Serving up a super Sunday at The House - The Leamington Observer

Serving up a super Sunday at The House

Leamington Editorial 14th Apr, 2024 Updated: 16th Apr, 2024   0

THERE are many reasons why The House in Leamington has just been named ‘Best Pub in Warwickshire’ – and food is certainly among them.

It is little over a year since Freespirit Pubs took over the running of the Parade pub – better known to generations of Leamingtonians as The Haunch & Venison – opposite the town hall.

And a lot has changed in that year. New life has been breathed into the venue – which was previously often by-passed by many despite its prominent position as the only pub on the town’s main street – following a stylish makeover and a packed programme of events, from regular live music and comedy nights to a gin tasting evening. There’s even a murder mystery dining event coming up in in May.

The owners even found time last November to open up the pop-up restaurant Number 75, located directly behind and connected to The House but accessed through a separate entrance on Bedford Street, in what was previously The Bedford pub. Such was the success of Number 75 that it is now a permanent, and more than welcome, addition to the town’s burgeoning dining scene.

And a major factor in that success is down to Karolina Rosa who heads up the kitchen for both The House and Number 75.

The Polish born chef’s passion, vision and obvious skill is clear for all to see and taste in every plate served.

Freespirit – which operates five pubs in total in Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire – prides itself on serving sustainable and seasonal local produce achieved through working closely with farmers, growers, wholesalers and fisherman.

Karolina and her team make the best of the best ingredients to turn out some very special plates of food.

Among the triumphs is the Sunday Lunch menu, of which word is spreading fast for all the right reasons. The great British tradition may be commonplace, served up in pretty much every pub which opens its doors on the Sabbath.

That said, it would not be easy to find a better one than that served here. The Roast Oxfordshire Sirloin Beef is simply stunning, and is in good company, joined by a big crisp Yorkshire Pudding, perfectly cooked roast potatoes and seasonal veg including firm and flavoursome carrots. Add to that the quite correctly titled ‘Proper Gravy’ and a side dish of moreish Cauliflower Cheese and you have a real Sunday dinner. It’s a big plate of food, but this is certainly not quantity over quality.

The same is true of the Trio, which includes the beef together with pork and chicken.

Before the main event, there are a selection of starters, which includes a taste of Karolina’s homeland. Those tempted to dismiss the Beetroot Soup with Mushroom Dumplings simply as something too removed from the norm will be the losers. ‘Gorgeous’ was my wife’s word after the first spoonful – ‘ten out of ten’ after the last.

The Crispy Pork Belly, with perfectly rendered fat, Black Pudding, sweet Celeriac Remoulade and Apple Puree is no less impressive.

Those who like a traditional apple pie and custard after their Sunday lunch should be more than happy with the Apple Strudel and Creme Anglaise, while the Italian favourite Affogato, with an Espresso, Vanilla ice cream, Biscotti Biscuit Crumb and a glass of Amaretto offers something slightly lighter.

Come June, Leamington could boast the actual ‘Best Pub in Britain’ , but for the time being, people have the chance to find out – and taste – just why it is already one of the very best.

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