The countdown is on to Mother’s Day on Sunday March 26 and if you haven’t organised anything yet, allow me to me lend a hand — lest you end up in Burger King. I’ve pulled together a selection of 11 fab places across the county for a laid-back brunch or Sunday lunch guaranteed to keep you in her good books (no cooking or washing up required!).
The Bell in Alderminster
This award-wining gastropub in the centre of picturesque Alderminster, close to Stratford-upon-Avon, is part of the historic Alscot Estate.
Does a floating tiny wooden house, reached only by dinghy, float your boat? An idyllic glamping utopia in a Victorian walled garden or back-to-basics camping on a peaceful car-free site? What Warwickshire lack in seaside entertainment and clifftop views it makes up for bucket loads of culture, wildlife and stunning countryside. There’s rivers and lakes for a spot of wild swimming, spades full of historic sites and Shakespeare (his family homes, the RSC and Stratford-upon-Avon).
DB could have been teleported straight from the streets of Shoreditch, Hoxton or Brighton to Regency Leamington Spa. With owner Sam Cornwall-Jones’ slick geek-chic design bringing together flashes of neon, his old collection of 70s and 80s annuals, framed vintage comic books and games consoles mixed in with squishy retro leather sofas, mismatched dining furniture and log burners. Looks very cool, no? There’s even a bike from Sam’s garage, a jet engine cowling mirror he made himself and don’t forget to check out the toilets.
Fancy a day trip, lunch out or long weekend at a boutique B&B and restaurant in the Cotswolds? My neighbour Muddy Gloucestershire has just reviewed a real Cotswold Stone beauty…
If you were holding auditions for a pub-cum-sophisticated-eaterie, the kind of place that walking boots or stilettos (muddy or otherwise) would be equally welcome, where you could casually grab lunch or fine dine for a special occasion, then The Porch House in Stow-on-the-Wold would definitely stand out in casting.
Yay, it’s Shrove Tuesday! Today in Warwick, there’ll be Pancake Races between 1pm and 3pm as adult teams and primary school children keep up the tradition in Market Square. The Globe will be supplying hot pancakes; and Wetherspoon’s pub, The Thomas Lloyd, will be brewing hot drinks to keep everyone warm. But if you’re not flipping your own, where can you find the best pancakes in Warwickshire and beyond? Here’s 11 places to choose from…
Coffee Architects, Leamington Spa
How amazing do these blueberry and ricotta pancakes look?
Half Term’s nearly here…Check out this bumper guide of cool stuff if you’re without kids – oh and don’t forget to stock up on gin.
Motionhouse: Scattered, Bridge House Theatre, Warwick, Thur Feb 16-Fri Feb 17
Leamington Spa-based UK contemporary dance company Motionhouse are touring the world with their 18th show Scattered, part of a trilogy. Choreographer Kevin Finnan’s latest awe-inspiring ‘4D’ spectacle combines digital imagery, their trademark athletic physicality, underwater motifs and performers gliding and flying off a 20ft halfpipe-looking set.
The Saxon Mill’s had a makeover of epic proportions and Muddy Stilettos Warwickshire couldn’t wait to totter in for a pre-opening nose.
This attractive stone gastropub in a former 12th Century mill has a wonderful riverside location, a working watermill and views over Guy’s Cliffe. It’s a five minutes’ drive from Warwick town centre on the busy Coventry Road.
My friend Elizabeth finished work early to join me for a 2-course lunch.
If you feel like a bracing winter walk on one of those crisp February days when the sun’s out, the sky is blue and the first snowdrops are out, Warwickshire is a country jam-packed with nature reserves, wildlife hotspots, ancient bluebell woods, canals and heritage sites. And there’s usually a cosy village pub nearby for a warming Sunday lunch, a hot toddy (and more importantly a loo!).
The Kitchen at Farnborough, near Gaydon
After stomping through the beautiful rolling Warwickshire countryside around Farnborough Hall how about heading back to The Kitchen for some rustic British cooking where wet dogs and muddy wellies are always welcome?
Quite a few of the restaurants in this list have a French leaning hence the nod to one of my favourite 90s romantic films – Betty Blue (I know the ending’s sad) – starring Beatrice Dalle and Jean-Hugues Anglade.
Café Vin Cinq restaurant & Bar Twentyfive, Rugby
A three-storey elegant Parisian inspired boutique restaurant with stunning antique chandeliers and wrought iron spiral staircase, overlooking historic Rugby School.
Tucked up in a sleepy quaint hamlet in Offchurch, near Leamington Spa, is an attractive 16th Century thatched gastropub where the food is so good you’ll be scrapping to get a table on the weekend. We’re talking open fires, a snug bar area, the best locally sourced food, an extensive wine list and desserts in vintage tea cups. Offchurch, admittedly is a bit remote – three miles east of Leamington Spa, down winding country lanes off the Fosse Way, an old Roman road.