AUTUMN is my favourite time of the year.
It’s also Harvest Festival time – which brings a bounty of flavour and fresh ingredients to our dinner plates.
And the chefs at The Rose and Crown in Warwick are heralding the season in style with their new menu of comforting and satisfying seasonal fare. From new deli plates and mains to puddings and cheese, hunkering down for those winter months in a year quite like no other, is somehow less daunting.
A Warwick resident for more than 20 years, The Rose and Crown is not an unfamiliar haunt and I was delighted to be invited back to be among the first to sample the new menu, which again, did not disappoint.
From a choice of eight starters, (ranging in price between £6 and £9.50), I opted for the Baked Somerset Camembert, Truffle Honey, Walnut Crust & Toasted Sourdough (£8) – a tasty opener to proceedings.
The Rose and Crown is not afraid to be bold in its flavour and texture combinations but, while I still devoured it, on this particular occasion, I wasn’t as convinced by the addition of the walnuts to this dish if I’m honest.
My husband had no such qualms with his selection from the Specials Menu however and offered high praise for the Moules Mariniere, Aoli and Sourdough Baguette (£7.50).
He stayed with the specials Menu for his main course and what was a new culinary first for him, Whole Roast Partridge, Bacon, Bread Sauce, Red Cabbage, Game Chips and Juniper Jus (£18). His verdict? Delicious and something he’d definitely return to again.
For someone who appreciates a fine cut of meat, my 8oz Rump Cap Steak (£19.75). sourced from local butchers Aubrey Allen, was mouthwatering and lived up to expectations. A 10oz Rib Eye cut (£27.50) and Steak Diane Fillet Steak Medallions, with Creamy Mushroom and Shallot Sauce, is also available for £25.
The tempting line up of main courses has satisfying British cuisine at its heart, but with some international notes, including Sri Lankan Spinach, Sweet Potato & Chickpea Curry, Cashews, Coconut Sambal, Basmati Rice & Chapati (£14.75); Honey-glazed Merryfield Duck Breast, Savoy Cabbage, Smoked Bacon, Puried Celeriac, Green Peppercorn Jus (£22.50) and 14-Hour Braised Beef & Ale Pie, Buttered Mash, Greens and Gravy. (£15)
Or, interesting new options from the specials include Whole Roast Grouse and Roast Trout.
Do pay close attention to the description of the dishes though as you may wish to order a side of vegetables to accompany some of them. Options include Braised Red Cabbage, Seasonal Green Vegetables and a variety of chips and potato dishes.
For those who want a lighter snack, the deli plates offer a great alternative. Choices include olives, devilled whitebate, hummus and flatbread and beetroot falafel.
The colder weather also gives us a great excuse to indulge in some of our favourite puddings – well, it would be rude not to!
For those still able to make room, highlights include Banoffee Cheesecake, Rum-Soaked Raisins, Bananas & Pecans (£7.50); Lemon and Pistachio Polenta Cake with Black Cherries (£6.75) and Warm Chocolate Fondant and Honeycomb Ice Cream (£8).
There’s also the option of a Mini Pud and Tea or Coffee (£5.95) or a very good cheese board selection to finish in style. (1-5 cheeses from £3.75-£12)
But it was a return to the Specials Menu for me with an irresistible Brioche French Toast, Caramelised Apples and Rum and Raisin Ice Cream (£6.50) that did not disappoint.
Meanwhile hubby’s Crème Brulee and Shortbread (£6) was tasty and plentiful – and a great way to round off this delightful Rose and Crown autumn experience.
For those of us who still want to enjoy the fruits and flavours of autumn, check out The Rose and Crown’s new Dinner and Sunday menus.
It’s easy to see why this restaurant, part of the Peach Pubs franchise, is a favourite with the locals. It has a cosy, comfortable and friendly vibe and boasts a clutch of awards to its name. It also feels safe in the current environment without being intrusive on your visit. The art of hospitality and conviviality has certainly not been lost against the backdrop of this horrific virus.
It truly is a jewel in the crown of a town blessed with a not insignificant number of fine eateries – and one we must continue to do our best to support.
Visit it and pre-book at: www.roseandcrownwarwick.co.uk