The Fuzzy Duck

 If you’ve missed the innovative cooking of Richard Craven, after his restaurant The Chef’s Dozen closed, then here is some good news. After a short break, Richard is back!

The Fuzzy Duck Armscote

Richard is now head chef at the new country pub and boutique hotel The Fuzzy Duck. Nestled in the picturesque Warwickshire village of Armscote (a few miles south of Stratford-upon-Avon) The Fuzzy Duck building once housed the local blacksmith and in the 18th Century became a popular coaching inn. It remains Armscote’s only pub and has been given a stylish makeover by the family behind bath products brand Bayliss & Harding.

Head Chef Richard says: “Our ethos is fresh, seasonal and local, with steak from Aubrey Allen and game shot to order by local game-keepers. We are creating local flavour combinations, such as Hay-smoked lamb with creamy mash, sea purslane and black olives and free-range chicken kiev with Herefordshire snails to excite our diners.

“Our house-special is Beak to Tailfeather a Fuzzy Duck supper for two, containing everything from the confit of leg to the succulent breast of the duck. For desserts I’m sure that traditional puds such as gooseberry queen of puddings and Grandma Baylis’s grown up strawberry trifle will be well received.”


Table Talk

For the first week of the New Year, I’ve been looking for the best restaurant promotions that offer value for money without compromising on quality.

The Chef's Dozen dish







With their first appearance in the Michelin guide this year, The Chef’s Dozen is offering to beat the Winter blues with a four course meal with a sparkling cocktail for £28 per person. Available Tuesday to Friday in January.

High Pavement Warwick






I spotted an offer for High Pavement in Warwick on Travelzoo.  For £39, two Travelzoo subscribers can visit Warwick’s newest restaurant for a two course dinner, plus a side dish and cocktail each, saving up to 54% on the usual bill. Choices for   mains include lamb osso bucco with braised beans and pancetta or fillet of sea bass with lemon and tarragon fries and caper mayo.

THe White Horse lunch





Choose from hearty lunch options such as free range Gloucester Old Spot sausages with kale mash and lentil and spinach burger with houmous and fries, at The White Horse in Leamington. Together with a drink this midweek offer will set you back £18 for two people until the end of January.








Opus is offering a grilled Aberdeenshire 7 oz rump steak, served with chips or salad   and peppercorn sauce, plus a glass of house wine for £15 during weekday lunches   and 6pm Saturday dinner.






New Years Eve Menus

To welcome 2013, here are my recommendations for five restaurants to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

The Chef's Dozen dish







The Chef’s Dozen has an eight course dinner with a glass of bubbly upon arrival and another to toast 2013. Depending on seasonal availability diners will be served snacks upon arrival, followed by pressed Paddock Farm quince, line-caught Cornish cod, Herefordshire beef, deserts and cheeseboard for £85 per person.

Tailors Restaurant Warwick






In Warwick Tailors Restaurant will be entertaining guests with a magician while they enjoy Brixham crab, Duck liver parfait, smoked salmon and scrambled egg, confit breast of quail and roasted squab pigeon, plus their take on Arctic Roll and Wagon Wheel! £85 per person










A warming cauliflower and sweet mustard soup, pan fried king prawns and deep fried goats cheese and stilton fritters are starter options at Queans in Leamington Spa. Supreme of chicken, pan fried medallion of pork, fillet steak, wild duck breast and grilled whole black bream are main courses. Save room for their famous homemade ice creams though! £72.50 including champagne and canapés on arrival.

The Malt Shovel at Barston









A celebratory five course dinner will be served in the bar with log fire, or stylish barn conversion  restaurant at The Malt Shovel in Barston. I’d choose the cassis and pomegranate sorbet, medallion of lobster and dark chocolate tart before dancing into the New Year. £65 per person.

Peel's restaurant team







You could be eating a six course dinner and dancing the night away until 2am at Peel’s restaurant. From foie gras and confit chicken roulade topavéof Angus beef, a luxury experience at the historic Hampton Manor is £90 per person.

Restaurant News







Le Truc Café’s first pop-up at Six Eight Kafe in Birmingham on Saturday 9th June promises du pain, du vin and beaucoup de fromage. The new Summer  menu from Petit Gourmand includes Corn fed chicken supreme, crushed olive potato with green bean and tomato provencale and Chilled lemon and lavender souffle with raspberry granita. The Chefs Dozen in Alcester is on an early summer break, open again on 13th June.


May Food Events

Check the Events page for details of a wine evening at The Chef’s Dozen, Coventry Farmers Market, The Big Picnic, Kenilworth Food Fayre, Alcester Food Festival and National Vegetarian Week.