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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.