My husband and I were fortunate to dine and stay overnight at newly refurbished Townhouse, a 400 year old, Grade II listed building with 16th century rooms at the rear and an 18th century castellated frontage. Situated opposite Shakespeare’s Schoolhouse in the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon, The Townhouse re-opened in April 2017 following an extensive refurbishment. The bar and dining spaces feature a stylish, pared-back scheme in greens, blacks and whites. Its 12 luxurious and quirky en-suite bedrooms have also been revamped.
Our room (3) was simply stunning with that real wow factor. It came with a super king sized bed with luxury linens, geometric wallpapers and a Nespresso machine. A free standing roll top bath stood in the corner of our room along with a separate bathroom featuring a high pressure shower. Luxurious Templespa toiletries were provided along with a complimentary bottle of port and shortbread biscuits plus there was a handy fridge with fresh milk and bottled water. It’s the small but noticeable touches such as the port and the toiletries that set The Townhouse aside and make this place that extra bit special.
We were invited to try a cocktail on arrival at dinner. Usually cocktails are not my thing as they tend to be sweet and something of a luxury generally enjoyed on holiday. However the two cocktails we tried were delicious and very reasonably priced at £7/£7.50 each. I opted for Bramble (Gin, Chambord, blackcurrant jam and lemon juice) and Carl tried the Porn Star Martini (Absolut Vanilla, passion fruit and a shot of Prosecco).
We were impressed with the menu which focuses on traditional, rustic dishes using locally sourced produce. I had the salmon and herb fishcake with pea puree, poached egg and hollandaise priced at £8 which was faultless. Carl enjoyed the seared scallop with purple sprouting broccoli, hazelnut pesto and smoked bacon priced at £9.50. My main course was the roasted monkfish with tender stem broccoli, tomato, garlic and olives priced at £19.50. Carl enjoyed the grilled calves liver, creamed potatoes, pancetta, greens and red wine jus at £14. Calves liver is such a straight forward and traditional dish, if cooked well it is amazing, and this was beautifully cooked and presented. We felt the menu had something for everyone’s taste and Head Chef Ben Draper is producing an outstanding level of food, at great value and we look forward to returning soon.
After a recharging and extremely comfortable night’s sleep, we headed down to the restaurant for breakfast and were amazed at the huge selection of dishes on offer. At the buffet table there was so much choice from cereals and fruits to freshly baked pastries and croissants. The breakfast menu featured everything from the full English to Eggs Benedict/Royale/Florentine to Buttermilk Pancakes and Porridge. Carl opted for the Full English which came with a Cumberland sausage, bacon, flat cap mushroom, grilled tomato, black pudding, fried bread, baked beans and two eggs. At just £11, the huge plate offered exceptional value for money which even Carl couldn’t finish! I opted for the Vegetarian breakfast which came with a vegetarian sausage, mushroom, tomato, fried bread, baked beans and poached eggs. Again at £8.50, this also offered great value for money. Some of the breakfast dishes were priced as little as £5.
Breakfast is served from 8am – 11am. Lunch is available 12pm – 3pm. The restaurant offers a pre-theatre set menu every day from 12pm – 3pm & 5pm – 7pm with 2 courses for £12.50 and 3 courses for £14.50. Doubles cost from £105 per night B&B mid-week and from £145 a night at weekends, Superior rooms £130 midweek and £170 at weekends and Luxury rooms £165 midweek and £205 at weekends, and all on a B&B basis. Fortunately breakfast is not only available for residents; anyone walking in is treated to the same level of service, value and great food.
Parking is easy and convenient for those staying over – there are 12 spaces for guests at the Rother Street NCP where there is an agreed rate of £4.70 per night (instead of £16).
This tastefully decorated boutique hotel is not only stylish and elegant but it has a relaxed, warm and friendly atmosphere. Neil Hanson, the General Manager was attentive, charming and courteous and a real asset to The Townhouse along with his team. There are many quality restaurants in Stratford but this one stands out offering exceptional value for money and is an excellent choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner during a visit to Stratford and the wider area of Shakespeare’s England.
To book visit the website at www.stratfordtownhouse.co.uk.
Review by Tanya Aspinwall.