Table Talk 15 September

The latest news from Lasan, The Steamhouse Company, Restaurant 23 and Patina in this week’s table talk.

Lasan restaurant Birmingham

Lasan in Birmingham has closed its doors  – but don’t worry its only temporary! The restaurant is being refurbished and a more spacious interior plus new menu will be revealed in October.

The Steamhouse

Steamhouse, the  coffee and bagels café in Leamington, has expanded and opened a new branch in Stratford upon Avon on the High Street.

Restaurant 23 Leamington Spa

Restaurant 23 in Leamington has welcomed  Abigail Connolly to the team. Abigail is taking over from  Eduardo Neto  as Restaurant Manager and Sommelier.

Patina Bakery wedding cake

A new bakery has opened in Kenilworth. Patina is owned by Amy Clarke, who was previously pastry chef at The Cross. Ingredients used for her wedding and celebration cakes come from fair-trade sources and often local ones too – with flour from nearby Charlcotte Mill.


Bellissimo desserts


MiSU describe themselves as “the dessert explorer intrepidly travelling the world in search of the most scrumptious fusion flavours” but don’t let this put you off. These are tiramisu desserts with a twist – Matcha tea, salted caramel and rhubarb feature as ingredients in their take on the Italian classic.

Based in Leamington Spa, founder Yannan has always been passionate about desserts. She spent many evenings developing recipes and infusing various flavours and hey presto the MiSU desserts range was created.

A regular at the Wednesday University of Warwick market, you can also catch MiSU desserts from 18 – 31 May in the Bullring at their new pop-up and at the Kenilworth Food Festival on 23 July.


Spring into new events for April

April 2017 events

Tomorrow I will be sampling ALL the gin at a festival in Leamington and kicking off a month of events in April. Also on:

Guy Day

Weston Park is wishing a fond farewell to their head chef Guy Day with two special demos and tastings.

The Alchemist Birmingham

Whiskey fans will be torn between sinking a few drams at The Plough or The Alchemist who both have tastings on.

Seasons restaurant Leamington Spa

You can’t go wrong pairing craft beer with Aubrey Allen steaks, so head over to The Star & Garter in Leamington to meet the brewer too. Still in the spa town, enjoy tapas and raise funds for autism at the Season’s restaurant tapas and quiz night.

Yumlaut sausage

At Warwick Kitchen, Price’s Spices are hosting their first restaurant pop-up and  in the Custard Factory you’ll find street food fans tucking into everything from German sausages to curries, these are both brand new events.


You’ll have to wait until the end of April to show off your chilli-eating skills at Eastnor Castle’s Chilli Festival.

My top tips for what to do are always popular, so as usual please check with the venues on ticket availability and enjoy filling your bellies!


Midlands round-up

I’m spending a relaxing Sunday at home catching up on the week’s news and here are three stories that have caught my eye from Warwick, Hereford and Leamington Spa.


The Saxon Mill outside Warwick is showing off the results of a mini makeover. The former 12th century mill re-opened on 1st February back to serving popular gastropub dishes.


They have only been open a couple of months, but I am reading some good reviews for Hereford’s latest eaterie – Madam and Adam, where owners Beth and Swav focus on fine dining small plates.


Birtelli’s in Leamington are recruiting, so it cannot be long before scooters will be whizzing through the town to deliver their stonebaked pizzas, from their base in Clarendon Avenue.



Dip into the first British asparagus of the season

St George’s Day is traditionally the start of the British asparagus season, where for a short eight weeks you can enjoy the tasty home grown veg.


Keen to get the delicacy on our plates as soon as possible though, the chefs from The Star & Garter in Leamington have been off in search of the earliest possible crop. Their travels took them to a small family run farm owned by John Barfoot in Sussex and they have brought their produce back to the pub. To make the most of this fantastic produce, Head Chef Jakub and his team have come up with a novel way of getting your asparagus fix.

Dip Your Own Star and Garter Leamington

From today, they will be launching ‘Dip Your Own’ dunking your veg into a pot of delicious home-made Hollandaise sauce, grated egg and Parmesan. Soft, free-range egg combined with the slightly sharp, nutty taste of Parmesan and a classic Hollandaise make for a fantastic flavour combination.

The Almanac - Kenilworth

“Once you’ve tried it, you won’t be able to stop dipping!” says Head Chef  Jakob Fijak. But don’t delay – Dip Your Own is only available in The Star & Garter from now until the end of May, so make the most of the British asparagus season while you can.


Ooh la la! French fancies in Kenilworth

The residents of Leamington are already spoilt with two shops from French patisserie Comme-ci Comme-ça (Warwick Street pictured below) and now it’s Kenilworth’s turn to be delighted by their amazing confections.

Comme Ci Comme Ca Leamington Spa

Celine Vermont, one of the owners said; “Our third Comme-ci,Comme-ça shop in Kenilworth will have a bigger kitchen to make more cakes. It is very exciting, we get the keys in November and will be open in time for Christmas.”

While I was in Leamington last week I bought a passion fruit and coconut tart, plus one of the new Le Montelimar’s – an apricot and nougat cake, layered with fruit puree and mousse, which were absolutely divine!  I’m going to let the images of their gorgeous cakes do the talking for them.

Comme Ci Comme Ca Le Cointreau

Comme Ci Comme Ca Le Montelimar


Eat Street, Leamington’s first street food market

Whether you eat it with a fork or your fingers, the quality of artisan food served from the vans and stalls in street food markets has been giving cafés and restaurants a run for their money for a while now.

In the West Midlands Birmingham has two successful street food organisers in the Digbeth Dining Club and Brumyumyum, so I was keen to see what genteel Leamington Spa had to offer in its first Eat Street food market.

Eat Street Leamington Spa

Situated in Regent Court, the wide paved area runs from The Parade to Regent Street in the town centre, it is a good location to attract passers-by. Maria Hughes, manager of Regent Court shopping centre said: “We’re pleased to be holding this weekly market. It adds another dimension to the offering here and I’m sure it will be popular with shoppers once they discover the tasty treats available.”

Fresh Rootz at Eat Street

The first two vans I saw belonged to BBC Good Food Show Midlands Street Food winners Fresh Rootz and Jabberwocky who are also both from Leamington. Jabberwocky’s Flic and Barney told me that “it’s great to finally have a street food market in our home town, this is what Leamington has always needed.” They have written about Eat Street on their blog  so you get a vendor’s perspective of the new street food market.

Barmey and Flic The Jabberwocky

Most food markets in the area are run by Sketts, but Eat Street is down to a family-run Warwickshire company CJS Events.  Jamie Walker said: “As a local company we’ve always been keen to set up a market in Leamington Spa. With other local towns having a market of some kind, we felt Leamington was missing out and Regent Court is the ideal place to have it.”

Annie's Ice Cream Van

Big Daddies Diner

The Big Red Pig at Eat Street Leamington Spa

Funky Cupcake Company at Eat Street Leamington Spa

Deli2dine4 at Eat Street Leamington Spa

Leamington already has a thriving food festival and variety of food shops, so I hope that the town, residents and visitors grab the delicious, innovative, food to go with both hands.

Eat Street plans to have around a dozen stalls selling tasty food and produce, every Friday from 9am – 4pm.

More pictures on

STOP PRESS:  New food openings in Leamington over the next few weeks include The Larder, a deli and coffee shop, followed by a bakery from George Casey – so keep checking the blog for updates.


My week

Table setting

I’ve got a packed week of events coming up. I’m going to the Squisito pop-up at The Jekyll and Hyde on Tuesday, a networking event at The Grosvenor Hotel in Rugby on Thursday and food shopping in Leamington at the new artisan food market on Friday. Just enough energy left for the Rude Food Fiesta on Saturday!

Check the Midlands Gourmet Girl Facebook page for photos and if you’re at any of these events why not say hi?


Sunday best

As its Sunday I couldn’t resist showing you this photo of the new Sunday roasts being served at The Fat Pug in Leamington. Served from midday the Sunday lunch options include Aubrey Allen topside of beef, Berkshire rare breed pork shoulder and crispy crackling, corn-fed chicken or a mushroom and walnut terrine with all the trimmings.

The Fat Pub Sunday roast


The Star & Garter Winter menu dinner party






This will be the first event at The Star & Garter and will be held in their private dining room. On Tuesday 27th November from 7pm you will have the chance to taste a great selection of  new dishes cooked by Head Chef Tom, who will also be on hand to talk you through the methods to his madness. Tickets for the dinner party cost £32 which includes both food and drink.