Exploring Leamington Spa | What we did, Where we went and What we ate in a day

I’ve become quite the fangirl of Leamington Spa as late having visited it for the first time around 2 weeks ago now for an interview. My interview took place in the morning and finished up shortly before lunch leaving the afternoon free for me to go and have a wander before catching the train home. 
 As I mentioned before, I’ve never once visited Leamington, at least not that I can remember but I’ve always heard wonderful things about it. Needless to say, I didn’t plan on spending an afternoon here so I didn’t do much research on where to go beforehand so this really was very much a case of exploring blindly.

 After the morning my head was spent so admittedly I spent most of the afternoon in the park, a call for calm, a breath of fresh air, a stretch of my legs and a cup full of coffee was very much called for. 
 I headed to The Aviary for my coffee a cafe I’d seen originally on Instagram and gasped at how beautiful it looked. To my delight, I spotted it whilst walking through the park earlier in the morning and decided that’s where I’d head back to later. I opted for my usual Cappuccino with Oat Milk and pondered for a while about staying inside, behind the stunning glass windows to people watch, but given it was such a beautiful sunny day I took it as an opportunity to get my coffee to take away and sit outside and lap up the Vitamin D, my skins so desperately been seeking all winter. I watched the squirrels and the birds play, with one squirrel in particular quite taking a liking to me, though I’m not sure if it was my coffee he was after or me, nearing the bottom of my cup however I didn’t stick around to find out. 

I wandered past a building called ‘The Glasshouse’ which took my interest, I could see from the outside the building was filled with an array of plants of all lengths and sizes so decided to take a peek. The glasshouse is a small botanical type garden that houses a range of stunning tropical and temperate plants including Banana, Blue Fan Palm and Bird of Paradise. It also has a little stream inside where you can catch a glimpse of the fish. I took a long drawn out relaxing walk through snapping as I went. With the caffeine hitting my veins I then decided it was probably a good time to head towards the shops.

I’d heard the charity shops in Leamington were particularly worth looking at so that’s exactly what I did. There’s a road which pretty much has them door to door, so I started one end and worked myself to the other. Although I didn’t buy anything a particular favourite of mine was a charity shop which had only books and a few DVDs, Cds and records, I made a note to visit again when I return.

Little did I know that I’d be returning so soon. Checking the forecast for this past weekend it seemed spring was well and truly making its welcomed arrival so I asked Jay if he fancied a train ride into Leamington for the day. After visiting on my own I was eager to do some research before my next visit in order to ring out every last drop of the day with Jay. Armed with recommendations and places pinpointed on the map we set off to start the day. Our first stop this time for us both was a look around the shops, I was eager to return to the Charity Book shop and see what more there was to offer. 

This is when we stumbled upon Berry Lune. We walked past it already that afternoon but with the sun in my eyes, I hadn’t really been able to take much notice of it, it was only when we walked in the other direction a little while later that the yellow shop sat like a beacon waiting for us to come inside and I’m glad we did.

 It was love at first sight, a shop I can only describe as a place I thought I’d only ever find in my dreams. Beautiful Candles, Homeware, Plates, Dishes and Cups, Plants (a particular love of mine) Skincare, Bath Bombs, Lotions, Lip Balms, Gift Wrap, Cards and Hair Clips it simply had it all. I had to walk around at least 2-3 times just to take it all in. I’m certain Jay thought I was going to set up a bed and stay there. Regrettably, we eventually left and thought now was probably a good time to grab some food.

We’d both had our eyes set on The Neighbourhood a place that seemed reminiscent of 'Digbeth Dining' and 'Hockey Social Club' in Birmingham that's if you’re familiar with those. And if you aren’t The Neighbourhood is a Foodhall, Retail, Bar and Events space. My favourite thing about these types of places is the choice of food. Something that here certainly doesn’t go amiss. If anything it made my decision in choosing a dish that much harder, EVERYTHING and I mean everything sounded insane. However before visiting I did have my sights set on Wu-Tang for their Asian dishes, Noodles, Donburi, Bao Buns and Ramen... I’m drooling just thinking about them now. 

I decided to go for the Beef Donburi, Rice, Kimchi, Egg, Fresh Veg topped with Teriyaki Sauce. I also couldn’t deny their Hirata Buns so I got the ones filled with Veg. They were both RIDICULOUSLY delicious, I’ve been having dreams about them ever since. Jay opted for something a bit different to me, but something I was too tempted by and that was Head Honcho Hacienda. Jays is a big lover of his Burritos so that’s exactly what he went for, specifically the Chilli Beef Burrito. Then talked into it by me he decided to get a side of Vegan Dirty fries, which I happened to try and they too were absolutely delicious, the guacamole was perfection! Washing that down with a Strawberry Gin and a Beer for Jay we decided heading to the park seemed like a good idea if not to walk off all that food we’d consumed.

Despite being a gloriously sunny day, it was still rather cold so after a walk around the park, we dipped into the closest Coffee shop being Temperance. This one had actually been recommended to me through Instagram and seemed right up my street, for a start they have an impressive range of Teas as well as Coffees, Cakes and Cocktails. 

Feeling the cold from our walk we both opted for something warm so went with a coffee. I went for my second favourite go-to coffee, a Mocha which I was delighted to find out is made with Vegan Chocolate here and Jay had his usual Oat Vanilla Latte. We sat downstairs tucked away on a little booth style table in the corner which was lovely and cosy. Notability the decor was also really quirky which makes for a perfect space for Music, Comedy and Performances which they regularly host here on various nights.

As cosy and lovely as it was we decided to move on to our final stop of the day ‘The Boiler room’ an independent Craft Beer, Ale, Gin and Wine bar. With a substantial choice of Gin and beer, I and Jay were equally happy. I picked a Marmalade Gin with Mediterranean Tonic and Jay went for a beer. We both loved the vibe here with an industrial setting and excellent playlist we could’ve stayed for hours. If you’re lucky you may also catch a live performance or two here and they also specialise in pizza!

 Finally, we headed home for the day but we’ll definitely be paying a visit again sometime soon, there are still more places I’m eager to check out and with summer on the way, it’s a perfect time to visit.

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@paige rhianne_