Tomorrow I will be sampling ALL the gin at a festival in Leamington and kicking off a month of events in April. Also on:
Weston Park is wishing a fond farewell to their head chef Guy Day with two special demos and tastings.
Whiskey fans will be torn between sinking a few drams at The Plough or The Alchemist who both have tastings on.
You can’t go wrong pairing craft beer with Aubrey Allen steaks, so head over to The Star & Garter in Leamington to meet the brewer too. Still in the spa town, enjoy tapas and raise funds for autism at the Season’s restaurant tapas and quiz night.
At Warwick Kitchen, Price’s Spices are hosting their first restaurant pop-up and in the Custard Factory you’ll find street food fans tucking into everything from German sausages to curries, these are both brand new events.
You’ll have to wait until the end of April to show off your chilli-eating skills at Eastnor Castle’s Chilli Festival.
My top tips for what to do are always popular, so as usual please check with the venues on ticket availability and enjoy filling your bellies!
So what food and drink events are on the horizon for February?
Celebrate the end of the British game season with the The Star and Garter in Leamington Spa.
Spice up your taste buds with a North Indian food festival in Birmingham with Lasan, or slap your thighs to the oompah band at Coombe Abbey’s Bavarian Night.
Continue the Chinese New Year celebrations at The Oriental with their wine matching dinner, join the old world versus new world debate at Hotel du Vin, or bubble into the weekend with the Friday Fizz birthday party at The Leamington Wine Company.
From all of the Burns Night suppers being held, here are three of my favourites to sink a wee dram.
In association with The Birmingham Whisky Club, Soul Food Project is putting on a big Burns Night supper on Thursday 23 January. Three courses of traditional Scottish fare served with expertly matched scotch whiskies, accompanied with live music and poetry. Choose between just the Burns night supper for £15, Burns Night supper and whisky tasting for £30, or a Burns Night whisky tasting for £15.
The party at Peels starts with a piper and welcome cocktail at 7.30pm in the grand drawing room. Followed by dinner choices of pearl barley risotto, Loch duart salmon, filet of venison and coffee parfait served at 8pm for £45 per person on Friday 24 January.
On his actual birthday you can address the haggis, eat haggis (other dishes available) and then sample the malts to celebrate the life and works of Robbie Burns at Star and Garter . From 6 – 10pm on Saturday 25 January.
The only good thing about the clocks going back for the end of British Summer time on Sunday, are the new seasonal ingredients to savour. Our local chefs have some treats in store for us with their new Autumn menus.
As an appetiser why not try the Balmoral venison scotch eggs and red onion ketchup at The Star & Garter, who have recently celebrated their first birthday in Leamington.
For a main dish, that will be served every other Wednesday until the end of November, Harringtons on the Hill in Kenilworth has added roast supreme of pheasant with pearl barley, bacon and Madeira jus.
When Wayne Thomson took delivery of a magnificent stag red deer from the Scottish Highlands, he ensured that diners at No 9 Church Street could appreciate every aspect of venison with nose to tail eating. After being butchered, the venison loin was served with pumpkin gnocchi, smoked bacon, mushrooms, cabbage and a blackcurrant and cider sauce. The leg joints were roasted for Sunday lunch, the shoulder diced and marinated for casseroles, finishing with home-made venison and red wine sausages.
And to finish? Richard Craven’s hedgerow sloe tart with garden apple – juniper sherbet – meringue garden apple, juniper sherbert and meringue at The Fuzzy Duck.
Apart from The Fuzzy Duck’s dessert, all of the others images are for illustrative purposes only).
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.