Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Leamington Spa, you're not so bad.

Although in my heart I still feel very much a Londoner-albeit a rather suburban one-I've been living in the West Midlands for the last few years. There has been the occasional setback caused by living in Not London (a minor tantrum based on not being able to locate filo pastry for love nor money is particularly memorable), but they are balanced out Leamington Spa's foodie gems. In no logical order:

Millennium Sweet House
If you like sugary Indian sweets, this is the place for you. Ask for the gulab jamun, and have the number of your dentist to hand.

Bridges Newsagent
From the outside, a newsagent. From the inside...still a newsagent. But at the back, you can stock up on storecupboard ingredients for Indian cooking, such as big bags of whole or ground spices, pulses and nuts. Its far cheaper than the supermarket too.

KL Oriental Supermarket
Well stocked South-East Asian food store, with an emphasis on Thai ingredients. You can get fresh lemongrass, holy basil and tamarind among other exotic goodies. You can get all the ingredients for this recipe here, or good quality ready made paste if you're feeling lazy. I get frozen raw prawns from there too, it's cheaper than anywhere else I've found. Word of warning: they don't sell rice in bags smaller than 5 kilos, so come feeling strong.

Aubrey Allan
Moving into the upmarket territory here. Fantastic meats and deli products served by incredibly helpful and friendly staff. You get the same charming service if you are buying (or rather being bought by your very kind mother) steak, or going there begging for free pork rind to enrich a stew.

S.H. Jones Wines
Great range of hard-to-get spirits, such as 100% agave tequila. Admittedly I've never bought anything there, I just like to look and dream, but the staff are very nice and don't seem to mind. I can't say much for the wine range- not because it's bad, but because I know nothing about wine.

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