rather than the wider West Midlands area for now. The links to venues Facebook pages or websites will always be included so that you can click through for more info / booking which I hope helps.


Eat Out To Help Out in Rugby


Venues in Rugby have signed up to the Eat Out to Help Out promotion that is running in August, where diners can enjoy 50% off a meal and soft drinks on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays this month at :

Bacco Lounge, Regent Street

Central Café, Rugby Central

Costa Coffee, Swan Centre

Dilruba, Railway Terrace

Dosa Village, Church Street

The Distillery, North Street

Hill Murry, Eastfield Place

Kaspas Desserts, Swan Centre

Kunis Coffee & Comics, Market Place

La Casa Loco, Churchside Arcade

The Lawrence Sheriff, High Street

Libertine Burger, Swan Centre

Maia Gelato, High Street

Maharajah, Albert Street

On the Rocks, Albert Street

Prezzo, Regent Street

Quigleys, Albert Street

Rama Thai, High Street

Subway, Clifton Road

Treacles Kitchen, Sheep Street.

Food and drink will appear on the menu at full price, and the restaurant will deduct the money off the bill and claim it back from the government, so you don’t have to collect vouchers or download a QR code to take part. There is no minimum spend or limit on the number of people that can benefit from the discount, which is set at a maximum £10 per person.


Mine’s a pint

How pubs will be able to cope with social distancing is anyone’s guess – especially as the larger pubs are unable to access Government grants unless the threshold is lifted to over £51K –  but in the meantime here are some ideas to bring a pint to you at home in Rugby. Continue reading “Mine’s a pint”

Delicious Fathers Day gifts

There are plenty of ways to treat your dad with food and drink gifts on Fathers Day from local producers:

The Little Gin Company

The Little Gin Company’s Father’s Day bundle includes your choice of 70cl Trailer Made Gin plus  a fridge pack of Folkington’s Tonic (8 x 150ml cans) so he can create the perfect serve from the comfort of his own home for £40.

Choose from Trailer Made London Dry, Elderflower, Old Tom or Rhubarb with a twist of lime gin and Folkington’s Perfectly Light, English Garden, Earl Grey Tonic or Ginger Ale. They will also include a handwritten note within your package – just fill in the gift note section on the checkout page.

Aubrey Allen giftbox

He may want to keep the savoury goodies in the Aubrey Allen gift box all to himself! This includes Baron Bigod British brie, Colston Bassett stilton, Black Bomber extra mature cheddar, a small jar of chutney, a box of cheese biscuits and a bottle of Empress IPA for £19.95. Order via their website for collection at their Leamington Spa shop.

Hilltop Farm brisket rolls

Hilltop Farm is offering a drive-through takeaway event for Father’s Day. They will be serving  48-hour slow-cooked brisket rolls with a secret sticky marinade, served with your choice of sauce and sides including BBQ bourbon beans, mac n cheese and crunchy slaw with American Style IPA and a bourbon cocktail to wash it all down with. Adult ans children portions as well as vegetarian options are also available. Simply order, pay online and collect from Hilltop Farm to take home and enjoy.

Return of Table Talk

It feels great publishing a post of news from The Cross in Kenilworth and The Green Dragon in Coventry in my weekly round-up again.

The Cross Kenilworth

The Cross at Home takes takeaway to the next level – Michelin star level to be precise.  Each week The Cross chefs will create a menu with top quality seasonal produce, at a price that reflects the menu which has been created.

Ordering will open on Friday evenings through until Sunday night, ready for pick up on the following weekend where you book your pick up slot. Sample dishes from previous menus include rillette of Loch Duart salmon, cucumber salad, horseradish, herbs, spelt crackers;  slow cooked Wiltshire pork belly, fondant potatoes, tenderstem broccoli, salted gooseberry puree, house black pudding, caper sauce and passionfruit pavlova, toasted coconut, vanilla poached pineapple ( £39.21).

green dragon blueberry tart

Over in Coventry I wrote about the Green Dragon back in February as they were preparing to open. Their plans were halted by the lockdown and have been adapted to continue trading. They are delivering pizza, wings and savoury snacks in the evening (CV1 – CV6) while during the day they are busy fulfilling cake orders.

Their new birthday cake menu features a selection of classic flavours – red velvet, carrot cake, lemon drizzle and chocolate all hand decorated for £20 each, as well as a birthday treats box of brownies and cookies for £20.

Takeaway treats

Friday’s used to be our takeaway night, now it feels like most nights! We’ve replaced going out with staying in, so this blog post features two of the takeaways I have enjoyed recently during lockdown.


Birtelli’s, Leamington, pizza kits

This box contained everything you need to quickly whip up a pizza. The thin, stonebaked pizza bases quickly crisped in eight minutes thanks to the handy mesh included in our kit.

My partner does not like tomatoes, so he chose the Wenlock Edge garlic and fennel salami and added more meat when it was cooked.

I didn’t need to add anything to mine, because the Vegan Garden had five individual bags of toppings – artichoke hearts, spring and red onions, chestnut mushrooms, and red capsicums, finished with a touch of Mediterranean black olives and Sunblush tomatoes.

As well as being delicious, even with delivery it was cheaper than what we would normally order from a high street chain (£16.99) and all of the packaging was recyclable. Options for three and four pizzas are also available.

Treacles afternoon tea (1)

Treacles Kitchen, Rugby, afternoon tea 

This family-run business is back offering a collection and delivery service from Wednesday to Saturday. I ordered an afternoon tea for myself and one for my mum to cheer her up during lockdown, as we were both missing our weekly catch-ups over cake at Treacles.

The emphasis here is on the sweet treats with freshly made scones and cakes to follow a mini selection of sandwiches and baked savoury snacks, that cost £12.50. Open from 10am – 3pm from Wednesday to Saturday to take your orders and for you to pick up your purchases or book delivery.

Green shoots

Inside the 22 coffee hatch

Slowly and safely the food and drink sector is re-opening. With 40 businesses in Rugby alone now offering  collection, delivery and takeaway I thought that it was time to start the blog back up again! Continue reading “Green shoots”

Say hello wave goodbye

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.