Thursday 27 October 2016

Food Review: The One Elm and Sunday's in Stratford

A lazy Sunday is a rare treat isn't it? The chance to take a trip away from the hustle and bustle and find a spot for Sunday lunch and perhaps, relaxation.

Stratford-upon-Avon is one of my favourite places to visit on a Sunday for some real rest and relaxation. Walking along the canals, watching the swans as they glide elegantly across the water, and feeling inspired at the Royal Shakespeare Company are all reasons why I love to visit the town.

It was on one such Sunday that I was able to combine some of my favourite Sunday activities; a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon, an opportunity to eat out and to spend time with family.

The One Elm is a gastropub in Stratford that is full of history. It's located in a beautiful historic building that is far enough outside of the centre to be away from the masses, and yet central enough to walk to from Shakespeare's Birthplace.

With a focus on fresh, seasonal food, and of course hospitality, I was invited to dine there on the last glorious sunny Sunday of summer.

First of all, the clan and I wanted to work up an appetite by walking to the RSC, across the river and exploring the town centre complete with quirky shops such as The Nutcracker Christmas Shop.

After we'd satisfied our exploratory urges, we walked over to The One Elm and were ready to tuck into a hearty Sunday roast.

Following a warm welcome, we were shown to the dining area at the pub which was already busy with families and locals enjoying both the food, and of course time together.

The interior is rustic and warm, and we took a look at the Sunday Best menu, featuring a smaller selection of dishes available in the week as well as a number of variations on the roast dinner itself.

Explaining that I am gluten-free was simple and the staff were great at pointing out what I could eat and what could be amended.

After much deliberating, the family decided on what to eat, with some opting for the Sunday Roast and others, for starters and mains.

Wanting to save myself the main event, I decided against a starter but watched as my dining companions tucked into Warm Crispy Camembert, Fig Relish and Rocket £6.50, and Smoked Haddock Fishcakes and Pea Mayonnaise £6.75.

The Camembert came huge, round and perfectly cooked, with plenty of oozing cheese to satisfy any cheese fan. The fig relish was a welcome touch, and something that I felt was perfect for breaking up the flavours.

The fishcakes were again, well cooked, crispy on the outside and soft inside, with haddock combined with potatoes to make a satisfying starter.

Onto the main event, I had a gluten free roast beef dinner (£15) which came without the Yorkshire Pudding and I also couldn't eat the Cauliflower Cheese. As you can see, there was still plenty for me to eat, and my father had the standard beef roast complete with a huge Yorkshire.

The portions were again, hearty, and I was especially pleased to see the trimmings served separately on a wooden board. These included gravy and seasonal vegetables, which come as standard, as well as Cauliflower Cheese (£3.75) and Stuffing (£3.50) which we ordered as extras.

For my remaining dining companions, there was steak all round. Although this isn't normally available, it was served on the day we visited to substitute another dish. This came with a choice of Peppercorn Sauce or Bearnaise.

Finally, it was time for dessert, and I'm not normally one to shy away. The highlight of dessert was most definitely the crumble of the day (£5.75), which is served at the table with custard. Arriving at the table was a whole, entire apple crumble along with a serving spoon. Our waiter served this at the table, and my father asked for ice cream instead of custard, which was duly served. This was definitely the best value item on the dessert menu and I'd recommend it for anyone else dining at The One Elm.

I opted for the Creme Brulee (£5.50), which came served with a shortbread biscuit (not GF) , whilst my mum chose the Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart with Chantilly Cream (£5.75). My mum was very impressed and was on the verge of a re-order!

We rounded off the meal with coffee and espresso, not wanting to leave this oasis of warmth and hospitality.

Eventually, it was time to leave behind The One Elm and return to the city, but we spent a good few hours enjoying the hearty food and great service.

If you're visiting Stratford-upon-Avon, why not step away from the busy streets and find yourself in this corner of quiet?

*With thanks to the team at The One Elm.

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