The Vintner restaurant in Stratford-Upon-Avon was a wonderful surprise, when we came in here. I honestly don’t remember if we booked this place in advance, or just walked in. We were shown to the second floor, and that was an absolute win. From the above picture you can see that the place was packed from the start, but that lovely table by the medieval window seemed to have stayed available just for us.
I was overwhelmed by that fact and the atmosphere of this gem of a restaurant right away, and sat by the beautiful old window with the sun shining right through the empty glasses and reflecting in the polished cutlery. I almost squealed when I first touched that ancient window, that seemed like William Shakespeare himself might have opened and closed, but was distracted by a server giving me a menu.
Since the last time I was there, the menu has slightly changed, The Vintner has decided to delight us with a few fantastic dishes, and when I tried them, I have agreed that this was the best restaurant that I have ever been to, and I have been to The Ritz, which of course, doesn’t prove anything , but the fact that a restaurant in the English Stratford has one of the best menus ever is true.
First, we were served starters.
Pictured above is a duo of home-made chicken liver pate and coarse country terrine, which was absolutely delicious.
This was the crayfish cocktail which might sound like something from the 80s but what a mouth-watering starter it was, the melting sauce worked especially well with the perfectly cooked asparagus and the fresh cress salad.
While we were waiting for the mains, we talked and kept looking through the window, mostly I did, because I still couldn’t believe that I was in the birthplace of the great writer and poet and I would say, thinker, we saw some duckies causing trouble right outside the restaurant.
They really looked like they didn’t know where they were going. It appeared as if they were going to pop into one of the restaurants for a quick meal before going to the Royal Shakespeare Company performance by the river, they just couldn’t choose which place to choose, and I could understand them perfectly well. I even thought of signalling them to come over and try the salad, but the cars around them were stopping, some man came up to the couple and suggested they keep moving, because they were holding up traffic. Oh well. Plan ahead, I say.
Then it was the turn of the burger!
Grilled portobello mushroom burger, salad (cress and rocket) with some red onions and French fries did not disappoint either! For the main I had a beef cutlet country style (no longer in the menu) with mashed potatoes, fresh parsley and a special tomato sauce (and it’s to-mUh-toh, not to-mAy-toh, uh-huh), which was amazingly tasty too.
May I just say that having lunch in such a stunning place adds to the whole experience, the timber-framed architecture of The Vintner has stayed untouched since 1400s.
All decor details are beautiful and tasteful, just like Vintner’s dishes.
I forgot to mention that we loved this place so much that we have returned here a few days later. And these are the dishes that took our fancy this time.
I ordered a home-made carrot soup with continental bread, and I believe they make bread in house and just look at the fabulous colour of this sunshiny precious! I must say, when it’s sunny in Britain, it makes everything just a little bit better.
That was also my choice, fish on a bed of mashed potatoes, which melted in my mouth and made me close my eyes with a silly grin on my face. I opened my eyes and looked out of the window again. I was still in my fairytale.
My friend had a bowl of tagliatelle with wild mushrooms and I kind of wished I hadn’t stuffed my face with a starter so that I could try it. I could only taste the mushroom!
For pudding (dessert) we shared my first ever parfait.
This kind was iced hazelnut parfait and may I say it was mmmparfait! And as it was April (just like now), and Will’s birthday, tea went well with everything we had, with a couple of cute tiny Easter eggs, nom-nom.
If you go to Stratford, this is a must-visit place. Then if you come here, be sure to try Lambs restaurant, which is practically next door to The Vintner’s, it seems a little more upscale but do try their Chateaubriand, it changed the way I look at any type of beef, and I try not to eat beef at all, so it took a while to persuade me to try it.
Vintner wasn’t just a restaurant for me, it was a part of my obsession trip to the place where every Shakespeare fan must visit at least once in their life. Nothing in Stratford disappointed me, and now the memories of this voyage bring back all those happy feelings and emotions I have experienced there.