I live in Leamington Spa, a town where the residents are experts at practising the art of leisure. There are so many bars, restaurants, pubs and cafes that we find ourselves endlessly torn as to our location of choice. If there's one thing to be said about Leamingtonians, it's that we know how to relax.
If eating's your game and you need a break from shopping on a busy Saturday, head down Regent to find Corleone's. This tiny, and therfore perpetually busy, French cafe serves some incredibly well priced lunch grub, from paninis to crepes, victorian lemonade and coffee from their huge roaster. If they're full (quite likely at the weekends) stroll round the corner down Regent's Court and find Bar Angeli to find an almost identical menu.
If you're a local and haven't discovered it yet (it took me a good ten years to do so), make sure you divulge in Country Bumpkins, a delicatessen on Warwick Street. From the outside, it's easy to miss the fact that they have a sandwich bar at the back of the store, and yes I also missed all the signage displaying this for a long time. Create your own bread rolls or baguettes from en endless list, with some killer specials regularly changed. My favourite is a roasted red pepper houmous baguette will all the trimmings and a sticky toffee slice for pud.
If you're more of a night owl and looking to shake things up on a Saturday night, you have a few options. Designed by Lawrence Llwellyn-Bowen (clearly a reason to go...) the multi-million pound refurb of a bingo hall on Spencer Street has become what we know and love as The Assembly. Hosting acts such as BRMC, KT Tunstall, Newton Faulkner and dozens more, it has become an indie venue in a town no one's heard of that seems to attract some pretty glam characters. They put on Cortina Nights on weekends when no acts are playing; a delightful mix of music from all eras to boogie on down to, attended by people of all ages. You'll also find Dolly Parton's charming caravan in the backstage area, surrounded by a picket fence. If you've had a few too many, avoid it. It can make you lose your grip on reality.
If you're in a more uptown crowd, MooBar is always good for Saturday night swingers looking to get their groove on with some funk and soul. With a late license until 2am and no entry fee, it's where all the cheap non-clubbers go to keep their party flowing. (Yes, I am one of them.) Drinks can be expensive; don't ask for a double anything as you'll seriously be out of pocket. I always used to say that Moo seems to be where all the beautiful people go; so if you're looking for a date, try your luck there.
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