Picture the scene: it’s  bank holiday Monday in early May. I find myself in Kenilworth revising by the lovely body of water in Abbey Fields Park. Trusts law is not the most interesting and I was somewhat disturbed by a family outnumbered by their mangy hounds in close proximity.

It was high time for a break. I go to a gardening shop and I ask Linda, the shopkeeper, where the locals drink their cider. Immediately she looks left and right, then whispers in my ear “The Old Bakery”.

Of course none of the preceding events were as dramatic as depicted. I’m just trying to hook you in so you find this description of an exceptional pub even more interesting. That was a half truth, there really was a family outnumbered by their dogs. They frightened me. I wanted to sit in nearby shade but their dogs started barking. I asked them whether it would disturb them if I sat within barking distance. All I got in response were a few primordial grunts. One of them managed, to my surprise, to produce a sentence: “who does he think he is?”. Thoroughly confused, my revision did not at all go well.


Two things became immediately apparent. The first was the litany of awards on the wall. This pub has won best pub in Warwickshire, although the co-owner intimated to me that the boundaries of the awarding body excluded Leamington Spa from their ‘Warwickshire region’.

Nonetheless, the second thing I notices was a resplendent blue carpet with matching chair covers. This is quite rare in pubs and certainly inspires confidence in the clientele. The hotel owners have enough confidence in their customers to not spill various extremely well kept beers all over the place. The Old Bakery must be a pub of exceptional repute. It is also famed for its daily homemade fresh food, which I have yet to sample.

It came as no surprise that this pub doubles as a fine hotel. Indeed this will be where I send my family when they come down to Warwick from Yorkshire for my graduation at the end of July.

The Old Bakery’s excellent location means my family will be ten minutes from my home in Canley. Thankfully I have an expansive driveway so finding room for three or four cars won’t be a problem. Why does this matter? Allow me to elucidate: no faffing around with the exhausting park and ride scheme the university utilises every year! While I admire the work which goes into this scheme and have indeed worked there myself on occasion, it is much easier for me to walk into university.

In summation, the Old Bakery is outstanding, not only for the quality of its ales and ciders but also for its location and fabulous hotel facilities. I recommend it highly.

by Daniel Smith of the Coventry Telegraph.