I've been taking a little tour of the Peach Pubs over recent months. I've now visited The High Field in Edgbaston (my local one) on several occasions, as well as staying at their town house. There was also The Rose and Crown in Warwick, which Edd and I combined with a day in the town.
This time I was at The Almanack in Kenilworth. As I've mentioned before, I love the way Peach Pubs all have a different feel. The Almanack is very different to others that I've visited. It's in a modern building and feels smart and grown up. A great place for a date or a catch-up dinner with friends.
Modern and grown up it may be but there were still plenty of lovely, quirky design touches.
We were sat down in a booth which was set up for two. Despite the airiness of the restaurant, our table managed to feel quite private and intimate, which was lovely.
I don't drink a lot of wine anymore (it makes me sneeze, true story) so I love that The Almanack have a variety of Grand Gins served in large glasses to last you through a good part of the meal. I went for one of their specials which was Sipsmith gin infused with Earl Grey tea, served with lemonade.
Edd stuck to a Grand Gin and Tonic. They have a lovely selection of gins- some you'll know, like Hendricks and others you my not, such as Brockmans and Whitley Neill, served in big glasses with juniper berries and plenty of ice.
Onto the food! There are similarities between the menus at each Peach Pub but I like their specials boards, which allow the chefs to use ingredients available to them. This means that you can get quite a random mix of food on the specials, but that's exciting!
Edd chose a summer vegetable risotto with ham (£7.75) for his starter. It was well cooked with the right amount of bite and the vegetables added freshness.
I chose Devon Crab Gratin (£8.75) which was utterly delicious. I've never had anything like it before. Creamy but sharp at the same time. It was also quite a large portion and would make a fantastic lunch.
For my main I chose Pan Fried Aubergine and Feta Escalope with a heritage tomato salad (£13.25). The tomatoes were lovely and fresh and tasted of sunshine days. The aubergine had been topped with plenty of feta, breaded and pan-fried. This was a really lovely plate of food. The cheese and breading pleased my greediness and the salad stopped things from getting too heavy.
Our waitress had suggested a side of new potatoes (£3.75) but they were completely unnecessary as my meal was quite filling enough. I barely touched the potatoes, which seemed like a waste.
Edd chose one of the meals from the specials board. Neither of us had heard of Spider steak before. It's not the most common cut and is so called because of the fat marbling. It sits on the hip of the cow and there's only two per cow. The Almanack get their beef from local butcher Aubrey Allen and like to grab the unusual cuts when they can.
I don't usually touch steak as I find it too rich. This steak surprised me. It had the tenderness you expect of medium rare steak but it wasn't too rich or fatty. I'll definitely look out for this cut in future. This was served with classic sides of a potato rosti and broccoli.
I was feeling quite full at this point but I wanted to have a cheese board for dessert!
For the summer they have a special of strawberries, chocolate, cream and shortbread for dipping. I've tried this before at The High Field last summer and I was tempted to go for it. It's quite big so would be good as a sharer. However, that cheese board was calling to me...
Edd had a lovely gooey treacle tart with clotted cream (£5.75)
When I was at The Rose and Crown I had a mini cheese board with just one cheese. This time I went a little larger and had three cheeses (£7.75). I'd really recommend this to fellow cheese lovers. They've got a great, unusual selection, mainly from the UK.
I chose (from left to right) Sheep Rustler ( reminded me of a lighter Manchego), Tor (ash coated goats cheese) and Camembert (you know what that is). Impossible to pick a favourite; I loved all three. They came with a lovely tomato chutney too.
A lovely meal and very filling too. They certainly don't skimp on portions so sharing a pudding or starter might be the way to go. Service was lovely throughout and the atmosphere was buzzy but relaxed. Definitely one to stop off at if you're in Kenilworth.
We had decided to combine the meal with a stay at Woodside Hotel on the outskirts of Kenilworth. our room was simple but looked out onto the lovely grounds with rabbits hopping around. I also had one of the best buffet breakfasts I've ever tried.
The Almanack, Abbey End, Kenilworth
Woodside, Glasshouse Lane, Kenilworth
Photos by myself and Edd.
Food and drinks at The Almanack were complimentary. We paid for our hotel stay.