The posts on this blog are often about big dinners – food fests washed down with bottles of wine and hours of fun. But what about all the stuff in between? The casual coffees, light lunches, cheeky snacks, and sweet treats.
With that in mind, I’ve put together a couple of local places to me that I’ve enjoyed all of the above in. The plan is to add to this as I try even more so make sure you give me all your suggestions and I’ll go and try them.
The Barn at Greens, Binley Woods
I’ve been to Greens – a kind of furniture, antique, home, garden cool place in Binley Woods just once before. How The Barn at Greens hasn’t made it onto my radar until now, I’m not quite sure but I’ve managed to rectify it.
I met a friend/work colleague there recently and it lived up to all my expectations. A warming, tasty soup for me, a hefty sandwich and chips for her, good coffee, and a load of cakes that I’m still amazed we resisted. They also seem to do all sorts of great vegan and gluten-free treats too.
Treacle’s Kitchen, Rugby
Slap bang in the middle of Rugby town centre, Treacle’s Kitchen is a homely, casual little cafe that seems to be busy every time I go in.
That’s not surprising really. From breakfasts to sandwiches and a whole range of lovely-looking treats like scotch eggs. They do a mean afternoon tea as well, as you can see. Crumbly, buttery scones, banging Victoria Sponge and a decent selection of sarnies.
The real bonus is the service. The aforementioned afternoon tea was taken at massively short notice, after another local place had told me it was ridiculous to suggest they could prepare one with anything under 24 hours notice. The opposite reaction from Treacles, who welcomed us with open arms and produced this at the drop of a hat – all with smiles on their faces.
I’ve been back several times and each time the service is bang on. A perfect place for a coffee and a catch-up.
Inside the 22, Rugby
Once upon a time Inside the 22 was a high-end clothes shop. Then owner Oli Taylor decided to open it in the evenings as a bar. Then he added live music. And more recently it’s also become a coffee bar serving up snacks from a range of independent suppliers.
Sat just opposite Rugby School, there are sofas to enjoy a coffee from London-based Flying Horse Coffee as well as cakes, sandwiches and quiches from local bakery Revelicious (who I rave about regularly). They’ve also recently added scotch eggs from the Handmade Scotch Egg company.
And if it’s an evening visit you fancy, you can team your cocktail or vino with a shared platter of cheeses and meats sourced from suppliers around the country (all delicious I might add) with bread from the Revel Bakery. All with a bit of music in a lovely venue.
Pumpkins Deli, Brinklow
I’m ashamed to say that Pumpkins Deli has been on my doorstep for quite some time, but I only made it there recently after spotting it had been refurbished. What a place! A cosy little cafe in the village of Brinklow, the huge blackboard listing all its offerings is enough to get your tastebuds going.
There are breakfasts and brunches, sandwiches, salads and big old platters. My smashed avocado with smoked salmon and poached eggs was hearty and tasty, but it was Mr M’s sandwich that was the winner. The ‘New Yorker’ packed with Pastrami, gherkins, Emmental, slaw and mustard mayo, all oozing out of your choice of bread.
Again, friendly, cosy, welcoming and nicely decorated. I’m overdue a trip back.
Warwick Street Kitchen
Warwick Street Kitchen in Leamington Spa was recommended to me, and well worth the trip. Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or just a coffee with one of their impressive donuts, there’s something for everyone. It’s got an industrial feel, and is a bit of a tardis, reaching back further than you’d imagine from a quick look from outside.
I went for lunch and the choice is a refreshing range of dishes with a difference and plenty of Middle Eastern influences. A range of homemade flatbreads, including the chicken version above, complete with harissa yoghurt, pickled chilli, pomegranate and rocket. Or you could do as I did and try one of the savoury brioche donuts – at the time mine was stuffed with pulled pork, but depending on when you go you might get slow-roasted lamb, or sumac and date and goat’s cheese mousse.
They also do supper clubs which I’m yet to go to, but have seen rave reviews. The food is imaginative, different and beautifully presented. The coffee is good. And the cakes pretty impressive too.
Olivia’s Coffee House, Rugby
Olivia’s Coffee House is another one right on my doorstep. A small-but-perfectly-formed cafe in Hillmorton in Rugby, they do homemade cakes, breakfasts, coffee and homemade quiches.
They’re super friendly and everything is tasty and clearly freshly-prepared. Their breakfasts look pretty special, especially the waffles, and they even do a Unicorn afternoon tea. What more in life do you need?
Tool Shed Cafe, Rugby
For five years I lived about 20 paces from the Tool Shed. That whole time there was nothing there. I moved, and lo and behold, a wonderful independent cafe opened serving everything from epic cakes to warming soups and sarnies.
Just before Christmas Mum took me there for a rather wonderful festive sandwich packed with turkey, ham, stuffing, cheese and all sorts of other delights, served up with a bowl of chickpea soup and for that alone I would return. Homemade food done brilliantly and always served with a smile.
And there you have it – a few places I have found on my travels. I’m planning on adding to this list, so send me your Warwickshire recommendations and I can try them out!
I paid in full at all of these places and they didn’t know I was a blogger.