What’s on this week

Staying close to home in Leamington and Coventry for what’s on this week including  – a gin tasting with the Leamington Wine Company, tapas are on the menu at Warwick Street Kitchen’s monthly pop-up and street food fans have a choice of Fargo Village for their fill of Coventry Dining Club or to Leamington for Underboard pop-up this weekend.

The Leamington Wine Company

Friday 14th December
Christmas gin tasting
Victoria House, Willes Road, Leamington
7.30 – 9.30pm
£35

Your hosts the Leamington Wine Company will have over 50 gins on the night for you to try.Fever Tree and a number of renowned distilleries will once again be supporting the event.

Warwick Street Kitchen Leamington

Friday 14th December
Festive tapas night
Warwick Street Kitchen, 102 Warwick Street, Leamington
7 -10pm

A £10 deposit secures your place. On the night the menu features nibbles including ras el hanout halloumi fries with sweet chilli jam (£3.50) small plates including dukka coated goats cheese mousse with roasted cauliflower purée and sourdough crisps (£8) large plates including sage roasted pork belly and braised red cabbage (£13.50) and desserts including set chocolate orange blossom with almond tuile (£8).

Dick's Smokehouse

Saturday 15th December
Coventry Dining Club
Fargo Village, Far Gosford Street, Coventry
Noon – 10pm
£2 entry

Greidy’s, Fat Snags , Goody Gujarati, Yo Dough, Handmade Pizza Co, Nyama Choma, Dick’s Smokehouse and Sticky Beaks are on the menu as DDC returns to Coventry. Usual mix of craft beer, cocktails and DJ’s also on offer.

Mac OG street food

Sunday 16th December
Underboard Dining Club
Court Street Car Park, 3 Court Street, Leamington
Noon – 4pm

Buy your beers from Underboard then pop out to the car park to scoff street food from The Box, Mac OG, Firkin.Bar.Becue and the Flying Cow.

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Fall for these food and drink events

Take your pick from this cornucopia of food and drink events in the Midlands this month.

November events

In Warwick you can sip tea at Warwick Street Kitchen or shots of Chase Vodka at Square Wine and enjoy the next in the series of Dine with Wine evenings at High Pavement. I’ll be in town mid month for Rob Eatwell’s ‘Feather & Fur’ menu at the Rose & Crown.

Help celebrate both the Thai Festival and their 10th anniversary at Sabai Sabai restaurant in Moseley, or try a raw food evening with the Latvian supper club Two Cats Roaming at 6/8 Kafe.

Put your skills to the test and learn how to cure and smoke your own meat with Italian deli Squisito, or go the whole hog and butcher a pig with the Loaf chefs.

Get your bake on at the Cake International Show and return to the NEC for the BBC Good Food Show Winter at the end of the month.

Wine lovers can discuss vintages with Tim Atkin at Hampton Manor or stock up for the holidays at the Christmas Wine Fair.

For next year I’m planning an even bigger and better events calendar, where you can search for food and drink events by area and category. By subscribing to my blog you will automatically receive these updates.

My Top 5 Summer Lunches

For their great quality food, value for money and pretty gardens, here are my top five recommendations for summer lunches – The Bluebell in Henley in Arden, Anderson’s at The Bulls Head, Brum Yum Yum, Warwick Street Kitchen and The Cross in Kenilworth.

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1 – For value for money, The Bluebell in Henley in Arden tops the list for offering two courses of two rosette rated food for £10 in their Feast Lunch Club. From Tuesday to Saturday, noon to 2.30pm, the daily changing menu has so far included treats such as sweetcorn and basil velouté, salt beef hash and banana pavlova.

Andersons dining garden

2 – Just a bit further down the road, Anderson’s at The Bulls Head in Wootton Wawen has unveiled their new dining garden. If you’re going to eat al fresco you want to enjoy your surroundings, so check out the extension to the main restaurant, where diners can order off the a la carte menu featuring their popular steaks and grills.

Brum Yum Yum Lunchmarket

3 – You’ve got until 1 August to try Brum Yum Yum Lunchmarket. Running through the summer into August, the city centre square bursts into life with the delicious aromas of street food, there’s also a beer market and live music if you don’t have to go back to the office!

Warwick Street Kitchen

4 – Finding a good readymade picnic hamper is as rare as hen’s teeth. I find that either you are overcharged for the amount of food contained, or you have a range of items that you wouldn’t have chosen yourself. So hats off to Warwick Street Kitchen in Leamington Spa. Their £20 picnic for two is packed with charcuterie, hummus, salad, anti pasti, bread and flapjack bites. You can even borrow a basket and blanket to take with you to nearby Jephson Gardens.

The Cross dessert

5 – The Cross in Kenilworth has launched a new garden menu, featuring classics such as burgers and fish and chips which are cooked and eaten in (you guessed it) their garden! If you ‘re not so lucky with the weather, heading indoors to sample Adam Bennett’s cooking isn’t a hardship with dishes such as corn fed poussin and strawberry sundae on the fixed price lunch menu.

Fill your basket in Leamington Spa

On Saturday, as my article on food shopping in Leamington Spa went live on the Coventry Telegraph’s website, I was back in town.

Sadly Country Bumpkins deli has closed since I last visited, but new coffee shop Sip on Regent Street and Warwick Street Kitchen café and deli (pictured below) have opened offering even more coffee, cakes and store cupboard treats.

Warwick Street Kitchen

As I am looking for food related gifts and a vintage afternoon tea business for a new food festival that I am working on, I spent a lovely afternoon browsing Judy’s Vintage Fair and Blighty Bazaar.

vintage tea

After a reviving coffee and slice of sticky toffee cake, I had a camera and notebook full of inspiration.