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.

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.