Table talk – 22 September

Apparently the West Midlands has both the best burger and best real ale pub! Find out who picked up these accolades, as well as who is celebrating a birthday and mixing up a new cocktail list, in this week’s Table Talk.

Flying-Cow-burger

Warwickshire burger boys the Flying Cows went to Manchester for the British Street Food Awards and returned with the prize for Best Burger. Their recipe contained Dexter beef, cheddar, Swiss cheese, red onion, club sauce and glazed streaky bacon in a seeded brioche bun.

Red Banger street food

Happy birthday Fargo Village! Coventry’s creative quarter will be three on Saturday and celebrating all weekend with a craft market, food by Red Banger and the Vegan Grindhouse, plus drinks by Twisted Barrel Ale.

The Pig & Tail cocktail

The next time you are in the Jewellery Quarter, have a look at The Pig &Tail’s new cocktail menu. The list includes Smoked Kentucky, with bourbon, caramel syrup and apple liqueur. Between 3pm and 7pm Tuesday to Friday they are two for £10 too.

The Weavers real ale house

Congratulations to one of the region’s smallest pubs for winning CAMRA West Midlands Pub of the Year. The Weavers Arms in Kidderminster has eight guest ales, six craft ales, plus four real ciders on the hand pulls as well as a gin menu of 12 different blends for customers to enjoy.

Next week there will be details on the  new cafe opening in Stratford upon Avon and the return of Hawkers Yard in Birmingham to look forward to.

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Fargo Village six months on

fargo-village-artwork

Despite the miserable weather yesterday, I had an enjoyable afternoon mooching about Fargo Village in Coventry meeting some new food traders and producers.

Nosh and Ciaow

Italian inspired and gluten-free street food from Nosh and Ciaow, part of the Scoff Street food collective – with arancini to die for!

63 Islands menu

It was a difficult choice but we went for the Bajan Chicken from 63 Islands who serve Caribbean dishes in a burrito style wrap. They will be at the Warwick Food Festival on Sunday 24 May.

Brownie Brownie

Coventry-based baker Eileen will be at 1st Thursdays in Rugby on Thursday 7 May.

Winter warmers

If the weather outside is frightful here are some January events guaranteed to warm you up!

January events

This month you can brighten up a Winter’s day with a glass of Nyetimber English wine, as part of Mallory Court’s winter afternoon tea, or laze away your weekend at the new back room brunch by Peel & Stone in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.

The Pump Rooms in Leamington Spa and the Library of Birmingham are just two of the venues piping in the haggis to celebrate Burns’ Night. Another cause for celebration is the luxurious four course dinner at Turners Restaurant Taste of Winter dinner.

If yo ucan wait until the end of the month, Scoff Street Food returns to Fargo Village in Coventry after their seasonal break.

As usual all details can be found on the Events page. If you are going to any of these events let me know  – I’d love to hear what you think of them.

Something for the weekend….

Are you like me planning next weekend before this one is over? If you missed them on the Events page, here are three local food and drink activities taking place next weekend.

Nuthurst Grange

Friday 28 November

MasterChef Evening Nuthurst Grange

 beer taps

Friday 28 November – Saturday 29 November

Winter Beer Festival, Towcester Race Course

 Spectacular Goat pizza

Saturday 29 November

Street food and beer festival Fargo Village , Coventry

 

Frommage fun at Fargo Village

Do you remember the periodic table from school chemistry class?

Dan Akers

Dan Akers does and will be wearing this rather fetching hat for a cheese tasting quiz at Fargo Village on Saturday 15 November.

Cheeses from periodic table of cheese

Frommage fans will be tasting 10 mystery cheeses and trying to guess which ‘element’ on the periodic table they are, with the highest scoring team winning a cheesy prize.

The Periodic Table of Cheese 50 varieties

The periodic table of cheese  quiz is just one of the events that is running as part of Fargo Village’s first Artisan and World Food festival. Scoff Street Food will be there alongside stallholders packed with ideas for Christmas gifts.

Tickets for the periodic table of cheese are available here but Midlands Gourmet Girl has four tickets up for grabs!

To win, answer this simple question – which leaves are used to wrap Cornish Yarg?

Send your answer to midlandsgournmetgirl@gmail.com. Winner will be drawn on Wednesday. Good luck!

Whats on this weekend

What are you doing this weekend? Here are some idea that might tempt you to eat and shop local.

Chamberlains pan-fried scallops tapas

Chamberlains Birmingham

This is the fourth year that the award-winning fish and chip shop is offering a weekend of tapas from £4.99. How many chippies in Birmingham could you try Artic char, yellowfin sole and soft shell crab?
Sweet As chocolate cake by Karen Massey

Sweet As Leamington Spa

Two excuses to eat cake this weekend in Leamington, it is the fifth birthday for the lovely Sweet As team on Saturday and their shop has had a makeover.

Spectacular Goat pizza

Fargo Village Coventry

Spectacular Goat, Canoodle and 63 Islands will be serving tasty fresh food at Fargo Village this weekend.

Bourneville Waffle Company

Autumn Market The Bond, Digbeth

Seasonal markets are returning to The Bond for a one day urban festival with local artists, artisan food producers, street food, bar and music. New for this event are a cocktail masterclass by The Shack revolution for £17 and an afternoon tea for £16 per person. From 12 – 6pm.

Property group buys a ‘steak’ in Coventry

Plans for a new £5m food hub have been unveiled for Coventry.

Cathedral Lanes shopping centre

Shearer Property Group has bought the Cathedral Lanes shopping centre in Broadgate and plans to create a new food and drink quarter.

Built in 1989, the 65,000 sq ft shopping centre is in front of Coventry Cathedral in the heart of the city centre. The new owners plan to have the first phase completed in time to have restaurants and bars operating by Christmas 2015.

Shearer specialises in urban regeneration projects and has worked in towns and cities including Bath, Cambridge, Newbury, Weymouth, Shrewsbury and Swindon. The company says it has already attracted interest from several leading restaurant brands not currently operating in Coventry.

On Coventry Telegraph ’s website there is a small poll inviting you to nominate which brands that you would like to see in the centre, which suggest Yo! Sushi Five Guys and Wagamama.

Five Guys Burgers Bullring

Is it too much to hope that there will be some independents in there as well as the usual high street chains? Trinity Leeds has managed it with their mix of 30 cafes, bars and restaurants that are household names which sit alongside a permanent area for street food traders in Trinity Kitchen.

Trinity Kitchen Leeds Fusion

With the recent opening of Fargo Village and launch of Eat Street market on Coventry University’s campus, the city is making the right moves to encourage new, independent food businesses into the city. There is the appetite for more, but it remains to be seen if this thinking is extended into the city centre too.

 

Fargo Village opening

Deep in the student hinterland of Far Gosford Street in Coventry, a new hub for independent retailers has just opened. Imagine a smaller version of the Custard Factory, where artists work and sell their crafts from converted shipping containers and you get an idea of what Fargo Village is like.

Fargo Village artwork

Among the vintage clothes, pictures, books, games, a barber’s and scooter repair shop are also a couple of permanent food and drink outlets.

 Toot Sweet Coventry Telegraph

Toot Sweet

Unit 2H

Toot Sweet offers personalised confectionery hampers full of luxury chocolates, fresh fruit, jams, spreads and even locally produced fudge and Turkish delight. In the store, they have traditional and retro sweets, ice-creams, hot drinks and cakes.

Little Touch of Luxury Fargo Village

Little Touch of Luxury

Unit 3B

Little Touch of Luxury specialises in wedding and celebration cakes with their elegantly designed handmade products, cakes and artisan breads. Their dinky café only seats eight so squeeze in to admire their confectionery.

 Urban Coffee Compnay Fargo Village

Urban Coffee Company

Unit 7

The Birmingham independent coffee shop has moved into a big converted warehouse. They’ve gone crazy with the wood panelling and chunky wooden furniture, but with high ceilings and floor to ceiling windows they’ve just about stopped the interior feeling like a sauna.

So Mallow

Little cubes of So Mallow heaven are on sale in the Big Comfy Bookshop.

Fargo Village wall

Tea with a view!

Sneaks and Peaks

At the opening weekend, the Sneaks and Peaks outdoor dining club featured street food from Big Daddies Diner, Peel & Stone, Becky’s Bhajis and The Flying Cows. The menu of traders will change weekly so check their twitter for updates @FargoVillage.

street food Fargo Village

With a farmers market planned for Sunday 5 October, a large indoor space for exhibitions and outdoor courtyard for eating, drinking along to live music as Coventry’s first hub for independent retailers Fargo Village is well worth a visit.