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“Pleased to have found this gem”
Review of Essence at Old Red Lion Court - CLOSED

Essence at Old Red Lion Court
Price range: $25 - $47
Cuisines: British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Description: "Essence" is in the Old Red Lion Court, which connects Bridge Street to Sheep Street. Our team of chefs prepare all our dishes on the premises including our selection of breads, ice creams and sorbets.Essence is perfect for catching up with friends over coffee or a light lunch, business lunches, pre & post theatre meals, romantic dining, private parties in our upstairs dining room, traditional Sunday lunches and alfresco dining when the weather is suitable!Come and drop in to experience the fresh contemporary feel of our new dining and drinking environment. We look forward to welcoming you.
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Pleased to have found this gem”
Reviewed June 29, 2013

Having eaten at most of the restaurants in Stratford Upon Avon I can say with some knowledge that this is the best choice for a high quality meal. I cannot believe it has taken me so long to find this gem. A lovely meal with great service I will definitely be back.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank LoobySH58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

370 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    268
    66
    21
    10
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“First Class Food and Service”
Reviewed June 28, 2013

It was our wedding anniversary and we went here based on the reviews given. Cannot fault the service and the food we were given. The restaurant is off the beaten track a little but we found this a lovely rest bite from the hassle and bustle of a warm Sunday afternoon in May.
The food was very good and of great value. And even though the Proprietor was from Cardiff we had a great time.

We highly recommend this restaurant and will be going there again.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Stephen T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level Contributor
144 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 256 helpful votes
“OK evening but lacked sparkle”
Reviewed June 24, 2013

Booked on basis of rave Tripadvisor reviews but found that this place was another example of big-fish-small pond; what attracts high praise in S-u-A would struggle in the average London suburb. Tough but true.

Essence is tucked away from the street and doesn't help itself by hiding its 'A' board; small wonder that on a Saturday night we found ourselves one of only six parties; not filling the downstairs never mind the bigger, empty, first floor. Decor is modern, bright and nice, even if the passing shopping centre walkway leaves one feeling a bit exposed. Music was inappropriate in selection and too loud. Chosen by and for the staff, perhaps, who were are very pleasant; the Maitre D just - just - the right side of assiduous and friendly. Waiter and waitress nice and eager.

No cocktails on offer, though the bar looked well-stocked. Prosecco arrived in a glass too big for it, leaving one feeling short-changed even if such was not the case. Whitebait to share crisp, fresh, hot, good. Starters: fishcake boring, kidneys in Yorkshire pud were very well cooked, the pud itself was a bit flabby but not seriously so. Mains: blue cheese, mushroom and walnut frittata combined the tastes well; maybe more cheese and fewer walnuts would have improved it. Good crisp chips. Duck breast undercooked and served in lukewarm slices. Sent it back to be warmed up. Returned, no warmer. Poor. Wine was an acceptable, well-priced Merlot from a decent short list

As so often happens, the restaurant cut their own throat by serving the courses far too quickly one after another - why? there was no pressure on tables! - so we declined dessert or coffee. .

If I'm in Stratford again, I'd go to the Church Street Townhouse, where we had a much better supper the following evening rather than to this OK but unmemorable venue.

+s: staff, decor, whitebait, kidneys
-s: speed of service, bar range, duck, fishcake, atmosphere

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank TheOldTiger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Lovely Food, Dreadful Atmosphere.”
Reviewed June 21, 2013

We had a pre theatre dinner here so it was early in the evening with only one other couple dining. The food was outstanding and the service attentive. Rather less pleasant was the hissy fit the chef was having. Behind closed doors this would have been perfectly acceptable as I understand chefs can be a little tempremental, but Essence has an open service hatch from the restaurant into the kitchen. She berated the waiters, used the F word and announced she would shut the kitchen if she didn't get any help. In the midst of this another couple came in and asked for a table, she curtly told them to "Wait a sec" and yelled "Customers" to some poor unfortunate soul in the kitchen, understandably they left. We enjoy a good drama, which is why we were heading for the theatre, we hadn't expected to have so much in the restaurant. The food was great but we won't be heading here again unless the open service hatch is bricked up or the chef has learned to manage her temprement a little better.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
5 Thank Myansum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenwood
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Outstanding!!!”
Reviewed June 19, 2013

With all of the historical significance surrounding you in SUA, this restaurant is a breath of mondern air. The inside is trendy but comfortable. Chris is the Chef and owner. He does a wonderful job of creating beautiful and scrumptious meals. If you want an excellent meal in SUA go to Essence! Chris makes the BEST Sticky Toffee Pudding in the entire country and I've tried many! Keep up the amazing work you are doing Chris. Next time we come to SUA we will be sure to book a table ! http://twomomstv.com/blog/farm-life-to-fine-dining-day-4-stratford-upon-avon/

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank TwoMomsTV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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