Table Talk – August

After what feels like ages it is great to be able to share Table Talk with you again!

StrEATS food

So starting in Coventry with two new openings this week. The team behind Monsoon Estates Coffee  opened a new street food takeaway and coffee shop in Spon End on Monday.  StrEATS will be open till 8pm serving dishes including corn dogs, skin on fries and homemade slaw.

Byatts beer

On Thursday (20th) Playwrights Café is opening their second branch at Unit 12, St Nicholas Street, on the canal basin. Open for breakfast and lunch, check their Facebook page for menus.

The Court House Warwick afternoon tea

There are three dates to enjoy a new afternoon tea at the historic The Court House Warwick.  At £15 for adults and £9 for children, guests can tuck into a selection of sandwiches, scones and cakes served on vintage china on 22, 29 and 30 August. Booking is via Facebook  or 01926 830808.

Newbold Spirits.jpg

Newbold Spiced Rum and Dry London Gin (distilled in Leamington) are now stocked in Gallachers of Rugby 

The Almanac eat out to help out

The Clarendon Arms, Harringtons on the Hill, Rocking Horse Coffee Shop and The Almanac  are among the local venues in Kenilworth taking part in #EatOutToHelpOut this month. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday you will receive 50% off your food and soft drinks bill (up to £10 per person).

The Cookery School at Salt

Did you know that Michelin star restaurant Salt also has a cookery school upstairs? The Cookery School at Salt  will be delivering a wide range of courses from bread, pasta and pastries to dinner parties and perfect Christmas dinners which are priced from £95 for a half day course.

Warwickshire Gin Company

And finally! Look out for The Warwickshire Gin Distillery new distillery  which is due to open in Neilston Street, Leamington in September.

I’m making a couple of changes to this feature –  I’ll be posting this update monthly instead of weekly and I’m focusing on just Warwickshire, rather than the wider West Midlands area for now. The links to venues Facebook pages or websites will always be included so that you can click through for more info / booking which I hope helps.


Table Talk – Friday 20th July

Hot! Hot! Hot! Cool down with a pint of craft beer after a fiery chilli festival and an evening of rum, reggae and Caribbean street food. On the menu in this week’s Table Talk are Warwick Chilli Festival, Mart’s Brewhouse & Tap plus Rum & Reggae night at Fargo Village.

Jackys Pantry Warwick Chilli Festival

This weekend Market Square in Warwick heats up with the annual Chilli Festival. Chilli flavoured food to eat and buy, plus a chilli eating competition and a chilli con carne cooking competition will be taking place from 10am-4pm.

Leave it to Esmie

Friday 3rd August is a date for your diary if you love Caribbean food as the Rum & Reggae event returns to FarGo Village in Coventry on from 5pm. Tuck into dishes from Leave It To Esmie, Dookie’s Grill, Cornography and West Jerk Centre and speciality rum and cocktails to enjoy from FarGo Bar, Trailer Made Cocktails and Backhaus & Co. There will also be live music from Phase One Steel Orchestra and DJ Dave Marshall Barrett will be on the decks. Tickets cost £3 in advance from Eventbrite and £5 on the door.

Marts Brewhouse and Tap Hanley

A new tap bar has opened in Hanley, so that real ale fans in Staffordshire can enjoy a pint made from an on-site brewery. Mart’s Brewhouse & Tap has opened in the former Club International unit in Piccadilly, by husband and wife Will and Holly Haywood along with former Coachmaker’s Arms landlords, Sue Grocott and Jason Barlow. The two level bar can accommodate 90 people and offers up to eight real ales brewed on site and 14 tap beers, plus a selection of spirits.


Table Talk 23 February

James Sherwin

The Wild Shropshire pop-up has found a permanent home. From Friday 2nd March James Sherwin and his team will be delighting diners from Ternhill Farm House, a beautiful Grade II listed Georgian property near Market Drayton. Wild Shropshire will have a weekend residency, serving a multi-course tasting menu with the option of a matching wine flight.

Jack and Alice cafe Tring

What used to be a branch of Natwest on Warwick High Street is being converted into a coffee shop and wine bar.  Jack and Alice already has two other branches, but this will be the first for the Midlands. The new venue will be open daily for coffee and breakfast, afternoon tea and cake, then wine and cheese in the evening.

The Cross dinner

Diners in Kenilworth have an opportunity to enjoy three Michelin-starred fine dining, when Jacques Marcon, head chef at Régis et Jacques in France, will make special appearance at The Cross. On Thursday 8th and Friday 9th Marcon will join Adam Bennett’s brigade to cook a six-course lunch and a seven-course dinner.

Wonders of Warwick

With the Folk Festival and Smith Street Party on this weekend, there’s a nice buzz in Warwick at the moment.

The Hungry Toad hot sauce

Hungry party goers can savour the food and real ale festival in the food court with dishes from Nepalese curries to Whitby fish and chips. Street food regulars The Hungry Toad are also there with a Mexican inspired feat, including ‘Burritoad’ slow cooked chili con carne, cheese and sour cream wrapped up in a warm tortilla (with or without fiery jalapeno sauce).

The Globe alfresco terrace

The refurb of Grade II listed pub The Globe (formerly The Lazy Cow) is now complete just in time for summer. During the Folk Festival, Church Farm Brewery will also have a pop-up bar on The Globe’s brand spanking new terrace.

Rose & Crown Warwick / refurb
Rose & Crown Warwick / refurb

Rob Hartwell has left the Rose & Crown to go and work for sister pub The Almanack in Kenilworth, so the new head chef is Liam Higham. Liam cooked at two other fine eateries, Harrington’s and The Queen and Castle in Kenilworth before joining Peach Pubs and knows a thing or two about great seasonal food.

Coming soon





coming soon


I’m working on some great new features for the blog – English Wine Week, an eating and drinking guide to Warwick and a review of The Drawing Board in Leamington.

I’ll also be popping along to the Cosy Club launch on Thursday and Foodies Festival on Sunday, so look out those posts too.

Jumping Juniper

Hot from twitter is news of a gin club launching in Warwick.

Square Wine Compnay gin club

Tom, Hannah and Alistair from Square Wine Company are hosting a weekly event to taste three different gins. For each gin and tonic you buy, you will receive one stamp in your gin passport. When you have collected 9 stamps, you will receive your 10th gin and tonic for FREE!

Starts: Friday 20th February

Time: 7-9pm

£3.50 Single G&T £6 Double G&T

No booking required.

The Lazy Cow has to moo-ve

The Lazy Cow Warwick cow

For five years a life size fibre glass cow has greeted guests to The Lazy Cow in Warwick, but that is all set to change.

Hertfordshire-based company Oakman Inns has confirmed terms to acquire the steak house and boutique hotel rooms.

TLC pic

The Lazy Cow opened in 2010 following a £1.5m investment  to refurbish what was the former Globe Hotel. The venue is owned by Urban & Country Leisure, managing director Ross Sanders  said: “The Lazy Cow in Warwick will always be a very special place for me and my team – it’s a beacon of success and I’m proud to be leaving it as a solid platform for someone else to continue its successes and no doubt grow in time.”

Oakman Inns have mentioned that they are considering changing the name of the venue back to the Globe Inn, before inviting Warwick residents to have their say in the final name.

The Lazy Cow restaurants in Stratford upon Avon and Solihull remain unchanged by the sale of the flagship Warwick site.

What’s on in Warwick

It has been pretty quiet over in Warwick for a while and all of a sudden there are two new openings planned for local venues!

Smith Street Warwick

According to Big Hospitality, the Castle Keep Kitchen Bar has been bought by a group of local friends, who intend to open a new restaurant and cocktail bar. Number 6 Castle Street is scheduled to open in May, with Andrew Paul as general manager and Shahid Ahmed as chef.

I’m watching Twitter to see when the new bar The Old Post Office opens in West Street, with its real ale and pies.

High Pavement Warwick

Until then, on Tuesday 8 April, High Pavement  is hosting a French dine with style evening in association with Wine Poole. Chilled crab consommé, fillet of cod and navarin of lamb feature on the menu for £35 per person.

Home from home luxury in Warwick

The Rose & Crown Rooms on the Square double room 4

Warwick’s The Rose & Crown has been busy creating some luxurious new hotel rooms. Together with Suzie and Sarah from Peach Pubs, I followed the red vinyl footprints outside the pub to Market Place, went up a flight of stairs to find eight rooms offering a small haven of tranquillity.

The building used to house a nightclub and work began on the refurbishment in March. With a completion deadline of the Cliff Richard concert at Warwick Castle on 8 June, eight new en suite rooms with plenty of home comforts have been created.

The Rose & Crown Rooms on the Square detail

Each room has really good, handmade beds, fine Egyptian cotton sheets, piles of pillows and soft pure wool throws in a soft dove grey, with splashes of zingy lime and white.  Furniture is well spaced into curves and alcoves, mixing an old trunk as a bedside table with the latest flat screen TV. The double showers and great lighting make the bathrooms really attractive. 

The Rose & Crown Rooms on the Square family room bathroom

Guests check in at The Rose & Crown pub to be shown round to their rooms. The rates, which include a good English breakfast to set you up for the day, are £75 midweek and £85 at the weekend.


The Rose & Crown Rooms on the Square are offering Midlands Gourmet Girl readers a lovely competition prize of an overnight stay and breakfast for two people!

Simply email your answer to this question to by Friday 12 July.

Where are The Rose & Crown Rooms on the Square located?

A winner will be chosen at random from the entries received. The winner must book the stay directly with The Rose & Crown on 01926 411117. The prize is subject to availability, non transferable and has no cash value.