Like many high other streets up and down the country, there are empty shops in Leamington, but the town’s reputation for independent shopping is still strong – thanks to the gems that can be found along Regent Street and Warwick Street.
Topping up on a choice of more twenty different olive oils from Deli-Cious with recycled bottles is such a good idea, so that was my first stop.
To try something new I picked up a bottle of Lebanese Pomegranate Molasses in Rustic Food Company on a recommendation that it is great marinade for lamb and chicken. I was told that Big Fat Olive, a range of oils produced in Leamington will be on the shelves next week.
The sandwich counter at Country Bumpkins had a queue for their freshly made baguettes, but I was more interested in the cheese and was introduced to Fowlers of Earlswood who add real ale, mustard, chilli, garlic and parsley to their Warwickshire cheddar.
The Daddy of all butchers, Aubrey Allen has a gourmet selection of meats and a nifty create your own BBQ box, to choose a sample of their award winning produce. My pack contained the lamb and coriander burgers, plus the spicy Warwickshire Whizzer sausages with a blend of pork, chilli, mustard seeds and paprika.
With the only wet fish counter in the area, The Regency Fish Company offers a fantastic selection of white fish, oily fish, smoked fish and shellfish. The staff are so helpful and they don’t mind if you are an unadventurous cook and end up buying one of the paella kits.
I am on a gluten free diet this month, so couldn’t be tempted into Bread and Co for their artisan bread, cakes or pastries, even though I’d enjoyed cake from local cake maker Sarah Edwards before.
I also had to bypass Arden’s, where I usually go for a coffee and sweet treat so as not to miss my train, but still went home happy with a bag full of delicious food from Leamington. Arden’s 98 Regent Street http://www.ardens.co.uk
Aubrey Allen 108 Warwick Street http://www.aubreyallen.co.uk
Bread & Co 94 Warwick Street and 56 Regent Street
Country Bumpkins 53 Warwick Street http://www.countrybumpkinsdeli.co.uk
Deli-Cious 104 Regent Street
The Regency Fish Company 49 Regent Street http://www.regencyfish.co.uk
The Rustic Food Company 129 Regent Street