October events to fall for

October 2017 events

For a mellow October I have picked a dozen events for you to eat, drink and discover some of the best chefs and producers in the West Midlands.

The first is a Salt & Earth pop-up by  Nikki Astley (formerly Two Cats Kitchen ).  He has chosen the recently opened Kanteen in the Custard Factory as a venue to showcase an eclectic menu with Latin American and Eastern influences  – including octopus. There are six dates to choose from.

I will be heading over to Staffordshire for the Stone Food & Drink Festival at the weekend and seeing what local producers have in store for foodies.

Shropshire chef James Sherwin is holding a special tasting dinner at Alderford Lake, Whitchurch. Look out for an exclusive competition on the blog to win a pair of tickets for the Saturday 28th October Wild Shropshire evening later in the week!

Two other themed dinners have caught my eye this month. Taste of Leamington is a mini tour of Sabai Sabai, Momenti, Eleven and Oscars restaurants in the town to raise funds for local charities. Over in Brum, chef Tom Aikens will be in his Mailbox restaurant to host a five course Beef Dinner, which includes a butchery demonstration.

There is no shortage of drink events being held in October either. The Wine Gang will bring their Winter Wine Festival to The Cube, Birmingham for a day of tasting over 200 different vintages. If you would like to learn more about natural Austrian wines, then  Carters of Moseley has a Meet the Winemaker event to try. The Bluebell in Henley in Arden is showcasing  South African wines, meanwhile over in Kenilworth The Cross is repeating its popular Costswold Gin Dinner.  It is a taste of the deep South with New Orleans cocktails at The Church in Birmingham and Westons Cider will be celebrating the harvest with an evening tour and light supper in Ledbury.

Full details over on the October events page.

If you go to any of my recommended events I would love to hear how you get on. Also if there is anything coming up in November that you think I should know about, drop me a line on midlandsgourmetgirl@gmail.com


#Christmas – Festive Afternoon Tea

Christmas shopping in Birmingham this weekend? For a bit of peace and quiet, take yourself off to The Gentleman & Scholar Bistro in the Hyatt Regency to refuel with their new Festive Afternoon Tea.

The refined tea tray offers a selection of seasonally inspired treats. You would expect a turkey filling in the sandwich selection, but there is also mackerel, brie, blue cheese and salmon on offer. Scones are given a sprinkle of Christmasness with cranberry and orange and rum and raisin varieties.

Spiced apple and calvados profiterole, chocolate gingerbread and chocolate and orange slice are some of the fab mini desserts. The festive afternoon tea is £19, add a glass of mulled wine for £24.50 or glass of house champagne for £28.

Ginberbread Family in front of the Fireplace

Two more to try – in Leamington Spa,  Mallory Court Hotel also offering festive fancies, served with mulled wine and Winter Pimms.  Carrot cake with spiced orange frosting and cardamom crème brulee feature on The Bluebell’s tea tray in Henley in Arden.

October food and drink events

October’s food and drinks events page is the fattest blog post I’ve ever written!

October events

Chefs taking on new challenges include Adam Stokes pairing up with Purity Bar & Kitchen, while the Eden Hotel Collection chefs battle it out in their annual competition against each other.

For drinks events how about a tutored wine tasting with a screening of Sideways at The Electric, an introduction to sherry at The Bluebell in Henley in Arden, a Bordeaux tasting with Loki Wine or German beerfest at The Wild Boar in Warwick.

Seasonal markets are back at The Bond, this time with a new afternoon tea and cocktail masterclass and Birmingham’s newest gastropub The Highfield is hosting its first Steak Night with Aubrey Allen.

With even more opportunities to meet producers, sample themed menus, shop at markets and celebrate at festivals lets keep it local!

My Top 5 Summer Lunches

For their great quality food, value for money and pretty gardens, here are my top five recommendations for summer lunches – The Bluebell in Henley in Arden, Anderson’s at The Bulls Head, Brum Yum Yum, Warwick Street Kitchen and The Cross in Kenilworth.


1 – For value for money, The Bluebell in Henley in Arden tops the list for offering two courses of two rosette rated food for £10 in their Feast Lunch Club. From Tuesday to Saturday, noon to 2.30pm, the daily changing menu has so far included treats such as sweetcorn and basil velouté, salt beef hash and banana pavlova.

Andersons dining garden

2 – Just a bit further down the road, Anderson’s at The Bulls Head in Wootton Wawen has unveiled their new dining garden. If you’re going to eat al fresco you want to enjoy your surroundings, so check out the extension to the main restaurant, where diners can order off the a la carte menu featuring their popular steaks and grills.

Brum Yum Yum Lunchmarket

3 – You’ve got until 1 August to try Brum Yum Yum Lunchmarket. Running through the summer into August, the city centre square bursts into life with the delicious aromas of street food, there’s also a beer market and live music if you don’t have to go back to the office!

Warwick Street Kitchen

4 – Finding a good readymade picnic hamper is as rare as hen’s teeth. I find that either you are overcharged for the amount of food contained, or you have a range of items that you wouldn’t have chosen yourself. So hats off to Warwick Street Kitchen in Leamington Spa. Their £20 picnic for two is packed with charcuterie, hummus, salad, anti pasti, bread and flapjack bites. You can even borrow a basket and blanket to take with you to nearby Jephson Gardens.

The Cross dessert

5 – The Cross in Kenilworth has launched a new garden menu, featuring classics such as burgers and fish and chips which are cooked and eaten in (you guessed it) their garden! If you ‘re not so lucky with the weather, heading indoors to sample Adam Bennett’s cooking isn’t a hardship with dishes such as corn fed poussin and strawberry sundae on the fixed price lunch menu.

April Food Events

Carluccios Easter biscuits decorating

As Vermillion in Rugby says adios to their paella night, The Encore toasts the Bard in a special supper for Shakespeare’s birthday. April diary dates for foodies are now on the Events page.

Good Food Guide Readers’ Restaurant of the Year

Good Food Guide

Turners Restaurant in Birmingham has been named as one of the frontrunners for the Midlands region in the Good Food Guide’s Readers’ Restaurant of the Year.  Last year The Bluebell in Henley in Arden scopped the accolade.  Voting is open until 14 April and everyone who submits a nomination will be entered into a free prize draw for a meal for two at the regional winning restaurant most local to them.


February Food Events


From a pancake race at The Almanack to five desserts at the Sweet As Pudding Society, there are new food events for February posted on the Events page.

Table Talk

This week I’ve looked at Burns Night suppers and where to buy authentic ingredients to celebrate at home.

On Wednesday The Bluebell in Henley in Arden will be serving four courses of the best Scottish produce. Starting with cullen skink velouté shots, then Loch Duart cured salmon with beets and horseradish crème fraiche, haggis neeps and tatties with a Glenmorangie jus, finishing off with Simon’s delicious take on the oaty Cranachan. A  Scottish piper in full regalia will pipe the haggis in, which guests can toast with a whiskey and vanilla champagne cocktail. http://www.bluebellhenley.co.uk


At the Hogarth’s Hotel in Solihull, a few wee drams will be sipped to the wistful sound of bagpipes in an homage to Scotland’s finest wordsmith, Robert Burns. The Burns Night menu on Friday 25 January includes traditional cullen skink, haggis with neep and tatties, roast rib eye of beef, with crushed root vegetables and shallot sauce plus dessert of whiskey and caramelised oatmeal crème brûlee for £29.95 per person. http://www.hogarths.co.uk


The Birmingham Whisky Club is holding their four course Burns Night Supper at Birmingham’s oldest pub – The Old Crown in Digbeth on Friday. There will be six whiskeys to taste, specially paired with each course by Craig Mills from The Whisky Shop. Menu and booking details are available here http://www.thebirminghamwhiskyclub.co.uk/#/menu/4572461388

birmingham whisky club

I spotted this board outside Aubrey Allen in Leamington, where you can buy award-winning MacSween haggis from their deli counter, if you intend to celebrate at home.

Aubrey Allen Burns Night






Restaurant News







Local restaurants have launched a new brunch menu, rebranded and won a Good Food Guide award this week.

Blue Bistro in Coventry is now serving brunch at the weekend, including Eggs Menemen and Kedgeree.

The Oak in Hockley Heath has been relaunched as The Warwick, with a new management team and menu that aims to source the finest local ingredients.

Congratulations to The Bluebell in Henley in Arden, who scooped the Good Food Guide’s Readers’ Restaurant of the Year award for the Midlands.




Diamond Jubilee Celebrations

Afternoon teas, picnics and jam-making contests are just some of the feasts planned to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee from The Belfry, Cannon Hill Park and The Bluebell.


Afternoon Tea &

Children’s Cake Classes

2nd – 9th June 2pm

The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield

Served daily from 2pm at £11.95 per person The Belfry’s pastry chef Dean Cole is creating a special strawberry cheesecake, as the icing on the cake of the tiered stands of mini patisseries and finger sandwiches. Children can learn how to make scones, as well as having fun decorating cupcakes in the Union flag colours of red, white and blue, during daily classes at 3pm for £6.50. www.TheBelfry.co.uk

Diamond Decades Party

5th June

Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham

As well as a tea dance and live music stage, Cannon Hill Park will also have an Urban Harvest tea-garden, featuring a record-breaking attempt for the tallest tier of cakes, Jubilee jam-making with fruits grown across the region.

Jubilee Garden Party

5th June 11am – 5pm

Hill Close Gardens, Warwick

Marquees, tea, a Pimms bar and entertainment by Warwickshire County Boys Choir and violin duo Fiddlesticks. Tickets £12.50 with tea. www.hillclosegardens.com


‘Red, White and Bluebell’

Until 9th June

The Bluebell, Henley-in-Arden,

At the 500 year old coaching inn you can savour a special afternoon tea, featuring fine finger sandwiches (including Coronation Chicken), ‘Queen of Hearts’ strawberry tarts with Pimms or champagne and ‘Crown’ cookies to take away.www.thebluebellhenley.co.uk