The Royal Oak Paley Street Newsletter – December 2012

Nick’s Monthly Round-Up

Less than twenty shopping days to go, but who’s counting?  Don’t forget Royal Oak Gift Vouchers, they make great Christmas presents and could be just the answer.  Or you might like to add one to your own Christmas list.

I am more than delighted to say that the extension, or The Oak Room as we are now calling it, is complete and officially opened last Saturday.

There is always a certain amount of intrepidation associated with a  project of this scale.  No matter how much you plan or how good the drawings look, it’s not until you’ve spent your budget and it’s too late to change your mind that you really know how it’s going to turn out.  On this occasion I am relieved and very happy to say that the end result has exceeded my expectation.  We think it’s beautiful and hope you’ll agree.  We’ve taken a few photos which don’t really do it justice, but they’re on the website if you’d like to take a look.

Horticultural Expert, Richard Vines designed the garden which is still in progress.  Richard puts a great deal of thought and emotion into his garden designs which is why they are so special and unique.  The modern water feature and the unusual planters all add to the new gardens novel style which is apparent by day and by night.

As I’ve mentioned before the new room enables us to offer you private dining, meeting and function facilities for both personal and company use.  Our meeting facilities are ideal for company offsite, prospect and customer meetings when you want to combine work with a little luxury dining in a non-corporate but professional environment.  We also have function facilities for those special events.  For more information see our website and/or call Kelly on 01628 620541 or email.

Outfront by Restaurant Manager, Mo Gherras and the Team

To echo Nick, we’re all very excited about the new room and the additional space, flexibility and service offering it allows us.

Last month we announced the next wine dinner which is taking place on Wednesday 16th January 2013, when we will introduce you to Jean-Marie Pratt from the multi award winning TerraVin winery in New Zealand.  The evening will include a four course meal and matching wines.  Places are available at £100 each.  To find out more please click Terravin Wine Dinner 16 Jan 2013.  This might be something that you’d like to add to your Christmas list or give as a present to someone special.

On the 4th February in association with The Good Food Guide we bring you ‘Pick of the Pubs Chefs Dinner’.  The pubs have been picked by The Good Food Guide and The Royal Oak has been chosen to deliver the first of these national events.  The evening will consist of a 5 course menu and each of the courses will be prepared and cooked by a famous chef.  The chefs are Tom Kerridge from The Hand and Flowers, Marlow. Stephen Harris from The Sportsman, Faversham, Kent.  Stephen Terry from The Hardwick, Abergavenny, Wales and James Durrant from The Plough Inn, Andover, Hampshire who is this year’s winner of The Good Food Guide Pub of the Year.  Elisabeth Carter, Editor of The Good Food Guide, will host the event and a copy of the 2013 edition of the guide will be given to each table.  We will send you more information later this month.  In the meantime if you would like to put your name down for a table please call Kelly on 01628 620541, email or let us know when you are next in.

We’ve lots of other exciting events in the diary for 2013 which we’ll tell you all about closer to the time.

We’ve been promoting what we have on offer this Christmas for months now; we promise this is the last time………

Christmas 2012

We’re serving a christmas-2012-set-menu in the new room at £45 per head.  The menu offers a choice of three starters, mains and desserts plus coffee and mince pies. Tables are available now for parties of a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 40.  Private dining is also available for up to a maximum of 20 people.

Throughout the festive season we will be serving our à la carte menu in the main restaurant for tables of up to a maximum of 8.

Christmas Day lunch is now fully booked.

On New Years Eve we’re offering our usual style of à la carte menu and taking bookings for tables of up to a maximum of 16.  No party poppers, whistles or disco – we promise.  We have a few tables remaining, so if you haven’t made your booking yet please do so soon to avoid disappointment.

Please note, we are closed on Christmas Day night, New Years Day and Boxing Day and open for business as usual throughout the rest of the festive season.


December cheeses

We have some amazing cheeses from England on our board and this is just one of them…….

Tunworth is a Camembert-style cheese.  It was founded in 2005 by Stacey Hedges, originally from Sydney Australia, who had worked part-time in a cheese shop whilst studying at university and found it inspirational. Twenty years later, married to an Englishman with three young children living in rural Hampshire, Stacey found her thoughts returning to that cheese shop in Sydney.

Stacey began making cheese in her kitchen.  It soon became clear that she would need a purpose-built creamery to fulfil her dream. From the start, Randolph Hodgson, owner of Neal’s Yard Dairy, gave her tremendous support and advice. He encouraged her to make a soft cow pasteurised milk cheese with traditional animal rennet to create a cheese with a delicious depth of flavour covered with a delicate thin rind.

The milk is bought in from a neighbour, Charlotte, who works very closely with the farmer to ensure the milk quality is what they need to create the rich flavours.

All the hard work paid off at the end of 2006 when Tunworth won Supreme Champion at the British Cheese Awards


Mo Gherras and The Team – December 2012

What’s Up in the Kitchen by Head Chef, Dominic Chapman

December has arrived in earnest, office parties, roast turkey, sprouts, mince pies, crackers and the odd sherry. Always a fun time of year in the restaurant and a time of year I very much enjoy.

I was recently introduced to the game keeper from the Royal Windsor Estate.  A game keeper is a very exciting man for a cook like me to meet.

At this time of year there’s a ready supply of wild partridge, woodcock, widgeon, teal, pheasant, and fallow deer.  Game is a true passion of mine, it is delicious to eat and an absolute joy to have on the menu. Each year I love to learn more about it; discover more about the people involved with it, how it’s reared and the journey it takes before arriving in my kitchen.

Game creates so many wonderful dishes…….try a Game Terrine with Pear Chutney and Toasted Brioche.  It’s a wonderful canapé, easy to make and perfect with a glass of champagne at Christmas.

It’s been another brilliant year in The Royal Oak kitchen, and as we move closer to 2013 I look forward to the challenges the new year will bring and continuing to move things forward.  The focus for 2013 is to bring more wonderful produce to the Royal Oak kitchen and make our food better and better.

Have a very Merry Christmas from us all.

Dominic Chapman – December 2012

All About Wine by Sommelier, Simon Beneteau

This month we have introduced a new top end red wine by the glass.

A Morey-Saint-Denis. This particular one is produced by one of the most acclaimed winemakers in Burgundy “Domaine Arlaud”.

When tasting it with Mo at the beginning of November, we both agreed that this wine would be a great addition to our list during the chilly and sometimes freezing months of winter….

This famous domaine based in the little village of Morey-Saint-Denis, was founded in 1949 by Joseph Arlaud. Since then this estate has been run by the family.  Each member of the family has a very hands on involvement in the business. With 77,000 bottles produced annually, this is a tiny domaine.

This typical Morey-Saint-Denis is produced from one plot situated in the lieu-dit ‘en seuvrées’ and two plots in ‘clos solon’, totalising only 0.95ha. As I said it’s tiny!

In the mid 90’s they transitioned the domaine to organic, and have been heading towards biodynamic viticulture since 2009.

Bottled after 14 months with 25% new oak, this is a great glass of wine for all your festive celebrations.

Next month I’ll tell you more about a dessert wine called Liqueur Muscat, from Australia.  For now can I just say that it is the perfect match to any traditional December dessert, such as Christmas pudding, bread and butter pudding, butterscotch pudding, sticky toffee pudding, and so on…

And don’t forget to book your table with Kelly for our amazing TerraVin wine dinner on the 16th January 2013… Limited availability already…

Simon Beneteau – December 2012

Back to Nick…………..

That’s all from us.  As always I would like to thank you on behalf of everyone at The Royal Oak for your continued support and wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  We look forward to seeing you soon.

Warm regards,

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

Email: Reservations
Email: Info
Book Online
Telephone:   01628 620541

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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