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The Almanack (Kenilworth)

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British Pub / Address: Abbey End North, Kenilworth, CV8 1QJ / Tel: 01926 353637

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      27.01.2010 23:12
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      5 stars for everything!

      The Almanack, (Gastropub & Restaurant) is located at
      Abbey End North,
      Kenilworth,
      CV8 1QJ
      Tel: 01926 353637

      I live in Coventry which is approximately 6 miles from The Almanack. Local distances are as follows:

      Leamington Spa (4.9 Miles)
      Warwick (5.4 Miles)
      Coventry (6 Miles)
      Stratford-Upon-Avon (14 Miles)
      Solihull (11.7 Miles)
      Rugby (18 Miles)
      Banbury (28 Miles)

      *The Feel of the Place*
      A fairly new establishment run by The Peach Pub Company who run a few gastropub style venues throughout the Midlands.

      Its all 'shiny' and new and looks and feels really fresh. Immediately as you walk through the door is a lounging / drinks only area, which is really relaxed and chilled out. There is loads of comfy sitting and bar stools set around taller tables. The middle of the room represents the bar, which is double sided. It's pretty huge and well stocked with real ales, all the usual variants of wine and spirits and half price champagne (on Thursdays!!).

      Beyond the bar area is a mass seating area, but not in a canteen style. The seating is well arranged so that you can not hear others conversations and the staff can move around easily.

      In one corner is a private function room available for a private party or business meeting. It seats up to 30 and has cool sliding doors that are etched to give more privacy. We tried to get a sneak of what was going on it there but it really was private.

      The kitchen is open. Which to me is a fantastic feature. I always feel confident eating in a place where you can actually watch your meal being prepared, cooked and plated.

      The toilets are toward one end of the bar, nicely tucked out of the way. The toilets are spectacularly clean and well ordered.... with very nice hand soap and hand lotion at each sink.

      *My Experience*
      I have twice visited the Almanack and had a very enjoyable experience on both occasions.
      My first visit was with a group of 18, just before Christmas and was pre-booked and food pre-ordered from a set menu. I ate Curried Parsnip Soup / Beef Bourginon / Chocolate Fudge Brownie. These were selected from a choice of four from each course, all equally as enjoyable. We didn't pay for this meal but am led to believe it was around £25 per head for three courses and coffee. Sorry I can not be more specific on that.

      As a Christmas gift from the Almanack we each received gift vouchers to use in January and February representing 2 courses for £12.50 for up to 6 people. With 5 vouchers I have been able to use one myself and dish a couple out to friends so they can try the place. This leads to my second visit last Thursday. (ahem, half price champagne).

      We had booked in advance and when we arrived at 7.30 for pre dinner drinks we were asked by a very pleasant (and very attractive) male member of staff if we would like to be seated at our table or to lounge for a while. We choose to be seated at our table. Within 15 -20 minutes the venue went from being almost empty to packed full. That is always a good sign. As I said before, we could not hear other people talking, yet the place was loud and buzzing. We could hear the words to the music playing (which was a huge mix of genres, Abba, Take That, Black Eyed Peas!!), which is a good sign for me.

      Our waiter, was incredible. He came to take our order. With no note pad. Took orders for the four of us, starters and main and then trotted off to the next table and did the same there. No hesitation. No mistakes. Our order was perfect. I am very impressed with that!! We waited around 8 minutes for our starter, with all dishes coming out together. We had ordered a weird pancake and black pudding dish, pate and two mushroom dishes. Again, we waited around 8 - 10 minutes between courses. I ordered Coq-Au-Van and the other three all had seabass. My partner had first requested sole and asked whether it was filleted. Our waiter informed him that he could request it to be filleted but that he would probably end up with very little fish and might be better to go with the seabass. To me, that is remarkable. I most restaurants you get 'yeah, that's a lovely lasagne / piece of fish pizza or whatever for every dish. I liked the fact that our waiter was being honest. We all tried a bit of each others to get a good feel for the food. Each dish was absolutely outstanding. Amazing. Incredible food. Everything was cooked to perfection with a fair amount of food. Not a huge portion, but actually enough.

      The staff were always available, approached and non intrusive, with good humour. I can not wit to go back here in a couple of weeks to take advantage of another voucher.

      Our total bill was £104 odd, £50 of which was food!! Hmmm. We did all, always have a drink on the go and were there for two and a half hours, with three drinking alcoholic drinks including champers. Get me!!

      *My Opinion*
      This fresh faced gastropub is actually quite traditional and old fashioned in the food they serve and the service they provide. An acquaintance of mine said that the people there were 'pretentious'. I disagree with that. I just think that it is a bit more upmarket than The Red Lion she usually frequents. It is certainly the place to dress well and I wouldn't expect to bump into anyone on a lunch break covered in cement in there.

      I really love this place, the atmosphere, the staff and menu is outstanding.

      I'll be back.

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