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.
Birmingham has secured fifth place in the latest edition of Harden’s Best UK Restaurants 2017.
This annual guide is based on one of the country’s most detailed surveys of regular restaurant-goers. In Harden’s 26th poll of diners 7,500 participants contributed 50,000 reviews for food, service and ambience.
Congratulations to top scorers Adam’s, Carters, Lasan and Original Patty Men with 5/5 and Al Frash, Gourmet Burger Company and Jyoti with 4/5.
The full listing of Birmingham restaurants (including a new entry for Rofuto) are:
Purecraft Bar and Kitchen
Turners at 69
I have changed the blog slightly by deleting the Competitions, Drinks and Profiles pages, but don’t worry I will now be incorporating these features into the Home / news page.
I’ve also added a new Table Talk page, with weekly updates on the best deals and incentives from local restaurants, bars and hotels. This week you can find out how to get 20% off at Turners, £10 off the Olly Smith Wine Dinner at Hotel du Vin and 15% off your bill at Opus restaurant in Birmingham.
The city’s tastiest festival Birmingham Food Fest will take place on from 13th – 19th July, returning after last year’s inaugural success with a week-long menu of food-filled events and restaurant offers throughout the city centre. www.birminghamfoodfest.com
Ann Tonks, Managing Director of Opus Restaurant said: “This year, Birmingham Food Fest will launch with the Colmore Business District Food Festival – a celebration of 24 food and drink venues in the city’s commercial heart. The businesses will be serving taster options priced from £1.50 to £5 in Victoria Square on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th. Confirmed stalls include;
Anderson & Hill
Metro Bar & Grill
The Old Contemptibles
The Square Peg
Thistle Birmingham City Hotel
Urban Coffee Company.
There will be a programme of live cooking demonstrations from top chefs in the quarter, including Glynn Purnell of Purnell’s and David Colcombe of Opus Restaurant (pictured above). http://www.colmorebusinessdistrict.com/index.aspx?id=36
Another highlight of the Birmingham Food Fest is the Birmingham Chilli Festival in Brindleyplace. My partner is one of the fifteen people taking part in the chilli-eating competition, so I’ll be standing by with iced drinks (and a camera to record the pain)! http://www.brindleyplace.com/event/birmingham-chilli-festival-2
Opus restaurant in Birmingham already has a three star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association and it has now been awarded another accolade for its sustainable business operations.
For its commitment to sourcing in-season produce, developing young chef talent of the future and its wider fundraising work in Birmingham, Opus will receive a ‘National Big Tick’ from Business in the Community.
Ann Tonks, managing director of Opus, said: “We launched seven years ago with the aim of running a business with strong core principles which guided everything we did. We wanted an exciting, vibrant menu which changed daily depending on what was in season and available at the market that morning – an ethos we still stick to today.
“We have proven that it is possible to operate ethically and sustainably in a financial climate which is extremely challenging not only for the restaurant sector but the larger economy as well. We certainly saw a hit to our trade following the banking crisis in 2008, but have refused to compromise our responsibility credentials.
“Needless to say, the entire team is incredibly proud to receive formal recognition of the passion, soul and energy which goes into serving Birmingham’s business community great meals every day!”
Opus is now being considered for the overall national winner of the Santander Responsible Small Company category of the awards, which will be announced on 27th June in London.