The pandemic has started a trend for outdoor eating with many different venues coming up with novel ways to make the experience more enjoyable. Last year, I saw the pictures of the Open Arms at Warwick Castle. What an iconic place to enjoy a drink and something to eat. Further reading revealed that the Digbeth Dining Company were involved and then I knew the quality of the food would be good. Add in that the beer is supplied by local brewery Purity then my mind was made up. I did my homework and found out that it was just under £20 to book a table for 6 people.
The food is brought at the DDC outlets and there is table service for the drinks. What could stop me? The inclement English weather for one thing, and I thought an evening in June should be OK as I booked the table online for family and friends evening. Nervously checking the weather forecast the heat broke and there was rain. Fortunately, it cleared up and the venue gave the green light. The Open Arms are very good as they will let you know if there are problems and although it can’t be helped any rebooking is a disappointment. However, it is something you have to expect with open dining not everything in this world is predictable.
Parking is in the Castle grounds for a nominal fee and then there is a security check to go through. We were in the Castle Courtyard and having ordered drinks we checked out the food outlets. The quality of the food is excellent and there is a range catering from vegans to meat lovers. Our party enjoyed a range of food from steak and chips to the Asian food offering. No one was disappointed and the food presentation and quality was good. The price of the meals ranged from £10 to 15. Deserts were from the cheesecake outlet and I treated myself to a Guardians of the Galaxy chocolate fantasia followed by Coffee. Drinks were served promptly and Longhorn IPA, Bunny Hop and Lawless larger which are part of the Purity family were available. There were red and white house wines available plus non-alcoholic drinks.
What made the evening so enjoyable was eating in the Warwick castle courtyard. What would the past inhabitants make of all the common peasants eating in their backyard. Quite a thought. There was a special patrol through the tables by the local head peacock who made sure everyone was enjoying themselves. As it gets darker, the castle walls are lit up in different colours. Then it is time to go as our carriages wait for us. The evening was even better than I expected with good food and ale and company of family and friends. This experience is being repeated at various venues across the West Midlands. Just think before Covid19, would we have even given such an idea a second thought. Now we realise that it is such a fun experience why did we not think of it before. Looking at the DDC site, there are other iconic venues including the site of Coventry Cathedral to visit. Let’s just hope we have a sunny evening!