Top 5 places for an evening meal off campus
I find it troubling how few of my friends like to explore when they are going out for food in town. Yeah, we all like a chicken katsu curry at Wagas, but, lets be honest, it is so not worth £9.75. No need to grab your pitchforks just yet though, as I am here to provide you with five alternative restaurants, of varying price ranges, that may just mean that your next flat meal doesn’t have to involve rearranging the tables at the Jug, and you can really impress someone on the upcoming Valentines Day.
Number 5: Elma
Elma is not a place you are likely to stumble on, being up the hill on the way to the cinema, however I believe it is worth that little bit of effort. Elma serves Turkish food, making this a controversial option as it is not to everyone’s taste, many of the dishes involving yogurt or goats cheese, but it is perfect if you are looking for a bit of an adventure. I went there a few weeks ago on my birthday and had a lovely hearty duck stew, and there are also many good vegetarian options and sharing mezze platters if you are looking to be social. Good value food, as you can tell it is quality (I’m looking at you, Wagamamas), and the vibe almost has the homeliness of a pub. You will find Elma in Augusta Place, which you may need Google Maps for, but best not to wear heels that are too high up the hill.
What to order: Try something vegetarian, generally good reputation in Mediterranean-inspired places.
Number 4: Las Iguanas
I can be a bit of a snob when it comes to chain restaurants, however Las Iguanas has rightfully earned its place into the top 5. Offering meals of Latin American origin, including Mexican classics, flame-grilled meats, everyone’s fave sweet potato fries, no-fuss puddings and a very good deal for tapas; a great shout for your next meal out with the housemates. It also sports an identical 2-4-1 deal on fruity, colourful cocktails to the notorious Turtle Bay, but with better food in terms of quality and selection, yet no one talks about it quite as much. I suppose it does lack that Jamaican beach shack feel. You will find Las Iguanas in Regent Place. Near Nandos, sadly.
What to order: Tapas. Definitely the smoked haddock croquettes. And any of the cocktails.
Number 3: Le Bistro Pierre
It is difficult for me to not be biased towards Italian eateries here because I am a sucker for pasta dishes, but this little French place is really wonderful for lunch or dinner. The large room is strangely calming, and decorated in lovely Parisian style, and the food is all very light and served beautifully. There is a set menu for 2 courses for £22.95 with a glass of wine so it isn’t going to kill your bank account either. Each course has a recommended wine too, so you can act like you know what you’re doing like a real adult! Another perk is you can get a loyalty card, so your fifth meal there is free; definitely something more restaurants should offer. Le Bistro Pierre is located on Park Street and, as it says on the website, ideal for people watching as if you were in Paris!
What to order: Bouillabaisse, a fish stew from Marseille. With the 2014 Muscadet of De Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie 😉
Number 2: Saxon Mill
The truth is this was going to be the top 5 places to eat in Leamington, however I just had to put in the Saxon Mill, because Leamington’s pub game is just not strong enough. It is quite fancy, so there is a bit of a price tag, but the food is that ideal pub grub that every Brit craves but cooked to perfection. Pies. Roast Dinners. Crisp yorkshire puds dowsed in gravy. Log fire. What more do you really want on a Sunday? Its USP however is the beautiful decking area overlooking the river. There is even a footpath running round the local fields which are perfect for a post-dinner ramble. Ideal for a Summers day really, but I bet it would look lovely in the snow. Saxon Mill is probably most ideal to enjoy when the parents have come to visit as it most easy to access via car but of course the G1 heads to Warwick making it possible to get there with your bus pass in 40 minutes.
What to order: Roast dinner. Obviously.
Number 1: La Coppolla
If you don’t know what this is yet, you are going to thank me. Hands down the best meal I have had since coming to University. An array of pasta, pizza, meat and veggie dishes available made from fresh ingredients and served by charming Italian waitors. The decor is stunning, making you feel like you are enjoying a warm evening in Sicily on a balcony overlooking the sea with a glass of red, wearing this seasons’s Versace, after you just received the news that your ex-husband has been put away for murder, which you framed him for. The walls are painted, there are trees with fairy lights and a serene early Sunday night quietness. You get complimentary olives and breadsticks, so no real need for a started, and you can save yourself for the AMAZING puddings which is obviously very important (panna cotta is the one). The price is not cheap, with good reason, however you will get a satisfactory 2 courses and drink for £20-25 so it is by no means out of the budget, particularly for a special occasion. Perfect date and birthday territory. It is located on Regent Street, and easy to spot because it is covered in foliage. Go there and taste for yourself!
What to order:Chef’s choice of the trio of pastas, with a glass of Pinot.
Eat well, everyone, that’s what the loan is for!