Monday, 31 August 2009

Food and Drink Festival

I'm getting over the pain of the lost ipod. As I type this, I'm watching several different auctions on ebay, which is the most affordable replacement method. Mr A is fully appraised of the situation and my appropriation of his ipod, and apart from one misjudged attempt at humour, he has been very supportive of my plight.

One thing that always cheers me up is the lovely town I live in. Another thing is food. The past weekend has brought those together in the shape of the Leamington Spa Food & Drink Festival.

Round flat loaves speckled with herbs and with an olive embedded in the centreFrenchman with classic moustache selling cheeseMan in apron tending vegetables and meat in a huge flat pan

The regulars at the monthly Warwickshire farmers' market have been joined in the Pump Room Gardens by a whole load of other stalls selling all kinds of food and drink. They are also running something called the 'Taste Trail' which involves visiting restaurants around town, eating free food, and rating the experience. Not too difficult, then. Mr A was busy first thing Saturday morning, so I visited my first two establishments without him.

The first (Mumbai Bluu) supplied a little taster of pasta with salmon, which was quite nice, if a little dry. It's a lovely airy place to sit - I had thought that it was an Indian restaurant, simply by the name, but actually it isn't.

Small portion of pasta, flower in vaseTasting plate with eight bite-size nibbles

I thought that a little taster of a single dish would be the norm, but it wasn't at all. The second place (Seasons Restaurant) was very busy, but I sat outside, and I was presented with a tasting plate with all sorts of tasty bites. I imagine that normally the plate was for sharing in a group, but hey! I wasn't in a group, so I had it all to myself. The duck paté was particularly nice.

When I came home and related my tales to Mr A, he said that he thought I was just going to visit the market, and felt hard done by to have missed the tasters. So we walked out together to the Restaurant in the Park, which is in a wonderful location overlooking the river and weir and adjoining the Temperate House. There they served us two courses: a savoury and a sweet, which made up for having to share one plate between two.

It was just around the corner, and almost on the way home, so we dropped in at the Newbold as well. It would have been rude not to. This is a gastropub, so we even treated ourselves to some beer while we waiting. The format was different again - this time, waiting staff brought round big platters with either roast beef and horseradish on yorkshire pudding, or salmon on toasted baguette. The beef was done to perfection, the Spitfire beer was very fine, and we sat in the 'garden' (more like a yard, but never mind) and mused on how much we like our town.

Raspberry tarts dusted with icing sugar
To be continued...


The Woman who Can said...

Now I'm starving and also planning to move house

patrick darmanin said...

tanks for sharing your pics and info