Ones to watch in 2019

Instead of my usual weekly round up of news, today I thought that I’d share with you a flurry of exciting new openings that I am looking forward to.

ones to watch in 2019

There is a restaurant on a country estate in Herefordshire, a seafood restaurant in Birmingham, a gin distillery in Warwickshire and hotel dining in Stratford upon Avon that I predict will be the restaurants to watch in 2019.

lee westcott chef pensons at netherwood estate

The Netherwood Estate on the Herefordshire / Worcestershire borders will be the picturesque setting of the new Pensons restaurant.  The countryside setting will give Head Chef Lee Wescott (formerly of The Typing Room in London) the opportunity to farm, forage and grow ingredients bringing to life his ethos of eating locally, seasonal and sustainably.  Pensons will be open for dinner from Wednesday to Saturday and for lunch from Thursday to Sunday from the 24th of January.

the oyster club birmingham

Over in Birmingham city centre, Michelin starred chef Adam Stokes will be opening his second restaurant, with a focus on seafood. With a ground floor bar and lower ground floor restaurant, The Oyster Club will offer fresh oysters alongside classic fish dishes when it opens in February on Temple Street.

shakespeare distillery

Shakespeare Distillery is starting the New Year by moving to new, bigger premises so that they can offer guided tours of the distillery and tastings in their new gin school.  The new distillery will be situated on Drayton Manor Drive, on the outskirts of Stratford and surrounded by beautiful Warwickshire countryside. Scheduled to open in March, bookings are open now for tours of the gin school with a tutored tasting for £15 per person.

Hotel Indigo Stratford upon Avon.jpg

The £10m restoration of the former Falcon Hotel in Stratford upon Avon is well under way and scheduled to re-open in the Spring with 93 bedrooms, private dining rooms, The Woodsman restaurant, a wine cellar, cocktail bar and The Falcon Tea Rooms. Mike Robinson, co-owner of Michelin-starred Harwood Arms in Fulham, will be running The Woodsman restaurant, together with head chef Jon Coates. Diners can expect a large wood-fired oven and charcoal grill which will form the focal point of the restaurant, where guests can watch the chefs at work. There are also plans to house an on-site butchery.


New Year, new events

January 2019

Happy New Year! If you head over to the Events page you will find my recommendations for what’s on in January and here are some highlights to whet your appetite:-

  • enjoy a wine tasting with Connolly’s Wine and a selection of tapas at The Hive’s new Saturday Sessions
  • tuck into a delicious Talton Mill home- reared pork and cider stew at their Pork & Cider Wasseil
  • the Dining for Sight supper club kicks off the New Year with an Asian inspired menu
  • celebrate the Californian wines of Orin Swift at the Hyatt Regency hotel
  • join a brigade of past and present Simpsons chefs for a special one-off dinner.
  • toast the haggis at Warwick Castle’s Burns’ Night supper and
  • step back in time for a Heritage Afternoon Tea, based on 18th century recipes, at the Market Hall Museum in Warwick.

Table Talk Friday 14 December

Brrrr now is the time to warm up with some Caribbean spices,  chance your luck at winning a tasting dinner for two and try Hereford’s finest food and drink. Enjoy.

Tan Rosie food hamper

Yay! My delivery of Tan Rosie spices arrived today. If you would like to give your cooking some authentic Caribbean flavours, have a look at their website for a range of hampers containing jerk rub, hot pepper sauce, fiery chilli fudge and more.  These and the gift vouchers for cookery courses will make a great present for the foodie in your life.

Paul Foster book signing

Feeling lucky? Paul Foster has added a golden ticket to the signed copies of his cookbook. Order online for delivery and you could be the lucky winner of a tasting dinner for two at his Michelin star restaurant Salt in Stratford upon Avon.

The Riverside Inn Aymestrey

Congratulations to the winners of the inaugural Hereford Times Food and Drink Awards  –

Food and Drink Business of the Year : The Riverside Inn at Aymestrey

Best Butcher of the Year: Ogleby Butchers

Best Café/Tearoom: De Koffie Pot

Best Dairy Producer: Monkland Cheese Dairy

Best Brewer : Swan Brewery

Best Restaurant/Dining Pub: The Riverside Inn at Aymestrey

Best Cider Producer: Celtic Marches Beverages

Community Pub of the Year: The Pandy Inn

Best Independent Food and Drink Retailer: The Green Bean Shop

Best Drinks Producer : Black Mountain Botanicals

Best Farm Shop: Pengethley Farm Shop

Best Food Product: Myrtle’s Kitchen

Food and Drink Business of the Year: The Riverside Inn at Aymestrey

What’s on this week

Staying close to home in Leamington and Coventry for what’s on this week including  – a gin tasting with the Leamington Wine Company, tapas are on the menu at Warwick Street Kitchen’s monthly pop-up and street food fans have a choice of Fargo Village for their fill of Coventry Dining Club or to Leamington for Underboard pop-up this weekend.

The Leamington Wine Company

Friday 14th December
Christmas gin tasting
Victoria House, Willes Road, Leamington
7.30 – 9.30pm

Your hosts the Leamington Wine Company will have over 50 gins on the night for you to try.Fever Tree and a number of renowned distilleries will once again be supporting the event.

Warwick Street Kitchen Leamington

Friday 14th December
Festive tapas night
Warwick Street Kitchen, 102 Warwick Street, Leamington
7 -10pm

A £10 deposit secures your place. On the night the menu features nibbles including ras el hanout halloumi fries with sweet chilli jam (£3.50) small plates including dukka coated goats cheese mousse with roasted cauliflower purée and sourdough crisps (£8) large plates including sage roasted pork belly and braised red cabbage (£13.50) and desserts including set chocolate orange blossom with almond tuile (£8).

Dick's Smokehouse

Saturday 15th December
Coventry Dining Club
Fargo Village, Far Gosford Street, Coventry
Noon – 10pm
£2 entry

Greidy’s, Fat Snags , Goody Gujarati, Yo Dough, Handmade Pizza Co, Nyama Choma, Dick’s Smokehouse and Sticky Beaks are on the menu as DDC returns to Coventry. Usual mix of craft beer, cocktails and DJ’s also on offer.

Mac OG street food

Sunday 16th December
Underboard Dining Club
Court Street Car Park, 3 Court Street, Leamington
Noon – 4pm

Buy your beers from Underboard then pop out to the car park to scoff street food from The Box, Mac OG, Firkin.Bar.Becue and the Flying Cow.

Table Talk – Friday 7 December

I’ve held off until now, but now we are safely into December I will be mentioning Christmas a lot in my posts this month. So get your fat pants ready!

Brothers cider

Helping to spread some Christmas cheer, the Bitters N’ Twisted venues in Birmingham (Rose Villa Tavern, Bodega, Buffalo & Rye, Jekyll and Hyde, Island Bar, The Victoria) will be selling Brothers Mulled Cider with 50p donated to Acorns Children’s Hospice for each cup purchased.

The Old Mill Leek

If you like your meat slowly smoked then head over to The Old Mill in Leek, which serves barbecued food alongside craft ales in a refurbished grade II listed mill in Haywood Street. This is the first restaurant and bar for owners Nathan Walwyn and Bernadeta Bridgwood who have beef brisket, pulled pork and ribs on the menu.

The Market Hall Shrewsbury

‘Britain’s Favourite Market 2018’ The Old Market Hall in Shrewsbury will be open until 9pm on Wednesday 12th December for some late night festive shopping. All the eateries will be open as well as some pop-ups featuring cocktails, wines and craft ales. Shoppers can also enjoy live music, mulled wine and mince pies.


What’s on in December

What's on in December

The first week of December gets us into the festive spirit with…….a Festive Fare in Stoneleigh, Christmas wine tastings in Leamington and Shrewsbury, a Winter Gin Festival in Birmingham,  a Christmas Baking workshop in Coventry, a Christmas Food and Drink Fair in Staffordshire and street food event in Leamington.

All the details are over on the December events page.

Table Talk Friday 30th November

Cheers to a boozy Table Talk this week with a new blend of gin, a crowd funding campaign from a local cider maker and English sparkling wine to celebrate Lichfield’s latest restaurant opening.

Nelson's Timur Gin

A Shropshire gin distillery has launched a new blend featuring Timur Pepper as one of its botanicals. Timur has a unique aroma, which is not hot or pungent like a pepper but has slight grapefruit overtones and creates a tingly feeling in the mouth. Nelson’s Timur Gin uses a Nepalese variety of the Sichuan pepper which is said to have a citrusy grapefruit flavour that pairs well with both savoury and sweet dishes. RRP £40.

Napton Cidery

The Olivier family founded Napton Cidery in February 2016 and have now launched a crowd funding campaign to help them develop the business. From their cider mill in Southam, near Leamington Spa, the company have made more than a dozen flavours of cider as well as apple brandy, vinegar and apple juice. The family aim to raise £120,000 to finance new fruit ciders, a new online shop and dedicated marketing resource, check out their crowdcube page here

Mackerel dish The Larder Lichfield

Brand new for Lichfield, Larder is a new restaurant opening in Lichfield. Chef Ryan Shilton (formerly at the three-rosette Four Seasons at Swinfen Hall Hotel) is promising “all flavour no pomp” in his Bore Street fine dining venue. Read the first review by Staffordshire’s Sauce magazine.

Table Talk – Friday 23rd November

A new street food night, a burger joint’s crowdfunding campaign and a popular pub makeover are this week’s news bites.

the Rebel Chicken Birmingham

Fans of street food in Birmingham can now add the Jewellery Quarter to their list. From next week (30th November) Street Food Fridays will run weekly over two inside and outdoor eating areas, hosted at The Rebel Chicken. Traders lined up include What The Cluck, Little Urban BBQ, Jamrock ,​ Full Belly, Veeru Da Dhaba, alongside a bar and DJ’s. From 4 – 11pm, free entry.

Burger Shop Hereford

The owners of Burger Shop, in Hereford and Worcester are hoping for a final push in their crowdfunding campaign. A Rule of Tum is looking to raise £400,000 to buy both its Hereford venue, open a butcher’s shop and launch a small plates concept in an arch next to its Worcester site.  With two weeks left to run, check out their page here

Chocolate bomb dessert The Encore Stratford upon Avon

The Encore pub in the heart of Stratford upon Avon’s town centre has had a swanky makeover and unveiled its new Winter menu. Guests will be able to enjoy dishes including sweet chilli king prawn rolls, lamb rack, lamb koftas and an exciting new range of desserts including a chocolate and peanut bomb.

Table Talk Friday 16th November

From my inbox this week, here are my three favourite news stories including a wine and cheese pairing workshop, Black Pie Day and a supper club pop-up raising funds for visually impaired people.

Shropshire Wine School

Love Cheese? Love Wine? Then hurry and you might bag the last few tickets for a wine and cheese pairing workshop at The Lion Hotel in Shrewsbury on Friday (23rd). Run by the, Shrewbsury Wine School during the evening you will try six different cheese and wine combinations. Professional ISO tasting glasses and all tasting materials including tasting sheets are provided as are water biscuits, oatcakes and table water.

Black Pie 2

For one day only Pieminster  is baking vegan pie Kevin (a mushroom, tomato and red wine pie) and Moo (a British beef steak and Gem Ale pie) in a black charcoal-pastry for their Black Pie Day. Available at lunchtime in Birmingham on Friday 23rd November, every penny of the fiver you spend will be donated to the housing and homelessness charity Shelter.

Dining for Sight

Orthoptist Thuy Pham and a trained visually impaired chef Faith Barber have teamed up to create a new social enterprise called Dining for Sight. They are offering training and work experience for visually impaired people to boost their confidence and employability within the catering industry.  They are running pop-up dining clubs with the next one on Friday 18 January in Harborne from 18 for a Taste of Asia menu.