Located in a Grade II listed building in Stratford upon Avon, you can find contemporary british dining at The Woodsman Restaurant is one not to miss when in the area. It offers a traditional approach to modern British cuisine. With a comfortable setting, there is something for everyone. The restaurant also has a hotel and makes the perfect staycation.
The Woodsman menu celebrates the passion for wild food. They cook using the oldest methods, wood, charcoal and flame, using primarily oak and Alder wood trees to add that nature smoke taste to the dishes.
Woodsman sources its ingredients ethically and locally where possible so expect only the finest ingredients.
They did not have a kids menu but cater for children at the restaurant. My nephews had a choice between fish fingers, chicken goujons or sausages. The portions were generous for this and the dishes freshly cooked.
Before the meal we were served complimentary warm bread with soft butter.
- Woodsman Sharing Platter: in the platter, you get 2 Wild venison scotch eggs, 2 muntjac lollipops and 2 cauliflower cheese croquettes. I have never had venison scotch eggs and now that is all I want. They were so good and the portion was really generous. The muntjac lollipops just melted with each mouthful and the cauliflower cheese croquettes had the perfect cheese cauliflower balance. The platter comes with homemade beetroot ketchup.
- Galician Grilled Octopus served with dressed potato salad, taramasalata and parsley. You got a good portion of octopus and my dad who has never had it before loved it. The portion size is reasonable.
We ordered 3 sharing platters and two octopus between 6 adults and we were almost full.
We went on a Sunday and roast was on their menu. The meat dishes came with a big crispy yet fluffy Yorkshire pudding, buttered kale & carrots, roasted potatoes, cauliflower cheese and a good portion of meat.
- Slow Roast Berkshire Pork Belly: A nice piece of pork with a good bit of crackling. The pork was a bit on the dry side and didn’t have the fatty layers that a pork belly would. The flavour was still good and the crackling was amazing.
- Roast dry-aged Hereford Beef Rump: The beef was faultless. Kev enjoyed it and paired with the trimmings it was enjoyable.
- Woodfired Bantam Chicken: The chicken was cooked properly and juicy. We could not taste the lemon and thyme flavour however it did not matter because the gravy had a lot of flavour to it.
- Celeriac Baked in Hay: This is served with pearl bay, peas, broad beans, Tunworth cheese and summer truffle . It was enjoyable. It has delicate flavours. This was the vegetarian option on the menu.
We could not miss dessert – I mean how can you when every course in the restaurant has met or exceeded our expectations?
- Vanilla Creme Brulee with an Apricot Compote: The creamy creme brulee had a perfect cracking top. It was flavoured well and the apricot compote served on the side paired well with it and added a nice texture. Also, that must count as one of your five a day (lol).
- Brown Sugar Custard Tart: Each mouthful of this tart just melted away. It was so delicate and the cherry sorbet it came with was so refreshing. They worked so well together.
- Dark Chocolate Nemesis: The most chocolaty yummy brownies came with vanilla ice cream and honeycomb. It was one of those desserts that you could keep eating even though you have reached the food coma stage.
From the above and the photos, you can see everything was made with care and detail. You get something extra to just made the dishes WOW!
The drinks list was extensive with a selection of wine, beer and cocktails. We chose cocktails and beer. The Woodsman is somewhere you can go just for drinks too because they have a nice bar area and their handcrafted cocktails are made perfectly.
I went for a Pina Colada and my sister had a Mojito. Both made so well. My mum had a Virgin Mojito and she enjoyed that too.
Service & Environment
Service makes all the difference for me. You can have the best food and drink but if the service is not great you do not get the whole dining experience and I believe can spoil your meal.
At The Woodsman, the service exceeded our expectations. The customer service was on point with staff being attentive, friendly and knowledgeable. Nothing was too much and they just made our meal so enjoyable. They catered for our needs and went that extra mile.
The environment was relaxed and we were able to enjoy our meal. With the current rule of 6 Covid guidelines, it is hard to go out for a meal when there is 8 of you. The staff got us two tables of four, 2metres apart, but on all against the wall so it felt like we were together.
The lighting, artwork, wooden beams and open kitchen added to the ambiance of the restaurant.