#Christmas – message in a bottle

If you thought that a personalised jar of chocolate spread was cute, wait till you see what Bombay Sapphire and Selfridges in the Bullring have in store this Christmas.

Festive Bombay Sapphire

The Bombay Sapphire engraver will be available to customise the iconic blue bottles with names, initials or festive wishes.  For one day only, customers purchasing a bottle of the botanical infused gin from The Wine Shop for £29.99 will receive this free hand-engraving service on Saturday 6 December, from midday until 8pm.

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Browse a Chocolate Library

It was always going to be difficult writing a post about Chocolate Week. As one of my all time favourite indulgences how could I do justice to the divine bars, chocolates and truffles made by Cadbury’s, Kneals, Chouchute, Hotel du Chocolat et al?

chocolate

So I was saved when the press release on the opening of a new Chocolate Library at Selfridges Bullring popped into my inbox.

Bibliophiles take note this Chocolate Library is an edible collection of white, blonde, milk and dark chocolate bars. Chocoholics will be able to temper their appetite with over 150 different types of chocolate from all over the world, exciting flavours include orange peel and peppercorn, in what is reputed to be the largest selection in the Midlands.

Selfridges Chocolate Library pic 4

Prices start from just £3 for a bar of peanut butter chocolate and go up to £10 for a single origin limited edition Criollo. If that isn’t enough to sate your chocolate craving you can even create your own perfect chocolate bar in just seven minutes with Mighty Fine Chocolate

Fudge Kitchen pop-up at Selfridges

I’m going to mention the C word, as a sweet pop-up in Selfridges food hall has all the makings of a Christmas treat.

Selfridges pop-up fudge kitchen

Today Fudge Kitchen will be opening a pop-up shop, packed with seasonal, gift packaged fudge. The American-style slab fudge is made using whipping cream instead of butter, giving it a creamy soft texture. There are 20 different flavours to choose from including coffee and walnut, sea salted caramel, lemon meringue and ginger spice, which are available in three different sizes until 27 December.

Meet the Makers at Selfridges

Today is the start of an eight week campaign to celebrate the makers and producers behind the fabulous food at Selfridges.

Daily demonstrations with top chefs, walking tours of the confectionery and food halls and classes are all planned for the Birmingham store in the Bullring.

Meet the Makers

 Cocktail Masterclass Thursday 10 July 6.30-8pm

Learn how to mix your favourite cocktails with The Balcony’s professional mixologist. Enjoy a sparkling cocktail on arrival and a mystery box competition to end the evening.

Chef Skills Thursday 17 July 6.30-8pm

Chefs will show-casing their knife skills, teaching you basic to advanced fishmonger and butchery techniques.

Sparkling and Sweet  Thursday 31 July  6.30-8pm

An evening with pastry chef Carlito, who will be pairing sparkling wines with something sweet. You will enjoy a glass of Selfridges Prosecco, Balfour English Rose and Selfridges Esprit Champagne.

Tickets are £10, to book call 0121 600 6869 or visit the restaurant on Level 4.

To sample new food and drink and maybe learn a thing a two along the way at Meet the Makers, isn’t a bad way to spend a couple of hours in Selfridge’s.

 

A view from The Balcony

When you’re out shopping in the Bullring and have an urge for Brussels sprout tapas (as you do) just head to Selfridges for their new bar and brasserie.

Arnaud Stevens Big Hospitality

Opening on Saturday, The Balcony on the fourth floor will be serving food and drinks with a playful twist by Birmingham born chef Arnaud Stevens. Arnaud has worked extensively with chefs including Gordon Ramsey, Pierre Koffman and Richard Corrigan and says: “Selfridges is known for its cutting-edge, bold and stylish personality and The Balcony will very much aim to reflect this.”

The Balcony Bar Selfridges Shopping in Birmingham

The Balcony’s brunch menu includes dishes such as chicken and waffles, chorizo hash and silver dollar pancakes. There will also be afternoon tea every day from 3pm, with cakes inspired by the great fashion houses. The main menu will be served all day and into the evening, with plenty of healthy choices alongside more indulgent options, such as lobster lasagne, super food salad and Oreo cheesecake.

 

Fab Fathers Day gifts

Whether you father is green-fingered or loves a wee dram, here are five gift ideas that are much better than socks for Fathers Day.

tomatoes

Garden Organic’s Adopt a Veg scheme helps to grow and preserve the UK’s vegetable heritage. The adoption contributes to fund the work of the Heritage Seed Library, which works to conserve a unique collection of rare and endangered vegetable varieties. http://www.adoptaveg.org

Aubrey Allen Butchery School

With 60 years’ experience between them, Aubrey Allen Master Butchers Simon Kelly and Martin Crombie will teach you some great practical skills in their Butchery course. The evening class in the Leamington Spa shop also includes supper and a few glasses of wine. http://www.aubreyallenleamington.co.uk/ButcherySchool.aspx

Whoop Ass sauces

These Whoop Ass Cowboys from Harvey Nichols are lined up to deliver some hot flavours. Each member of the hot sauce gang has a different flavour to liven up your table. With a Chipotle Fire Hot Sauce, Hickory Heat Hot Sauce, smokey Habanero Hot Sauce and Chipotle Barbecue Sauce, and the Jalapeno Steak Sauce.

Hotel du Chocolat For my Dad Collection

Indulge his sweet tooth for chocolate with Hotel du Chocolat’s For My Father collection.  All dark, deep and roasted flavours, with a rare and vintage Rabot 1745 Madagascar 72% Dark Organic 70g Bar and Praline Selection H-Box, perfectly matched with a 37cl bottle of  Special Reserve Ruby Port.

Dalmore whisky gift set

Hopefully he’ll share a wee dram if you buy him the Dalmore 15 year old single malt Scotch whisky gift set from Selfridges. Dalmore is matured for 13 years in American bourbon casks, followed by a year in sherry butts. This boxed gift set also includes a 40ml bottle of King Alexander III.

June Food Events

asparagus

Which food events are you going to in June? From to a street food market to a medieval banquet, there should be something to tempt you on the Events page.