A girly weekend in Warwickshire began with a Friday night stay in Stratford Upon Avon and dinner at Essence at Red Lion Court. Located in the centre of Stratford, the restaurant is set inside a beautiful courtyard and looks modern, sleek and stylish.
Winning the Toptable Diners’ Choice award in 2012 we were excited to explore the culinary delights of this highly regarded restaurant. Essence also has a second branch in Alcester, Warwickshire which is equally as popular.
We were greeted and served by a very characterful, charming waiter who made the visit even more enjoyable as he made us feel so welcome.
A selection of Home Made Breads with Flavoured Butter and Oils arrived. The bread tasted freshly baked, soft and fluffy and served on a rustic wooden board. 3 different butters and oils accompanied the bread which provided a nice variety of different textures and tastes.
For the main course, we all ordered the 8oz Sirloin Steak with Roast Plum Tomato Jus and Wild Mushrooms. Being big fans of steak, we were really looking forward to this and although tasty, we couldn’t help but feel a bit let down by the main course. The sirloin didn’t have that chargrilled exterior we love and this may be down to the fact that the steak was served with the sauce already poured over it. The dish could’ve been made better by serving the sauce on the side.
However, the steaks were cooked to a perfect medium rare and were very juicy. To accompany the steaks we ordered the Boiled New Potatoes with Herb Butter and the Hand Cut Chips. The chips were crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside- just how chips should be! The potatoes were very well seasoned and were swimming in just the right amount of herb butter. We were also served a lovely selection of vegetables, crunchy and fresh and going someway to convincing us we were kind of being healthy (ish!)
Saving ourselves for a very indulgent meal the next evening at a spa hotel (review to follow!), we decided to forego dessert and settled instead for a hot chocolate.
Essence was a great first meal in the beautiful town of Stratford Upon Avon and a fantastic introduction to Warwickshire.