Hotel Chocolat opens new store on Birmingham New Street with chocolate cafe and Vegan chocolate Christmas range.


’Tis the season to be jolly and it ‘Tis the season for chocolate. Well maybe. Though it’s certainly the season to over indulge on the good things in life and that includes Vegans too.

Luxury British chocolatier and cocoa grower, Hotel Chocolat, has announced the opening of a brand new store in Birmingham New Street, This latest addition, which opened on the 8th November forms part of the company’s boutique portfolio that boasts locations across the UK, Channel Islands and Europe.

Located slap bang outside the Frankfurt German Market its certainly has the location for a top break from the shopping place to unwind.

This latest opening continues the company’s strong design ethos that successfully marries the dual personalities of Hotel Chocolat – namely the sophisticated, fashion-led side of its stylish products and the earthy, authentic aspects of a hands-on cocoa grower. CEO, Angus Thirlwell explains, “Each and every one of our stores is designed to be a real sanctuary for our guests, which connects with the escapism of Hotel Chocolat – so we go to great lengths to ensure they are restful, elegant places that are easy to navigate. But we also want them to reflect that we are one of the world’s few cocoa growing chocolatiers, which is why you’ll find weathered wooden cabinets going hand in hand with sleek, polished surfaces.”

At Hotel Chocolat you’ll find everything from elegant gift boxes of chocolate to your everyday chocolate fix, all made according to our mantra – More Cocoa, Less Sugar – for a satisfying cocoa hit. Our house white chocolate contains 36% cocoa – more than you’ll find in many milk chocolates – while our house milks are 40% and 50% and our house dark is 70%.

That’s not to mention our range of rare and vintage chocolate bars, which includes single-origin chocolates made with premium cocoa from around the world, and even single-côte chocolate – made with beans from a specific terroir, or growing environment – the cocoa content of which can be up to 100%.

Looking for something unusual? For fans of a particular drink there are our cocoa-infused interpretations such as Cocoa Gin and Cocoa Beer, or our new teaolat: a light, all-natural infusion that blends herbs, spices and cacao shells for a refreshing cuppa that’s tailored to your mood.

Meanwhile, foodies will love experimenting with the range of sweet and savoury condiments, including Spiced Cocoa Nib Ketchup, Cocoa Balsamic and Chocolate Orange Marmalade.

You can also set down your Christmas shopping bags and take a weight off at the café, over a range of drinks such as hot chocolat’s, Coffee Chocolat Lattes and teaolat, as well as snacks including an irresistible seven types of brownies.

With ten types of hot chocolate including the divine sounding salted caramel, there’s plenty of choice.

The Birmingham New Street café is also featuring their NEW cocoa nib Ice Cream of the Gods, which is exclusive to select stores only. Infused with St Lucian Theobroma cocoa nibs, direct translation ‘cacao, food of the gods’.

Their will also be fifteen Vegan items in stock in the build up to Christmas. Hotel Chocolat are building up their range.

You can also have Vegan friendly chocolate in your drinks (darker percentages) with coconut milk been the alternative milk served.

Birmingham New Street café opened on 8th November and there will be a customer shopping day on 17th November. Visitors to the store on customer shopping day will be treated to free chocolate samples, as well as café samples and 15% off throughout the store. That’s as well as being able to discover the range of new season chocolates.

www.hotelchocolat.com

Thanks for reading,

Andy😊

Thanks to Hotel Chocolat for the details and all photos are theirs apart from the external shots of the cafe which are my own.

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Opus leads the way in showcasing Birmingham’s independents.


Opus one of the top fine-dining restaurants in Birmingham is leading the charge for independents, joining forces with some of the best talent in the city.

Billed as a celebration of the bespoke, Opus in Cornwall Street is keen to support local businesses that offer something different from the norm and has so far linked up with artists and an award-winning wine merchant.

Pawel Skrzypinski, general manager at Opus, said: “Birmingham is an exciting, diverse city in which to live and work and if you are willing to meander off the beaten track through our lovely city centre, you will be rewarded with shops and artists showcasing an individuality and tailored approach that makes you feel special and appreciated.

“We think it’s really important for independents – especially those who have a natural synergy – to support one another because we have a unique offering. The beauty of being an independent business is that you have the opportunity to team up with whomever you like and over the past few months alone we have found some real stunners with whom to work.”

Over the summer, it is collaborating with Loki Wine, the award-winning wine merchant and wine bar based in Great Western Arcade, enabling customers at both venues to take advantage of some fantastic offers.

Loki is offering 15% off the Loki Wine Tasting Card for Opus Loyalty Card holders, while Opus is offering all holders of a Loki Wine Tasting Card 25% off all bottles of wine purchased (see T&Cs online)  and £10 off the flight of five wines that accompany their weekend five-course tasting menu.

Phil Innes, of Loki Wines, said: “There’s already a natural crossover between Loki and Opus customers but the opportunity to work with the restaurant, which will benefit all our customers could not be passed up. We’re thrilled to collaborate with Opus.”

Sculptor Viv Astling, OBE, has two pieces of art being displayed at the restaurant over the next few months.

An elected member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA) and a former student of the renowned sculptor John Tonks, he uses English limestones particularly from quarries in Portland, Dorset, and Ancaster, Lincolnshire. His piece Turning Point is being displayed at Opus’s reception desk, while Ariel is on display in the bar area.

Bar Opus at One Snowhill has joined forces with Jewellery Quarter-based Argentea Gallery to feature a selection of photographs by Birmingham multi-media artist Sophie Hedderwick from her critically acclaimed series Swift As A Shadow.

Argentea is a new gallery in the Jewellery Quarter launched by Jennie Anderson and is dedicated to showing the very best contemporary photography from both British and international artists.

Jennie said “We were thrilled to have Sophie exhibiting her work at the gallery and to collaborate with Bar Opus is another great way to take her work to a wider audience and engage with people who wouldn’t necessarily think of visiting an art gallery.”

Also at Bar Opus are five works by Birmingham-born innovators Key & Tam, known as LOWLFE. The pair take everyday objects, such as phones, plants, coins and dead insects, and introduces them to the world of miniature people in whimsical settings.

The new collaborations follow Opus’s inaugural art exhibition with Mark Howard of independent fashion store Disorder Boutique earlier this year, when the walls become a canvas for his creations.

Pawel added: “The past few months have been exciting as we have expanded our support network of leading independent talents and we’re looking forward to continuing our efforts to introduce other great Birmingham names to our customers. So make sure to watch this space".

Great to see such a fantastic collaboration between two of the cities best independents.

Also note that Opus are offering 50% off select wine in August. It includes a range that covers most tastes. From lighter summery whites to fruity cherry-like reds and rose wines a bargain is to be enjoyed with the new set price menu or tasting menu.

In Bar Opus news become all Italian and try a Rose Aperol Spritz with complimentary nibbles for £5 from 2-5pm. Aperol Spritz is one of the finest drinks and with added nibbles and hopefully sunshine on the Bar Opus terrace one of the must things to do this Summer in Birmingham. Go on try it!

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

All photos and information courtesy of Opus, Bar Opus and Clive Reeves PR with thanks.

Stirchley Summer Vegan Fair line up. Sunday 7th May



This is the full line up for the Stirchley Summer Vegan Fair tomorrow. 

All these fantastic stalls will be at the Stirchley Summer Vegan Fair this Sunday:

Caterers

ChangeKitchen CIC 
Mex It Up 

Greens Vegan Catering 

Up Raw Catering 

De Fruit Bar 

Raw Organic Kay 

Global Fusion Vegan Creole Bakery 

** Cakes & Confectionery **
The May Bakery 
Debs’ Pantry 

Trishul Raw Chocolate 

Vegan Cake Fairy 

Cakes & ish 

Lakeside Ethical Treats 

Flo’s Kitchen 

The Vegan Food Pod 

Deliciously Honest 

Other Food and Drink:

Go With The Fro 
Annie Mae Cheezy Spreadz 

Nature’s Kitchen 

Butterbelle 

Badgers Dairy & Egg Free 

The Naturally Vegan Food Company 

Jethros Marinades and Sauces 

The Happy Gut Hut 

Besos UK 

Vork pie 

Purely Vegan Store

Clothing and Accessories 

WEAR YOUR VOICE 
Follow The River 

Viva La Vegan 

RogueGypsy 

** Cosmetics & Toiletries ** 
Bohemian Chic Minerals Vegan Cosmetics 
Organik Orangutan 

Clean&Natural 

Eden Perfumes 

Manns Eco Garden 

Bien-être 

** Rescues & Campaigns ** 
Grace’s Rest 
Kozy Katz

Sea Shepherd Supporters UK 

Rudi’s Rescue 

Cats Protection 

Birmingham Animal Action 

Other Stalls:

V Active Cookbooks
Green Badger Arts

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

Christmas at Bar Opus: celebrate with cocktails. 



Bar Opus Winter Cocktail Menu 

Bar Opus’ winter cocktail menu is just what the doctor ordered during this festive season. Featuring a range of sophisticated and elegant drinks. From brunch Martinis to an Opus Manhattan, indulge in classic cocktails made by expert mixologists and with a distinguished Bar Opus twist. Prices start from £6.50.

 CHRISTMAS COCKTAILS

 Bar Opus is getting into the festive spirit with these Cheerful Christmas Cocktails for £6 each

 STOLLEN SOUR

Amaretto, Dry Curacao Orange Liqueur, Madeira, Fresh Lemon.

Sweet and Sophisticated with a hint of Christmas Spice.

 MINCE PIE MARTINI

Gin, Sweet Vermouth, Demerara Rum.

Spiced and Fruity… Santa’s drink of Choice!

 SNOWFLAKE MARTINI

Belgian White Chocolate, Vanilla Vodka, Crème De Cacao.

Naughty or nice, This one’s for you.

 Christmas Party Punch Bowls

 Make Christmas your own bespoke event – FOUR easy steps to your perfect Christmas Party

 STEP 1) Pick your date, and call 0121 200 2323 to book your space at Bar Opus (ask for Irene!)

 STEP 2) Once your date is secured, take a look at our creative list of seasonal cocktails, wines and beers

 STEP 3) Steal the show with our unique Christmas Party Punch Bowls

 Choose one (or more) of our festive concoctions for your event, see below

 FISHBOWL serves 30 glasses (£75) | SUPERBOWL serves 90 glasses (£225)

 St. Clement’s Punch

Gin, Prosecco, Citrus Fruits, Frambois, Sugar Syrup

Peachy Punch

Prosecco, Peach Brandy, Peach Nectar, Orange, Soda

Winter Warmer

Bourbon, Dry Cider, Ginger Ale, Apple Juice, Angostura Bitters, Sugar Syrup

Fruity Punch

(non-alcoholic – 30 glasses £50)

Blood Orange, Cranberries, Mint, Sparkling Apple, Lime


They look full of festive merriment. Enjoy. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊