May 2011 Newsletter

Dear All,

Hope you had a great Easter and enjoyed the Royal Wedding and better still made the most of the back to back bank holiday weekends!

The Royal Oak Wine Club
As announced in the April newsletter, The Royal Oak Wine Club introduction evening is taking place on Thursday 19th May at 6.30.  We will walk you through the benefits of the club over a few glasses of wine and nibbles.  Membership application forms will be available on the night.  Here’s a reminder of what’s involved.

Royal Oak Wine Club members will have the opportunity to benefit from:-
•    Discount against some of our top end wines
•    Wines that are not available in the restaurant at competitive prices
•    Wine of the month
•    Quarterly Wine Tastings
•    Wine Training
•    Discount against Tasting Menu Evenings and other events of this type

There will be a nominal charge of £50 to become a member.

We have been experiencing problems with the transmission of our newsletter and understand that some of you didn’t receive the April newsletter and this newsletter is much later than usual.  If this is the first time you’ve heard about the Wine Club and you’re interested but cannot make the introduction evening tomorrow, don’t dismay.  Contact Roz at who will explain the details, send you a copy of the membership forms and let you know the date of the first wine tasting.

Opening Early for Royal Ascot Week – 14-18th June 2011
Royal Ascot is a traditionally busy week attracting visitors from far and wide.  The bar will open at the earlier time of 10.30am for Pimms, Bloody Mary’s and Champagne and a brunch menu will be available from 11.00am offering 3 courses for £25 per person and 2 courses for £20.

Wine Maker’s Dinner – Friday 24th June 2011
This very popular evening will include a delicious 6 course menu designed by Dom with accompanying wines especially chosen by our Sommelier, Michael Trenga, to enhance and complement each dish.  The price per person is £135.00.

Set Lunch Menu
The Set Lunch Menu is now available Monday-Saturday.  Choose 2 courses for £19.95 or 3 for £22.50 from our table d’hôte lunchtime menu.

Royal Oak Gift Vouchers
Our gilt edged gift vouchers make the ideal gift for any occasion.  For more details please ask at reception, call 01628 620541 or email

WHAT’S UP IN THE KITCHEN by Head Chef Dominic Chapman

“Fruits de mer” in the Sun at the Oak
Grilling fish on a BBQ with lots of seasonal salads is the kind of food that I’ve most enjoyed during our early summer.  Fish has been brilliant recently; huge Cornish cod, turbot and sea bass have all arrived in the kitchen over the last weeks.

Now May is here I am turning my attentions to lobsters, dressed crabs, mussels, cockles and oysters.  All this seafood can be enjoyed in the garden as a wonderful “Fruits de mer” served on ice and with a glass of Champagne, it should make for some good eating and a nice way to enjoy the spring sunshine.

I have been working closely with a local farmer and I am now awaiting the arrival of some Dexter beef which has been maturing on the bone for the last month. Not only do the Dexter’s provide delicious meat but the herd are within 5 miles of the pub, which makes them truly local.

We are now into the Gull Egg season.  The eggs are laid by the black backed gull in a few select colonies.  They are hard to come by and the season is short, hence they are very expensive.  We are offering them on the menu soft boiled with asparagus from Somerset. The vibrant yellow of their yolks and the creamy flavour make these eggs very special and I’m always very excited to have them on the menu.

Spring lamb is another favourite in May.  It’s always delicious and I enjoy all the seasonal vegetables that accompany it so well; new season garlic, broad beans, artichokes and English radishes.

Hurst Farm, another local supplier, is only weeks away from supplying lots of wonderful seasonal vegetables and soft fruits.  Strawberries are just around the corner.

Dominic Chapman – May 2011

THE ROYAL OAK WINE by Sommelier, Michael Trenga

Pinot Gris/Grigio a versatile and charming white.  Originally from France, the grape was brought to northern Italy by medieval monks and to Oregon in the 1970s by winemakers who thought it might thrive there – and they were right!

Pinot Grigio is an easygoing and amiable everyday wine. In France it’s somewhat full-bodied, in Italy it’s fruitier and softer, and in Oregon it’s medium-bodied and slightly tarter.  Everywhere, it’s regarded as a good drink and also perfect for lunch and light meals.  Lively and smooth, the aroma is understated, and the acidity tends to be low.  It’s on the mellow side, but it has a nice round flavour faintly reminiscent of apricots.  The perfect food matches would be light meals and first courses: pasta with pesto sauce or creamy sauces, or tossed with cheese or butter and sage.  It also goes well with seafood ravioli, trout, poached salmon and simple preparations of veal cutlets, like scaloppine without tomato sauce, or schnitzel.

Michael Trenga – May 2011

Back to Nick………..
It is with regret that I have to inform you that Michael Trenga is leaving us.  He has been with The Royal Oak for 3 years and in that time he has transformed our wine list from 70 to over 387 titles.  He is a true enthusiast of the subject and will be missed by his colleagues and many of our clients alike.   Michael is leaving to start up his own business.  I am sure many of you will join me in wishing Michael all the very best with his new venture.  I would like to thank him for all his hard work and commitment to The Royal Oak.

On the upside, Michael is coming back for the Wine Maker’s Dinner on 24th June and he has given us entries for the newsletter up until the end of the year!

This brings us to the end of this month’s newsletter.  On behalf of everyone at the Royal Oak I would like to thank you for your continued support.  We look forward to seeing you soon.

Warm regards,

To make a reservation and/or for further information please:

Telephone:   01628 620541
Book Online

About The Royal Oak Paley Street

Welcome to The Royal Oak. Behind the smart black and white frontage lies a warm and stylish 17th century pub. Once inside the beamed ceilings, wooden floors and friendly welcome soon confirm you’re in the right place. The Royal Oak is a restaurant styled pub serving great British food cooked to perfection. Our extensive wine list boasts some impressive titles and offers something to suit all palates and purses – and rest assured; we haven’t forgotten how to pull a good pint!
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