Tag Archives: Fish and Chips

The Fat Pug – Leamington Spa

The Fat Pug is one of those hip places where all the cool kids go offering a range of real ales and a capsule home cooked menu, of course it’s family friendly and dogs are welcome too.

We’ve passed on numerous occasions but it’s either been too early or late for lunch, but last week when we were on the way home from looking at a new car we were just in time for a spot of lunch.

pepperoni pizza, Fat Pug

Mr Gourmand would probably eat Pepperoni Pizza for every meal. Fact. When he spotted the Margherita Pizza with the optional extra of Pepperoni there was no question that this would be his choice of meal.  The pizza was described by Mr Gourmand as delicious which was quite surprising to me as he usually has some sort of complaint about pizza that hasn’t come from an Italian restaurant, he enjoyed it so much he was talking about what toppings he would have next time we visit!

fish and chips fat pug

I couldn’t resist trying the Tempura battered fish and chips with home made tartar sauce and minted mushy peas.  The fish that I was served was actually more of a whale than a fish as you can see from the picture, the batter was extremely light and superbly crisp on both the outside and inside which I was pleased about as there is nothing worse than cutting through crisp batter on the outside and finding it’s all soggy inside.  The tartar sauce was chunky, tangy and creamy which complemented the fish so well, the picked onion was crispy and sharp just as they should be.  My only criticism was that the minted mushy peas were a little on the watery side and this really is just personal taste, I like my mushy peas to be thick.  This was a mammoth meal and even though I had baby Gourmand helping me with the peas and the fish I still managed to leave food on my plate.

After a couple of real ales and a relaxing chat about how much we liked the pub we decided to make our way home, we were really impressed with the Fat Pug and have made plans to go back again soon for breakfast as the menu sounds delicious so keep a look out for the blog post coming soon.

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The Clarendon – Leamington Spa

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!

fish and chips

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.

veg chilli

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.

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Sozzled Sausage – Leamington Spa

The Sozzled Sausage is a bar in Leamington Spa that we have passed on numerous occasions, often when taking Mini Gourmand to Lantern Corner for sweets if she behaves, which is not that often! Anyway, we all decided to pop in for a quick bite to eat not so long ago, and we think this place is something special!


Mr Goumand had the sausage sandwich (£5.00) which was simple, tasty, excellent bread, nice side salad and amazing onion rings! oh my gosh those onion rings were good, so light and crispy and maybe, dare I say, the nicest onion rings I had ever tried!? tough call but for the moment, and unless my memory tells me otherwise by the time I finish writing this post I’m standing by that statement….the nicest onion rings I have ever had!

fish and chips

Mini Gourmand had the fish and chips (£7.50)! obviously feeling a bit peckish on this occasion. Huge portion and it looked very nice, I must admit I didn’t get a chance to try it because one minute it was there, a full fish almost bigger than her head, and the next, gone, just like magic. I’m not bothered, I’ll have it next time I visit!

chicken burger

I had the Chicken Burger (£7.50) which was amazing. The bread, which I think came from a local shop, and the juicy chicken breast was out of this world, I couldn’t even finish it, it was that big and filling. Another tough call but again I’m going to make it, the best chicken burger I have ever had!!?? Oh and yes, the onion rings are the second nicest I have had, after some I made for Mr Gourmand a year or so ago…..where is that recipe again!?

You can find the Sozzled Sausage at 141 Regent Street, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, United Kingdom CV32 4NX

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Woodland Grange – Leamington Spa

The Woodland Grange hotel is situated on Old Milverton lane, Leamington Spa.  We stayed at Woodland Grange on a dinner bed and breakfast package, the website pictures showed delicious food and there was a sample 3 course menu to peruse which had my mouth watering.

My excitement about the food ended there unfortunately, we dressed for dinner and headed downstairs only to be told that the restaurant wasn’t open on a Sunday evening and if we wanted food we would have to order from the bar menu.  The bar was tiny and had 3 small tables which were already full, luckily the hotel was also a conference centre and had high and low tables dotted around the foyer so we found ourself a seat and had a quick look at the menu.

I picked the West Country battered Coley with crushed minted peas and gribiche sauce (£11.50) Although edible the fish and chips tasted very dry, as though they had been under the heat lamp for too long.  The minted peas were rather delicious and the gribiche sauce was lovely and something I’d never tried before.

The high tables were very uncomfortable making eating a meal difficult.

Mr Gourmand had the Chargrilled rump steak with confit cherry tomatoes, portabella mushroom and vegetables instead of chips (£14.50).  The steak was served with a peppercorn sauce which was unfortunately too thick to pour.  Mr Gourmand enjoyed his steak and was glad that he chose to have vegetables rather than chips as my chips had been very dry and tasteless.

I probably wouldn’t visit Woodland Grange again, if I had been told during booking that the restaurant wasn’t available on Sunday evenings I would have stayed elsewhere as it was the restaurant meals that had initially inspired my booking.

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Kook Inn Nostalgia

I’m writing this post with a heavy heart, I came across the Kook Inn photographs on my phone while having a clear out and decided to write a post about it.

The Kook Inn holds comfort food memories from the days when it was based in the Greenmarket which no longer exists, my friend Steph introduced me to Fish Fingers, chips and gravy as a cure to a broken heart, it sounds vile but it really did work.

The spot in Newgate shopping centre where the Kook Inn stood until recently also holds memories from its days as the Fish ‘n’ boat, Mr Gourmand and I used to often go for Fish and Chips as it did the best ones in Newcastle city centre, we were elated when the Kook Inn took over the site as they decided to continue to sell fish and chips along with their other menu items.

On our last visit to the Kook Inn, it just happened to be the day when they would be closing the doors for good, there was no fish left as they had been getting rid of their stock over the previous days so we had pie, peas, chips and gravy as a goodbye meal.  To a lot of people the Kook Inn was just a greasy spoon frequented by the elderly but to me it held a lot of good memories and I’m really sad that it’s no longer there.

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