Birthdays in food

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Well, here I am, another year older. I never mourn the passing of another year, it’s always better than the alternative and for that I am always grateful.

Of course today will involve food, family and friends, my favourite 3 f words. Actually it will probably include fizz too, and that’s another favourite f. I’ve had some fabulous birthdays, and lucky to have a summer birthday, even if it always does rain at some point on my birthday!

 

Birthday macaron from Pierre Morel - for any food lover spending time in  Vannes, this is where I'd go for cakes

 

Lots of recent birthdays have involved food markets in France. Last year was Vannes, a couple of years before that was La Rochelle, which still probably ranks as my favourite. Although I got a fabulous cake in Vannes last year, and coffee at Les Nenettes was amazing.

 

Les Nenettes - for fabulous coffee in Vannes, this is the best stop for a food lover

 

But for knock out at every level, then I’d still go for the birthday I spent on Il de Ré.

What a lunch. What a view.

 

Get off le beaten track - Il de Re perfect stop for a food lover anytime

 

Stratford on Avon and Church Street Townhouse has something to live up to, but I can’t wait. I’ve eaten at Church Street Townhouse before and loved it, and so was my choice for my birthday lunch. Can’t wait to see what’s on the menu this time!

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Hanging out with Shakespeare

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When I was writing about the St George’s Day Hamper, it reminded me that it’s also a significant day in that it’s apparently the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, and later his death. I seemed to spend quite a few weekends in Stratford on Avon last year, which may or may not have anything to do with David Tennant being in residence at the RSC for a while.

 

Stratford on Avon - one of my favourite places for eating, drinking and hanging out with David Tennant

 

I went to the theatre on each visit, but this isn’t about the amazing productions, or David Tennant. The added bonus to all the visits was some great eating, and was particularly impressed with the lunches at the Rooftop Restaurant at the RSC. The operation is very slick, with food appearing very quickly, but was consistently good, tasty and interesting.

 

RSC Lunch at the Rooftop Restaurant

 

RSC Pudding at the Rooftop Restaurant

It’s a seasonal menu, so it’s different now to when I was there. I think it was more gutsy winter tastes, so things like venison were on, which was delicious. To be honest, other than paying being a bit slow, I couldn’t fault either lunch that I had there, including really charming staff. I think it’s reasonable value for the level of cooking, at £19.50 for two or £24.50 for three.

I’d also highly recommend the small bar area on that floor, especially early evening. We stopped in for cocktails, just before curtain up one night, so it cleared out quickly but not emptied, and it was great cocktails, lovely environment and good atmosphere. Also worth popping up here in the interval, it’s quieter than the main bar.

We stayed at a hotel that had seen better days, but if I could have my choice, then I would definitely stay at the Church Street Townhouse. I went for dinner, and could have just moved in! I know several friends who have stayed there, and absolutely loved it. If we’d had more time, then we’d have spent more time in the bar, it was just a great atmosphere. I don’t mind which room I have, though a lovely bath would be a treat!

There’s definitely more to Stratford than twee tea rooms and naff tourist traps, and I am looking forward to my next trip. In fact so much, I’m spending my birthday there!

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