Happy New Year! If you head over to the Events page you will find my recommendations for what’s on in January and here are some highlights to whet your appetite:-
- enjoy a wine tasting with Connolly’s Wine and a selection of tapas at The Hive’s new Saturday Sessions
- tuck into a delicious Talton Mill home- reared pork and cider stew at their Pork & Cider Wasseil
- the Dining for Sight supper club kicks off the New Year with an Asian inspired menu
- celebrate the Californian wines of Orin Swift at the Hyatt Regency hotel
- join a brigade of past and present Simpsons chefs for a special one-off dinner.
- toast the haggis at Warwick Castle’s Burns’ Night supper and
- step back in time for a Heritage Afternoon Tea, based on 18th century recipes, at the Market Hall Museum in Warwick.
September is always a good month to visit food festivals, to meet producers and enjoy seasonal produce. My round up this month takes you from Shropshire to Warwickshire, with the return of huge well known events like the Ludlow Food Festival to lesser known celebrations like the Ginger and Spice Festival.
In Staffordshire, the StrEATfood Social at Burton’s Market Hall and a Wolseley Wine Loft wine tasting of wines from handmade, small producers caught my eye.
It’s a busy month for foodies in Shropshire – you can become an expert in cheese at the Turnbulls Cheese Experiences Academy of Cheese; Deliciously Ella will be signing her latest cookbook; Ludlow will be hosting hundreds of food producers for the Ludlow Food Festival and at the end of the month The Ginger and Spice Festival is held in Market Drayton.
I’ll be going to one of the biggest food festivals in Warwickshire (which I’m pleased to say is still free entry) the Leamington Food & Drink Festival. The Arden Hotel in Stratford upon Avon is celebrating 100 years of the RAF with a special RAF Afternoon Tea and the whole town toasts theStratford upon Avon Town Centre Food Festival on the 22nd and 23rd of September.
In Birmingham Opus Restaurant is hosting a Cheese Dinner, you can sup a few pints at the Ale & Cider Festival, which is set in the gardens of Blakesley Hall and the Midlands Whisky Festival returns with a huge selection of drams.
All the details for addresses, opening times and ticket prices are over on the September Events page.
This month is flying past and if you have missed out on some of October’s great events, don’t worry there are still a few more left to go from my top tips for you to enjoy.
Friday 20th – Saturday 21st October
Autumn Beer Festival
This popular festival returns to the Lichfield Guildhall where you can enjoy a fine selection real ales and ciders from local and regional breweries. Live music on each evening plus pork pies and a choice of refreshments.
Friday 27th, Saturday 28th & Tuesday 31st October
Nightmares & Nibbles
The Old Grammar School, Coventry
As part of the Day of the Dead festival, Vortex Creates is hosting a Nightmares and Nibbles spectacular where you can join Dr Frankenstein at the medieval hospital for a sip and a nibble at the grand unveiling of a secret laboratory. This lab and clinic explores the properties of the human body and soul creating miracle cures for those daring to try this selection of tasty yet gruesome delights £25 inc half a bottle of wine.
Monday 30th October
Sauce Supper Club with Matt Cheal
The Winehouse, Lichfield
Chef patron of Cheals of Henley, Matt is the host for this month’s supper club. He will be creating a six course tasting menu for guests that costs £65 per person.
For a mellow October I have picked a dozen events for you to eat, drink and discover some of the best chefs and producers in the West Midlands.
The first is a Salt & Earth pop-up by Nikki Astley (formerly Two Cats Kitchen ). He has chosen the recently opened Kanteen in the Custard Factory as a venue to showcase an eclectic menu with Latin American and Eastern influences – including octopus. There are six dates to choose from.
I will be heading over to Staffordshire for the Stone Food & Drink Festival at the weekend and seeing what local producers have in store for foodies.
Shropshire chef James Sherwin is holding a special tasting dinner at Alderford Lake, Whitchurch. Look out for an exclusive competition on the blog to win a pair of tickets for the Saturday 28th October Wild Shropshire evening later in the week!
Two other themed dinners have caught my eye this month. Taste of Leamington is a mini tour of Sabai Sabai, Momenti, Eleven and Oscars restaurants in the town to raise funds for local charities. Over in Brum, chef Tom Aikens will be in his Mailbox restaurant to host a five course Beef Dinner, which includes a butchery demonstration.
There is no shortage of drink events being held in October either. The Wine Gang will bring their Winter Wine Festival to The Cube, Birmingham for a day of tasting over 200 different vintages. If you would like to learn more about natural Austrian wines, then Carters of Moseley has a Meet the Winemaker event to try. The Bluebell in Henley in Arden is showcasing South African wines, meanwhile over in Kenilworth The Cross is repeating its popular Costswold Gin Dinner. It is a taste of the deep South with New Orleans cocktails at The Church in Birmingham and Westons Cider will be celebrating the harvest with an evening tour and light supper in Ledbury.
Full details over on the October events page.
If you go to any of my recommended events I would love to hear how you get on. Also if there is anything coming up in November that you think I should know about, drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org
Discover Polish cuisine, craft beer, whisky and vegan recipes at some tasty events taking place in February.
All the details are on the February events page
I haven’t done this deliberately but the August events page seems to be a booze-soaked extravaganza with every tipple from absinth to (one of my favourites) rum in there!
You don’t have to dress like Jack Sparrow to swig at The Fat Pug’s Rum Tasting but it might help. Still in Leamington, why not try something completely different in the Romanian Wine Tasting at Leamington Wine Company.
Over in Brum The Old Crown is getting into the holiday mood with their Summer Social which promises an afternoon of whisky, BBQ, masterclasses and cocktails.
The BBQ king Andy ‘Low n Slow’ is hosting a Summer Party at Bar Opus, or if you fancy firing up the coals yourself help raise funds for servicemen with the BBQ for Heroes.
On 21 August get the balloons ready for Digbeth Dining Club’s third birthday party, when the streets will be closed to accommodate 16 yes 16 of the region’s finest street traders (better start that diet now).
Le Truc and CocktailXchange have dreamt up a superbon night celebrating the green fairy for Absinthe in August, but if you prefer a more reflective way to enjoy some vino, settle down at the Electric cinema for their screening of Sideways and a talk from The Wine Tasting Company.
Ending the month is a Gin festival at The Bond with a whopping 100 varieties to try!
Its time for my favourite blog post, where we can look to the month ahead and plan our food and drink adventures.
June starts with a gin masterclass at The Bureau. If wine is more your tipple then the Argentinian Wine Dinner at Opus or Rhone Valley wine tasting at the Leamington Wine Company might be for you.
Dive into the seafood recipes of Kerala, in the Pop Up Dosa dinner at the Hare and Hounds and experience the Best of British and European ingredients as Peel & Stone prepare a five course dinners for guests.
If you dare, venture to The Electric Cinema where acclaimed food artist Annabel de Vetten will be serving twisted culinary delights during the Hannibal screening.
Mid month the UK’s biggest consumer food show rolls back to the NEC. New chefs for the BBC Good Food Show Summer include Michel Roux Jnr, the Hemsley sisters and Andy Bates.
For a Father’s Day present with a bit more bite, The Original Patty Men are one of the challenging teams at the UK Burger Battle in Digbeth on Sunday 21 June.
At the end of the month, employees and visitors can pick up some tasty treats at the Local Produce Market in Brindleyplace which is back for the summer months.
All in all another appetising month!