A welcome return to White Lion which joins Peach Pubs stable

A welcome return to White Lion which joins Peach Pubs stable

White Lion, Peach Pubs

There’s a buzz around Radford Semele – and its fast spreading around the area- thanks to the much-anticipated reopening of The White Lion.

This beautiful thatched country pub began welcoming visitors again last month following a transformative, but sympathetic, refurbishment by its new owners.

It becomes the fifth business to join the award-winning Peach Pubs stable- joining the likes of the popular Rose and Crown in Warwick, Star and Garter in Leamington, The Almanack in Kenilworth and The One Elm in Stratford.

And, based on my recent visit, what a fabulous addition that is.

First thing to strike me was the new design, which offers a fresh and contemporary backdrop to the dining experience while also staying sensitive to the building’s historic features, most notably the stunning exposed beams and brickwork which have been carefully restored and highlighted.

White Lion, Peach Pubs

And, if you enjoy cosy nooks for private meetings or romantic meals, there are plenty of options.

There are also plenty of spots in which to linger and, on the evening of our visit, the restaurant was bathed in light with the bi-fold doors to the spacious terrace flung wide open. Summer temperatures and lighter evenings help really bring this pub into its own. Our comfortable corner in the garden room offered us the best of both indoor and al fresco worlds.

A spacious new covered curved pergola and sheltered dining space at the end of the garden that can also be booked for private parties. I think this will be a particularly popular feature.

White Lion, Peach Pubs

A friendly reception and service offer a relaxing vibe while all the time sensing a reassuringly efficiently run front of house and kitchen, despite only reopening to customers last month.

The menu is bursting with fresh, seasonal recipes with classic and Mediterranean influences overseen by head chef Stefan Elliot, whose career has taken him from the small town of Llangollen in North Wales to Michelin-starred Northcote Manor.

White Lion, Peach Pubs

From the Small Plates Menu, we opted for. . .

Hand-picked Devon Crab & Poached Salmon Salad

Black Pudding Scoth Egg, Apple & Brandy Puree (From the Specials Menu)

Apple & Parsnip Soup, Parsnip Crips (From the Specials Menu) Pictured above.

Main Course. . .

Free-range Chicken Schnitzel, Garlic & Parsley Butter, Rocket Parmesan and Fries

14-Hour Braised Beef & Ale Pie, Buttered Mash, Greens and Gravy

Stonebass, New Potatoes & Rocket. Pictured above.

Desserts. . .

Apple Tart Tatin, Vanilla Ice Cream

Chocolate Brownie (in Mini Pud with coffee form)

Chocolate and Salted Caramel Torte, Crème Fraiche. Pictured below.

Satisfied diners all round.

Peach Pubs, The White Lion

Other highlights of the tempting menu also include (Starters): Merrifield Duck Scrumpet, Hoi Sin, Cucumber and Spring Onion Salad (£8.95); Hot & Sour Salad, Watermelon, Chilli, Red Pepper, Peanuts & Sesame (£7.25); (Mains): Pork Belly, Champ Mash, Crackling, Peas, Courgettes & Beans (£19.50); Miso-glazed Cod, Black Rice, Choi Sum, Lime, Chilli and Coriander (£22.50); (Desserts): Banoffee Cheesecake, Rum-Soaked Raisins, Bananas & Pecans (£8.25); Lemon Posset, White Chocolate(£7.50)

There’s also a comprehensive cheese board selection with a choice of five cheeses available for £13, three for £8.50 or a ‘smidgen’ (not sure what constitutes a smidgen!) for £4.50.

Whether you’re looking for fine dining or good hearty pub classics, The White Lion has something to suit all appetites – but, it must be said, not necessarily all pockets!

While our meals could genuinely not be faulted in taste or presentation, it is only fair to point out that some of the prices are a little eyewatering –  the cheapest main course is £15.25 (before adding sides) although I sense it’s probably as much an indication as to the rising costs in the hospitality sector these days being passed down to the consumer and they’re not unique in this.

Peach Pubs, The White Lion

The message here though is, if you do want to treat yourself to a top-notch dining experience with an innovative and exciting menu, you will get the quality you’re paying for at The White Lion and won’t go home feeling disappointed. It is in the upper echelons of gastro pub dining that, if your purse can stretch, will definitely have you returning again.

Visit The White Lion here

Popular town centre pub announces reopening

Popular town centre pub announces reopening

The Rose & Crown in Warwick is among those pubs ready and waiting to open its doors again on Monday (12th April), to welcome guests back to its lovely outside space and ensure they have a fantastic time.

The popular town centre pub will be back with a delicious new menu for spring, with an exciting choice of seasonal dishes for lunch and dinner and everything in between.  There will also be new arrivals on the drinks list including cocktails, gins and soft drinks, with plenty of options also returning.

The Rose and CrownThe entire team at The Rose & Crown has thrown themselves into getting the pub ship-shape for opening after the long months of lockdown and is looking forward to having groups of up to six people from any number of households, or groups of two households, in its outdoor space.

So that the celebrations can continue in style, the pub has extended its outside area by taking over the four car parking spaces at the front and giving them a colourful al fresco eating and drinking look.

Smart wooden tables and bright red chairs have been set up with big umbrellas decorated with pretty fairy lights and plenty of candles.  The entire space is heated and there are fleecy blankets to snuggle under and piles of cushions to sink into.  The really good news is that these spots get the benefit of eight full hours of sunshine a day, whenever the sun is out!

Meanwhile, right in front of the pub there are more spots to sit and nurse a pint of real ale or sip on a glass of something chilled, again with parasols and heating.  In the evening, you can see and be seen in the down-lights illuminating the pub as you watch the world go by.

Fresh from the kitchen will be some mouth-watering new dishes. Enjoy mains of miso-glazed cod with black rice, choy sum, lime, chilli and coriander or a Merrifield duck breast with braised chicory and Delmonico potatoes, orange and green peppercorn jus. Meat-free options include Dirty Vegan burger with Marmite onions, smoked cheese, tomato relish and fries. The pub does a great breakfast too, with everything from a classic full English to piles of fluffy American pancakes, so why not pop in for morning coffee and a midweek treat to start your day?

For sharing over a drink, The Rose & Crown does a fabulous selection of deli plates, with great British charcuterie from Dorset.  All the pub’s cheeses are British, from Somerset Camembert to Rutland Red, and there’s British beef, vegetables and fruit, and free-range pork and chicken on the menu too.

As well as being able to order food and drink from one of the team, you can also get your glass topped up and have something tasty to eat by ordering on your mobile. Look out for the cards in the pub which explain it all.  And if you want it to go, the pub can rustle up takeaway breakfast, coffee, sandwiches, Sunday roasts and more.  Simply go to the website to place your order.

The Rose and Crown, Warwick, Peach PubsRose & Crown General Manager Tash Beard and her team will be on hand to welcome guests back to the pub and ensure everyone is safe when they visit.  She says: “We have been working really hard to be ready for the big day when we can finally open our doors again and we literally can’t wait! We’ve all missed being able to do what we love the most – looking after our guests and serving them plenty of the good stuff.

“The changes we have made at the pub mean we’ll be able to do just that and do it really well.  We’ve created the ideal setting for people to celebrate getting back together again.  Our extended outside area is bright and welcoming and perfect for meeting friends for a drink, having coffee or cocktails, or a cracking Sunday lunch that you haven’t had to cook yourself.  And there’s no need to chase the sun, so fingers crossed we see plenty of it!  We’re counting the days until we can welcome guests back to the pub and hear the sound of them chatting, laughing and clinking glasses across Market Place!” she says.

The Rose & Crown is now taking bookings outdoors from Monday 12th April, for groups of up to six, or up to two households. Visit: http://www.roseandcrownwarwick.co.uk/ to book.

The pub will be open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 11pm and on Sunday from 9am to 10pm. Food is served from 9am to 9pm on Monday to Saturday and from 9am to 8pm on Sunday.

If you can’t wait until April 12th, you can still enjoy some of your favourite Rose & Crown dishes by treating yourself to a Peach at Home box, now available nationwide.  Starters, mains, sides and puds are all masterfully prepared and ready for you to finish in your own kitchen. Just the ticket if you’re celebrating, in need of a break from cooking, looking for a gift or simply want to have our great food at home. https://www.makinglifepeachy.com/peach-at-home/

The Rose & Crown is at 30 Market Place, Warwick CV34 4SH.  www.roseandcrownwarwick.co.uk

Full details of the steps taken to keep the pub safe for guests and the team can be viewed here


The jewel in Warwick’s crown

The jewel in Warwick’s crown

IT’S my favourite time of the year – the golden glow of the October trees and crisp autumn air in your nostrils.

It’s also Harvest festival time – which brings a bounty of flavourful and fresh ingredients to our dinner plates. A reason to celebrate in itself!

And the chefs at The Rose and Crown in Warwick are heralding the season in style with their new menu of comforting and satisfying Autumnal fare. From new deli plates, mains, puddings and cheese to even hearty breakfasts, hunkering down for those winter months has never been so much fun.

The Rose and Crown, Warwick, Peach Pubs

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 sounded very promising.

From a choice of eight starters, (ranging in price between £5.75 and £11), I opted for the Pulled Pork & Chorizo Croquettes with Sweet Red Pepper and Sherry Dressing. A very tasty appetiser – and something new for me.

The Rose and Crown is not afraid to be bold in its flavour and texture combinations and options such as Buffalo Cauliflower Wings and Chipotle; Gin and Orange-cured Salmon with Crème Fraiche and Poppy Seed Tuille and Artichoke and Onion Soup with Crispy Bacon and Seed Crumb, were among those which most stood out. The soup, however, had proved so popular, it had already run dry.

My husband’s Native Scallops, Cauliflower Puree and Black Pudding and Pickled Apple dish didn’t disappoint.

A tempting line up of main courses has satisfying British cuisine at its heart, but with some international notes, including Sri Lankan Sweet potato and Cashew Curry and Chicken Milanese.

The Rose and Crown, Warwick, Peach Pubs
Free-range Coq Au Vin and Seasonal Greens

My Coq Au Vin & Seasonal Greens was the perfect choice of warming hearty fare for the change of season. But it was not an easy decision with dishes such as Butcher’s Steak of the Day or Venison Haunch, Parmesan and Herb Crust, Butternut Squash, Kale and Truffle Jus or Pan-fried Sea Bream with White Bean Cassoulet and Clams, also competing for your attention.

And there’s a choice of four dishes which can be ordered as either a starter or main course, including Bang Bang Chicken, Cucumber and Peanut Salad and Sesame Dressing and Poached and Smoked Salmon Fishcake with Wilted Spinach and Lemon Butter Sauce.

Vegetarians can also enjoy the season’s bounty with a delicious-sounding Maple-roasted Beetroot, Pearl Barley and Goats’ Cheese and Pine Nuts combination.
The Autumn menu also sees the return of a favourite – American Pancakes with crispy bacon, or blueberries. There’s also Eggs Florentine, Eggs Benedict, Creamy Mushrooms on Sourdough Toast and Shakshuka, alongside the classics you’d expect.

Do pay close attention to the description of the dishes though as you may need to order a side of vegetables to accompany some of them, such as my husband’s Chicken Milanese with Garlic and Sage Butter and Skinny Fries or Green Salad.

Prices for main courses range between £11.50 (Warm Salad of Balsamic-roasted Peppers and Fennel, Avocado, Tomato and Lentils and Maple Dressing) to £19.75 (28-Day Dry-aged 8oz Rump Cap Steak with Chips and Rocket)

For those who want a lighter snack, the deli plates offer a great alternative. You can choose from any three of eight dishes for just £12. Great for sharing – or not!

The colder weather also gives us a great excuse to indulge in some of our favourite puddings – and these certainly did not disappoint.

The Rose and Crown, Warwick, Peach Pubs
Honey Poached Pear, Brioche French Toast and Mascarpone

The Honey Poached Pears on Brioche French Toast with Mascarpone was one of the tastiest desserts I’d devoured in quite some time and definitely a favourite of the evening.

My husband’s Coffee and Walnut Cheesecake was also polished off with gusto – although he warns it’s only suited really for a particularly sweet tooth.

The Warm Chocolate Fondant with Caramelised Banana, Toffee Sauce and Chantilly Cream definitely has my name on it for next visit.

The Chocolate Fondant is the most expensive of the puddings at £7.50. The others are either £5.75 or £6.50.

And this will hopefully be sooner rather than later. I want to enjoy the fruits and flavours of this new autumn menu again, so am already looking for an excuse to return.

It’s easy to see why The Rose and Crown, 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, including Britain’s Best Brigade in 2017.

The Rose and Crown, Warwick, Peach Pubs
Rose & Crown Warwick / refurb

It truly is a jewel in the crown of a town blessed with a not insignificant number of fine eateries. I’m delighted to confirm that somehow it still manages to stand out as one of its very best.

Visit it and pre-book at: www.roseandcrownwarwick.co.uk