Aubrey Allen wins Community Award with help from their friends!

We are delighted to have won the Best Business category in Matt Western MP Community Awards last month, however it truly was a community effort rather than solely an Aubrey Allen initiative.

For a number of years we have been providing The Leamington Winter Support Night Shelter with around 100 weekly cooked meals to help feed the vulnerable and homeless in the area.
Once the pandemic hit and the homeless were placed in temporary accommodation, their need increased dramatically.
Helping Hands also got in touch as they were being inundated with requests for help from vulnerable families, the elderly who were shielding as well as the women from local domestic violence refuges who had to be re-homed. Many of the normal channels had shut down as a number of the volunteers were elderly and had to shield.

Our Managing Director, Russell Allen, put out an appeal for help and Sarah Taylor-Watts, a long standing shop customer, came forward. Between them a plan was coordinated to enlist the support of local hospitality venues who had been forced to close as well as all hands on deck to start cooking.
Every week Aubrey Allen provided the volunteers with meat and vegetables and in a very short time we had a team of chefs cooking up to 1600 meals a week, providing nourishing meals to those who really needed them.

In no particular order we are very grateful to The Moorings at Myton, The New Bowling Green in Warwick, The Star and Garter, Warwick School and Lime Recruitment at Oken’s Kitchen who, week in week out, provided the charities with fantastic home cooked food for our communities most vulnerable.

We continue to cook meals each week and support the Star and Garter and Lime Recruitment with produce as they also continue to provide meals.

If you are minded to want to help these charities, please visit Leamington Winter Support and Helping Hands to find out what help they may need.

They were here before the pandemic, they were here during, and they will be here in the future and they need your support more than ever.

Lockdown 2020

How we have helped…

 From March 2020 when restaurants closed over night, we used our produce that restaurants no longer needed from our wholesale business to support the local community by producing over 10,000 meals throughout those coming months.

Sarah Taylor-Watts, a loyal shop customer coordinated the project which saw, local chefs, restaurants and food producers help to make 1400 meals per week for the most vulnerable. Some of the charities that benefited were Helping Hands and Leamington Night Shelter.

Thanks to the Star and Garter, Warwick School, The Moorings at Myton and suppliers such as Mitchell’s Potatoes, Mudwall’s Farm, Fresh Direct UK and Morrison’s. 

By working together we also made up fruit and vegetable donation boxes for the NHS as well as offering a 10% discount to NHS staff. 


Eight products awarded honours in prestigious industry event!

Aubrey Allen Butchers in Leamington Spa has picked up multiple honours in the Q Guild of Butchers 2020 Smithfield ‘Star’ Awards.

Scooping an eight-strong awards windfall, including a brace of top-ranked 3*** accolade, one of which also shortlisted as a Kitchen-Ready category finalist for a ‘best of the best’ Diamond award.

The category finalist was:

  • Slow Cooked Ox Cheeks and Spiced Red Cabbage with creamy mash

Described by butchery manager Simon Kelly as “a lovely Winter warmer dish of slow-cooked Herefordshire-certified Ox cheeks in a stock of red wine; orange and thyme; which is later reduced to make the sauce for the Ox cheeks. This is complemented with a slow cooked spiced red cabbage and creamy mash potato.”

Judges were mightily impressed, describing it as “very appealing to look at, smells fantastic – the meat just melted in the mouth – superb flavours, a great product.”

The other 3*** product was:

  • Dry Cured Smoked Bacon Cutlet on the Bone, which is  cured Free Range Blythburgh Pork from the rack end of the loin for a flavoursome taste on the bone.”

A further five 2** were awarded for:

  • Rump Cap Mini Roast with Chestnut Mushroom. Spinach and Black Truffle
  • Steak and Mushroom Pie
  • Red Leicester Melt Sausage
  • Veal Tenderloin with Thyme and Brandy Butter Stuffing wrapped in Pancetta
  • Duo of Ham Hock and Montgomery Cheese Pie


  • 1* with Traditional Thick Pork Sausage

Mr Kelly said: “Naturally, we’re over the moon to be shortlisted for a category-leading Diamond awards in the face of such strong competition from our fellow butchers nationwide. While we didn’t strike Diamond this year we came very close and the positive comments made by judges will hopefully help us to progress to bigger and better things next year.”

The Dry Cured Smoked Bacon Chop and Traditional Thick Pork Sausage are available in the shop. The slow cooked Ox Cheek ready meal should be available on the delicatessen next week. 


Helping Leamington Spa achieve Plastic Free status!

In October 2019 we were delighted to receive Champion status for our efforts in reducing single use plastic by Plastic Free Leamington and Warwick.

Last week, Leamington and Warwick were officially awarded ‘Plastic Free Community’ Status – the 100th location in the UK to receive the award!

Our town’s plastic-free campaign was started in January 2018 by Leamington residents Jo Lally and Sarah Kenny-Levick after seeing Penzance become the UK’s first plastic free community, calling on key organisations and businesses to take more responsibility for eradicating single use plastic.

Jo and Sarah say “More than 30 businesses across our community have eradicated at least three items of single-use plastic, in many cases much more, which has taken hundreds of thousands of pieces of waste out of our system that would have otherwise been on our planet forever.”





At Aubrey Allen, we want to do the right thing and we were posed that very question by a packaging consultant last year –
‘is it the right thing you wish to do, or do you want to do what your clients think is right?’
Most definitely the former. Our whole ethos is to eat with integrity and integrity is at the heart of all we do.

We wanted to give you a guide to the small steps we have taken over the last 12 months using the 5 Rs as we navigate our way through the thorny minefield that is plastic reduction in the food industry.




Why not simply stop using plastic altogether and use all these wonderful eco–friendly, plant based, compostable products? If we could, we would do so without hesitation. However, with the fresh products that we sell, it isn’t that easy. Landfill is, well, filled with products marketed as plant based and environmentally friendly but the truth is that they cannot be processed without the industrial composting facilities that are yet to arrive in Britain.
We have conducted extensive research but unfortunately until recycling infrastructure and technology catches up on these issues, there is going to have to be some compromise; the 5 Rs

Here is a summary of what we have implemented so far:

Ready Meal Trays

REPLACE We have now switched from a black plastic tray to a paper board product (the raw material is sourced from PEFC sustainable managed forests) which is 100% recyclable – just rinse it out and put in your paper/board recycling.

RE-USE Or you can ask our shop staff for the ready meal menu a week before hand and we will fill your own containers and oven ready dishes for you to simply collect and cook at home.

Fresh Meat

REPLACE AND RECYCLE Paper Bags – we now pack the majority of our meat in paper bags, they keep the meat fresh, products can be frozen in them, and they can be recycled.

REPLACE AND RECYCLE Polystyrene Trays – we have moved our prepack meat to aluminium trays which are infinitely recyclable (just rinse off any food residue and put in with your regular recycling).

REVIEW The film coverings are not yet kerbside recyclable – we are currently searching for a more environmentally friendly alternative.

REDUCE AND REVIEW Vacuum Pack Bags – There are currently no kerbside recyclable alternatives so we will continue to use at present. We could stop using them however this would lead to higher levels of waste product which is not commercially viable and our advice received is that the food waste implication would lead to a higher negative impact on the environment than using plastic to preserve the product.

Deli Pots

REPLACE AND RECYCLE For our salads and olives we have moved to RPET pots which are made from post-consumer recycled plastic and these are widely recyclable within your general kerbside recycling.

RE-USE They are also easy to clean and therefore able to be reused – bring them with you when you next come in for your salad items.

REVIEW AND REDUCE Upon advice and internal trials we decided not to go with compostable plant based products as they currently go into landfill and can take many years to degrade. They are also difficult to wash and reuse without losing structure making them a single use item.
You could argue that it is not ideal to continue to use plastic as it is an oil based product however it seems to be the best option to us at this time and that reusing the plastic that is currently on the planet would seem a sensible option.

Fruit and Vegetables

REPLACE We have replaced our pre-packaged fruit and vegetables with loose produce that can be taken away in paper bags. These products come fresh from local markets and suppliers.

Carrier Bags

REPLACE AND RE-USE For smaller, lighter items we are now using paper bags. Larger, heavier joints of meat simply don’t work in paper bags and the compostable paper based ones are very flimsy and the meat would most likely fall out onto the pavement upon customers leaving the shop.

RE-USE Bags for Life are available – we sell them at zero profit margin along with cool bags so please purchase these to use again and again or bring along your own bags and boxes.

Internal processes

REPLACE We ship some meat out by mail order using a lined cardboard box that we have introduced instead of polystyrene – we are talking to our suppliers to encourage similar practices.

REDUCED We have reduced the use of disposable trays back of house and are using lined crates instead, as well as having deliveries in crates instead of boxes that are then returned to the supplier.

REDUCED We have reduced the number of vacuum pack bags by changing our processes and are constantly looking at where unnecessary packaging is being used.

REVIEW As a team we are all committed to working towards minimum packaging.

Help us do the right thing.
Wash out your deli containers and we will refill them.
Bring your own containers and let us dish up your dinner.









We value any help or feedback on what we have done so far. If you have any ideas or suggestions to help us on our sustainable journey, please email me directly


For more information on how you can support Plastic Free Leamington and Warwick visit their Facebook page

Five of our Burns Night must-haves!

Burns Night, celebrated on the 25th January, is the annual remembrance of Scottish poet Robert Burns’ birthday. 

Back in July 1801, nine of Burns’ close friends got together to mark the fifth anniversary of their friend’s death. Taking place at Burns Cottage in Alloway, the night included food, performances of Burns’ work and a speech in honour of the late poet. The night was such a success they decided to hold it again in honour of Robert’s birthday, kicking off the tradition we still enjoy to this day.

Hosting your own Burns Night Supper this year? These are our top 5 traditions to consider:

Piping in the guests 

Ok, so it might be a bit of a push to get a piper in just for welcoming your guests but it sure does set the scene! The people of Leamington Spa were serenaded by Pat and his bagpipes a couple of years ago outside the shop.

You could download a suitable playlist to pipe through your speakers instead.


Selkirk Grace

The Selkirk Grace is the traditional thanksgiving poem recited prior to the meal being served.










The menu

Our favourite part of the night! Of course we all know about the haggis (the star attraction and traditionally piped in to the room to great delight) but there is more to a Burns Night menu than that!
A starter of Cock-a-Leekie soup is served before the main course of Haggis, neeps (swede or yellow turnip) & tatties (potato) also known as Haggis wi’ bashit neeps an’ champit tatties 

Dessert is either a Clootie Dumpling (steamed pudding with spices and dried fruit) or Cranachan (oats, cream, whisky and raspberries) and all of that is followed by a cheeseboard with Scottish oatcakes.

A feast for sure!

Auld Lang Syne

Once the after-dinner entertainment of ceilidh dancing, speeches or performances of Burns’ work has been enjoyed everybody gets up to belt out Auld Lang Syne (consider providing lyrics if you’re doing the full version!)


Before, during, after – as long as the haggis is splashed with a wee dram before eating, the rest is yours to enjoy throughout the night!
Head to Leamington Wine Company for a fantastic selection of Scotch.


Whether you’re planning a traditional Burns Night supper or just fancy picking a couple of elements to enjoy over the weekend, you can find a great range of Scottish food in the shop in time for the 25th January.
Our MacSween haggis includes a variety of sizes and even comes with vegetarian and gluten-free options. 
Our chef will be preparing Cock-a-Leekie soup, neeps and tatties and Cranachan and our cheese shop will have a great selection of Scottish cheeses to suit all tastes.

Call us on 01926 311208 to place an order.

It’s the how, not the cow!

Good news… 🙌

Our teammates at Aubrey’s HQ (Aubrey Allen Wholesale) have been voted by chefs as Meat Supplier of the Year for the third year in a row as part of the 2020 Restaurant Magazine Awards!

It’s amazing to see the hard work by all of the team recognised by those who choose Aubrey’s products in their restaurants and establishments.










A huge part of that success is down to our meat-buying ethos.

Here’s a couple of reasons why it matters where you get your meat from –

🐷 British meat is produced to some of the highest welfare standards in the world – the farmers we work with are passionate about caring for their livestock and it also shows in the finished product

✈️ British food travels far less from farm to shop so has a lower carbon footprint than most imported foods. Our British Beef, Suffolk Pork, Cornish Lamb and Worcestershire Chicken has a much shorter distance to travel than some supermarket cuts coming over from New Zealand, Brazil and Germany amongst others

🚜 65% of all agricultural land in the UK can only be grazed. If it isn’t grazed, it goes to ruin.  Grass fed beef enhances the environment by improving soil, helping with absorption of carbon, production of oxygen and is critical to our ecosystem! 

🌍 The carbon footprint of UK beef is 35% lower than the global average and significantly lower than a number of the other key beef producing nations.

🐮 Britain’s cattle passport system means that each animal can be uniquely traced to its mother and place of birth – at a time when supermarkets are making up wonderfully British farm names that, in a number of cases, have been found not to exist, we shout proudly that every single piece of beef coming through our doors can be traced right back to its farm, including this beautiful Wagyu cattle from Earl Stonham Farms in Suffolk.








We could go on for days about why we are so proud of what we sell!

If you would like more information please contact

Getting to know… James Gaskell!

With the 2019/2020 season about to kick off, we wanted to find out more about James Gaskell who plays second row for Wasps Rugby.
We know he loves his food, let’s see what some of his favourites are!

Q: Are you a good cook?
James: I would say I’m pretty good at cooking; the amount we have to eat gives me an opportunity to practice a lot

Q: What would your ideal dinner party menu be?
James: Chicken wings in hot sauce with blue cheese dip followed by Reverse seared Boston chop, dauphinoise potatoes and vegetables with peppercorn sauce then finish with a cheeseboard!

Q: And who would be your ideal dinner party guest?
James: Barack Obama

Q: Was there anything you wouldn’t eat as a child that you enjoy now?
James: As a kid I was pretty good, the only thing I didn’t enjoy much was peanuts but now I can’t get enough of them!

Q: We know you probably don’t have them often but what’s your favourite takeaway food?
James: Favourite takeaway would be Thai – you can’t go wrong with a good Pad thai




Quickfire Q&A


Rugby HeroCharlie Hodgson

Sporting HeroPeter Crouch

Football teamStoke City

TV ShowGame of Thrones


Drink Tea

Holiday DestinationThailand


See James and the rest of the Wasps in action on Saturday 21st September when they play their first home game of the season against Saracens!
Find out more here










Picture courtesy of Wasps Facebook


Bonne Anniversaire, Oscar’s! Celebrating 15 years of an independent, family-run restaurant in Leamington Spa

We’re a big fan of birthdays at Oscar’s – any excuse to get the champagne out! So when it came to celebrating our most recent birthday there was never a doubt that it would go with a bang.







Our much-loved French Steakhouse & Bistro, owned by high street heroes Aubrey Allen, invited a handful of close friends to join the party on (what better day than arguably the biggest National Festival in France which celebrates independence?) Bastille Day with fizz, canapes, memories and lots of laughs. 









Owner Russell Allen said “Oscars is simple food served well and we are delighted to see how it has gone from strength to strength. Independent restaurants are a rarity on high streets and you have to give guests great food every time and a wonderful experience. Our team and our offering is better than ever and we’re busier than ever.”

At the party Russell thanked the small, hard-working team for their service, and in particular gave thanks to local legend Pascal who has been at the restaurant since day one. 

For more information about our Michelin-recommended restaurant including menus and to book a table online visit the website here 

New season lamb – do you know the difference?

Down in the south coast of England, the quality of lamb is so good, it’s recognised with a PGI status (Protected Geographical Indication). This area is also one of the more abundant areas in the country for lambs, and having dealt with our suppliers for over 25 years we are able to get the pick of the flock!








The majority of these lambs are bred from Dorset sheep. Dorset’s are a great, fast growing breed, but there is something that makes them extra special – they are the only breed of sheep which are able to lamb all year round! In addition to this, the South West is known for having a better climate that the rest of the country and the grass is of great quality. This in turn helps to push the lambs on slightly quicker to achieve a greater level of finish.

Take a look at why Russell Allen thinks our new season lamb is worth shouting about!


To order please call the team on 01926 311208 or email 


Aubrey’s Best in Show 🐾

With the paws officially on the doors, the Aubrey Allen team came up with a fitting celebration for National Butchers Week and Crufts, both taking place at the beginning of March.

Aubrey’s Best in Show gave our dog-loving team the chance to thank our wonderful pack of loyal four-legged followers and welcome some friendly new faces.
With categories such as ‘Best Beard’, ‘Bravest’ and ‘Most Polite’ every pup that visited during the three-day shop event went home with their very own certificate and a bag of delicious doggy biscuit bones.

The event also saw the launch of our new doggy deli range including Denzel’s high-protein and nut butter dog chews and premium, hand-baked treats from The Dog Treat Company, all available in the shop.

Is your dog featured in our gallery? 🐾