Wine and food pairings to make you go ‘wow’

This year we have been running a monthly series of wine and food pairing evenings, which are growing in popularity. They are held on the first Wednesday of every month at 7pm, and they have a different wine region theme each time from Northern Italy to Portugal and Sicily.

What people have found is that these are really enjoyable and relaxed evenings, but they’ve also learnt a lot about wines, tasting some delicious varieties coupled with food that really makes them sing. The food you eat with wine really makes a difference to the way it tastes and how you enjoy the wine, we want to show you how you can do that very easily. The evenings are run by our wine expert Frederik Van Niekerk, an experienced drinks expert and passionate wine lover.

In September (Wednesday 5th) we’ll be taking you to New Zealand – well not all the way! But Fred will take you through a wonderful selection of wines from this country notorious for it’s wines of excellent quality. Each wine will be accompanied by a dish from our head chef.

The evenings start at 7pm and cost £32.50pp. You’ll need to phone to book for this, on 01452 740547.

Summer on the Severn: Five days out to enjoy

We’re sure it won’t have escaped you, but we’ve been having one of the warmest and driest summers for a long time. It’s beautiful in Arlingham, right along the River Severn and on the Gloucester to Sharpness Canal at this time of year. It’s well worth a visit for the day for adults and children alike. If you’re visiting, of course, we’d love to welcome you to The Old Passage for some breakfast, lunch or dinner – we’re the perfect stop off place to relax and enjoy some delicious food. Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do during summer.

Walking

We had to start with walking. It’s free, accessible and a simple and fun day out. There are plenty of walking routes around Arlingham that take in the River Severn and the farms and countryside. You’ll find maps online, or just go out and explore.

Severn Bore

The Old Passage is famous for it’s Bore Breakfasts, which we run for good Bore forecasts in autumn and winter, early mornings. However, the Severn experiences Bores all year round, they’re just not always as big as winter ones and in summer they tend to be in the evenings. That’s means if you haven’t been able to make it to one of our Bore breakfast you can always see it one evening after some dinner. You can see the full timetable with times and star rating here. We happen to know they’ll be a 3* bore on the evening of August 14th at about 10.15pm and a 4* Bore on September 11th at about 9.10pm. Or you can book up early for our first two Bore breakfasts of the autumn season – details here.

Fun for the children

Just down the road from The Old Passage is St Augustine’s Farm, a great place to take young children. Lots of animals to visit and feed, open fields, play areas and their Camera Obscura, it should keep them busy for a while. If you’d like to bring children for lunch, we are more than happy to create children’s fish and chips of fish goujons (fish fingers) and chips for them!

Canal trip

Enjoy a canal boat day trip or hire a narrowboat to enjoy the Gloucester to Sharpness Canal. Or if you prefer just take a walk or a bike ride along the canal. If you have disabilities, The Willow Trust, offers canal boat rides for those with disabilities and have boats moored at Saul Junction, Frampton on Severn.

Eat at the Old Passage!

Last but by no means least – you could visit The Old Passage for some delicious food and drink. Don’t forget we also do wonderful reservation-only breakfasts and we’re open for lunch and dinner – see opening times on the website. Or how about joining our monthly Wine and Food Pairing Evenings on the first Wednesday of every month at 7pm? For £32.50pp you’ll enjoy a selection of wines, presented by our wine expert Fred, accompanied by little plates of food by our head chef Jon

The Old Passage named the Cotswold’s Restaurant of the Year 2018

The Old Passage took home the most coveted prize at the Cotswold Life Food and Drink Awards on Monday – Restaurant of the Year.

Despite being a small, independent restaurant in the small village of Arlingham, The Old Passage fought off stiff competition from popular restaurants in Cheltenham and Chipping Campden to win the award.

It completes a fantastic 12 months for the restaurant, located on the banks of the River Severn. In October last year The Old Passage celebrated its 10th anniversary, closely followed by winning Best Seafood Restaurant in the South at the national Food Awards.

Then in April, Waitrose magazine named The Old Passage one of 10 best places to eat fresh fish in the country.

Owner Sally Pearce, said: “The last 12 months have been a real whirlwind of celebrations for us at The Old Passage and this last award is the icing on the cake, especially since nominations came from the public. As a small independent restaurant, it’s tough to compete with the growing chain restaurant offerings, especially when we’re not in a town or city centre.

“However, we’ve always played to our strengths and that seems to work. People travel here to eat because of the beautiful rural location and river views, and our food offering is unique and high quality. We have a commitment to sourcing the very best quality seafood we can including oysters and lobsters, which we always have available. And our head chef Jon Lane and his team are constantly innovating and experimenting with new dishes to delight our diners.

Sally added: “I’d like to say a big thank you to Jon, to my front of house manager Rosita Redwood, and the whole team at The Old Passage, because we wouldn’t have got this award without them.”

The judges of the awards said they were ‘wowed’ by the amazing selection of seafood available and the warm friendly service at The Old Passage. They said: “The location of the restaurant is superb with breath-taking view of the riverside, the ambience made the judges feel at home and it was commented that they couldn’t have asked for friendlier service. The seafood sampled was cooked to perfection and it was learnt how they source as much produce as locally as possible and sustainably catch their seafood, which impressed the judges.”

A Mother’s Day treat

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, are you searching for the perfect treat for your mum on Mothering Sunday (March 11th)?

The Old Passage will be open for delicious and indulgent breakfasts, which you could follow up with a refreshing walk along the Severn in Arlingham – a great way to start the day. Or why not start off with the walk and finish up at The Old Passage for a lazy lunch? We’ll have our full ‘a la carte’ menu on offer, so plenty of choice from classic fish and chips, to mussels and lobster.

Or our beautiful fritto misto below is a lovely sharing starter, including crispy oysters, smoked haddock croquettes, crab samosas and squid.

You will need to book, both for breakfast and for lunch, either online or call 01452 740547.

Wine and food pairing evening

We are delighted to announce another of our popular wine and food pairing evenings at The Old Passage.

Enjoy an evening learning about, and of course tasting, South African wines, with wine expert Frederik Van Niekerk, from fine wine suppliers Domaine Direct, on Wednesday, March 7th. Frederik has over 12 years experience in the wine industry and is WSET certified, which is the industry training for wine professionals from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust.

He will be taking everyone through a selection of well-known and not so well known wines from South Africa, and this will be accompanied by small plates of food from our head chef Jon Lane to perfectly match the wine. This will be a fun, friendly and informative evening of fantastic wine and food.

The evening starts at 7pm, and should last around two hours. The cost for the evening is £32.50 per person. Pre-booking is essential and we are only taking phone bookings for this event.

 

Seasonal seafood

The quality and seasonality of our seafood is our main priority at The Old Passage. A great dish can only start with a great ingredient, that’s why we use a fish supplier that guarantees seafood from ship to restaurant within 48 hours. Flying Fish Seafoods supplies many top restaurants and the likes of Paul Ainsworth and Tom Kerridge. They deliver up to five days a week to ensure we have the freshest fish available from the markets of Cornwall.

In the winter months seafood can be scare, and more expensive. This isn’t because there isn’t good quality seafood in season, but because in bad weather day boats can struggle to fish and bring back their catches each day, creating short supply. However, there is still plenty of fish and shellfish to enjoy in peak condition. Here are a few of our favourites at the moment:

Cornish deep-sea mussels

One of our favourites and a popular option with our diners is mussels. At this time of year we are getting fabulous plump, juicy mussels with beautiful clean black shells and a distinctive flavour, grown in deep sea beds off the coast of Cornwall. They thrive in the rich Gulf Stream and the clean water and nutrients ensures a perfect growing environment for the mussels.

We’ve got mussels on our menu as a starter or main with smoked bacon, cider and cream.

Line caught cod and pollack

Cod prefer a cooler climate, and the cool waters off the Cornish coast at this time of the year is the perfect location for these predatory fish. In Cornwall cod stocks have massively benefitted since the introduction of the ‘Cod Box’ which is a seasonally closed off area on the North Coast of Cornwall.

Meanwhile pollack are coming straight into Looe market from small boats using techniques honed over many years. By fishing for short periods of time and only hand-lining these fish, it means they remain in perfect condition. Pollack is a great alternative to cod, with firm white flesh, delicate and delicious. We have a brand new pollack dish with incorporates beef shin ravioli, crispy kale and ale jus – it’s a fantastic combination which works with the meaty texture of the pollack.

Day boat lemon sole

These beautiful and delicate fish are just coming into season and Flying Fish Seafoods are getting supplies of these fresh from day boats coming into Looe Harbour. Again, doing short day trips before returning with the fresh catch keeps them in top condition, and they are some of the best Cornwall has to offer.

Bore Breakfasts 2018

We now have the first dates for the Severn Bore in 2018 – and so it’s a chance to book one of our popular Bore breakfasts.

The dates are as follows:

Thursday, January 4th at 08.21 hours – a 3* Bore

Friday, February 2nd at 08.08 hours – a 4* Bore

Saturday, March 3rd 07.53 hours – a 3* Bore

Sunday, March 4th at 08.33 hours – a 4* Bore —— NOW FULLY BOOKED

Both February 2nd and March 4th dates are almost fully booked, so please ensure you book up to secure your table for our famous Bore Breakfasts. Enjoy watching the spectacular natural phenomenon followed by a delicious breakfast.

You can find more details and a sample menu here.

New Year’s Day Brunch – celebrate in style

Start your 2018 in style with a delicious brunch on the River Severn with us. For the first time we’re making an exception to our own rule and we’ll open on a Monday – just for New Year’s Day!

Our New Year’s Day Brunch will be available from 11am – 3pm and you can view the delicious menu HERE.

It includes breakfast classics like Full English and grilled kippers, alongside decadent alternatives like hot char-grilled salmon with poached egg, caviar and Hollandaise or our Pilots Breakfast: scrambled eggs, fresh crab, smoked salmon, lobster, parmesan shavings, rocket on toasted brioche.

Or we have warming main dishes including mussels with cider, bacon and chips, Old Passage hot pot with steak, ale and lobster or steak, chips, mushrooms and tomato.

Of course you can’t have a New Year’s Day brunch without cocktails on offer and we’ve got Bloody Marys and Bucks Fizz with Three Choirs Cuvee – as well as our usual wine and drinks list.

To book call 01452 740547 or make a reservation online.