While I keep my fingers crossed for Coventry’s bid for City of Culture to be successful, it is heartening to see the growing number of independent food and drink businesses in Coventry. Another to add to the growing list, is a new Italian wine importer Amore . Set up by two cousins who buy Italian fine wines direct from vineyards to bring customers great wines at reasonable prices.
If you haven’t been to a supper club in someone’s home before, check out Cat Dutton in Leamington. Her Kitchenorium nights in January include – Sunday Smorgasbord, Midweek Meat-Free, Comfort Food Feast, Turkish Tuesday or Veganuary Adventure. Evenings are priced from £24 BYOB.
On Monday (4th) Italian restaurant group San Carlo will open their new Gran Café, with all manner of sweet treats from luxury gelato and sorbets to cakes, desserts and afternoon teas. Located on the ground floor of Selfridges in the Bullring, the café will also serve gourmet sandwiches, freshly-baked croissants, pastries and muffins.
Chef Ryan Swift has left Dormy House and joined The Belfry as Head Chef of its Ryder Grill restaurant. Previously of The Edgbaston and Hampton Manor, Ryan told The Caterer: “Being from Tamworth I have always known about The Belfry with its long-standing reputation for excellence, so I am delighted to be starting here and cannot wait to get stuck in.” (Pic: The Caterer)
Gin fans should hope over to Selfridges in Birmingham, as it is now the exclusive stockist of Fifth Spire gin, which is distilled in Lichfield Best friends Tom Lindsey and Rory McKerrell create their gin using twin copper stills – one of which contains the main botanicals the other is only used for fresh citrus fruits. When combined, the result is a smooth spirit that has a classic gin base and waves of citrus notes.
When you only have Saturdays and Sundays to make the most of brunch, why not make it last with a ‘bottomless’ one? The Lost & Found in Bennetts Hill has a menu packed with delicious dishes, such as Eggs Royale, smashed avocado with chilli and lime, and Turkish eggs – poached eggs, whipped yogurt, spicy chorizo butter served on toasted sourdough. For £22 per person, guests can add two hours of bottomless Bloody Marys, Mimosas, Bellinis or Prosecco to their order.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.