Category Archives: Restaurant

Wagamama – Leamington Spa

When we moved to Leamington Spa Wagamama had only just opened and as Mini Gourmand had never visited before I took her for her first meal and she has been hooked on Chicken Katsu since then.  Fast forward 18 months to Mr Gourmand and Baby Gourmand’s first visit to Wagamama.

wagamama bar

When you enter through the revolving doors you are greeted with a fabulous bar area which is the only one outside of London, there are a selection of tables at the window where you can choose to sit or wait for friends which look directly out onto The Parade which is perfect for people watching.  I believe this branch serves a selection of cocktails however we were not provided with a bar menu so I’m unable to comment on those.

deco wagamama

The interior is extremely light, spacious and has a fantastic vibe.  Decor is neutral and there is a lot of beautiful lighting.  My favourite feature is the huge ornate mirror above the fireplace, I imagine that the room that houses the restaurant was originally a ballroom when the building was all a hotel.

wagamama interior

One good thing about Wagamama is that it is extremely family friendly, on our arrival we were asked if we needed a high chair and were supplied with crayons and a colouring sheet, I originally thought Baby Gourmand would be far too young for crayons but he surprised us by doing a little scribble, then trying to munch on the crayon like a carrot stick.

baby gourmand wagamama

Our waitress Laura took our drinks order and left us to peruse the menu. I hate the menu in Wagamama, don’t get me wrong there isn’t actually anything wrong with it. My problem is that I want to eat at least 8-10 things on there during each visit and although I’m a gourmand by name and nature it isn’t actually possible to do so which makes my decision really difficult.

wagamama

After taking time out to laugh at Baby Gourmand pulling faces we were ready to order our food.  We’re a family of sharers so decided on two starters each, a main course each and 1 side which was originally a healthy option for Baby Gourmand to munch on.

Ebi Katsu

Mini Gourmand’s choice for one of the starters was the Ebi Katsu (£6.95) which  is basically deep-fried prawns in panko breadcrumbs. served with a spicy chilli and garlic sauce and garnished with a wedge of lime.  Even Baby Gourmand enjoyed this starter although he did try to shove the whole thing into his mouth including the tail so Mr Gourmand had to extract it and deliver it in smaller portions.  The prawns were delicious, breadcrumbs were crispy and the chilli sauce was perfect in flavour and strength.

Chilli Squid

My choice for a starter was the Chilli Squid (£5.75) which is basically deep-fried squid seasoned with salt and shichimi. served with a chilli and coriander dipping sauce.  Baby Gourmand made sure he tucked into this starter too although he didn’t sample the dipping sauce.  Mini Gourmand commented about how so many restaurants just can’t seem to get squid right meaning it’s either tough or isn’t cooked enough.  The Chilli Squid from Wagamama was perfect, tender, delicately spiced and the dipping sauce added both a sweet and sourness to the dish making it one of those dishes you wish you had ordered two of.

Chicken katsu Curry

A creature of habit, Mini Gourmand ordered the Chicken Katsu Curry (£9.50) chicken breast deep-fried in panko breadcrumbs served with a curry sauce and sticky white rice. garnished with dressed mixed leaves and japanese pickles.  I always wish she would try something else from the menu but I suppose the saying goes if it’s not broken don’t fix it and she always has a satisfied look on her face after cleaning her plate.

Mahi Mahi Curry

Mr Gourmand wanted to try something new and different so went for the Mahi Mahi Curry (£9.95) which was grilled mahi mahi fish in a spicy curry sauce with sweet potato, red and green peppers and mushrooms. served with rice and garnished with coriander cress.  Not wanting to miss out I had a mouthful and was pleasantly surprised because it was so delicious, the sauce had a delicate spice but was also slightly sweet.  Baby Gourmand gave the fish a thumbs up by demanding more of it, the boy has a real love of fish and seafood so it seems!

Teryaki beef soba

I decided to go for something different and picked the Teryaki Soba Beef (£13.95) which was grilled teriyaki beef on a bed of teppan-fried soba noodles with curry oil, mangetout, red and spring onions, beansprouts, bok choi and chillies with yakitori and teriyaki sauce. garnished with coriander and sesame seeds. Steak is another favourite of Baby Gourmand so we shared this dish.  The flavourings worked together so well on this dish and the steak was cooked to perfection, It’s the first time I’ve gone for a noodle dish at Wagamama and I will definitely be back for more after sampling this particular one.

Wok fried greens

I actually ended up eating most of the Wok Fried Greens (£4.25) that we had ordered for Baby Gourmand as he decided that he preferred the meat on this occasion and the green stuff was for wimps.  I actually thought the tender stem broccoli and bok choi, stir-fried in garlic and soy sauce was a delicious if not simple dish and could have quite happily had this as a main course with some steamed rice.

Our total bill including drinks came to £58.90 which is more than acceptable for the amount of food and drinks we consumed.

We left Wagamama with full stomachs and smiles on our faces, mainly because Baby Gourmand had behaved himself impeccably.  The staff at the Leamington Spa branch were attentive and extremely friendly and I would not hesitate to go back again.

If you’re ever in the Warwickshire area and fancy some good food, cooked well which is good value for money you will be very welcome at Wagamama Leamington spa, the old regent hotel, 95 parade royal, leamington spa, CV32 4AY.

*I received vouchers towards part payment of my meal.  All words are my own and as always my review is honest and impartial*

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Villandry – Bicester Village

I love nothing better than browsing the shops of Bicester Village in Oxfordshire and no visit is complete without going somewhere for a bite to eat.  On this occasion our place to eat was Villandry.

Villandry is a spacious restaurant with ample seating for such a large shopping village although you may have to queue at peak dining times.  The menu is extremely varied and all sorts of diners are catered for.

salad

Grandma Gourmand doesn’t have a huge appetite at lunchtime. I obviously don’t get my greedy tendencies from her. She opted for the Roasted baby beetroot & goats cheese salad (£10.20) with watercress, fresh orange, pine nuts dressed with orange & mustard dressing.  Goats Cheese is a particular favourite of Grandma Gourmand, she is rather partial to it and thought that the flavour combination of the salad was just perfect, she even went as far to say it was one of the nicest salads she had eaten in the UK.

burger

A creature of habit, I went for the Classic 8oz 100% beef burger dressed with lettuce and tomato relish (£12.95).  The coleslaw was divine, that’s the only way to describe it, I could have quite happily eaten a bowlful.  The chips were a nice accompaniment but if I’m honest the burger was so big I didn’t really need the chips.

I’ve never actually been able to have a dessert at Villandry as I’m always too full after my main meal but the ones I have seen really do look delicious, next time I’ll have to try a smaller main so I can indulge.

Villandry is situated at 26b-c Pingle Drive, Bicester

Opening hours are: Sunday – Friday 9am – 10pm Saturday  8.30am– 10pm

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Panache Balti House – Warwick

We like curry, you like curry, the whole nation likes curry – now please visit Panache Balti House in Warwick – you will not be disappointed!

curry6

Panache is quite a simple place with a small number of seats, some interesting wall art work describing the history of Warwick, and most importantly, some of the finest curry I have ever eaten! I can not stress this last point enough.

Byriani curry

I went for the Special mixed Biryani (£10.75) which was a delicious cocktail of chicken, lamb, prawns, king prawns, mushrooms & pan fried omelette – amazing! The Biryani sauce was tremendous, nicely spiced, not bland like they can be, and very much a brilliant curry sauce in its own right!.

curry2

Mr Gourmand asked the waiter for his recommendation which was the Naga lamb tikka (£9.50) Cooked with aromatic flavoured spicy hot (ghost naga) from Bangladesh & India with a blend of fresh herbs & spices. This meal was hot, almost addictively hot, with a perfect mix of spices and succulent lamb – a very, very good recommendation!

curry4

Mr Gourmand chose the Keema fried rice (£2.75) to accompany his main course, and it went together perfectly!

curry3

As we hadn’t been here before we naturally ordered far too much which included a Garlic naan (£2.50) and;

curry1

a Vegetable paratha (£3.00), delicious, but far too much….so we took it home for laters…yum!!

Panache is excellent and you can bring your own beer or wine, please try this place, and if this is the benchmark to curry houses in Warwick I really can’t wait to try another one!

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Gusto Ricco – Leamington Spa

 

Gusto Ricco is a bit of a tardis, it’s tiny from the outside but there is seating for many people inside although some of the tables are very close together.  There is a very rustic feel to the cafe making it feel very authentic, the decor is very traditional with lots of wood.  We climbed the stairs upstairs which would be a struggle for some people as they are quite tight and found a lovely little table for two in the corner.

 

gusto-ricco

After browsing the menu I decided that I was slightly hungrier than I had anticipated and chose to have the Lasagna, on first glance I thought that the small brown bowl wouldn’t even fill a small gap but boy was I wrong!  The Lasagna was filled with meat and sauce and was so delicious I can still taste the flavours.  The pesto oil on top just added to the flavour and the chunk of bread on the side was fabulous for mopping up the juices left in the bowl.

lasagna1

Mr Gourmand had polished off a huge breakfast a couple of hours earlier so Pizza Bruschetta was all he could manage however it was a much bigger portion than he expected. Layered with pepperoni, tomato and cheese and served with a simple salad and crisps it was definitely not a light lunch.

bruschetta1

 

Mr Gourmand was in a coffee kind of mood and being an Italian cafe the coffee was very good, just as expected and came with an amaretto biscuit which I was quick to steal as they are my favourite kind of biscuit. I had a bog standard Coca Cola which to my delight was served in a glass bottle – why does it always taste better out of a bottle?  We will definitely be visiting this gem of a place again, there is no room for prams or pushchairs so Arthur will have to be worn in a carrier should we visit with him.

drinks

 

Gusto Ricco Cafe can be found at 65 Regent St, Town Centre, Leamington Spa CV32 5DX.

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Wofun – Leamington Spa

If any of my readers remember my fondness for quick, easy, and delicious chinese cafe food from my days in Newcastle, then this post should bring back some memories. We loved the China Town Express in Newcastle upon Tyne, and actually preferred it over more conventional (and expensive!) chinese restaurants, so when we moved down to Leamington Spa my radar was on the lookout for somewhere that could fill the void left by the aforementioned chinese cafe. Then one saturday morning the thud of the letterbox signalled the arrival of a new batch of takeaway leaflets; Usually this results in the traditional ‘throwing in the bin’ routine, but one leaflet caught my eye more than the rest, and that was a menu for a place in Leamington called Wofun. This menu was small and interesting, with limited meals, noodles, and sauces, but combinations could be made to create the perfect meal….and all at a perfect price! We decided to visit this restaurant rather than order takeaway and were pleasantly surprised by a light and airy venue with helpful staff.  

wofun_chicken

I started with the Crispy Chicken and what a choice that was – I would have paid twice the price for this crispy meaty wonder which was lovely and light and a nice fresh salad on the side to compliment a very tasty starter, yum!

wofun_pork_cutlet

Mr Gourmand started with the Pork Cutlet, and boy was he happy with his choice. Again the coating was lovely and light and to be honest, the pictures say it all. A very filling and quite amazingly priced starter.

wofun_wonton

Mini Gourmand picked the wontons which myself and Mr Gourmand guessed she would. This little girl has a real soft spot for crispy wontons and the speed that she gobbled them up is testament to how much she enjoyed these little crispy wonders! So three good choices then, now for the mains!

wofun_duck

Mini Gourmand decided to have the Roast Duck with teryaki sauce. Just look at this one. I cant believe there could be a reader out there who doesn’t look at this and have to fetch a napkin because they are drooling! I’m writing this and actually looking at the clock in the bottom right of the screen to see if there is time to pop out to grab a takeaway myself. There was so much beautiful succulent duck and the crispy skin and soft noodles were a perfect combination.

wofun_mixed_meat

Mr Gourmand went for the Mixed Meat mixing dish with a light and delicate sauce. A delicious combo of pork, chicken and just look at the size of those king prawns! Mr Gourmand went for a boiled rice which he thinks is always the best choice with chinese food. Personally I like fried rice, but, his choice!

wofun_beef

I have eaten the Beef with ho fun noodles on a few occasions and sampling this dish at a new venue was a great test – I am rarely disappointed with a dish like this and once again I am happy to say it came up trumps. The beef was very delicately seasoned with a delicious sauce and a great choice with those lovely thick noodles…checked the time again, no, mustn’t, one last check, no surely I can’t. maybe tomorrow if I behave myself!

Wofun can be found at 21 Regent Grove, Town Centre, Leamington Spa CV32 4NN

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Porridge Pot – Warwick

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The Gourmand family had not been out for Sunday dinner for a long time and after much research and consideration we decided to try out the Porridge Pot in Warwick. At first we were unsure of our choice as it sits very close to a Holiday Inn which made me think it may have been a hotel restaurant – nothing wrong with a hotel restaurant mind you, it just wasn’t what we wanted on this particular Sunday!

Once we walked through the door though we felt immediately at ease, the interior was large and airy and created a very relaxing feel – you know when somewhere is loud with bustle and people moving round and background music, but quiet enough that you can still talk and be heard by the person at the other end of the table? Well that was how it felt. The atmosphere was really enjoyable and the huge windows and open ceiling worked together really well.

We decided that a carvery was a good choice although Mr Gourmand stupidly asked for something else to begin with, something non Sunday dinner like, which he would instantly regret when my food arrived; Thankfully for his sake what he ordered was not available so he stumped for the Sunday dinner carvery as well!

prawn cocktail

I decided that a prawn cocktail (£4.55) was the order of the day for a starter. It’s really dangerous ordering starters when you don’t know how big the main course is going to be, but what the heck we all did anyway. Prawn cocktails very rarely fail to impress and this didn’t disappoint. Good size with a tasty sauce and brown bread on the side. Delicious.

chicken strips

Mr Gourmand and Mini Gourmand opted to share a Sesame Teriyaki chicken skewers with dressed seasonal leaves and a sticky and oriental dipping sauce (£4.75). Three skewers, two eaters, and one very tasty dish could only lead to an argument…..so i stepped in and ate the third! Yum. The teriyaki sauce was sticky and perfect alongside the chicken skewers. I may get this myself next time, but only if the prawn cocktail has sold out.

porridge pot

Carvery dinner time (£8.95). The choice of meat was brilliant. You could have beef, turkey, chicken, pork, meat pie, and gammon; all of which came with little extras suck as pork crackling, mini sausages, and stuffing. The chef was very helpful and offered great portion sizes, perhaps not great for the diet but hey ho, we don’t go out for Sunday dinner that often. The veg was out of this world. You had the choice of different types of potatoes, carrots, broccoli, you name it. They also had nice touches such as leek and different types of gravy. I will definitely be going back here for the Sunday dinner alone!

Ok, before you read on I must apologise my eyes were too big for my belly, but luckily I was not alone. Mini Gourmand and me decided to hit the puddings with a crumble and custard and Eton mess, oh dear. The rest of the day was a blur as we lay at home holding our overfilled tummies!

crumble

eton mess

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Frankie and Benny’s – Leamington Spa

Frankie & Benny’s is a Gourmand family favourite which combines the best of popular American food with traditional Italian dishes.

Lunch menus are available Monday – Friday, 11am until 5pm, you get 3 menus to choose from the main menu, lunch value menu and the specials menu. The lunch menu has over 30 dishes to choose from, 1 course will cost you £5.95, 2 courses £8.25 and 3 courses £9.25

The Specials Menu is available all day Sunday – Friday, and 2 courses costs £10.95 or you can get 3 courses for £13.20.

breadsticks

Frankie and Benny’s needs no introduction, it provides good value and very tasty food which is prepared consistently well, no matter where in the country you go. Lets get straight to it, I can’t resist the Warm dough sticks and dips, they are delicious and have a great texture and springy consistency. Everytime I order them they have a really familiar and homely oven baked taste which makes my mouth water with anticipation.

salad

Mr Gourmand goes through strange phases of thinking he should eat more healthy, so if there is a salad on the menu, more often than not he orders one. On this occasion he went for the mozzarella and tomato salad platter which comes with a light creamy mozzarella, sliced beef tomato, marinated olives and warm garlic dough balls. This was served with fresh watercress, olive oil and seasoned with cracked black pepper. I’m not sure how healthy this is, but he feels less guilty by ordering it so at least its good in his mind. He enjoyed it very much and again as a testament to the quality and consistency provided by Frankie and Benny’s, has ordered this on a few occasions and never been let down.

burger

For a main course I went for the tried and tested crispy chicken burger, with fries and coleslaw. Although this is simple combination, it really can’t be beaten for taste and value, and always hits the mark. The crispy chicken is succulent without being too dry, and the chips and coleslaw provide a nice fallback in between burger bites. If I was being very critical I think chips should be either an american fry, or homemade thick cut chip, but it’s not the end of the world, I still eat them!

chicken salad

Mr Gourmand really was pushing the healthy side of the menu on this day and went for a Caesar Salad with crispy baby gem lettuce leaves, anchovy fillets and tomato, and drizzled with Frankie and Benny’s own caesar dressing, all topped of with Grana Padano. Really nice, very crispy and fresh salad with a gorgeous dressing, and the mixture of soft salad, chicken, crispy croutons and anchovies is so good that I may even order this one myself next time we return!

garlic bread

Ok ok, call us greedy but what can I say, the table next to us received their garlic bread just as the waitress took back our menus, Mr Gourmand couldn’t resist, our order was read back with the addition of a garlic bread side, it just looked and smelled so good. Guess what, it tasted a s good as it looked, yum.

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Blossoms Indian Cafe – Byker

The last place you would expect to go for a ‘Sunday dinner like grandma used to make’ would be an Indian cafe, my grandparents are not Indian yet the Sunday dinner tastes exactly the same as it did when I used to visit for my Sunday roast.

£4.oo doesnt get you much these days but what it does get you is a home cooked roast at Blossoms.

I went for the Roast Beef which was served with mashed and roast potatoes, mashed swede, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, peas and a huge yorkshire pudding.

Mr Gourmand had the Roast Pork which was served with the same vegetables.

The Sunday dinner comes in small and large, believe it or not we had the small! There is more than enough to keep the hungriest of diner satisfied, please don’t go to Blossoms expecting luxurious surroundings with cotton napkins because it’s not that sort of place, if you like cheap, delicious home cooked food this is the ideal place for you.

Blossoms Cafe is situated at 111-113 Shields Rd, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE6 1DN

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Limited Edition Sharing At Prezzo

kitchen

I was recently invited to Prezzo to sample their limited edition sharing menu which is available until 4th March 2012.  Our waiter Peter could not have been more attentive and was happy to offer advice on the the meals available and his favourites, although he was quick to point out most meals were very good.

The restaurant had a great atmosphere and was full due to it being Valentines Day, yet the Staff were very attentive, drinks were replenished when needed, empty plates were cleared quickly, and fresh courses brought out to eager diners with loved-up eyes and soon satisfied stomachs.

drinks

I was very impressed with small details like the chilled glasses, there is nothing worse than putting a cold drink into a warm glass. The soft drinks were served to the table in a glass bottle which I prefer as drinks seem to taste nicer when served out of an ice cold bottle.

mini

Mini Gourmand took her time perusing the vast menu, I would have probably ordered everything as there were some amazing sounding dishes on the but we decided that myself and Mr Gourmand would order from the sharers menu and Mini Gourmand and Grandma Gourmand would order from the main menu. We couldn’t quite decide what to order so we went for an appetizer to give us a little more time.

olives

Marinated Olives (£2.95)  The mixture of green and black pitted olives were marinated in a mixture of garlic, peppers, herbs and olive oil.  I found the green olives were very firm and juicy holding the flavours well.  The black olives were soft and soaked up the delicious oil.  I loved the contemporary bowl that housed the olives. The delicious olives gave our brains enough time to select the combinations of food we thought  could satisfy our craving stomachs.

King prawns

The King Prawns (£5.65) were served in a spicy tomato sauce with just a hint of chilli which left a nice amount of heat in the back of the mouth. a sprinkling of spinach garnished over the prawns really complemented the dish.

garlic bread

We shared a Pane Con Cipolla (£4.95) which was the perfect combination of thin base and soft and bouncy with a crispy crust thin base. There was a perfect combination of cheese and sweet onion, the garlic not at all overpowering, and beautifully tangy.  Mr Gourmand and Grandma Gourmand commended this as their favourite starter.

nachos

Next up was the Italian Nachos (£6.95) which mixed sweet and juicy red and yellow cherry tomatoes with smooth Pesto and just the right amount of basil to not be overpowering from.  Mini gourmand devoured these.

pea soup

In my opinion I have left the best till last. I ordered Green Pea and Basil Soup (£4.95) from the Sharing Menu. This was beautiful and creamy with a kick of pepper. There were so many different flavours in the soup which combined to create an amazing taste with a slight aniseed after taste which is really cleansing on the palette.  The peas provided a different texture giving a combination of smooth and chunky at the same time which is very pleasing, a pleasing and perfect consistency.  Probably the nicest soup I had ever tasted.  Time for the mains.

Hot_Not

Now this was an interesting concept – a selection of sharing pizzas that offered contrasting and complimentary toppings.  The Hot and Not (£16.95) was always going to be Mr Gourmands choice.  The Hot side featured Bolognese sauce, red onion, roasted peppers, fresh chilli, crushed chilli, rocket and mozzarella  The Not side featured white béchamel sauce, button, field and oyster mushrooms, spinach and mozzarella drizzled with truffle infused oil.

Hot

The Hot Pizza had a beautifully thin base, a perfect ratio of meat to vegetables and a spicy heat that made the lips tingle.

Not

The Not pizza was very creamy and the mushroom texture was really gorgeous alongside the crispy base.  The bechamel sauce was a lovely surprise and made a comforting change to tomato and worked extremely well with the mushrooms.  The base was thin yet fluffy and the spinach gave the dish a very light taste which worked very well with the richness of the sauce.

Seafood_Meat

I ordered the Seafood and Meat (£17.95).  The Seafood side featured king prawns, grilled artichokes, spinach, olives, fennel, tomato and mozzarella drizzled with a tomato chilli dressing.  The Meat side featured spicy Italian sausage, roasted peppers, red onions, Roquito chilli, fresh rocket, tomato and mozzarella.

seafood

The seafood pizza had a lovely thin base with great kick from the tomato chilli dressing that permeated around the mouth.  The fennel gives great crunch and artichoke added great flavour.  There was also just the right amount of cheese and subtle flavour of oregano which was common on both pizzas.

sausage

The Italian Sausage pizza had amazing fruity flavour from the peppers which gave a sweetness to the pizza.  The dryness of the sausage was delicious making it more like a Mediterranean dish than a pizza.

My only slight criticism was the Pizzas were rather difficult to cut on the boards even with the pizza cutter, you never really felt like you were cutting through it.  I would like to mention that even after the pizzas had cooled down not one had gone crispy on the bottom, they were still a perfect texture.

carbonara

Mini Gourmand ordered The Carbonara (£9.15) which unusually came with crispy prosciutto which was delightful and gave this dish a much more expensive and exotic flavour than when it is prepared with the usual bacon.  The cheesy sauce was particularly tasty and had a great smokey taste that seemed infused with the pasta.  Mini Gourmand polished this meal off without much help, and believe me when I say this, she knows a good carbonara , and the sparkling plate she left was testament to this.

Spaghetti

Grandma Gourmand opted for the tried and tested Spaghetti Bolognese (£8.95), which although quite safe in terms of choice, is a good gage for Italian expertise as they can be bland.  A perfect sized portion of delicious soft pasta was presented with good sauce to pasta ratio.  The Bolognese consistency was described as perfect with a lovely meaty taste.  Mister Gourmand is a man of few words, I now see where he gets this from.  Everyone was so full after their starters and mains courses that deserts were never going to be ordered, thirty seconds later we all had a change of heart…..

Cheesecake

We ordered a medley of starters from the coffee and small desert menu, alongside one desert from the main menu.  We decided to share everything.  The vanilla cheesecake with coffee (£4.95) was covered with a raspberry coulis and fresh raspberries, the cheesecake was light and fluffy with a creamy texture, the tartness of the coulis was delicious alongside the sweetness of the cheesecake.

Lemon Drizzle

The lemon drizzle cake with coffee (£4.95) was light and fluffy with a sweet crunchy topping with an added tartness.  The raspberries worked so well with the cake and added not only texture but flavour bringing out the lemony taste.

profiterole

The profiterole with latte (£4.95) was like an inside out version of the popular classic.  The filling was a chocolate cream covered with a vanilla cream and decorated with milk chocolate curls. A lovely combination and perfect as part of the coffee and cake option if you really want a desert, but feel like you can’t quite eat the full size version.

Chocolate cake

The chocolate fudge cake (£5.15) was sweet and decadent,  the fudge filling was one of the nicest I’ve tasted.  Having such a big slice of cake would be a challenge for anyone after such a huge meal, but Mini Gourmand managed to polish it off in record time!

All meals except the two Spaghetti dishes and desserts were recommended by Peter for us to try  to give us an idea of the variety of dishes offered by the restaurant.

I would like to thank Prezzo Leamington Spa for inviting me to sample their menu, as always my review is honest and impartial and my opinion has not been forced.

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Cafe Royal – Newcastle

My last visit to Cafe Royal was a bit of a disaster so when my mum asked me to meet her there for a coffee and a chat I was a little dubious. My parents frequently visit Cafe Royal (my mother loves the scones) and neither of them have had any complaints, so I figured I might as well pop along to see if my opinion would change.

As we had visited the Cafe early morning we had no problem getting a seat, if you visit anytime after 11am on a weekday you should expect to wait to be seated.

My Mum had her usual Cappuchino (£2.10) I personally find this drink contains more foam than coffee but Mum seemed to be happy with her chosen drink.

I had a Filter Coffee (£2.10) which was nice and hot, quite often a filter coffee will be just drinkable which is a bit rubbish if you’re planning on having a chat whilst you drink.

My Mums treat was a warmed up Raspberry scone; heating up a scone is a hate of mine. Apparently the raspberry scones are a favourite of my Mum and Dad as they tend not to crumble when cut (another hate of mine).

I played it safe and had a Cheese and Chive scone left cold exactly as I like it.  There was a good amount of flavour in the scone with just a hint of chives.  I love the fact that you get 2 packs of a decent butter, so many places suffer from butter rationing and 1 pack is the maximum they will offer!  I like a nice salted butter at home with scones and although the butter I had at Cafe Royal wasn’t particularly salted it suited the scone well.

I’m actually really pleased that Cafe Royal has redeemed itself in my estimation, I think my bad breakfast experience must have been a one off as I couldn’t fault my latest visit.

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