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SALT, relaxed fine dining in Stratford-upon-Avon

When top class chef Paul Foster launched a crowd-funding campaign in early 2016, a campaign to fund his dream of opening SALT, a relaxed fine dining restaurant, we were excited to see that so many supported him and that he reached his goal.

And now, just over a year later and just 2 days away from the official opening of SALT, we were honoured to be invited to the soft opening evening of his brand new restaurant on Church Street in Stratford-upon-Avon.

6-course tasting menu

We had the delicious 6-course tasting menu with wine and coffee to finish. Each dish was well thought out, well rounded and, of course, well made by the master himself in the open kitchen in the back of the restaurant.

Thank You, Paul, for this evening’s culinary experience. We look forward to coming back again and again and to seeing SALT grow a well-deserved following of fans and become a popular part of the amazing food-scene of Stratford-upon-Avon.

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Delicious John Dory, Lime Twisters and Beautiful Beetroots

May 2019: You know when you spend a whole Saturday doing nice things with your family, a bit of shopping, gardening and getting lots of the things around the house done that need doing.. it’s a lovely Saturday but a busy one, and you don’t really take time out to think about what comes next or what the evening will bring. Then, when the evening comes around and you remember what’s in store for you is in fact a romantic dinner in a beautiful restaurant.. what a wonderful “surprise” that is.

We had exactly that kind of surprise on Saturday night as we sat down on the sunlit terrace overlooking the beautiful flower garden on the side of the main house at Mallory Court Country House Hotel. We were seated and offered cold drinks and the prettiest canapés.. and then we sat back, breathed out and allowed ourselves to fully enjoy what was in store for us.

Super-talented chef, Paul Evans

As we were enjoying our pre-dinner drinks on the terrace, we had the great pleasure of meeting Head Chef, Paul Evans. What a nice guy.. and, of course, a super-talented chef. Paul explained a little about the menu, the lovely canapés and his vegetable garden on the other side of the hotel, a patch behind the lawns where he likes to organically grow what he prepares for his diners. We had to go see this patch for ourselves, so before we went inside for dinner, we took a stroll through the gardens.

Beautiful beetroots

The vegetable garden was two patches, really. One under cover, one not. We snuck inside the covered part first and in here we saw the most beautiful beetroots we’ve ever seen, alongside peas and herbs and lots more. What a wonderful garden this was and it made us even more keen to go inside to experience what Paul was going to cook up for us on this fine Saturday evening.

Superb service

Seated in the restaurant at Mallory Court, we were immediately impressed by the superb service offered by all staff who were lovely, friendly and courteous as well as knowledgeable about both the food and wine selections. On Paul’s recommendation, we had already decided to opt for the 6-course tasting menu, a choice we did not regret at any point during this evening.

The 6-course tasting menu

Normally when we have tasting menus, we find ourselves at the end of the meal discussing which parts we especially liked. Normally we both have a favourite, not always the same. Not so on this fine evening, because from Paul Evans’ tasting menu, we genuinely couldn’t choose a favourite, we both loved, loved, loved every single course. Everything was expertly prepared with real appreciation and respect for the local and home-grown ingredients, and everything was absolutely delicious.

The tasting menu course no. 1 was a delicious little dish of trout, pickled apple, tomato and dill oil. It was so delicious and left us wanting more.. much more. We would have happily had a bog bowl of this consist of our entire meal, one to share between us and dip bread in.. yum. But No No, we know that’s not the idea of a tasting menu, so we sat back and waited happily for the second course.

Course no. 2 was salt baked heritage beetroots served with truffle emulsion, goats curd and white balsamic and elderflower jelly. It was fantastic. And extra special because of our earlier walk through the vegetable garden where we saw exactly where the beetroot had been only hours before they were prepared and presented to us so beautifully.

Course no. 3 was the tastiest John Dory we had ever had. Served with grilled leek hearts, salt baked kohlrabi and champagne sauce, it was so delicious.

Course no. 4 was an incredibly delicious lamb dish served with garden turnips, ramsons, ewe’s curd and lamb jus. The crispy skin on top of one of the pieces we would have happily eaten an entire bowl of (yes, yes, we know the skin doesn’t ever come in bowls, but so delicious was it!) and the jus was out of this World.

Course no. 5 was a really special one. Served to us by the chef himself, he explained how the inspiration for this dish was the classic ice lolly, Twister, and as we tasted this pretty pudding, we immediately got what he had been trying to do with this creation. It was sweet and sour and cold and wonderful.

The last course was an apple dish, super delicious and created with the best seasonal ones, of course. A perfect finish to a perfect meal.

Will we come back to dine at Mallory Court? You bet we will! Try and stop us. Paul Evans is a master in his kitchen and we want to come back to see what he can do with produce from all four seasons and with some of the classics and greats. Hopefully we’ll see you there!

Book your culinary experience at Mallory Court Country House Hotel today.

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Our wonderful dinner at The Bell Alderminster

February 2019: For many years, The Bell in Alderminster has been one of our favourite places to go for many different occasions… a cool drink on a hot summer’s evening, a laid back lunch any time of year, a super place for Sunday lunch and an al fresco family meal on warm days.

Delicious Dinner

Dinner in the restaurant was a delicious affair. Seated at the very end of the room at what must be the best table in the house, private and with a great view of the lovely restaurant and all the other diners, we were treated to the experience that was Jean-Luc, the French waiter who was the life of the entire room. Friendly, funny, warm and offering the very best in service, Jean-Luc is a credit to The Bell in Alderminster and we look forward to seeing him again almost as much as we do enjoying another great meal at The Bell next time we’re there.

We’ve always eaten well at The Bell in Alderminster. Always. And this dinner was no different. To start we enjoyed the delicious seafood risotto and the gratin starters. Our mains were the popular pheasant dish and the special of the day, the pork medallion. And the sweet finish was a chocolate torte and the Crème Brule. Accompanied by great house wines, we had a wonderful dinner on this fine evening and we can’t wait to come back again.

Perfect for any kind of occasion

For a romantic weekend or night away, we can’t recommend The Bell in Alderminster enough, but this popular country inn and dining pub is also super child-friendly and welcoming to dogs, so for a family stay, as base on your holiday in the Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon, it will be just as great. We had a fabulous stay at The Bell in Alderminster, we know you will too.

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Afternoon Tea at Hotel du Vin in Stratford-upon-Avon

January 2019: On a lovely Saturday afternoon in January we enjoyed a very special treat at Hotel du Vin in Stratford-upon-Avon: A delicious, stunning and very special afternoon tea experience.

As we arrived at Hotel du Vin in Stratford-upon-Avon, we were greeted by the wonderful staff there and offered the option to enjoy our afternoon tea either in the lounge or in the restaurant. We opted for a cosy corner in the beautiful restaurant.

A different and new experience

We’ve enjoyed so many truly spectacular, delicious and super-pretty afternoon teas in the Cotswolds, so we love nothing more than when we sit down for an afternoon of quintessentially English afternoon tea enjoyment and we’re served something different and new. And this is exactly what happened on this particular Saturday at Hotel du Vin. Mostly afternoon teas look quite similar, but what struck us first about this one, was the spectacular looking top tier… it looked fabulous and a bit different with it’s “Jackson Pollock-esque” macaron and fun roulade. And then our eyes travelled to the bottom tier where, instead of your standard set of sandwiches, we saw croissants and a selection of different savoury pastries… this, too, looked fabulous and mouth-watering and we couldn’t wait to get stuck in.


When taste is as good as the looks

And as with the best afternoon teas, it’s amazing when the taste is as good as looks, and of course this was the case here… we bit into one delicious afternoon tea delight after the other and we enjoyed every single mouthful.


Cream, then jam, then cream again

And by a bit of a fluke, we only happened to solve the whole jam/cream first debate once and for all… yes, yes, you’re welcome! We put clotted cream on our scones first, then jam… and then we started talking about what the right way to do it was, followed by a decision to just add more cream on top of the jam. Voila!

A really lovely afternoon tea experience

Service at Hotel du Vin in Stratford-upon-Avon is second to none and the atmosphere throughout is wonderful… we can’t wait to come back again and again, we’re especially excited for hotter weather to come so we can enjoy drinks and food in the lovely courtyard by the restaurant. A lovely hotel and restaurant and a really lovely afternoon tea experience.

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