Created in 2014, Carpe Diem Emmie is a Midlands based Lifestyle, Theatre and Travel blog. Ran by Emmie, a 28 year old woman based in rural Leicestershire.

In the day Emmie works in a primary school where she is passionate about inclusion and mental health. In the evening she escapes to the cultural world.

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Pre-Theatre Dining & Show Experience at The RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon.

AD – in collaboration with Darwin Escapes.

Stratford-upon-Avon is a medieval market town set in the beautiful rural Warwickshire countryside, an hour's drive from Leicestershire and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Britain. The town is mostly known as the birthplace of 16th-century writer William Shakespeare but it also has much more to offer to visitors. Stratford has stunning riverside settings, historic houses for you to explore, a famous theatre, a booming street market, as well as excellent shops and restaurants. 

The last time I visited the RSC was to see their spectacular production of A Christmas Carol so we were delighted to be making another trip here recently. Darwin Escapes kindly invited us to head to Stratford-upon-Avon for a very different experience at the theatre. Not only were we able to sample one of their fantastic summer productions in the venue but we were able to take a Behind The Scenes tour and relish in a pre-theatre meal too! 

Darwin Escapes are a fantastic company that offer 22 hand picked locations from across the UK for holidays. Each of the parks have their own individual character and approach but each share the same ethos of Darwin Escapes. So whether you are looking for a holiday as a family or single holidays, short or long breaks, city or beach holidays; they will have something for you! 

We weren't able to attend the Behind The Scenes tour in time on our visit but it's a fantastic opportunity for those theatre fans to get a glimpse behind the magic they see on stage. They run most days of the weeks and in small groups so that your experience is personal and more informative towards your curiosity of what you'd like to get from the tour. 

Other than heading to any of the many restaurants surrounding the theatre for your pre-theatre dining, the RSC offers two options of where you can dine with them. There's the stylish, award-winning Rooftop Restaurant which is situated on-site at the RSC theatre on the third-floor or you can head to the contemporary and quirky atmosphere of Susie's Cafe Bar. Both of the venues do offer excellent seasonal menus for you to enjoy. 

For our visit we visited the Susie's Cafe Bar, just a stones throw away from the theatre. The theatre menu is available Monday-Saturday from 4.30-7.00pm. The menu costs £14.95 for two courses and £18.95 for a three course dinner. The staff served our meal's promptly to ensure we would dine comfortably and be in our seats ready for the show on time. 

For starters we enjoyed the pea and ham hock terrine, served with apple chutney and crisp breads. The sweetness of the apple chutney really complimented the more savory flavours from the terrine and crisp breads. It was really tasty, considering it's not a dish I would usually offer and it was great to use this opportunity to try something new. 

My main course was a leg of corn-fed chicken served with summer cabbage, bacon and wholegrain mustard mash. This dish is also gluten-free and exceptionally tasty. The meat was tender and fell off the bone making for an enjoyable dish and the wholegrain mustard mash is definitely something I'd like to make at home because it was delicious. 

We headed along the riverside in good time to get back to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre to enjoy a production of As You Like It. The theatre, which produces around 20 productions a year performs Shakespeare's plays, as well as works by Shakespeare's contemporaries and plays from today's writers too. 

The first permanent building to commemorate Shakespeare's works in the town was built back in 1827. Although the structure we see now in Stratford-upon-Avon has only been opened since 2010 following on from a huge transformation. It really is the foundations of some of the most iconic plays to have graced the stage. In the RSC all of the work begins here; from the bare bones of workshops and theatres, designing and building the sets, the costumes and the props all start here. The plays are rehearsed and performed in one of their three theatres; the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Swan Theatre, and the Studio Theatre at The Other Place. It really is the hub for Shakespeare in this country and it's easy to see why audiences flock here year after year to see the classic work for themselves. 

For the production of As You Like It, Kimberley Sykes directs this playful and passionate version of Shakespeare's much-loved romantic comedy. I absolutely loved watching the show! As You Like It has beautiful staging, showing the vast space that the Royal Shakespeare Stage has to offer. It follows the story of Rosalind who is banished with her best friend Celia on a journey to a world of exile like no other. She catches the eye of a love-struck Orlando who is also forced from The Court into the Forest. Their paths collide and will love conquer all, or is it merely a madness? As You Like It contains plenty of humour, musical influence but fantastic articulation of the Shakespeare language.

The play has been directed to capture every individual character within this story, and in a superb fashion! We loved every moment of this play and it reignited our need to see more plays at this venue because we do love them every time we visit. 

Some of the upcoming productions I am excited for at the venue are The Boy in The Dress at Christmas at The Taming of the Shrew (on until end of Aug 2019). 

If you'd like to see As You Like It for yourself, it's on until the 31 August so book your tickets before it's too late!

If you'd like to find out more about visiting the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, you can visit their website here that has all the details. 


  1. Just found your blog! I love it! I can't believe I live so local to Stratford and yet I have never seen a play at the RSC. I will certainly be checking it out. Great post! Xx

    1. Thanks for your kind comment about my blog :) Hopefully you'll get to the RSC sometime - they always have a fantastic programme of shows available! xx


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