Review: Nur Nur Paradise, Kenilworth

Review: Nur Nur Paradise, Kenilworth

Nur Nur Paradise, Kenilworth, review

Opening its doors in Kenilworth just before Christmas, Nur Nur Paradise offers guests a range of Thai fusion dishes, blending traditional Thai and Western food.

Thai-born Lee Wongsalees and Chantana Nimcean have combined their decades of hospitality experience to realise their vision of bringing the new restaurant to Warwick Road after meeting whilst working at a high street chain in Buckinghamshire ten years ago.

Nur Nur Paradise, Kenilworth, review

Nur Nur, I’m told, roughly translates as ‘delicious’ in Thai. Lee and Chantana claim they are delivering ‘the type of fusion food you cannot get anywhere else in Kenilworth.’ All in all, Nur Nur Paradise promises a lot and, I’m relieved to say, more than delivers.

Replacing the former Thai Sarocha which closed in early 2023, the fresh and sophisticated new look instantly makes for a great impression.

Nur Nur Paradise, Kenilworth, review

The food too, far from disappoints. Not the typical Western idea of Thai food, they put a Thai twist on existing Western dishes, while also offering traditional South East Asian cuisine.

It’s good to see the menu caters for everyone and can act as a great intro to Thai food for the uninitiated as well as offer exciting new recipes for the Thai enthusiast. An extensive range of Starters include Sharing Platters as well as Crispy Fried Mushrooms; Tandoori Prawns; Seared Scallops with Salsa Salad; Chicken Thigh Satay; Soups; Thai Sweet Corn Fritters and even Grilled Rib Eye with Black Pepper Sauce.

Nur Nur Paradise, Kenilworth, review

When it comes to Mains, the choice can at first seem intimidating. There’s a lot to peruse and the decision will, inevitably, be a carefully considered one with so many wonderful sounding dishes to temp you.

After much deliberation, we opted for Sear Duck Breast Stir Fry With Ginger Sauce and a Slow Cook Lamb Shank dish served in a flavour-packed Massaman sauce that was a delight on the senses. The meat was so tender it literally melted off the bone. No regrets about our choices at all – and an indication of the high quality of ingredients and execution of the all dishes from inside the kitchen.

Nur Nur Paradise, Kenilworth, review

From duck, chicken and beef dishes through to cod, seabass and mackerel, one senses that the same passion and eye for detail has been lovingly applied to all the dishes on this menu. We only had to look around us to see a bustling and fully-booked restaurant of diners on a Tuesday night to endorse that.

Although I suspect it might also have something to with the restaurant’s fabulous Tuesday Night special offer of two courses for £22.95 – including a starter or dessert – from the All-Day Menu, plus £10 off any bottle of wine, prosecco or Champagne. No wonder its quickly gaining popularity among the locals.

Nur Nur Paradise, Kenilworth, review

Look out for the Sunday Offer Menu too – two courses for £21.99 or three courses for £25.99. They also cater for lunchtimes, even offering a Quick Lunches Menu for those who want quality food on the move.

A nice touch is their Kids Little Pinto Set Menu – a choice of two courses for just £7.99.

Be sure to leave room for one of their delicious palate-cleansing desserts – from Banana Fritters and Mango Sticky Rice through to our choices of Tom – Yum Panna Cotta (with tropical fruit compote, galanga, lemon grass and kaffir lime) and Dark Chocolate Nemesis with Mango Sorbet (with orange sorbet and berry puree.)

Nur Nur Paradise, Kenilworth, review

Nur Nur Paradise is a very welcome addition to Kenilworth and, I’m sure, is already drawing visitors from across the wider south Warwickshire area. A fabulous independent that is set to become a hot favourite.

Visit here to find out more or to book.

 

Review: ‘Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World’

Review: ‘Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World’

Photos by Pamela Raith Photography

The UK Theatre Award-winning Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World has arrived in Coventry this week.

When our inquisitive young heroine Jade breaks away from her school trip to the local museum to peek at the Gallery of Greatness, she meets iconic women from the past, whose actions and lives changed the world as we know it, including explorers, scientists, artists and secret agents.

The result is an enthralling, heartwarming musical full of incredible characters, inspirational moments and a soundtrack that packs a popstar punch.

Through a series of upbeat musical encounters, Jade is befriended by the all-singing, all-dancing sisterhood who teach her that “there is no such thing as an ordinary woman.”  

For those who have seen SIX, there will be instant similarities. No surprise to learn then that this empowering pop musical is the work of the same producers of the aforementioned worldwide sensation. But instead of being based on Henry VIII’s six wives, Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World is based on the popular children’s book by Suffragette descendant Kate Pankhurst.

It’s part of a tour that is already delighting and inspiring audiences across the UK.

Remarkable – and often forgotten – women from history are lifted from the pages of Pankhurst’s beloved book and brought gloriously to life on stage, by a ‘fantastically great’ cast that shine a deserved spotlight of some ladies who changed the course of history.

Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World is a rousing and heartwarming  celebration of these women, packaged in a toe-tapping and dynamic production that leaves you in no doubt about the main message of the night – we all play our own part in shaping the world.

A feelgood and family-friendly show that both entertains and educates courtesy of a small but talented cast. Girl power is packing a punch on The Belgrade stage, where you can see it until Sunday.

Tickets are available here

Review: Shrek The Musical

Review: Shrek The Musical

Shrek The Musical, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

We all know the animated film – based on the adventures of unlikely besties, Shrek and Donkey, as they endeavour to complete their quest of defeating the dragon and saving Princess Fiona.

It’s been a few years, with the kids in tow, since I last enjoyed its live adaptation, but when I heard everyone’s favourite ogre was arriving at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre, five years after its last tour, I didn’t let the fact my kids are now young men, stop me from joining in the fun!

Shrek The Musical, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
Photographs by Marc Brenner .

But Shrek The Musical is an extravaganza for big kids and little kids alike and, if last night was anything to go by, an opening night audience comprising all ages, gave the show a very enthusiastic welcome.

At the age of seven, Shrek is sent away from home to fend for himself in a swamp where he is perfectly content. Now some years later, his home is disturbed by a hoard of fairytale creatures who arrive on his swamp having been displaced by the evil Lord Farquaad. Determined to send them on their way, Shrek sets off to take on Farquaad. Accompanied by the loveable (but extremely annoying) Donkey, they both arrive in Duloc where to get his swamp back Shrek must rescue Princess Fiona from a prison tower so she can marry Lord Farquaad.

Shrek The Musical, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Featuring all the classic characters from the Oscar®-winning DreamWorks film and the iconic songs and story from David Lindsay-Abaire and Jeanine Tesori’s original musical, the production features fabulous toe-tapping tunes including ‘I’m A Believer’, ‘Big Bright Beautiful World’ and ’I Know It’s Today.’ There’s even a rousing sing-a-long finale to join in with.

A Shrek-tacular principal cast line-up includes Antony Lawrence (The Lion King, International Tour, Mary Poppins, UK Tour and Matilda the Musical, Cambridge Theatre/RSC) as Shrek, Joanne Clifton (Strictly Come Dancing, ITV) as Princess Fiona, James Gillan (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Apollo Theatre) as Lord Farquaad, Brandon Lee Sears (Dreamgirls, UK Tour, Be More Chill, Shaftesbury Theatre and Come From Away, Phoenix Theatre) as Donkey, and rising star Cherece Richards (Once on This Island, Regent’s Park Theatre) who is making her debut in a principal role as the Dragon.

Shrek The Musical, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

With Shrek, the Belgrade have bagged a show with West End qualities, in no small part due to a sterling lead trio of Lawrence, Clifton and, my personal favourite, Brandon Lee Sears, as Donkey. Hilarious, sassy and unapologetically over the top. And who knew professional dancer Joanne Clifton could also hold a note? A real triple threat in her role of Fiona, to which she given her own twist.

Special mention too to James Gillan’s portrayal of the deliciously camp and vain Lord Farquaad. He brought many of the laughs on the night.

Shrek The Musical plays at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre as part of its UK tour until Sunday so don your best green outfit and leave your troubles Far Far Away for an adventure like no other.

Tickets are available from the box office on: 024 7655 3055 or via here

Review: The Bush Hotel, Farnham

Review: The Bush Hotel, Farnham

The Bush Hotel, Farnham

As a guest of The Bush Hotel in Farnham you enjoy the best of all worlds. Steeped in history but embracing contemporary design and offering a personal touch in the way that only an independent family-run hotel can.

Surrounded by the Surrey hills and nestled in its own private gardens in the heart of this attractive historic town, the hotel still feels like it’s away from the hustle and bustle of the high street, with its quiet and relaxed ambience.

After parking in the secure – and free – car park at the rear, the first feature we noticed as we headed down the path was the beautiful ivy-clad original elevation which overlooks the private garden lawns and terrace area.

The Bush Hotel, Farnham

Inside more than lives up to initial impressions and a warm welcome on a chilly January Saturday strikes exactly the right note for the stay ahead. The interior is adorned with original features and there’s an abundance of history and character to be appreciated in every room of the main building, including 17th century beams and exposed wall frescos.

This individuality and charm also extends to the hotel’s 94 bedrooms, each, I’m told, uniquely designed, our Bush Suite being the largest and grandest room located in the oldest and most characterful part of the hotel. Elegantly decorated, the opulence of space and contemporary décor was a welcome touch of luxury. I particularly appreciated the walk-in wardrobe, also containing a mini fridge and safe. And as for that sumptuous bed, well, a full night’s sleep is all but guaranteed!

Nice too to have the option of a soak in the bath after a busy day exploring.

The Bush Hotel, Farnham

A pre-dinner tipple in the intimate Bush Bar was the perfect way to whet our appetites. It’s also an incredibly comfortable space in which to hang out with a roaring fire on the go, an unobtrusive wall-mounted TV showing sports, for those who want it, and tasty bar snacks, local ales and sommelier-selected wine list available.

The attractive Garden Restaurant and Oak Lounge offer all-day dining options, with seasonal menus for lunch and dinner as well as afternoon tea. The Garden Restaurant is where we enjoyed a hearty breakfast – a combination of cold buffest items and a good choice of freshly cooked hot plates from the menu. The perfect start to the day.

The Bush Hotel, Farnham
Ham Hock Croquettes

But it was the dinner menu, taken on this occasion in The Oak Lounge, that posed a challenge – what to choose? Classic British dishes done well is the mantra here – think Fish and Chips, Bush Burger, Chicken Supreme, Sirloin Steak as well as Braised Pig Cheeks, Beetroot and Brie Tart and Pan-fried Seabass. Prices range from a palatable £16.50 through to £25 (for the steak).

From the Small Plates Menu we opted for Ham Hock Croquettes, which were flavoursome and plentiful (perhaps too plentiful for a starter) and Sweet Potato Falafels, served with hummus and toasted croutes. While these lacked in flavour, I feel that any of the alternatives – Asian chicken, Mini Fish Bons Bons, Skewered Prawns or Homemade Soup of the Day may have proved a better bet on the tongue.

I’m convinced I chose my main well, however, with the Bush Cottage Pie – served piping hot with buttered greens and rich thyme gravy – I was relieved I’d resisted the temptation earlier in the day to snack as this was a very generous sized portion and I wanted to devour it all. Mission not accomplished however since I’d already spotted Apple Tarte Tatin on the Desserts Menu and absolutely had to make room. No regrets here! Hubby’s Pan-Fried Seabass was also a hit, beautifully enriched by the flavour of the noodles peppers, sugar snaps, onions and chili stir fry it was served with.

He was equally as satisfied with his Sticky Toffee Pudding, served with lashings of toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream – another British favourite that didn’t disappoint.

The Bush Hotel, Farnham
The Bush Cottage Pie

Chocolate and Raspberry Fondant with raspberry sorbet; Seasonal Berries Cheesecake with berry compote and Selection of Cheeses made up the other options. Priced at £7 – and £9.50 for the cheeses.

With a Light Bites Menu offering the likes of Minute Steak, Smoked Salmon Ciabatta and Fish Finger Sandwich, among others, there’s every excuse to call in for lunch when in the area too.

The Bush Hotel forms part of Farnham’s Heritage Walk and should be anyone’s stay of choice while in the area. It punches way above its three-star rating.

The Bush Hotel, Farnham
Pan-fried Seabass

And if you have time to explore, be sure to spend a couple of hours at The Sculpture Park in nearby Churt. With more than 650 contemporary sculptures from 300 internationally renowned artists displayed throughout 10 acres of arboretum and water gardens, this makes for a fascinating stop-off. This hidden gem provides a tranquil and peaceful escape for anyone who enjoys art and nature and is open all year round.

The Bush Hotel, Farnham
The Sculpture Park in nearby Churt

There’s also a delightful country inn, Bel & The Dragon directly across the street so perfect for pre- or post-visit refreshments.

Known for its Georgian streets, historic buildings and craft heritage, Farnham offers you the chance to enjoy quintessential England – and only an hour from the capital. Designated in 2013 as ‘England’s Craft Town,’ the roots of Farnham’s engagement with crafts can be dates back to the time when the town exported white clay to the Romans. Fast forward to today and craft still sits at the heart of its distinctiveness. If, like me, you’re never happier than whilst whiling away hours in craft centres and markets, this place is a must visit.

The Bush Hotel, Farnham
The Garden Restaurant

Other points of interest while in the area:

Waverley Abbey – England’s first Cistercian abbey still gives an impression of the solitude experienced by the monks who founded a monastery here almost 900 years ago.

Farnham Castle – Founded in 1138 and sits above the town.

Museum of Farnham -The vast range of artefacts from the town include a mammoth’s tusk and skull cap worn by Charles I during his stay at Vernon House, on his way to his trial and execution.

Birdworld – This 26-acre park is home to hundreds of unusual birds, a fabulous farm and an aquarium.

The Rural Life Centre – A museum of past village life set in over 10 acres of garden and woodland and plays host to numerous events throughout the year.

Markets – From the award-winning certified farmers’ market to the Maltings Monthly Market, there’s usually plenty of opportunity to browse local goods and produce.

Review: Suzi Ruffell on tour

Review: Suzi Ruffell on tour

Suzi Ruffell

Suzi Ruffell enjoys what she calls in her own words, ‘a low level of fame.’ High profile enough to be recognised in the street, but not enough to remember her name.

After seeing her stand up show Snappy at Warwick Arts Centre this week, I think it’s a matter of time before that changes.

Everyone should know this comedian’s name because, quite simply, she’s brilliant and, in my view, funnier than some of the household names who continue to dominate our TV screens.

The multi-award-nominated comedian received critical acclaim with her last tour, Dance Like Everyone’s Watching which went on to be turned into an Amazon special.

And it’s easy to see why if her latest tour is anything to go by. The 37-year-old’s new show, Snappy, is about settling down (but not settling), becoming a mother (without becoming mumsy) and still worrying about everything.

Suzi Ruffell, comedian

She admits to being frank with her audiences. “I can’t help but be unbelievably honest. I only really like talking about what’s genuinely going on,” she said. “I might stretch the truth a bit, but only so much that the audience is sort of in on it.”

Her self-depricating humour is a refreshing change from those comedians who continue to take aim at the audience. No front row fears here! She draws us in with her emotional candour but every step of the way, the laughs are thick and fast.

An erudite and quick-witted likeable stand up with exquisite comedic timing – and one whose not afraid to lay it all bare. One I also hope we’ll soon be seeing more of on our screens.

But, while we’re waiting, you can catch the rest of Suzi Ruffell’s Snappy tour. She’s coming to Northampton on November 12th. See all remaining dates here.