Hunger for a taste of Harvey Nichols?

Harvey Nichols shopping bag

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 Purnell at Harvey Nichols

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.

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The Edgbaston’s Moseley Serve afternoon tea

The Edgbaston Moseley Serve afternoon tea

The Edgbaston has launched afternoon tea, with a delightful selection of cakes and pastries, including the Moseley Serve of tea-infused gin cocktails.

You may be thinking what is the Moseley Serve? Apparently it originates from when ladies in Moseley used to hide the fact they were drinking gin during the day by serving it from a teapot and drinking it out of teacups!

Ryan Swift Head Chef The Edgbaston
Head Chef Ryan Swift said ‘there is nowhere more fitting than The Edgbaston to launch a decadent and delicious afternoon tea, using vintage crockery in our 1920’s Art Deco cocktail lounge, it really is something very special’.

Served in the cocktail lounge or on the sunny terrace between Tuesday and Saturday 2pm until 5pm you will need to boook in advance. From £20 – £50 per person depending on choice of drinks.

If you have not yet visited this stunning boutique hotel, then the Gastro Card competition to win afternoon tea for two at the Edgbaston could be your chance!

To enter, simply RT and follow @thegastrocard and @TheEdgbaston or email sallyb@gastrocard.co.uk with the subject heading “Afternoon Tea at The Edgbaston” by 31 May.

Good luck!

Fine dining at Nailcote Hall

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

Nailcote Hall

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 sallyb@gastrocard.co.uk 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.

Dining loyalty cards on a plate

Ages ago I signed up for a Gourmet Society restaurant card. I only used it a few times before it expired, then last week an email popped into my inbox that I couldn’t refuse.

‘Come back to us for £1!’ it said. The catch being that it only lasts for just three months, but for the sake of only a quid I was re-activated and now have 24 pages of Midlands restaurants to pore through.

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Episode in Leamington Spa, Harringtons on the Hill in Kenilworth and Blue Bistro in Coventry are all GS members (and places that I go to anyway) so it will be a nice treat to have my loyalty rewarded.

Independents’ Day

The newest scheme which launches on 28 March is run by Independent Birmingham as a celebration of the unique outlets in the city. This scheme covers shops as well as bars and restaurants, particularly the quirky venues like Le Truc, The Rose Villa Tavern and Brewsmiths café.

Le Truc design my night

Restaurant loyalty schemes aren’t a new concept but there are some that definitely stand out for offering value for money, at places you want to go to.

Foodies love Gastro Card

Gastrocard

With Gastro Card the calibre of members is very high, with a large percentage of independent outlets which are constantly growing. The Balcony Bar in Selfridges, Chung Ying Central in Colmore Row and even the Epi Restaurant pop-up in Bromsgrove have recently joined the family of food lovers.

The extras really help keep you loyal to one scheme over another, which is what I’ve found makes Gastro Card stand apart. News, reviews, competitions and exclusive offers – save £10 per person off a wine tasting event at Hotel du Vin and receive a free glass of Prosecco when charging your wine card at Loki for instance.

Now Gastro Card has launched Tenner£east, an appetizing new scheme  valid for four months that costs (yes you guessed it) only £10!

Competition

Gastro Card Tenner£east

If you’d like to save money when you eat out, enter this easy competition. Midlands Gourmet Girl has three of these bite sized Tenner£east cards to give away.

How long is the Tenner£east card valid for? Answers to midlandsgourmetgirl@gmail.com to enter.

Gastro Card saving diners pounds

Recently named as Food Heroes by Visit Birmingham, for their support of food businesses and initiatives like #FutureFoodies, Gastro Card is going from strength to strength.

I spoke to Business Director Sally Bowen, (pictured third from right with Hotel La Tour’s Sue Castle-Smith and bloggers Jo Brigdale and Ahmed Ahmed) to find out why foodies in the Midlands can’t get enough of their dining loyalty scheme.

Future Foodies

Gastro Card say that if you eat out regularly at their restaurants, then you can save over £500 per year with your £30 purchase. Since May, fine food and wine lover Sally has been putting this to the test by eating at 14 various Gastro Card restaurants in Birmingham where she has so far saved £272.56!

Sally comments “If you enjoy eating out with family, friends or with business on a regular basis, then the Gastro Card can save you pounds – I am not sure the same can be said of my waistline though!”

Hotel La Tour lobby

 

Gastro Card features some of the best independent restaurants and hotel dining rooms in the Midlands, with a variety of special offers that you won’t find anywhere else. You can find any Gastro Card restaurants featured on this blog with this GC sign so that you don’t miss out on any special offers like these;

  • 25% off food bill for up to four people at Aalto restaurant, Hotel la Tour in Birmingham
  • Three courses for the price of two at Oscar’s Bistro in Leamington
  • 10% off afternoon tea at Stratford upon Avon’s Ettingham Park Hotel

Gastro Card

SPECIAL OFFER FOR READERS Enter the code MGG at www.gastrocard.co.uk to receive a discount on the price of a Gastro Card and start saving pounds on eating out.

September food and drink events

Rude Food Fiesta

Open wide!!!

As Autumn approaches there is a bountiful array of food festivals being held, where you can shop and eat local produce. Details of Leamington, Stratford and Shipston food festivals are now on the Events page along with a chocolate making class, Squisito Supper Club, Gastro Card dinner and fashion show  – plus a Rude Food Fiesta!

Also, just to give you a heads up, I am working with Gastro Card to produce a new events calendar for food and drink events in the Midlands, so please get in touch if you would like to add any activities midlandsgourmetgirl@gmail.com

Kitchen School a new food experience for Birmingham

At the Gastro Card fundraising lunch for Birmingham Settlement at Opus, diners heard the latest news from Kitchen School.

TrevorLand JayneBradley MartinHolcombe

Pictured left to right: Trevor Land Gastro Card, Jayne Bradley Kitchen School and Martin Holcombe Birmingham Settlement.

Kitchen School’s Director Jayne Bradley explained how this social enterprise in Harborne aims to contribute to people’s health and wellbeing, by building a passion to grow, cook and eat good food.

“To achieve our vision we will teach the skills and share the knowledge to make cooking and eating an engaging and positive experience.

The school will offer a wide programme including cookery classes for parents and children, artisan skills of bread making, brewing, butchering and pickling, nutrition advice and international cuisines seven days a week.”

The initiative is supported by local chefs, including Glynn Purnell. Glynn says “We support Kitchen because improving people’s health and food standards in Birmingham starts with making sure people have the right knowledge and importantly have fun cooking.”

Kitchen School is due to open in December. Check www.kitchenschool.co.uk for updates or follow Jayne on Twitter @kitchenschool.

 

March Food Events

British Pie Week

From British Pie Week, a vegetarian tasting menu at Blue Bistro and a charity fundraising lunch by Gastro Card at Opus, to a coffee roasting talk at The Arden Hotel, an Easter Food Fayre in Hatton  and a Good Friday fish supper at Mallory Court there are some great food events for your diary in March. Have a look at the Events page for more details.

Café Opus opens at Ikon Gallery

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For my breakfast meeting with Gastro Card this morning, we chose the new Café Opus at Ikon Gallery as our venue.

This new British café is the little sister of Opus restaurant. Serving unfussy classics from 10am to 10pm in a bright sunny room that has flashes of zingy yellow in the black and white decor. To set us up for our meeting, we tucked into boiled egg and soldiers, plus creamy mushrooms and tarragon on toast.