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Review: 44 Café, Bistro & Bar, Leamington Spa

The prospect of a night out to see some stand-up comedy is a welcome one these days.

As well as being one of the main things that unites us, laughter is the best tonic against the current climate of financial, political and emotional challenges we face.

No surprise then that there was an enthusiastic turnout for 44 Café, Bar and Bistro’s comedy night in Leamington this week – only the second in a regular new series of live events being hosted by the venue.

At just £15 per head to see four comedians, I thought it represented decent value with plentiful rib tickling at a time when we’re all watching our purses.

It was an occasion to showcase local talent too with Midlands comics James Cook, Lee Maloney and OKSE among the bill. It was headliner Jack Gleadow though, from Hull, who closed the show with possibly the most raucous laughs of the night thanks to his physical comedy routine. (No spoilers here!)

For regular stand-up giggers, such as myself, you know not to sit in the front two rows if you want to avoid being picked on. With such intimate gatherings such as this, pretty much anyone is fair game however, and very few escaped. So not one for the shy retiring types.

On the whole though, I think comedy thrives in intimate settings and it’s partly for this reason, it seems to work.

44 Cafe, Bar & Bistro, Leamington, comedy
OKSE was comedy host

Diversifying your hospitality offering is proving to be popular with diners and I understand why. If you can make the time, this is a great way to make a night of it and grab some dinner in preparation for absorbing all those belly laughs!

And this is where 44 comes into its own. Run by brewers Gavin Leach and Rob Singleton, the new ‘44’ menu has been created a menu to complement their own Windmill Hill ales, available on tap, with a tasty selection of tapas-inspired Small Plates, freshly-cooked burgers and hand-stretched pizzas as well as Bar Snacks.

44 Cafe, Bar & Bistro, Leamington, comedy

The desserts menu is what I would describe as small but perfectly formed – not so the portion sizes though! Bring your appetite so as not to miss out. But if you’re staying for the comedy, there are plenty of short intervals in which to indulge, should you need some breathing space.

Gavin and Rob’s ethos is about ‘celebrating local’ and this can also be seen in their burgers (Hilltop Farm); pizzas (dough from Virtue Food Company in Radford Semele);  chorizo (Cureights of Church Farm, in Budbrooke) and ice cream (Joe Delucci’s Gelato of Lighthorne), among others.

44 Cafe, Bar & Bistro, Leamington, comedy
Headliner Jack Gleadow clsoed the show

Home-grown food, drink and talent make for a winning menu at this independent Clarendon Street venue and the best news is, there’s plenty more being served up where that came from, starting next with a live music line-up next Thursday (July 27th).

Make sure you get your belly full of entertainment and tasty treats at 44 Café, Bar and Bistro son.

Further weekly comedy and live music dates are soon to be announced from August onwards via here

44 Cafe, Bar & Bistro, Leamington, comedy

Live music will also be a feature of Café 44’s first Drinks Festival, on Thursday and Friday, August 17th and 18th involving local distilleries, breweries and wine merchants.

44 is open Wednesdays to Saturdays from 9.30am-11pm and Sundays from 12-6pm. Visit here