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.
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.
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.
A new bar in Digbeth, award –winning smoked salmon from Droitwich and a champagne bar for Shrewsbury all feature in my news round-up this week.
The next time you are in Digbeth, check out a new bar – Finders Keepers which has taken over the old Rainbow Pub. Expect lots of exposed brick, street art, a huge range of gins and a Happy Hour on cocktails until 7pm.
Congratulations to Macneil’s Smokehouse in Droitwich. The Great Taste Golden Fork has been awarded to their Beech Wood Smoked Salmon as the best food or drink from the Midlands. Cured and then smoked in a vintage Norwegian smoker, this salmon ‘s “gorgeous texture dances on the tongue in tango with the perfect smoke, resulting in a very moreish mouthful. “
The champagne corks will soon be popping in Shrewsbury as Ten & Six bar gets ready to launch. Located in what used to Jonathan’s gift shop, the historic building is currently being transformed taking inspiration from Alice in Wonderland. When it opens in September, Ten & Six will also offer a range of cocktails, dining platters and afternoon teas.
Ginuary just gets better in Birmingham, as for the rest of the month The Canal House in Bridge Street and The Botanist in Temple Street are offering two-for-one deals from their New World Gin List. This includes Masons, Whitley Neill, Bombay Sapphire, Liverpool Gin and the Scottish handcrafted gin Caorunn.
Spangles American Diner has closed up in Fargo Village, as the sweetie shop and café prepares to open a new tea shop in Leamington Spa. Opening on 3rd February, they are taking bookings now for their Beauty & The Beast themed afternoon teas.
While I keep my fingers crossed for Coventry’s bid for City of Culture to be successful, it is heartening to see the growing number of independent food and drink businesses in Coventry. Another to add to the growing list, is a new Italian wine importer Amore . Set up by two cousins who buy Italian fine wines direct from vineyards to bring customers great wines at reasonable prices.
If you haven’t been to a supper club in someone’s home before, check out Cat Dutton in Leamington. Her Kitchenorium nights in January include – Sunday Smorgasbord, Midweek Meat-Free, Comfort Food Feast, Turkish Tuesday or Veganuary Adventure. Evenings are priced from £24 BYOB.
On Monday (4th) Italian restaurant group San Carlo will open their new Gran Café, with all manner of sweet treats from luxury gelato and sorbets to cakes, desserts and afternoon teas. Located on the ground floor of Selfridges in the Bullring, the café will also serve gourmet sandwiches, freshly-baked croissants, pastries and muffins.
This is a good month to see your favourite chefs in action, with cookery demos at festivals all across the West Midlands in June.
Catch Jean-Christophe Novelli in Coventry, Simpson’s Nathan Eades at Foodies Festival in Birmingham, Brad Carter at Ragley Hall’s Fabulous Food Festival and Chris Burt at Shrewsbury Food & Drink Festival.
Specialist dinners this month include a forage walk and inspired menu in Hereford at Madam & Adam, celebrating asparagus at The Cross in Kenilworth and three of Colmore Row’s best eateries in an evening tour.
Look out for National Beer Day themed events in Staffordshire too, with a supper club and beer tasting.
The luxurious new Harvey Nichols store in the Mailbox is due to open in July and at its heart will be The Harvey Nichols Restaurant curated by Glynn Purnell.
Glynn has worked closely with the store to develop a stylish all-day dining menu, mentor the restaurant’s new Head Chef and hospitality team, recruit local suppliers and source the specialist ingredients used in each dish.
To give you a taste of the luxurious new shopping haven, Harvey Nichols has teamed up with Flybe Flight Time and Gastro Card to offer one lucky winner a £250 shopping spree instore, dinner for two (up to the value of £100) in its new restaurant as well as a signed copy of Glynn Purnell’s bestselling book Cracking Yolks and Pigs Tales.
So what are you waiting for?! For the chance to win this fabulous prize and enter, please read T&Cs here Competition closes 30 June.
In conjunction with Simpsons restaurant, Flybe Flight Time and Foodies Festival, Gastro Card is delighted to promote a food lovers prize to enjoy a luxury overnight stay in Birmingham.
The winner and guest can enjoy a VIP day out at Birmingham’s first ever Foodies Festival being held at Cannon Hill Park, on 15-17 May, with top chefs, including Matt Cheal, Head Chef from Simpsons.
The prize includes VIP guest passes for the Foodies Festival, use of the exclusive VIP lounge with private bar and refreshments, food and drink masterclasses, showguides and goody bags to take home.
After a sumptuous dinner for two at Michelin star Simpsons, with a specially selected bottle of wine, guests can retire to one of the four individually designed bedrooms for their overnight stay.
For a chance to win this fabulous prize, enter the competition here
Competition closes midnight 30 April – good luck!
Changing rooms at Simpsons
Simpsons Restaurant has just started extensive refurbishment to extend the main dining area, moving into what is currently the lounge and private dining room.
Proprietor, Andreas Antona commented, “The refurbishment has been on the cards for a couple of years now, and during that time we have been working through plans to enhance the building in a manner that is sensitive to the buildings grade II listed status, whilst improving efficiency of service for the restaurant. It is a huge and exciting undertaking that will signal the beginning of a new era for Simpsons and underline our ambition to remain at the forefront of Birmingham’s dining scene.”
In two weeks time the BBC Good Food Show Winter will be back at the NEC.
Whether you are going for the first time or are a seasoned visitor, here are my top tips for making the most of the show
Download the iPhone app
The BBC Good Food Show app helps you to plan your day, with the latest theatre timetables, the show floorplan and current exhibitor list, ticket offers plus tips on accommodation and where to eat.
Talk to the producers
They all have great stories to tell and one of the main reasons for them being at the show is to elicit customer feedback. Many producers launch new products at the show, so you can be among the first to try something different. Look out for Pip’s Hot Sauces, made in Moseley. Pip has won a BBC Good Food Show Bursary to appear at the show.
Watch a demonstration
The atmosphere in the theatres is buzzing and you get to see TV chefs in action. This is the biggest consumer food show in the country, where 41 chefs and food personalities appear on seven different stages.
If you’d like the chance to win a pair of tickets, just answer this question – Which producer from Moseley has won a BBC Good Food Show bursary to appear at the show?
Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday 16 November. Winners announced on Monday 17 November.
- Each winner will receive a pair of tickets to the show valid on Thursday 27 or Friday 28 or Sunday 30 November.
- The tickets do not include a super theatre seat.
- Tickets will be posted to the winners by a third party acting on the behalf of the GFS.
- Tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. Ticket terms and conditions apply.
On Saturday my partner and I dined in The Oak Room at Nailcote Hall, you can read my review on Coventry Telegraph’s website here
If this tempts you to try it, then don’t miss the chance to win dinner and a glass of champagne for two people via the Gastro Card competition.
You can enter by either emailing email@example.com with the subject heading Nailcote Hall or RT the competition tweet and follow @nailcote hall and @thegastrocard.
Be quick though! The competition closes on Monday 21 April at 5pm. The prize entitles the winner and a guest to a glass of champagne each and a set meal by prior arrangement with Nailcote Hall.
Get a taste of Birmingham’s hottest new restaurant opening with this sizzling competition prize!
Fleet Street Kitchen is offering Midlands Gourmet Girl readers and twitter followers a competition prize of a three course meal for two. Together with a bottle of house wine with soft drinks, this is a great chance to experience the barbacoa grilled beef, seafood, rotisserie chicken, vegetarian treats and sharing platters in this contemporary venue.
Simply tweet ‘Fleet Street Kitchen’ to @midlandsgourmet to enter. A winner will be chosen on Monday 18 March.
Please note that the winner’s table must be booked in advance with the venue and is subject to availability. This offer excludes Friday and Saturday evening from 7pm-11pm and is non-transferable.