Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Review: The Almanack - Kenilworth

A bit clichéd I know, but I have to say whenever I go to a Peach Pub I feel  it is like putting on a pair of fluffy slippers with diamantes – comfortable but with a hint of glitz.  I feel I always know what I’ll get and it will served up with a Peachy smile.
The Almanack
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways
‘Tis the case with The Almanack in Kenilworth, Warwickshire.  Part of the Peach Pub chain, it sits at the top of the High Street by the Holiday Inn Hotel not far from Elizabethan Kenilworth Castle.  With a little pay & display car park at the back, it’s all quite easy logistically and makes organising your visit smooth.  Personally, I love the drive from Solihull to Kenilworth, especially on a summer’s evening, sun-dappled fields with hay bales on view – makes you feel relaxed ahead of your meal.
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

But anyway, enough romancing, back to The Almanack.  The welcome was as expected, very warm and we were shown into the main dining area.  Looking around, it was quite busy for a Thursday evening, but more so in the bar rather than the dining section.  The décor is comfortable, very contemporary and there was a funky reclaimed wood mosaic style mural behind us, which is very ‘now’.
Mural - Photo:  Word In Veg Ways
Looking through the main menu and specials, there was quite a lot to choose from with good options for vegetarians.
English Garden
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

Starting with a pint of Peroni beer for My Carnivorous Husband (MCH) and an English Garden cocktail for me, (vodka in lieu of gin, cloudy apple juice, elderflower cordial, cucumber and ice), we had a good perusal over the menu.  Although I have to say, as I’m not keen on gin, I asked if the gin could be replaced by vodka and the team gladly did that, with the caveat that the cocktail is supposed to be led by gin so the taste will change, but I love the other components so I was happy to take the risk and as it happened, it was very nice and refreshing – and best of all, I was pleased to see they were accommodating adaptations upon request.
Summer Vegetable Risotto
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways
For our Starters, I had the Summer Vegetable Risotto.  It had the typical sticky consistency of risotto rice, made sweet with the peas and sweetcorn.  It was pleasant although not overwhelming.
Ham Cheddar Croquette
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways
MCH opted for the Ham Cheddar Croquette.  It was crispy, packed with melted cheese which when dipped into its tomato relish drizzle, gave it a sweet edge. 

Aubergine Escalope
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

Enjoying an English Rose mocktail (cloudy lemonade, elderflower & cranberry) as the mains arrived, I awaited my adapted Pan-fried Aubergine & Feta Escalope, Heritage Tomato Salad & Baby Leaves.  Adapted because it was confirmed that the dish (the feta element of it in fact) had chillis in it which I am allergic to so upon asking if they could amend it, they said all portions were pre-made but they had a way round it.  They went to the local shop, bought some feta cheese and made me a bespoke version.  I was really impressed with that as well as their stance of going the ‘extra mile’, I was very grateful.  The aubergine was covered in breadcrumbs, it was a good ‘escalope’ style creation and quite filling but I had a side order of new potatoes to go with it which worked well as I felt it needed something additional to go alongside it.

Market Fish
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

MCH chose the Market Fish main from the specials board.  Consisting of mackerel, haddock, king prawns and squid and accompanied by fries, some samphire, salad and a lemon-water finger bowl to refresh your fingers with.  MCH said all the fish was cooked well and it was a nice opportunity to have a number of different fishes and seafood to sample rather than just a larger portion of one type.
Strawberry Cheesecake
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

There is always room for dessert so MCH went for the Strawberry Cheesecake with Raspberry Coulis from the specials board.  It was very fluffy and light making it a little different from a usual type of cheesecake.
Chocolate Brownie
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

I pretty much always lean towards Chocolate Brownies on menus so true to form, I did the same here.  The advertised accompanying banana ice cream was substituted with vanilla as it had ran out, but no problem.  A little more cakey than googey in texture, I would’ve preferred more of the latter if I’m honest, but still a lovely way to end the meal with and the chocolate itself came through as good and dense.
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

Overall, The Almanack is another gleaming gem in the Peach Pub crown, the staff are exceptionally friendly and knowledgeable (about everything including the ingredients on the menu) and are willing to go the extra mile (especially great when you’re a veggie with allergies like me)!
Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

Definitely worth a visiting if you’re looking for somewhere to eat after a day out at Kenilworth Castle or just want somewhere to dine in an area that’s got a quiet village feel about it but yet has a good gastro offering.  
Disclosure:    This post has been written following a kind invitation from The Almanack to sample their menu.  This review was conducted honestly without bias and I was not required to produce a positive review.  For further details of my PR policy, please see the Press, PR & Food Writing page of this website.      

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