Friday, 27 July 2012

Marlowe's, Stratford-upon-Avon

Named, I assume, for the playwright and not for my cat that possesess his namesake's bad temper and penchant for brawling, this could also benefit from more attention paid to its output. Access, however, is via a staircase with no alternative so unless you have available a Drew willing to shove from behind you will, like the man himself, be forever on the margins.

The decor veers dangerously close to the McTudor with all oak panelling, oak beams, diamond-paned windows and floorboards probably pre-creaked. The bar area has plenty of sofas and chairs and a slightly shabby carpet, plenty of comfort in which you can peruse the menu and choose your fare. We had olives and breads while we tried to decide what to have. The dining area is not large, of a size that can be labelled 'intimate', wooden tables and chairs, same slightly shabby carpet.

The food is amazing. Slightly more sophisticated fare for my pedestrian palate - variations on a bistro theme of steaks and burgers, posh fish and chips, even posher pasta; and gourmet offerings of sea bass, medallions of beef, pork tenderloin and duck. My thai fishcake starter from the specials menu was spicy, melt-in-the-mouth tasty. The salmon with new potatoes and hollandaise sauce was light and  not too cloying. The vegetables to accompany the salmon were piping hot carrots, courgettes and broccoli. Drew had lemon chicken on noodles and I am instructed to convey its beauties. The lemon chicken did not come with a tangy sauce but with a delicate hint of lemon fried into the batter. The noodles were not greasy or oily, best Chinese noodles outside of China (from the man who has been there). 

This place is never busy, not whenever I have been there. Though that is a shame as it offers good food at good prices, on the other hand it means the place is quiet, excellent for having a conversation and guarantees you the attentions of the staff.

Latte: *****
Access: *****

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