The Courtyard Restaurant
Looking for somewhere to relax and eat on a sunny afternoon but fancy something a bit more upmarket than your standard picnic in the park? Then look no further than The Courtyard’s most recent addition in the form of aptly named, The Courtyard Restaurant. I was able to catch up with one of the owners, Sarah, who explained the inspiration behind the business... “My husband and I always ate out but were never really that impressed with anywhere we went – there was always something missing. We thought, rather than complaining about it, let’s have a go ourselves”. Sarah certainly exudes passion about the restaurant and it’s clear her main priority is the customer.
The venue is cool, smart, though casual, and the outside area is particularly lovely, laid out like a garden patio with beautiful potted plants to make the area that bit more private.
Opening the plush-looking menu, I am presented with some important information from the company’s policy – a nice and very honest touch. This adds a great deal of credibility to the subsequent pages which detail the dishes on offer; perhaps now even more desirable after I have read, “The meats we use are 21 or 28 day aged and grass fed” and “No frozen produce is used in our kitchen so that the food that reaches your table is of the best possible quality”.
I scan through the lunch menu which, although not that long, caters for a great variety of taste-buds; the Homemade Cheeseburger for ravenous manly types, and Welsh Rarebit for ladies-who-lunch. As a self-proclaimed Seafood Queen, I chose the Tomato and Chilli Mussels which came with fries and a free glass of Sauvignon Blanc for only £8.50. The mussels were delicious and the wine accompanied them perfectly. Everything went down extremely well, and I enjoyed it so much I couldn’t resist sheepishly polishing off the rest of my partner’s Courtyard Club Sandwich (£5.25), served open with chicken, streaky bacon, a poached egg, salad leaves and mayonnaise.
Throughout our lunch we were well looked after, frequently being asked whether we would like more drinks, and when we replied yes these were brought out immediately. Sarah explains that slow service is a particular pet-hate of hers; “There are little things which make such a difference when you go out to eat, such as your waiter/waitress topping up your wine glass. There’s nothing worse than sitting and waiting to catch the eye of someone to ask them for more wine. Your food ends up going cold by the time someone brings the next drink out”
“Service can really make all the difference to a person’s dining experience, and our staff and I work hard to make sure we treat our customers well. I’m new to this business and although in some aspects this might make me a little inexperienced, I’m not all about the money and I want to make sure all of my customers are happy”.
It was an utterly relaxing and enjoyable experience and I would highly recommend a visit for those who enjoy personal service, a relaxed atmosphere and delicious food.