Take a look inside Warwick’s new independent café and bar

Take a look inside Warwick’s new independent café and bar

AFTER months of social restrictions, Warwick residents are being treated to a brand new venue on Smith Street.

Revive Cafe Bar, Smith Street, Warwick
Manager Lee Mallen and his team. Photo by Loz Moore Photography.

The Furniture Shop’s famous lamps have moved to the next corner, making way for Revive Café and Bar, which opened its doors on June 5th. But this is far from ‘just another café bar’. . .

The front half of Revive is a spacious dining area where you can stop in for coffee, brunch, lunch or alcoholic drinks. Highlights from the menu include: crépes, Belgian waffles and American-style pancakes, burgers, charcuterie boards and ice cream. The chef prepares all food fresh on-site, using locally sourced ingredients and there are many vegetarian and vegan options.

Children and remote workers alike are more than welcome, with changing tables and charging sockets provided. Revive can seat up to 56 diners, though the most coveted tables are sure to be the booths, offering a fantastic view of Eastgate.

Revive Cafe Bar, Smith Street, Warwick
Some of the team at one of the retro gaming tables. Photo by Loz Moore Photography.

Fancy a little competition with your coffee?

Hidden at the back is Revive’s pièce de résistance – the games room. Here you’ll find darts, ping pong, table football, pool and a shipping container, of course, as the toilets. You can book any of these games tables in half-hour slots through the website or in person.

This room will double-up as a live entertainment space for stand-up comedy. Sandwiched between the seating area and games room is a cosy sofa nook complete with a mini library and retro arcade-game tables.

Covid safety precautions have been put in place, including staff regularly wiping down game-playing surfaces and equipment. Revive also boasts a top-of-the-range air recycling system to keep the building fully ventilated.

Revive Cafe Bar, Smith Street, Warwick
Table football is one of the activities on offer.

The local team behind Revive

This marks the second project – and a new direction – for owner James Byrne, who grew up in Warwick. Last year James was nominated for Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the success of his software company, AccountancyManager. It won’t be hard for James to work between the two businesses – AccountancyManager has been in the offices above Revive for the last two years.

When the space became available, James leapt at the opportunity. “I think there’s such a need in Warwick for somewhere that caters for any age, whether it’s a playdate with toddlers, a milkshake after school, a working lunch, Friday night drinks or a date with a difference. Especially with that added entertainment that we’re all desperate for after the last year.”

“We’re aiming to make Revive the ultimate go-to venue in Warwick, with a line-up of events throughout the year too – like quiz nights and, from August, stand-up comedy in conjunction with Comedy at Work.”

Revive Cafe Bar, Smith Street, Warwick
Books sourced from local charity shops make up a small library area.

James has assembled a seven-strong team, headed up by experienced hospitality manager Lee Mallen, from Birmingham. Lee is a self-proclaimed coffee aficionado and has selected local coffee roasters Monsoon Estates to provide Revive’s coffee. Head chef, Jonathan Weardon from Leamington, comes to Revive with more than 40 years’ experience, running the kitchens at, among others, Coombe Abbey, Wroxall Abbey, Nailcote Hall and Warwick Castle.

Revive Café and Bar is open 8am-6pm Sunday to Thursday and 8am-11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

Visit www.revivewarwick.co.uk to check out the menu or to book a games table. Group bookings can be made by calling 01926 403 333.

New café bar helps ‘revive’ Smith Street

New café bar helps ‘revive’ Smith Street

When it comes to coffee shops, we’re spoilt for choice in Warwick.

But, just as we’re flocking back to enjoy that cappuccino culture with much-missed friends and friendly, there’s a new kid on the block vying for our attention.

Photo by Loz Moore Photography.

And Revive Café Bar is set to capture plenty of that among locals and visitors alike as it brings something refreshingly new to the town’s sophisticated social scene.

New because it offers so much more than food and drink. Indeed, the entertainment ‘menu’ alone serves up an exciting variety.

Head to the rear of the café and you’ll come across a spacious table games area, with pool, table tennis and table football all available for hire by the half hour. There’s also a dart board, big screen wall-mounted TV (which apparently will be screening the big events) and, in a funky retro feel, two arcade gaming tables. Just slot in your pound coin and take your pick from scores of old school games from Pac Man to Space Invaders. Great fun.

But not to skip over the food which, let’s face it, is what’s going to get most of us back through the door. The Revive menu is designed to satisfy appetites big and small – and at all times of day.

Revive Cafe, WarwickCooked fresh to order from local and seasonal ingredients, Breakfast and Brunch options have an English and American feel, from cooked breakfasts to waffles and pancakes. Or you can choose from a variety of sharing boards.

Lunch, served from 12-2.30pm, tempts us with a range of burgers as well steak and eggs, Thai green curry, pasta and fish dishes, plus salads and vegan options.

Or, if you’re after a smaller bite, baguettes include some classics such as cheese and onion and tuna mayonnaise through to minute steak, red onion marmalade and tomato or, for the non-meat-eaters, roasted red pepper, hummus, avocado, beetroot and vegan mayonnaise. (Vegans, vegetarians and gluten-free needs seem well catered for.)

Our brunch plates arrived promptly and were piping hot and delicious, washed down with coffees and smoothies!

Manager Lee and his team are keen to please and there is an instant welcoming feel when you’re seated – in our case, in one of the booths.

For some nibbles to accompany that long-awaited catch up or work meeting, choose from olives, bread and oils, salad bowls, or a variety of fries.

But it seems we’ve not seen it all yet, with some exciting news coming soon about a host of regular live comedy nights as well as quizzes and other events. Revive has been created with all ages and ‘tastes’ in mind and I am genuinely excited for its future popularity, once word begins to spread.

In my view, as blessed as we are in Warwick with fine cafes and bars (and we’ve all got our personal favourites), this place has a unique vibe and fills a gap in the market – and I for one will be a regular there.

 

Revive Cafe Bar, Warwick
They stock plenty of reading matter, sourced from local charity shops.

Why choose between good grub, friendly games, evening drinks and live events, when you can have it all under one roof?

This new arrival in Smith Street, will most definitely help ‘revive’ our town centre post-pandemic. Now I’ll drink to that.

It is open 8am-6pm Sundays to Thursdays and 8am-11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

Visit: www.revivewarwick.co.uk for more information, menu or to book.

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

http://www.roseandcrownwarwick.co.uk/your-visit/

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.