Ones to watch in 2019

Instead of my usual weekly round up of news, today I thought that I’d share with you a flurry of exciting new openings that I am looking forward to.

ones to watch in 2019

There is a restaurant on a country estate in Herefordshire, a seafood restaurant in Birmingham, a gin distillery in Warwickshire and hotel dining in Stratford upon Avon that I predict will be the restaurants to watch in 2019.

lee westcott chef pensons at netherwood estate

The Netherwood Estate on the Herefordshire / Worcestershire borders will be the picturesque setting of the new Pensons restaurant.  The countryside setting will give Head Chef Lee Wescott (formerly of The Typing Room in London) the opportunity to farm, forage and grow ingredients bringing to life his ethos of eating locally, seasonal and sustainably.  Pensons will be open for dinner from Wednesday to Saturday and for lunch from Thursday to Sunday from the 24th of January.

the oyster club birmingham

Over in Birmingham city centre, Michelin starred chef Adam Stokes will be opening his second restaurant, with a focus on seafood. With a ground floor bar and lower ground floor restaurant, The Oyster Club will offer fresh oysters alongside classic fish dishes when it opens in February on Temple Street.

shakespeare distillery

Shakespeare Distillery is starting the New Year by moving to new, bigger premises so that they can offer guided tours of the distillery and tastings in their new gin school.  The new distillery will be situated on Drayton Manor Drive, on the outskirts of Stratford and surrounded by beautiful Warwickshire countryside. Scheduled to open in March, bookings are open now for tours of the gin school with a tutored tasting for £15 per person.

Hotel Indigo Stratford upon Avon.jpg

The £10m restoration of the former Falcon Hotel in Stratford upon Avon is well under way and scheduled to re-open in the Spring with 93 bedrooms, private dining rooms, The Woodsman restaurant, a wine cellar, cocktail bar and The Falcon Tea Rooms. Mike Robinson, co-owner of Michelin-starred Harwood Arms in Fulham, will be running The Woodsman restaurant, together with head chef Jon Coates. Diners can expect a large wood-fired oven and charcoal grill which will form the focal point of the restaurant, where guests can watch the chefs at work. There are also plans to house an on-site butchery.


Table Talk Friday 30th November

Cheers to a boozy Table Talk this week with a new blend of gin, a crowd funding campaign from a local cider maker and English sparkling wine to celebrate Lichfield’s latest restaurant opening.

Nelson's Timur Gin

A Shropshire gin distillery has launched a new blend featuring Timur Pepper as one of its botanicals. Timur has a unique aroma, which is not hot or pungent like a pepper but has slight grapefruit overtones and creates a tingly feeling in the mouth. Nelson’s Timur Gin uses a Nepalese variety of the Sichuan pepper which is said to have a citrusy grapefruit flavour that pairs well with both savoury and sweet dishes. RRP £40.

Napton Cidery

The Olivier family founded Napton Cidery in February 2016 and have now launched a crowd funding campaign to help them develop the business. From their cider mill in Southam, near Leamington Spa, the company have made more than a dozen flavours of cider as well as apple brandy, vinegar and apple juice. The family aim to raise £120,000 to finance new fruit ciders, a new online shop and dedicated marketing resource, check out their crowdcube page here

Mackerel dish The Larder Lichfield

Brand new for Lichfield, Larder is a new restaurant opening in Lichfield. Chef Ryan Shilton (formerly at the three-rosette Four Seasons at Swinfen Hall Hotel) is promising “all flavour no pomp” in his Bore Street fine dining venue. Read the first review by Staffordshire’s Sauce magazine.

Table Talk – Friday 23rd November

A new street food night, a burger joint’s crowdfunding campaign and a popular pub makeover are this week’s news bites.

the Rebel Chicken Birmingham

Fans of street food in Birmingham can now add the Jewellery Quarter to their list. From next week (30th November) Street Food Fridays will run weekly over two inside and outdoor eating areas, hosted at The Rebel Chicken. Traders lined up include What The Cluck, Little Urban BBQ, Jamrock ,​ Full Belly, Veeru Da Dhaba, alongside a bar and DJ’s. From 4 – 11pm, free entry.

Burger Shop Hereford

The owners of Burger Shop, in Hereford and Worcester are hoping for a final push in their crowdfunding campaign. A Rule of Tum is looking to raise £400,000 to buy both its Hereford venue, open a butcher’s shop and launch a small plates concept in an arch next to its Worcester site.  With two weeks left to run, check out their page here

Chocolate bomb dessert The Encore Stratford upon Avon

The Encore pub in the heart of Stratford upon Avon’s town centre has had a swanky makeover and unveiled its new Winter menu. Guests will be able to enjoy dishes including sweet chilli king prawn rolls, lamb rack, lamb koftas and an exciting new range of desserts including a chocolate and peanut bomb.

Table Talk – Friday 3rd November

The One Elm in Stratford upon Avon has reopened its doors after a top-to-toe refurbishment.  As well as transforming the look and feel of the pub, the refit has brought a brand new all-day menu of top-notch pub dishes, made with great quality fresh ingredients.

The One Elm bar high res (1)

New to try are free-range Scotch eggs and brown sauce and Westcombe cheddar and ham hock croquettes bar snacks; the Two Elm double burger with cheese, lettuce, tomato and burger sauce as well as a new grill and sizzler menu features seriously good chicken, king prawn and marinated halloumi sizzlers and great steaks from Aubrey Allen.

Hotel Chocolat chocolates

Thinking of Christmas yet? Luxury British chocolatier and cocoa grower, Hotel Chocolat, is opening a brand new store in Birmingham New Street on 8th November where you could stock up on gift ideas or simply treat yourself.

As well as a huge selection of boxed chocolates and single-origin bars, shoppers can also purchase cocoa-infused interpretations such as cocoa gin, cocoa beer,  spiced cocoa nib ketchup, cocoa balsamic and chocolate orange marmalade.


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.

Table Talk

A boozy table talk this week, with news of new bar openings in Coventry, Birmingham and Stratford upon Avon for you.

The Botanist Birmingham cocktail

The Botanist bar and restaurant has submitted an application for an alcohol license, which if approved could see them opening up in Unit 4 of the Broadgate Centre in the heart of Coventry. How the city will fare with hanging kebabs, watering cans of cocktails and even mini wheelbarrows to serve food remains to be seen.

The Canal House Birmingham craft beer

I missed the launch party due to train woes (maybe I should have taken a barge instead!) so I am keen to get inside the newly opened Canal House and try some of their home distilled gin. The former home of 18th century engineer James Brindley has been transformed into two levels serving food, premium craft beers and cocktails, alongside live music.

Limoncello at Veeno

Italian wine café Veeno has become the first restaurant to open at the Bell Court complex in Stratford-upon-Avon. The 90-seat venue serves wines from the family vineyard back in Sicily and Spuntini – platters of meats, cheeses and other appetisers imported from selected Italian producers.

Summer menu at The Encore

Eton Mess The Encore Stratford upon Avon

I’m going to miss the Summer menu launch party at The Encore in Stratford upon Avon on Wednesday.

This is a shame as there are some fab new dishes that Head Chef Christian Radu has created that  I would like to try including –

Black pudding croquets with whisky hollandaise

Sloe gin salmon with lime crème fraiche

Rondos with ginger beer glaze

Eton mess.

Slumber in Stratford

Rother Street Stratford upon Avon

Breaking news – two Georgian town houses in Stratford upon Avon are to be converted to form a new Hotel du Vin. The new boutique hotel in Rother Street will include 48 rooms, a bistro and private dining rooms when it opens at the end of next year.

Table Talk

Following last week’s Food Festival, this week’s offers have a Stratford theme.

Breaking news – opening in October is The Flat Chicken.  An award-winning gastro team has taken over the former Bernadette’s site in Guild Street.

Just outside of Stratford upon Avon in Snitterfield, Ingon Manor wants us to forget about the weather with a 50% discount off the summer a la carte menu on Friday and Saturday evening.

If you picked up a programme at the Stratford Food Festival last weekend, you could receive 10% off your lunch bill from the bar bill at Alveston Manor. Or a complimentary glass of wine with every two course dinner in the Manor restaurant.