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May 10, 2014 10:22 AM

[Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire] Rooftop Restaurant

This would be a great place to eat whenever one was in Stratford but, if there to see a performance at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre then I’d suggest it’s the essential place to eat, as it occupies the top floor of the theatre, with great views out over the Avon. Tell them in advance that you’re going to a performance and they ensure that you get priority service to make sure you’ve eaten in time.

There’s a shortish Modern Brit menu which means they can knock out dishes quickly but this is anything but “fast food”. To start, there was a ham hock terrine packed full of porkiness, accompanied by sourdough toast and some piccalilli (crisp veg but could have used more mustard). Pigeon breast (shot on the nearby Alscott Estate, just south of town) was the other starter. Served rare, it sat on a handful of watercress and some strips of sweet & sour carrot. As nicely balanced a opening to a meal as you might want to find

Cod was “fish of the day” and came with wilted chard, grapes and a cream sauce. Sauce wasn’t a success – it was fairly bland and the chard hadn’t been sufficiently drained so water had leached out into it. Otherwise, it was all fine and went well with a side order of roasted courgettes and red pepper.

Local chicken breast was served as a “schnitzel” – at least, it had been lightly breaded and fried to a pleasant crispiness. It came with creamed leeks. A nice light dish which is all I’d wanted that early in the evening. At another time, a bowl of chips would have gone down well.

“He hath eaten me out of house and home” – Mistress Quigley, Henry IV, Pt 2

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  1. Thanks for this one, John. We've just been talking about trying to get to Stratford this summer. I haven't been there since 1989!

    1. Try and get there for Henry IV, Pt 2 - Antony Sher's Falstaff is quite brilliant.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Harters

        Yes, he's always wonderful to watch. I once ate and stayed at Ettington Park near Stratford.. years and years ago. It was my first truly, British dinner and the memory has always stayed with me. I think it's still in business.

        1. re: zuriga1

          Ettington is certainly still in business. By co-incidence, we passed it yesterday - literally on the other side of the road was Talton Mill farm shop that I'd put in the sat nav so we could pick up some stuff on the way home.

          1. re: Harters

            From what I remember, Ettington has been in the Shirley family for over 300 years. I wonder if I could still afford to sleep or eat there. A friend who was with us ate sweetbreads, which at that time were fairly unknown to me. I thought she was such a brave soul. And we retired to the drawing room for coffee and cake and cigars. I found it all so civilized. :-)