Fall for these food and drink events

Take your pick from this cornucopia of food and drink events in the Midlands this month.

November events

In Warwick you can sip tea at Warwick Street Kitchen or shots of Chase Vodka at Square Wine and enjoy the next in the series of Dine with Wine evenings at High Pavement. I’ll be in town mid month for Rob Eatwell’s ‘Feather & Fur’ menu at the Rose & Crown.

Help celebrate both the Thai Festival and their 10th anniversary at Sabai Sabai restaurant in Moseley, or try a raw food evening with the Latvian supper club Two Cats Roaming at 6/8 Kafe.

Put your skills to the test and learn how to cure and smoke your own meat with Italian deli Squisito, or go the whole hog and butcher a pig with the Loaf chefs.

Get your bake on at the Cake International Show and return to the NEC for the BBC Good Food Show Winter at the end of the month.

Wine lovers can discuss vintages with Tim Atkin at Hampton Manor or stock up for the holidays at the Christmas Wine Fair.

For next year I’m planning an even bigger and better events calendar, where you can search for food and drink events by area and category. By subscribing to my blog you will automatically receive these updates.

What’s on in Warwick

It has been pretty quiet over in Warwick for a while and all of a sudden there are two new openings planned for local venues!

Smith Street Warwick

According to Big Hospitality, the Castle Keep Kitchen Bar has been bought by a group of local friends, who intend to open a new restaurant and cocktail bar. Number 6 Castle Street is scheduled to open in May, with Andrew Paul as general manager and Shahid Ahmed as chef.

I’m watching Twitter to see when the new bar The Old Post Office opens in West Street, with its real ale and pies.

High Pavement Warwick

Until then, on Tuesday 8 April, High Pavement  is hosting a French dine with style evening in association with Wine Poole. Chilled crab consommé, fillet of cod and navarin of lamb feature on the menu for £35 per person.

Spring into March with these tasty events

From a tot of whisky to making caponata, March is packed with tasty things to do in the Midlands.

March events

Tomorrow, Birmingham’s Whisky Festival is back for a second year with more than 200 different drams to sample and budding bakers should head for Solihull, where the Fair Trade Cake Off competition will be judged.

Next week instead of flipping pancakes you could be savouring French wines at the Episode Wine Club in Leamington Spa, or joining  Andy Waters for his first gourmet evening.

At the weekend, Birmingham’s biggest street food market is back in Kings HEATh and Jay Rayner leads a Sunday Lunch Service.

If you like music and entertainment with your food, then check out the Jazz Brunch in Stratford upon Avon’s Arden Hotel, or a night of razzle dazzle dramatics at the High Pavement in Warwick. Or simply focus on good food and wine at The Bell Inn’s wine tasting evening.

At the end of March, over in Northampton Italian chef Carmela will be hosting an antipasti demonstration and the local producers farmers market returns to Stanwick Lakes.

Table Talk

For the first week of the New Year, I’ve been looking for the best restaurant promotions that offer value for money without compromising on quality.

The Chef's Dozen dish

 

 

 

 

 

 

With their first appearance in the Michelin guide this year, The Chef’s Dozen is offering to beat the Winter blues with a four course meal with a sparkling cocktail for £28 per person. Available Tuesday to Friday in January. www.thechefsdozen.co.uk

High Pavement Warwick

 

 

 

 

 

I spotted an offer for High Pavement in Warwick on Travelzoo.  For £39, two Travelzoo subscribers can visit Warwick’s newest restaurant for a two course dinner, plus a side dish and cocktail each, saving up to 54% on the usual bill. Choices for   mains include lamb osso bucco with braised beans and pancetta or fillet of sea bass with lemon and tarragon fries and caper mayo. www.travelzoo.com/uk.local-deals

THe White Horse lunch

 

 

 

 

Choose from hearty lunch options such as free range Gloucester Old Spot sausages with kale mash and lentil and spinach burger with houmous and fries, at The White Horse in Leamington. Together with a drink this midweek offer will set you back £18 for two people until the end of January. http://www.thewhitehorseleamingtonspa.co.uk/

opus

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opus is offering a grilled Aberdeenshire 7 oz rump steak, served with chips or salad   and peppercorn sauce, plus a glass of house wine for £15 during weekday lunches   and 6pm Saturday dinner. http://www.opusrestaurant.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Review of 2012

As this is my last post for 2012, I thought I’d look back on some of the highlights of the food and restaurant scene in Birmingham and Warwickshire.

Scooping awards and accolades – The Malt Shovel in Barstoncelebrated being named Warwickshire Dining Pub of the Year in the 2013 Good Pub Guide.  Pub Restaurant Chef of the Year was Rob Hartwell from Rose & Crown in Warwick. The Bluebell Henley in Arden won Good Food Guide Readers’ Restaurant of the year for the Midlands. Blue Bistro in Coventry was awarded Best Newcomer in the Warwickshire Life Food and Drink Award and Peel’s in Hampton Manor were awarded Best Restaurant of the Year. Restaurant Bosquet in Kenilworth (with chef Bernard Linier pictured below) impressed Birmingham Post’s Richard McComb to pick up a McComb Award for Dining (MAD).

Bernard Lingier

 

 

 

 

 

Birmingham’s reputation as a fine dining city continued with Purnell’s named the BMW Squaremeal Best UK Restaurant. Lasan and Simpsons were included in the Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants of the Year, as voted by Harden’s readers. In Restaurant magazine’s Top 100 Restaurants in the UK Loves featured. Purnell’s, Simpsons and Turners all retained their Michelin stars.

Purnell's

 

 

 

 

 

 

The region’s hotels saw significant investment and heavyweight chefs drafted in to support new openings. Marcus Wearing consulted on the menu for Hotel La Tour’s Aalto restaurant, where I became a fan of their afternoon tea.  Hogarth’s completed a £4m make-over and chef Martin Blunos was appointed as Culinary Director.

Hotel La Tour scones and afternoon fancies

 

 

 

 

 

 

The popularity of single ingredient restaurants spread from London to the Midlands. High quality steak and chicken cooked well won new customers for the New Inn in Harborne and The Flat Chicken in Stratford. Barbecuing meats was the hottest cooking trend of the year, with the openings of Argentinian Fiesta del Asadoon the Hagley Road and Brazillian Rodizio Rico in The Mailbox.

The competition for the most glamorous makeover was a tie between The Warwickin Hockley Heath and The Star & Garter in Leamington, which was given a £500K make-over by the Peach Pub Co.

The Warwick

 

 

 

 

In the culinary Olympics it was a cook-off between the French and Italians. Funky brasserie Le Truc Café and Purnell’s Bistro opened to give Brummies a Gallic twist to their dining. While the award-winning San Carlo Group launched Fumo in Waterloo Street. The cocktail bar, restaurant and late lounge serves small dishes of Venetian tapas known as Cicchetti (pronounced chi-KET-tee).

Fumo appetisers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chefs on the move included Solihull chef Mathew Ebdon joining The Beeches in Hampton in Arden and it was all change at Edmunds in Brindleyplace, who welcomed Dider Philipot to head up the French fine dining restaurant as Andy Waters left to run the restaurant at The Queens at Belbroughton Worcester.

Didier Philipot Edmunds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sunglasses and crowds came out for food festivals. Kenilworth followed the successful Stratford and Leamington food festivals by launching their first Foodie Fortnight promoting local restaurants and food producers. I went to the Chilli Festival in Brindley Place for the first time and admired how the contestants kept their cool, as the torture of hotter and hotter chillies were administered. The Colmore Row Food Festival returned for a second year and filled Victoria Square with tasters from local restaurants including Saffron and Opus.

Birmingham Chilli Festival stall

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Leamington Spa Restaurant 23 moved to bigger premises in Holly Walk and the bar/ restaurant / club Altoria opened its three floors to diners. High Pavement in Warwick and The Lazy Cow in Stratford were welcome additions to the towns’ dining offers.

High Pavement Warwick

 

 

 

 

 

Going to events meant that I was able to meet lots of local producers. I met the Mini Jar Company and Napton Water Buffalo Company at the BBC Good Food Show Winter, Tan Rosie and cheesemaker David Jowett at the Stratford Food Festival and  Jabberwocky at the Leamington Food Festival.

David Jowett

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artisan food producers saw the benefits of collaboration in Kings Heath Birmingham. Lucky13 Bakehouse, Change Kitchen, Cuffufle Chutney, Wanton & Furious and Capeling & Co joined forces to form B14 collective. Delish Deli in Rugby moved to bigger premises and Summersaults opened their new deli next to their vegetarian restaurant.

Summersaults deli counter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our regional food sector is thriving and I hope that my blog has highlighted how easy it is to shop local, eat local and support Warwickshire’s food heroes.

 


 

High Pavement restaurant opens

 

 

 

 

 

The former Prezzo in Warwick has been transformed into a stylish restaurant and cocktail bar. Taking its name from the historic reference to the street, High Pavement offers a modern British menu.

Head Chef Martin Connelly is using locally sourced ingredients and sustainanbly sourced fish, tempting diners with ginger beer braised pig cheek served with spiced new potato.

Director Paul Brown said: “We are looking forward to introducing ourselves into the vibrant Warwick scene, and providing a bar and dining experience where people can enjoy excellent quality food and drink in a relaxed setting.”

High Pavement, 1-3 High Street, Warwick CV34 4AP 

01926 494725

www.highpavementwarwick.com

If you have been let me know what you think.