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.
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.
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 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.
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