Table Talk Friday 9th November

Hand-crafted chocolates, a Beatles-themed bar and new cook book from a Michelin star chef are the treats in store in this week’s Table Talk.

Henley Chocolates passion fruit truffles

Hand-crafted in the heart of Warwickshire, Henley Chocolates is currently running a CrowdFunding campaign. ‘Chocolate Can Bring Change’ aims to help to spread the chocolate love in an authentic way and the team are looking to raise £20,000 to invest in equipment to expand their business. Rewards vary from stocking fillers to chocolate for life so check out their page to support them.

Hard Days Night bar Newcastle under Lyne

If you are a Beatles fan, then head over to the new Hard Days Night bar which has opened on Kings Street in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Serving a range of Beatles-inspired cocktails craft beers and gins, the bar also features a replica of the Abbey Road pedestrian crossing.

Salt cook book by Paul Foster

On Monday (12th) you will need to make room on your bookshelf for Paul Foster’s first cookbook, named after his Michelin star restaurant Salt. His eagerly-anticipated debut book captures his remarkable story while offering 40 thrilling recipes that are “visually spectacular, intelligently designed and bursting with flavour.” RRP £39.99.


Remember, remember a menu of food events for November

November 2018

Whether cheese, chocolate, BBQ food, puddings, tapas, gin or Japanese whisky is your guilty pleasure, there is an event for you over on the Events page. November is a feast of good food and drink so enjoy!

Table Talk – Friday 26th October

Taste of Staffordshire

Thank you to Richard at Taste of Staffordshire for giving us the scoop on the county’s  best restaurants, pubs, tea rooms and farm shops – all winners at the 2018 Taste of Staffordshire Good Food Awards.

Liam Dillon The Boat Inn Lichfield

The Boat Inn

The Boat Inn won the Independent Restaurant of the Year award even though it has been open for less than 18 months! Owner and head chef Liam Dillon has used all his experience from working in some of the world’s top restaurants to great effect, with spectacular dishes which truly set his menus apart from the rest. His ambition of becoming Staffordshire’s first Michelin-starred eatery may not be too far away.

Three Horsehoes County Inn Leek

The Three Horseshoes Country Inn

If you’re looking for something more laid-back, head for our Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year,. The Three Horseshoes Country Inn . You’ll find traditional British favourites alongside more modern signature dishes, plus a breath-taking Staffordshire Peak District backdrop. This beautiful venue has won this award for the past two years

The Roebuck Staffordshire

The Roebuck

Staffordshire is packed with great hostelries, but none are better than the 2018 Pub of the Year, The Roebuck Owned by Titanic Brewery, this 400-year-old inn offers an excellent range of cask and craft ales – with 19 pumps to choose from – plus roaring fires and home-cooked traditional fayre. And your canine companions are guaranteed a warm welcome and a tasty treat or two as well.

The Cottage Kitchen Cafe Leek

The Cottage Kitchen Country Café

Our Tea Room/Coffee Shop of the Year, The Cottage Kitchen Country Café is committed to using local suppliers, with a menu full of homemade treats – including the outstanding cheesecake! The Cottage Kitchen provides a true taste of Staffordshire, and you can buy many of the delicious ingredients from the neighbouring Cottage Delight outlet to take home.

Denstone Hall Farm Shop

Denstone Hall Farm Shop

The winner of the prestigious Farm Shop of the Year accolade, Denstone Hall Farm Shop is well known for excellent customer service and packing the shelves with the county’s tastiest produce, such as cheeses, chutneys, meats and chocolates from within 40 miles of their front door. This year, Denstone Hall also won the Judges Choice Award after scoring a faultless 100% in their inspection.



Table Talk – Friday 19th October

So this week my nuggets of news feature an eating and drinking hub for car and bike culture, the UK’s first bio-degradable crisp packet and a new burger joint coming to Birmingham.

Caffeine & Machine Sstratford upon Avon

Behind this lovely building all sorts of wizardry is going on. When it opens on 27th October , Caffeine & Machine in Stratford upon Avon won’t just be a new place to eat and drink, oh no. The promotional blurb promises a coffee house, licensed bar and restaurant, boutique b&b, and living art gallery. “C&M is designed very simply as a place to go, a destination in and of itself if you appreciate moving things and will become a hub for car and bike culture.”

Two Farmers Hereford Hop crisps

Its crunch time for crisp packets as two Herefordshire farmers have launched a new range of crisps using 100% compostable packets. The new range called Two Farmers is the brainchild of south Herefordshire farmers Mark Green and Sean Mason. Their crisp packets are made from Eucalyptus pulp from sustainable sources – even the ink is compostable, so that they will break down to nothing in just 26 weeks in a home composting bin.

Available in four flavours, seasoned with locally-sourced ingredients – Hereford Bullshot, cider vinegar, lightly salted, and Hereford hop cheese and onion, Webbs of Wychbold near Droitwich is the first retailer to stock them.

Burger Theory

Watch out Birmingham there will soon be some new burger boys in town! Rory, Oli, Nick, Tom, Beth + the BT crew, dropped me an email to say that Bristol’s favourite independent burger joint is coming to the city soon. Burger Theory is opening a kitchen as a residency in Kongs Bar. Due to open in mid-November on Victoria Square (where The Chameleon Bar used to be). BT only uses grass-fed beef from a single source, free-range chickens, UK cheeses and they make all of their own sauces to keep a high quality of food.

Table Talk – Friday 12th October

Spectacular Goat pizza

From now until the run up to Christmas, The Parade in Leamington will be hosting a Sunday market. Offering hot food from street food favourites Jabberwocky and Spectacular Goat to fuel your shopping.

Springfield Kitchen

I hope that the weather picks up next weekend for the Alcester Food Festival on Saturday 20th October. With the High Street closed to traffic, you can expect local cafes, pubs and restaurants joining a wide selection of local producers giving you a chance to try and buy lots of delicious food.

Nelson's Gin

The countdown to this year’s Taste of Staffordshire Good Food Awards is on. The big night will be at Uttoxeter Races on Monday 22nd October, where the winners in 11 categories including restaurant, pub, tea room/coffee shop and farm shop will be revealed.

Table Talk – Friday 5th October

Salt restaurant Stratford upon Avon
Congratulations to Paul Foster and his team at Salt who have been awarded their first Michelin star. A record number of stars were announced by the food guide this week, with 21 restaurants achieving their first star. The Stratford upon Avon restaurant is delighted on the accolade as the guide says that “the cooking of Paul Foster is daring yet has real clarity”.

wood fired pizza oven

The Globe in Theatre Street, Warwick is re-opening next Friday (12th) following a big makeover. Changes include a new wood-fired oven to serve hand-crafted pizzas made in the Neapolitan style, a fresh new look and layout in the pub’s bar and dining areas plus the refurbishment of their guest bedroooms.

Brad Carter Carters of Moseley

The man hiding behind the cover is Birmingham wonder chef Brad Carter, who has just scooped Sustainable Star award from olive magazine. For the past 15 years olive magazine has championed the chefs that are making a difference to the way we eat in the UK. Instead of focusing on ‘celebrity chefs’ and ‘TV cooks’, they have sought out the professionals behind the pass who are breaking a sweat, innovating and pioneering. Carter’s of Moseley has been recognised for proving that they care just as much about the environment as the food they’re serving.

Table Talk – Friday 28th September

Cheese and beer – simple pleasures.

Heritage Cheese.jpg

Would you eat Shropshire Blue or Parmesan with a locally brewed pale ale? See if you agree with the taste experts at the Slow Food Birmingham cheese and beer pairing workshop.  During the evening you will be introduced to five local beers that pair beautifully with both UK and international cheeses from Heritage Cheese and 1000 Trades.  Event is on Wednesday 3rd October at 1000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter. Tickets are. £18 (plus booking fee) from Eventbrite

Bod cafe Stafford.jpg

8th October won’t be a Blue Monday for commuters at Stoke train station, as Titanic Brewery is opening Bod bar and café in what used to be the first class lounge. Open early for rush hour coffee, then during the day lunches will be offered before the craft beer is poured in the evening.

Table Talk – Friday 21st September

Cheers to an award-winning pub, the new Head Chef at Hencote Vineyard Estate and a special pop-up restaurant to celebrate British Food Fortnight.

 The Old Joint Stock pub Birmingham

Congratulations to The Old Joint Stock, in Birmingham city centre, which has scooped Town Pub of the Year by the 2019 Good Pub Guide. The guide said: “With its lively atmosphere, flamboyant interior, all-day popular food and even its own theatre, the Old Joint Stock in Birmingham is our Town Pub of the Year 2019.”

Trystan-Ross Williams

In the run up to the October opening, Hencote Vineyard Estate has revealed more details about their new restaurant. Diners will be able to enjoy a carefully curated menu of southern-European and international inspired sharing plates, created by Head Chef Trystan Ross-Williams (previously Senior Sous Chef at Murano by Angela Hartnett).

From Thursdays – Sundays, the restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner. In addition to the dining space complete with an Italian rotary pizza oven and an open-fire charcoal grill, the restaurant will also feature a large terrace that overlooks the 17-acre vineyard and a beautifully appointed wine bar.

Sophie Hyam British Food Fortnight pop-up

Grab a ticket quick for a special dinner that celebrates local producers and seasonal ingredients. Coventry chef Sophie Hyam is hosting a British Food Fortnight Pop-up Restaurant on Saturday 6th October in the city. With a glass of British fizz on arrival and three course dinner with ingredients sourced from a local butcher, fishmonger and the city centre market. Click on the link for full menu details and ticket bookings on Eventbrite

Table Talk – Friday 14th September

Stave off an Autumn chill with Caribbean dishes, a Sunday Best pie and chilli festival in this week’s Table Talk.

Tan Rosie Cookery School

The Tan Rosie Cookery Club is now open.  The lovely mother and daughter team Monica and Lee have been bringing a taste of Caribbean sunshine to Birmingham foodies for over eight years and now is your chance to share in the secrets of their home cooked food. Course in October include Rotu & Tings, Caribbean Veggie and the Caribbean Classics Masterclass. You can find out more and book here


The next time I am in Birmingham I’m going to try a Sunday Best pie from Pieminster – it’s a Sunday Roast pie and gravy mash up! An award winning pie on a pile of delicious mash, topped with a Yorkshire pudding filled with roast garlic and rosemary potatoes and finished with free range British pork crackling and a pig-in-blanket.


On Sunday (23rd September) there is a Chili, Cheese and Chocolate Festival in the Dorothy Clive Gardens in Market Drayton. Enjoy the artisan market stalls, live music, chilli trail around the garden, cooking demos, a chilli eating contest. From 10am – 6.30pm with £6 entry for adults and £2 for children in this annual fundraising event.