As a tourist guide, it is always important to have a selection of good places to eat and drink that I can recommend to groups when they have free meal times in a town or city. Stratford actually has a mind-boggling selection of options, but if I am asked this is one that I always recommend, and where I often eat too if I have a lunchtime in the town myself.
Yes, it is a tourist restaurant. So the menu is not especially imaginative and they are geared up to cater for large numbers of visitors pretty quickly. But like any other kind of establishments, there are good and not so good tourist restaurants, and Food of Love is definitely one of the good ones. The menu has a wide selection of choices – sandwiches, baked potatoes, omelettes, salads, pasta dishes, cakes and desserts – and prices are reasonable considering the location. Quality of food and drinks is consistently very good, OK so they will not be gaining any Michelin stars but that is not their business, and they manage to serve large numbers of guests quickly without compromising on portions or taste. They have seating inside and tables outside on the pedestrianised Henley Street and although they are generally busy, especially in summer, you can normally find a space. Having said they are busy, they do not try and rush you like many tourist restaurants do and I actually find it quite a relaxing lunch venue. The staff are excellent – helpful, friendly and efficient – despite working flat out most of the time.
And let’s just talk about the name for a moment. In Stratford, there are obviously hundreds of places with Shakespeare-inspired names. Many make be cringe, this one doesn’t. And it is certainly fitting to be named after a Shakespeare line, bearing in mind the location right opposite Shakespeare’s Birthplace.
All in all, a great choice in Stratford if you are looking for somewhere serving good quality, simple lunches and snacks in a convenient location and in a time frame that will leave you lots of time for sightseeing and shopping during your visit to the town.
If you and friends or colleagues want to discover Stratford in the company of an expert Blue Badge guide, why not book a private tour. Coach transport can be arranged on request, or travel by train from Birmingham.