Treat yourself to a movie and dinner in Banbury's entertainment mall in Castle Quay, Banbury
and live on Freeview channel 276
We went to see a classic Alan Bennett film at The Light cinema followed by dinner in the bright and airy surroundings of The Greenhouse, in what has become Banbury's popular entertainment mall, The Waterside development at Castle Quay.
The Light was bustling with families taking advantage of the Easter programme of films programmed with children in mind.
A bucket of popcorn to share and a cooling drink didn’t take our appetites away from the prospect of a bigger meal after our chosen film – Allelujah, starring Jennifer Saunders, Judy Dench and Derek Jacobi.
This is a wonderful, truly British film, based on an Alan Bennett play about a threatened geriatric ward in a small Yorkshire hospital. The unit is threatened with closure with patients to be moved out into community care. Sounds familiar?
The hospital decides to fight back by galvanising the local community. They invite a news crew to film their preparations for a concert in honour of the hospital's most distinguished nurse (Jennifer Saunders). What could possibly go wrong? There’s a real twist in this tale. No spoilers but it is a highly recommended movie.
The Greenhouse has recently reopened following a month’s closure while the menu was revamped and an afternoon tea option introduced.
The menu for afternoon teas is very tempting with savouries including cured salmon with a lemon and dill cream cheese on a malted bloomer, freshly baked goats’ cheese tartlet and seasonal sandwiches – there are vegetarian options – as well as warm fruit scones with clotted cream, strawberry and prosecco jam.
The selection continues with sweet treats including baked brownies with caramel, and sweet pistachio cannolini. These are served with artisan teas and speciality coffees, plus optional champagne and prosecco for special occasions. The main menu for pre- or post-cinema (or shopping for that matter) has some delicious dishes to choose from.
My friend is a vegan and The Greenhouse has a special menu especially for vegans which was a very pleasant surprise.
While I had a deliciously moist, beautifully cooked, soy-glazed salmon, he enjoyed a soy-glazed aubergine with a miso dressing, served with pea puree, edamame and a vermicilli rice noodle salad.
We chose side orders of one of my Greenhouse favourites, truffle and parmesan chips (with vegan parmesan on request) and in addition asparagus, sauteed with confit garlic and lemon finished with parmigiano and chili, and finally pan-fried broccoli and edamame topped with Korean glaze and sesame seeds.
Desert for my friend was a vegan rhubarb panna cotta – rhubarb and coconut milk, topped with elderflower-infused, poached rhubarb, toasted almonds and an agave tuille. I enjoyed a scrummy, gooey chocolate brownie served with miso caramel, chocolate soil and a caramelised white chocolate mousse.
The restaurant offers aperitifs and nibbles, some appealing starters including tempura seafood and sticky Asian wings, and a range of main courses from burgers to pasta dishes, steaks, fish and poke bowls – all with special finishing touches.
For a peep at the menu and prices see here https://greenhousebanbury.com/menus