Kenilworth’s Foodie Fortnight

Morris Bond Chair Kenilworth Foodie Fortnight Leamington Spa Observer

A food market in Talisman Square on Saturday kicked off this annual food festival. Over the next  fortnight local food businesses in Kenilworth will be celebrating with a calendar of events including:

  •  Nibbles and Knowledge Quiz Night at The Old Bakery
  • An evening of Whisky Tasting and Exploration at The Gallery
  • Kenilworth Tea Party – A Celebration of 125 years of growing Kenilworth Tea
  • British Tapas Night at The Almanack
  • Beer Festival at the Engine Inn.

Number 11 restaurant-Kenilworth

The Cross and The Kenilworth cocktail bar have been great at putting this little market town on the map, but there is also the Filipino food  at the Virgins and Castle pub, Pomeroy’s Bistro, Number 11 restaurant, Harringtons on the Hill and Arden’s deli that are worth looking out for.

Local businesses will feature a range of promotions until Saturday 26 September, so for more details and ticket details for Kenilworth’s Foodie Fortnight events click here

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An afternoon in Kenilworth

Last weekend was the end of Foodie Fortnight, which coincided with Oktoberfest, so Kenilworth High Street was closed to traffic and filled with food stalls and live music.

Bill Howes sausages Kenilworth

The little street was packed with locals enjoying a pint outside The Virgins and Castle pub. This is one of the oldest pubs in Warwickshire, built in the late fifteenth century and first used as a pub in 1563.

As well as the historical background this pub is a popular attraction as they serve Filipino food, using fresh local ingredients. Their stall was serving crispy belly of pork with Filipino style vegetables and beef curry. On their regular menu, I liked the sound of chicken and pork adobo – slow cooked chicken and belly of pork marinated in soy sauce, cane vinegar, garlic and peppercorns.

The Virgins and Castle Filipion food

We had a quick drink in The Old Bakery  the cosy oak-beamed pub a couple of doors up from Loch Fyne, before we walked into the town centre to do some food shopping and eat.

The Old Bakery Kenilworth

The parsnip and cheddar croquettes from the veggie sharing board are one of my favourite things about The Almanac. This gastro pub is part of the Peach Pubs family and serves food all day, but we walked past enroute to Pomeroys Bar and Bistro for brunch.

Pommeroy's Bistro

As my partner demolished a full English breakfast I went for a lighter avocado, mushrooms, tomato and poached egg on toast. He liked the high backed booths and relaxed atmosphere and wanted to come back for dinner, but we had shopping to do first.

We finished our afternoon with coffee and cake in the cherry red  Ardens coffee shop. As part of the Kenilworth Pudding trail they were selling fresh scones with jam and cream for a bargain £1, which we couldn’t say no to.

Leamington eating and drinking guide

Leamington Spa town centre

With a farmers market and annual food festival, Leamington Spa is quite rightly showing off its great local produce, chefs and restaurants. I hope that my guide, on the Destinations page, helps you navigate eating and drinking at some of my favourite venues in this compact spa town.

Leamington Food Shops

 

   

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