Grandma Gourmand recently visited for a few days during the week to catch up and see how we were all getting on, she knows we are doing fine but really loves Leamington Spa so we suspect visiting us was secondary to a nice shopping trip! but hey, it’s still nice to see her and we always take the opportunity to go for nice food when she is around, so, why change this time! Mr Gourmand took an afternoon off work and we went searching for some good local pub food to fill our empty stomachs.
Mr Gourmand has been to The Clarendon on Clarendon Avenue, Leamington, a number of times for a beer with his friends, and on his last visit he came home all excited blabbering about the food he witnessed and how delicious it looked! So, we thought lets take this perfect opportunity to visit The Clarendon and sample it for ourselves.
We visited on a lunch time and my first impression was this looks like a pretty nice place, maybe tries to be a little bit cool, but not overly so, and pubs these days almost have to have a swagger about them to set them apart from their competitors. The place is divided into areas with nice furnishings and a very welcoming feel. We ordered drinks and perused the menu, Mr Gourmand went for a local beer which was really good, so good in fact that he finished it off and got another while placing the food order!
I went for the Cajun Fish and Chips (£10.00) which Mr Gourmand had seen someone get on his last visit, and wildly exaggerated the portion size may I add! The Cajun fish really set this apart from the usual fish and chips you order. The crispy batter was really nice and the fish very meaty, in a good way! The chips, as always in restaurant/bars these days, were home made and seasoned well. My only criticism was the peas, they were minty and had a lot of water in the bottom, and to be honest, mushy peas win the day for me, everyday. But don’t get me wrong, the meal was still very good but home made mushy peas would have made it really special!
Mr Gourmand went for the Creole Chilli (£9.00) Chunky beef and chorizo chilli served with Cajun rice and home made nachos, wow, was a tasty treat this was. The chilli just spicy enough to hit you in the mouth with a kick that doesn’t burn or feel uncomfortable. Mr Gourmand would have maybe liked it more spicy, but I think it was just right – too spicy would out the majority of people off. The rice was also well cooked but the best part was the home made nachos, we had never had one before and it was awesome, so much better than a packet one. It really lifted the meal with an unusual twist.
Grandma Gourmand decided on the Sweet Potato and mixed bean chilli (£8.50) which also had the beautiful home made nachos. Again, this was similar in flavour to the beef chilli and the sweet potato was exquisite, a really good choice.
Overall the meals were quite pricey, but for a one off I think the Clarendon offers a good menu with excellent variety and I would certainly recommend it if you are in the area.