There is a jamboree of gin, wine and cocktail tastings, very special dinners and food festivals packed with local producers to look forward to in June.
For Juniper fans, I have picked out a day of tastings at Bedworth Civic Hall, the Lichfield Gin, Cheese and Ale Festival plus a World Gin Day Gala Dinner with Edinburgh Gin in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, as my top tips for you.
Three unusual and special meals have caught my eye this month. At Lemore Manor in Herefordshire you can lunch with 2016 Masterchef finalists Billy Wright and Jack Layer. As part of a series of dining experiences, the National Trust property Upton Park is hosting a tasting menu with a French Riviera theme. Ryton Organic Gardens near Coventry is the setting for a six course menu of delicious seafood with wine pairings at The Stock Pot Café’s ‘Under The Sea’ dinner.
Worcester, Shrewsbuty and Shobdon will all be getting ready for their annual food festivals and turning their towns into a smorgasbord of the finest local produce.
You can learn about the history of American cocktails with the Birmingham Whisky Club and Sam Boulton from The Vanguard Bar; learn how to brew your own ale with the Birmingham Brewing Company or just relax and sample over 50 wines at Vin Neuf’s Summer Wine Tasting at Hiller’s Garden Bistro.
Check the Events page for details and wherever your epicurean journey takes you to in June, I hope that you have a great time!
Right now on the Events page are a host of great events to eat and drink your way around the West Midlands.
In April, The Wellington and 100 Trades in Brum are the places for real ale lovers to head for, whereas cocktail fans can get hands-on in the Breaking Bad Cocktail Experience.
Learn how to mix the perfect negroni, make Indian street food snacks or which cheeses are best paired with whisky in mini classes and tastings.
Dinners paired with gin and wine are taking place at The Tame Hare in Leamington, as well as the Rose & Crown and Old Shire Hall in Warwick.
You can take also afternoon tea with an Indian twist at Praza in Birmingham or celebrate musicals at Coventry’s Priory Visitors Centre.
The Talton Mill farm shop has launched a new Supper Club. The owners say it is all about bringing people together to enjoy good, honest food in quirky, rustic surroundings. Each event will feature a different culinary theme, using their home-reared or locally sourced meat and vegetables. The first event is on Friday 19th January (see the events page for more details).
The Birmingham Whisky Club has begun work on their first bar. Housed in the converted café of the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, there will be a selection of more than 300 whiskies to try when it opens next month.
Shropshire will welcome a new food festival this year. In a partnership between Shropshire Festivals and Harper Adams University, the Field to Fork Festival will launch at the university on 28th April with more than 100 food, drink and craft exhibitors.
Tamworth Brewing Company has launched a brewery tap and shop, which is the first new brewer in the town for more than 70 years. The micro-brewery in Market Street offers ale brewed on-site from the tap alongside other premium drinks and bottled beer to take away.
There is a whole weekend of activities to celebrate the life and verse of the Scottish poet in Birmingham and Warwickshire coming up, so if need somewhere to swing your sporran in style here are my top three picks.
Starting with The Pump Rooms in Leamington Spa. On Friday 23rd, the evening starts with a sparkling drinks reception around the magical torch-lit Roman Baths, a Piper, Burns’ Night supper in The Pump Room Restaurant, Burns’ poetry readings by Leonard Pearcey as well as a charity raffle in aid of the Forever Friends Appeal and live band. The menu includes a shot of Cullen skink soup, fillet steak and cranachan for £55 per person.
The Hampton Manor boutique hotel in Solihull, serves their traditional Burns Night Supper in their fabulous grand drawing room on Saturday 24th. The evening will start with a welcome cocktail at 7.30pm followed by a delicious meal at 8pm. Pipe Major Martin Hewins will lead the proceedings and address the haggis, before guests tuck into Haggis Neeps and tatties, Scottish hand dived scallops, Scotch Beef Wellington, a selection of Scottish cheeses and biscuits, whisky cream and shortbread. Vegetarian option includes a veggie haggis and butternut squash Wellington.
On Sunday 25th, from 7pm-9pm the Library of Birmingham is hosting Birmingham’s Poet Laureate Joanna Skelt and a selection of fantastic poems. To accompany this event the Birmingham Whisky Club has chosen a fantastic collection of Scottish whisky for everyone. Held at Book Rotunda, Level 2, tickets are £30.
A dainty afternoon tea, following a tour of the Alscot Estate gardens, is the first calendar date for July on the Events page.
At Restaurant 23 you can meet the producer David Tompkins from Lighthorne Lamb. Stratford upon Avon diners can enjoy ‘the food of love’ menu at No 9 Church Street.
Over in Birmingham the city is hosting both the Colmore Business District Food Festival and Chilli Festival.
Beer fans can sup at the Warwick Beer Festival and Birmingham Beer Bash, while whisky connoisseurs can toast Independence Day at The Church Inn.