Bringing the best tastes of autumn to our plates

Bringing the best tastes of autumn to our plates

The Rose and Crown, Warwick, autumn menu

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.

The Rose and Crown, Warwick, autumn menu

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.

The Rose and Crown, Warwick, autumn menu

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

Good news from Oakman Inns

Good news from Oakman Inns

ALTHOUGH the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme ends tomorrow, Bank Holiday Monday, Oakman Inns, the pub group which operates two pubs in Warwickshire – The Globe in Warwick, and The Four Alls in Welford-on-Avon and The Beech House in Solihull, West Midlands) has chosen to continue the scheme through the whole of September.

Oakman Inns, which manages 28 family-friendly pubs and restaurants across the Midlands and Home Counties, saw visitor numbers in line with industry figures. According to the company’s CEO, Dermot King, the scheme appears to have achieved its aim of bringing back those customers who were hesitant about eating out. He said: “According to one recent survey, more than half said that the experience made them feel more confident about going out in the near future, and most of the rest (45%) said their confidence was unaffected.”

The Globe, Warwick, Eat Out To Help Out Scheme
The Globe, Warwick

With table-only service, their restaurants were often fully booked during the first two weeks, with many of the customers making their first visit to an Oakman Inn.

However, keen to maintain this momentum, Oakman Inns has now taken the decision to continue to offer 50% off (up to a maximum of £10 per person) all food and soft drinks consumed on the premises on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays – including breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.

“There is no doubt that the Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been a major factor in helping us get back on our feet after several months without any revenue at all,” said Dermot King.

The Four Alls, Welford, Oakman Inns, Eat Out To Help Out
The Four Alls in Welford-on-Avon

Oakman Inns has not only brought back from furlough their near 1,000-strong workforce, but has even created 105 further jobs, in order to meet the new compliance requirements.

However, King is still urging caution and looking for further support from Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

King explained: “It has been a very encouraging start, but the road to recovery is going to be a very long one and it is going to take much more than a few months of offers to get the hospitality sector back to where it was before lockdown,” he said.

“We urgently need a review of the fiscal disparity between supermarkets and the hospitality sector with a specific focus on VAT. We would like to see 5% VAT extended past the January deadline but extended to include all processed foods, such as ready meals, sandwiches, pasties etc – money which could be pumped straight back into healthier school meals, giving every kid a chance to have a better start in life.”

The Beech House, Solihull, Oakman Inns, Eat Out to Help Out Scheme
The Beech House, Solihull

He continued: “We also need to have a root and branch examination of the entire business rates system which provides a fairer and more coherent tax, and we would further urge the Chancellor to scrap employers’ National Insurance contributions on all employees who earn under £20,000.

“This would help create jobs at a time when people all over the country are losing theirs. The current system effectively taxes job creation and we must bring an end to that.”

The pub group announced last week that it has been recognised for a second time in this year’s Princess Royal Training Awards for their outstanding staff training and development programmes.

I chose to spend the first evening of the pubs re-opening after lockdown at The Globe. You can see how I got on here.

Serving up the great outdoors in Hatton

Serving up the great outdoors in Hatton

THE owner of Hatton Estate has hailed the great outdoors and the Chancellor’s latest business support measures as a big step forward in the fight against ‘widespread carnage of the hospitality sector.’

Johnnie Arkwright, who runs Hatton Arms and Hatton Country World in Warwick, has welcomed the tax cut and meal voucher scheme as a saviour for many pubs, restaurants and cafes which continue to see a reduced footfall in visitors.

 

Hatton Arms, Hatton Country World, Hatton Shopping Village, garden bar, terrace dining, Johnnie Arkwright, Warwick
There’s a huge amount of space for a fresco dining at The Hatton Arms.

The Eat Out to Help Out registration service went live this morning on GOV.UK, allowing businesses to join the scheme, announced last week by Rishi Sunak.

Restaurants, bars, cafes and other establishments who use the scheme will offer a 50 per cent reduction, up to a maximum of £10 per person, to all diners who eat and/or drink-in throughout August.

Now, summer sunshine could hold the key to a return to business as usual with the completion of the Hatton Arms’ outdoor Terrace Dining and new Garden Bar and barbecue.

Hatton Arms, Hatton Country World, Hatton Shopping Village, garden bar, terrace dining, Johnnie Arkwright, Warwick
The new Garden Bar

Johnnie said: “The Government do appear to realise that with a population that has become used to dining at home and is nervous of confined spaces when going out coupled with the reduction of capacity levels because of the need to socially distance, the avoidance of widespread carnage in a hospitality sector that provides three million jobs is a big challenge.”

The popular country pub, which was forced to close its doors in March just one month after a refurbishment, is now inviting diners to make the most of one of the best views in Warwickshire – from its own back garden.

Johnnie said: “The countryside has to be the answer for leading us out of lockdown. At Hatton Arms, Hatton Adventure World and Hatton Shopping Village we are lucky enough to have loads of fresh air and bags of space. And that’s what all of us cooped up at home for months are looking for.

“At Hatton Arms we are lucky enough to have a large outside terrace and massive gardens overlooking Hatton Locks. Both, unsurprisingly, are proving really popular with their iconic views down the famous Hatton Locks, the longest flight of locks on the Grand Union Canal.

“The Government’s new voucher scheme is a really good initiative that Hatton Arms and Hatton Country World will certainly be signing up to, including the new café, Alfie’s, in the shopping village courtyard.

“And the reduction in VAT will help operators like us contend with the extra costs of introducing measures in line with Government Guidelines to maximise the safety of their guests and staff which is of course our top priority.”

Although weather dependent, outdoor seating is available on a first come, first served basis, between 5-8pm on Friday and Saturday and 12-8pm on Sunday. The barbecue will be serving between 5-8pm on Friday nights, 1-8pm on Saturdays and 12-5pm on Sundays. The popular takeaway service, introduced in lockdown, will also be continued and is available 1-8pm Monday to Saturday and 12.30-4.30pm on Sundays. Breakfast baps are also available from the garden bar from 9am-11am on Saturday and Sunday.

Hatton Arms, Hatton Country World, Hatton Shopping Village, garden bar, terrace dining, Johnnie Arkwright, Warwick
The now complete terrace dining area

For those who prefer to eat inside the restaurant, the team have also been working hard to make the space COVID-Secure, including sanitisation points, social distancing markers, a one-way system and track and trace measures.

Health experts say evidence shows coronavirus spreads much less readily outdoors because of the ventilation factor, which, according to Johnnie Arkwright is already enticing visitors back to both Hatton Adventure World and Shopping Village.

 

The Victorian farm buildings here house 20 independent shops including a garden centre and farm shop created by TV presenter Lottie Newitt, two jewellers, antiques and furniture barns, gifts and home accessories, electric bike shop, gin distillery and cafe – as well as a Hole in the Wall that serves pints and traditional ales alongside tasty hot snacks.

Johnnie said: “We’re all feeling for the small independent shops that had to close in March and, on re-opening recently, remain fearful for their livelihoods.

“But the pandemic has revived a real sense of community, that desire to help those who have been hit the hardest. And we can help by giving these small businesses our custom.

“What can be safer than all that fresh air and space to socially distance in the rolling Warwickshire countryside.”

Visit: www.hattonarms.com and https://adventure.hattonworld.com

CORONAVIRUS: Warwick charity needs you now more than ever

CORONAVIRUS: Warwick charity needs you now more than ever

THE founder of a Warwick charity for children with terminal and life-threatening illnesses is appealing for donations following the cancellation of planned fundraising events due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It is estimated more than £50,000 in proceeds will be lost to the charity which has still vowed to continue its work behind the scenes granting wishes for when lockdown is over.

Molly Olly's Wishes, Molly Ollerenshaw
Molly Ollerenshaw just a few weeks before she passed away, aged eight.

Events wiped off on the charity’s calendar for the next three months include the Kenilworth Rugby Club Charity Lunch and Molly Olly Raceday at Warwick Race Races in March; an Easter egg collection for hospitalised children in April; a fundraising ball in Worcester in May, and a charity golf day in Wythall in June as well as lost proceeds from London Marathon runners on April 26th and Velo cyclists on June 21st.

Molly Olly’s Wishes was established in 2011 following the death of Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw’s eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer.

The charity works to support children with terminal or life-limiting illnesses and their families and help with their emotional wellbeing as well as grant wishes and donate therapeutic toys and books to both children directly and to hospitals throughout the UK.

Having gained its charity status in 2012, the charity has so far helped more than 2,000 children from newborn to age 18 by granting individual wishes. They may take the form of equipment to help a child live day to day with their condition; an alternative therapy treatment to complement traditional medicine, or even a special occasion or day out.

Mascot of the charity is a therapeutic toy lion called Olly The Brave who has his own Hickman line and a detachable mane which helps to explain and normalise the effects of chemotherapy. These form part of an Olly The Brave pack that has now been handed out to more than 40 hospitals, along with a book from the charity’s exclusive Olly The Brave series.

Rachel Ollerenshaw and Olly The Brave and one of the Olly the Brave series of books.

There are now three books in the series, all written and illustrated by local author Diane Maybey. The first two were Highly Commended by the British Medical Association at the 2017 Patient Information Awards, and the third instalment, published last year, helps children who struggle after treatment to return to a ‘normal’ life.

Part of more than £2m raised by the charity to date, has also been used to fund the first Molly Olly consultant in paediatric medicine at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Some 30 children a week in the UK are given a cancer diagnosis, and more are told that they have a life-threatening or terminal illness in one form or another. Many of these, especially those diagnosed with leukaemia will be under five years old.

Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw.

Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “Like everyone, Molly Olly’s Wishes is feeling the effects of the isolation due to the Coronavirus. For us the key thing is being able to support children and their families who faced challenging circumstances before the outbreak due to a serious illness and are now extremely vulnerable.

“Many fundraising events have been cancelled that provide the Charity with much-needed funds at a time when additional help for these individuals would be welcomed and help to alleviate some of the emotional and financial stress.

“We continue to grant wishes although supply of some items has been more difficult and our usual Easter Egg donations to children across the region that has been supported by local companies has been unable to go ahead. They may seem small things but these gestures mean a lot, particularly at a time of great uncertainty.

“We are looking at increased ways to help. These are worrying times, we need to pull together, support the most vulnerable. If everyone reading this made a small donation if could make a big difference.”

Further information about Molly Olly’s Wishes or how to donate can be found at: www.mollyolly.co.uk or contact Rachel on 07747 854914.

Read Molly’s story here

CORONAVIRUS: Restaurateur launches emergency Care Packages in response to virus

CORONAVIRUS: Restaurateur launches emergency Care Packages in response to virus

AS WELL as pledging to continue serving his customers during the Coronavirus lockdown, an award-winning restaurateur has gone one step further to help.

Alex Clayton, who owns Spanish restaurants Flamenco and Tasca Dali in Warwick, is launching Care Packages, including cleaning and food shopping services.

Flamenco, Tasca Dali, Alex Clayton, Warwick, Coronavirus
Alex Clayton outside Flamenco in West Street.

While available to everyone, the new pick and mix-style packages have been designed to particularly support the elderly and vulnerable who are being asked by the government to self-isolate for three months.

From Monday, food can be ordered by all customers direct from the restaurant as well as through Uber Eats – with free delivery in Warwick.

But vulnerable members of society can also take advantage of weekly cleans being organised by Alex, as well as a free grocery shopping delivery.

An additional 10% discount is being offered on any orders for the Over 70s and for NHS staff (with ID).

Alex said: “As a local business that provides amazing food and service to those who live nearby, we want to give back as much as we can to people in these trying times and for that reason we are now offering a full delivery service so people can still enjoy our food from home.

“We are trying to adapt in a complex environment and help those loyal customers who have supported us over the years.”

Flamenco, Tasca Dali, Alex Clayton, Warwick, Coronavirus
Alex Clayton at Tasca Dali in High Street.

Alex is also quick to reassure people that strict hygiene measures have been implemented at both Flamenco in West Street and Tasca Dali in High Street.

“In this time when there is much worry about the effects of COVID19, I would just like to reassure everyone that at Flame’nCo and Tasca Dali, we follow a strict cleaning regime disinfecting all tables before and after use as well as all cutlery, glassware and plates. We go above and beyond current WHO guidelines.”

He added: “In addition, many of our tables in Tasca have copper tops which have strong anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. The air in our restaurants is filtered via a UV recirculation filter which is the same technology as that used in hospitals. We also have reduced the maximum capacity of the restaurant by 50% so that there is plenty of space between diners.

“I am personally here to look after you. We have been here now seven years, were awarded Best Spanish Restaurant of The Year and I do hope, with your support, we shall be here another seven years at least!”

Flamenco, Tasca Dali, Alex Clayton, Warwick, Coronavirus
Paella is among the favourite dishes included on the new fast track takeaway menu.

In a further measure to try and sustain business, customers are being encouraged to support the restaurants by buying gift vouchers. As an incentive, a 10% discount is also being offered on all vouchers purchased until April 30th.

Visit: https://flamencowarwick.com and www.tascadali.com for further information. Visit https://flamencowarwick.com/uber-eats-menu for the takeaway menu. Visit: https://www.tascadali.com/takeaway-homecare for the Care Package and visit: https://flamencowarwick.com/covid19 for full Covid-19 for full hygiene statement.

Official WHO (World Health Organisation) guidance on Coronavirus is available at: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public