Award winning Lichfield Gin is a real tonic for Selfridges, Birmingham.


Sometimes a Gin and tonic is the only thing that hits the spot (and I know it) after a long day and this gin is closer in mileage to Birmingham than you may think.

An exclusive gin brewed in Lichfield has landed at Selfridges Birmingham just in time for the weekend 🍸 and Christmas.

The Gin wowed judges in an international competition just five months after launching. Fifth Spire won a gold medal in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in April this year, is made by Greywood Distillery.

Best friends Tom Lindsey and Rory McKerrell registered the business in late 2015 after a few months of making gin as a hobby and set up one of the UK’s smallest micro-distilleries, eventually launching their gin in November last year.

Fifth Spire creates its uniquely flavoured gin using twin copper stills, one of which contains the main botanicals such as juniper berries, coriander seed, cassia bark, angelica root, orris root, liquorice root, pink peppercorns, almonds, and Seville orange peel.

The other is only used for fresh citrus fruits including lemons, limes and grapefruit. When combined, the result is a smooth spirit that has a classic gin base and waves of citrus notes.

Tom said: “To win a gold medal at such a prestigious international competition has really helped to launch our brand and within a month of winning that we were invited to Selfridges.

“We’re  still producing on a very small scale -just a few thousand bottles a year – and we’re thrilled that Birmingham is now the exclusive city centre stockist and we’re looking forward to introducing our premium brand to the department store’s discerning customers.”

Sam Watts, general manager of Selfridges Birmingham, said: “Gin has never been more popular and because our customers are always keen to try out new brands we’re always on the look-out for interesting new talent. Fifth Spire really impressed us and the fact that we’re able to support a local distiller is even better.”

In 2016, UK drinkers bought 40 million bottles of gin – 12% more than the previous year, outstripping sales of sparkling wine and beer. Artisan distilleries are also on the rise, with more than 130 in the UK, double the number from 2012.

Go on enjoy!

THE PERFECT WAY TO SERVE FIFTH SPIRE GIN:<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
ic

Big glass

Lots of ice

Wedge of pink grapefruit

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

Thanks to Clive Reeves PR for information and photo.

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An Afternoon of Hendricks G& Tea at Bar Opus. 


If like me you love afternoon tea, then this deal is for you. If like me you love Gin then this deal is the ideal after Christmas treat we all need in January. 

Bar Opus is one of Birmingham’s best city bars, have teamed up with premium gin makers Hendrick’s.

To celebrate everyone’s love of Afternoon Tea, and one of the finest gins in the world, the collaboration has been created to combine two very British lifestyle staples and create an experience for everyone to enjoy.
There will be three choices of delicious Hendrick’s gin based cocktails served in the Hendrick’s ‘Vintage t-Pot’: the Flora Dora, which mixes lime, raspberry and ginger beer; the fruity Chelsea Rose, which infuses apple, raspberry and lemon or the herbal Martinez with its orange bitters, vermouth, maraschino. 
This uniquely British experience also features a delicious assortment of homemade savoury quiches and sandwiches and sweets of scones, macaroons, lemon drizzle cupcakes and a coffee & walnut cake. 

They also have a completely Vegetarian option as well.

This includes: 

Savouries: 

Humous and Red Pepper Pitta.

Free range egg mayonnaise and cress

Cream cheese and cucumber

Tomato and caramelised onion quiche

Homemade scones with British clotted cream and fresh fruit preserves 

Sweets: 

Homemade macaron

Lemon drizzle cupcakes

Coffee and walnut cake

Hendrick’s premium Gin which was described by the New York Times as “the finest gin in the world is distilled and bottled in Girvan, western Scotland and will be served alongside the tasty treats to compliment.
Irene Allen, Director at Opus, said: “We wanted to marry our love of traditional British cuisine with everyone’s love for a stiff drink. Whether you are a gin lover or just a fan of afternoon tea, there is certainly something for everyone.”

The unique experience is £50 for two people and is available every Saturday from Jan 7th at Bar Opus from 2pm to 6pm. 

As well as this, from January, every first and third Saturday, they will be hosting Live Music featuring local talent courtesy of EQ Music from 6pm to 8pm.

For more information on Bar Opus’ Hendrick’s Afternoon Tea Experience, visit http://baropus.co.uk/

Sounds a lovely new year treat. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊


All images courtesy of Bar Opus and Clive Reeves PR. 

Love Gin? Get to Gin Fields at The High Field Edgbaston, Saturday 13th August. 


 

Could gin be the drink of connoisseurs? On the rocks, with a slosh of tonic or as part of a perfect martini, gin is the ideal Sunner drink. That clear liquor, the backbone of these irreplaceable drinks and others in between. 

Well, 

The High Field in Edgbaston is staging a fabulous festival for the grown-ups that’s all about celebrating the great drink that is gin.

So if you do love a refreshing gin cocktail or classic gin and tonic and want  to learn a bit more about this great English tipple in the glorious surroundings of a gorgeous city gastropub garden? Then get to The High Field in Edgbaston on Saturday 13th August for Gin Fields.

 Gin Fields is a fabulous festival for the grown-ups that’s all about celebrating the great drink that is gin. The entire afternoon and evening will be dedicated to it, and there’ll be oodles of ways to try Mother’s Ruin as well as discovering things you never knew about gin.

 Sidle up to the big outside bar and take a peak at the fantastic selection of premium gins on offer. There’ll be favourites from the High Field’s list like Brockmans, Hendrick’s and Whitley Neill as well as a few special guest appearances from some rare and unusual gins. Look out for Salcombe Gin, a smooth and delicious gin handcrafted in Devon using 13 different botanicals, the finest English wheat spirit and pure Dartmoor water and Brilliant Gin, a delicately flavoured artisan small batch spirit, alongside William Chase GB and Big Boss Gin.

Expert gin makers from some of these top distillers will also be on hand to share their love of gin and chat to you about its heritage, character and flavour, and then it will be down to the serious business of tasting. 

Sip on a refreshing gin and elderflower slush puppy or a fruity gin bramble or shake things up with a sensational gin and pink grapefruit. Cool down with a Jude’s G&T ice cream and lollies from Birmingham newcomers Creamed Pops. There will also be the ultimate G&T as well as cocktails galore. Listen to sounds from the DJ who will be spinning the decks all afternoon and pick something tasty from the BBQ to go with your gin.

 “We’ve all got a soft spot for gin here at The High Field and our grand gins always slip down a treat,” says The High Field’s general manager, Sarah Robinson. “But this time we’re making it really special by turning our whole garden into a celebration of the drink. Whether you fancy a drink that’s long or short, refreshing or sweet, gin is just great and we look forward to mixing you the perfect one at Gin Fields,” she says.

Tickets for Gin Fields at The High Field cost £10 and are only available on the door on the day, Saturday 13th August, from 2pm. Entry fee includes a G&T on arrival, gin tasters and a keepsake Grand Gin glass for mixing the perfect gin at home. Gin Fields ends at 6pm and will be held indoors in the event of rain.

Driving after Gin Fields is definitely NOT an option so it you fancy making a night of it, why not book one of the comfy rooms at The High Field Town House right next door?

Simply book by going to http://www.highfieldtownhouse.co.uk or emailing Bookings@highfieldtownhouse.co.uk

The High Field is at 22 Highfield Road, Edgbaston, B15 3DP. Tel: 0121 227 7068. 

http://www.highfieldedgbaston.co.uk/ Highfield@peachpubs.com @_TheHighField http://www.facebook.com/TheHighFieldEdgbaston

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

  
The High Field Garden. 

Above Photos  courtesy of The High Field with thanks. 

Review: Veggie Burger Watch: Jekyll and Hyde, Birmingham. 


  

I think you can tell a lot about a pub/restaurant by its veggie burger. Vegetarian burgers can be tricky to make as they sometimes don’t hold their shape and the consistency in the ingredients are imbalanced and hence the flavours and textures don’t quite work. I’m on a quest to find the best veggie burger in Birmingham. Of course I’ll eat them anywhere, but that is where I live so why not. I like a challenge. 

  
The Jekyll and Hyde is one of my favourite pubs in Birmingham City Centre. Owned by independent Bitters n’ Twisted the people behind Birmingham venues Island, The Victoria, Bodega and Marmalade amongst others. Offering a wide range of drinks from G & T to cocktails, to real ales and mocktails. The cocktail menu is inventive and the G&T menu enticing. Plus with it’s Alice and Wonderland like courtyard is great in the Summer months. 

The upstairs bar, Dr Jekyll’s Gin Parlour. All dark wood, decadent drinking and a gin infused eat me drink me fusion menu in the latter part of the week is a bar of moral ill repute. See my review here. 

https://vegiefoodie.com/2014/08/28/the-jekyl-and-hyde-gin-infused-menu-in-the-gin-parlour/

It has over 90 gins and offers gin flights and cocktail master classes. 

Downstairs, Mr Hyde’s Main Bar is more retro, quirky and Cosy. Turn up one evening for a quick half and you may stay all night. The bar with cask ales, ciders and cocktails is a jewel of design and for raucous shenanigans can’t be beaten. 

It is here that the main food menu is taken. 

   
 The Mr Hyde Burger: Sweet Potato and Home made chick pea falafel with sweet chilli sauce was a very good towering veggie burger. 

The Flavours and textures of the burger were spot on. The hold of the burger was fine, stated firm, but soft. The chick pea falafel blended well with the sweet potato and with the sweetness of the chilli sauce for dipping made for a satisfying dinner.  Where the dish fell down was with my fries which were sadly not so crisp and didn’t have much of a potato flavour.  They weren’t the freshest and let the good quality burger down unfortunately. 

Ruth and I also ordered some onion rings on the side which were pleasantly the real deal and were superb. 

  
The onion rings fully made up for the disappointing chips. 

Yet the burger was a joy and certainly one of the best I’d had in Birmingham with good balanced flavours and was a fitting tribute to Mr Hyde. 

My burger was enjoyed with a pint of hobgoblin Gold and a pint of Sadlers Stout. Both superb beers, with the Gold in particular going well with the burger. 

   
    
   
Eaten in the lovely Jekyll and Hyde pub the veggie burger is to be recommended and taken with keen ales or decadent cocktails makes for a fun quirky evening. 

In fact the pub is unique in Birmingham for its eclectic drinks list and inventive shenanigans. The dark realm of Mr Hyde’s bar is perfect for drinking in the potion of veggieness and the gourmet dining of cold beer, it’s a firm favourite of mine, but please leave out your chips from Dr Jekyll’s microwave. 

http://www.thejekyllandhyde.co.uk/

28 Steelhouse lane, City Centre, Birmingham, B4 6BJ. 

0121-236 0345.

With independent Birmingham membership you receive 20% off food from Monday-Thursday. 

http://independent-birmingham.co.uk/

   
   
Disclosure: We paid for our own food and drinks. My opinions are honest and accurate of my experience as always. 

#Veggiesundayroast: The Highfield, Edgbaston, Birmingham.


    

The Highfield resides in a striking 1920’s Art Deco property. It’s classic white villa sits poshly in leafy Edgbaston looking inviting, cool and content in its new venture. 

The Highfield is now a gastro pub and restaurant rolled into one. With a lovely garden and two terraces it makes for a space to lounge in and take in those rays. This was the second time I’d visited, the time before pre Christmas for their Christmas menu (see here http://t.co/PM0y53KO5l ) and  I’ve always fancied Sunday Lunch there. It can be the best meal of the week, yes even for veggies. 

On a Sunday they serve a Sunday roast alongside a full alternative menu, dependent on your appetites. It’s good value at £11.50 for the vegetarian variety. The meat options slightly more. 

Sitting opposite Simpsons Restaurant and The Edgbaston bar and boutique hotel, The Highfield White and bright from the outside offers much the same inside. It has an inviting luxurious charm on entering. The bar area is often buzzing, though on a Sunday lunchtime was quieter and yes bar tables were free. 

  
I was visiting with Ruth, my parents and my uncle, on my recommendation, so the pressure was on 😊

We began in the bar with the compulsory (in my world) local  Langley’s No’ 8 Gin. This time with tonic, no junipers or cocktails today. Though recommended.

  
The lovely up front flavour of the gin, classic, perfectly balanced, with a robust flavour and smooth. A lovely gin, made not far away from The Highfield. A good start. 

So into the restaurant. The decor is contemporary, chic in a good way, with comfortable sofas and a light spacious feel about it. It’s a glorious eating space, so much natural light especially on a sunny day. Roll on Summer. 

   
 

I ordered for my starter the healthy sounding and vegan warm superfood salad of salt baked beetroot, lentils, and baby spinach, beetroot and thyme dressing. First of all its a feast for the eyes, bright and colourful. It was lovely, more filling than I initially thought, with contrasting beetroot favours and warning lentils against a crisp lettuce. It felt wholesome, interesting and easy on the eye. 

Ruth and my parents chose the vegetarian soup of the day. Warming tomato flavours with good croutons. It went down well. 

  
The veggie Sunday roast option was a Veggie nut roast Wellington, with roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables, celeriac and parsnip purée, Yorkshire pudding and veggie gravy. 

   

   
We also ordered a side of Cauliflower cheese

   

 

The nut roast Wellington was excellent. It had a good combination of mixed nuts, was moist and not over cooked in any way. It was a large portion and with the vegetables and yorkshire proved to be a filling roast. I liked the flavours, it felt home made and it showed an understanding of how a veggie roast can work when done well. 

We all felt that it would have been better had the vegetables been not so green (mangetout, and Broccoli) and had a contrasting colour in the bowl, maybe carrots or squash. But they were cooked well all the same. 

The Cauliflower cheese was lovely, a good cheesy flavour and cooked well. It Made for a contrasting colour on the plate. 

The roasties were very good, a proper job as were the Yorkshire puddings. 

   
 

For desert I did order the sticky toffee pudding, but it was probably the worst I ever had. Dry, overlooked, zero sauce. Inediable. The Highfield did kindly deduct the price from the bill after I explained. 

The Highfield’s veggie roast was very enjoyable.

The service was good throughout, friendly and mostly attentive, it didn’t feel rushed. The dining room is a lovely light space for daytime eating, with a garden view. This is certainly a plus when deciding upon a Sunday roast venue. For vegetarians it’s a good place to eat. The veggie roast is well made, filling and delicious. 

The Highfirld is an elegant and restrained dining venue but without any pretension. 

The Sunday roast is good value and with the quality seasonal ingredients used is ‘full of the good stuff’. 

Food is served all day from 8am-11pm. 

  
We paid for own meal. All opinions are my own and honest as always. 

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

The Highfield, 22 Highfield Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 3DP. 

0121-227-7068.

http://www.highfieldedgbaston.co.uk/
The sample menu: 

http://www.highfieldedgbaston.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/SAMPLE-SUNDAY-BEST.pdf
  
   
   

  Photo courtesy of The Highfield. 

An introduction to The Botanist Birmingham 


  

        

When is a review not a review when it’s an introduction to, as in this case to The Botanist recently opened on Temple Street Birmingham. 

I was kindly invited to the media lunch before it opened officially to try some of the cocktails and Vegetarian dishes. 

   

 

The Botanist is very impressive to look at, it has a cool chic feel about it, almost cosy pub, but offering more depth and discoveries the further you go in. When you walk through the wrought iron gates you discover an inner conservatory area that I like a lot, a kind of posh parlour. Then through a door into the bar area. 

Introducing The Botanist, think Gardeners world studying plant life and indulging in cocktails and food, and  no carrots and rhubarb in sight. (Well maybe on the menu).

The decor untreated wood floors, a mix of vintage looking furniture, quirky chandeliers, watering cans, lamps that are constructed from rope pulleys, and a glorious sky light in the bar area that lets the natural light into an already light bar.  

     

On entering I was offered the cocktail menu, which is long (and that’s not just the style of cocktail) which was like reading the what’s what of cocktails and who’s who’s who at the same time. I liked that though. It allowed me to follow my test of asking for a recommendation based on the Martini part of the menu. Ed behind the bar suggested I tried The  Botanist Pornstar, ( black cow vodka, and Passoa shaken with fresh passion fruit, strawberry purée, rose syrup, pineapple juice, and lemon, served with a shot of prosecco. 

  

   

     

It was excellent, fruity, herby, with a powerful kick and with a good amount of vodka. An interesting combination of fresh fruit, and purées, a lovely introduction. Thanks Ed😊🍸

The bar area is quite large, but feel intimate and has a really light airy feel about it. From there you can just about see the restaurant peeking out beyond, which I feel gives a feeling of temptation to move over to that part of The  Botanist to try the food, and to explore.  The Botanist has an open kitchen which is also fun. 

It was good to see fellow food bloggers there and after been seated in the restaurant, which is a mixture of table types with some benches, and very nice and light, we were able to choose the food from the menu. 

   

   

I mentioned the menu in my last post. See here http://t.co/xN8TYij74M and mentioned the Vegetarian options. 

The dishes I ate were: 

From the starters and nibbles section Pan Fried garlic Mushrooms. With crusty bread and truffle butter. A nice dish beautifully presented in a small wheelbarrow. The mushrooms were fresh, well flavoured, and with a good strong garlic flavour running through made for a lovely starter. 

   

     

Salt and Pepper onion petals: A good nibbling sharing dish, salty, with a nice sour cream to dip into. 

Flatbread: very good bread, fresh and good for breaking. 

  

For my main course I ordered the Hanging Kebab with Halloumi and couscous. With a sweet chilli, ginger and garlic butter.

   

   

A spectacular looking dish, very theatrical. The waiter poured the sauce over the kebab from above so the sauce filtered over the veg and Halloumi onto the cous cous. The sauce added a nice tasty bite to the dish (there was an option to have the kebab with chips instead of cous cous but I felt that wouldn’t work so well as the chips may become soggy and wet fom the dripping sauce). We were given a small plate that the veg and Halloumi can be eaten off with the cous cous. 

The Hanging Kebab with the cous cous worked well as the sauce gave it a coating that made for a fuller rounder flavour. The Halloumi was well cooked, but could have done with a couple more pieces in my opinion. The veg was cooked perfectly and the dish looked fun and smart. 

I also ordered The Botanist cocktail green mark vodka, Havana 3 Rum, elderflower liqueur, red amarinth, mint, jasmine syrup, and lime juice topped with lemonade. I really enjoyed this cocktail, the combinations of vodka and rum worked well and with the mint and juices added a fruity touch that was delicious. 

   

   

I didn’t order a desert on this occasion but hope to on my next visit. 

I ordered an Americano coffee that was very prettily presented in nice flowery mugs.

It was a lovely introduction to The Botanist the service was good, friendly and very informed of the menu and cocktails offering recommendations and having a good knowledge of the dishes on the menu. I would on reflection like to see maybe at least one more vegetarian dish on the main menu, maybe two as not everyone takes to the smaller plate trend and may not like the kebab. As a chain, that I’m often suspect of, The Botanist seems to have that quirky botanical difference that makes it feel special and unique in the city, fresh like the herbs. Here’s hoping it stays that way, but as a cocktail venue  its possibly the best in Birmingham, and offered the most thoughtful and eclectic menu of passionate botanist indulgences and this along with the solidly good Vegetarian food is to be applauded. 

  

   

           

I was invited as a guest to the preview media lunch at The Botanist and hence the food and drink was complimentary. Thanks to the Botanist and to WPRAgency for the invite. 

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊

For menus see below link: 

http://thebotanist.uk.com/menus/birmingham

http://thebotanist.uk.com/location/birmingham

The Botanist, 14-16 Temple Street, Birmingham, B2 5BG

0121 6007430

#TastyMorsel: The Botanist: out of the garden into the city of Birmingham 


      

The Botanist, bar, restaurant will open in Birmingham officially on the 6th April and will be a concept like no other. 

Think, whimsical and eccentric design, interior and a garden theme that makes grow your own seem even more attractive than it already is. 

Beyond the wrought iron gates of Chamberlain House On Temple Street The Botanist offers for Vegetarians some good and varied food choices, and then it also has cocktails, Martinis in fact and long cocktails, so many good reasons to visit. 

In fact 45 cocktails and 85 bottled beers are on offer. Plus real ales from Birmingham’s own Two Towers Brewery, and Oakham brewery, 

The Botanist is located on Temple Street in the heart of Birmingham City centre just off New Street and near the cathedral in an area that is becoming foodie central and the place for food or a bar crawl. 

The contemporary garden decor and live entertainment (music every day) should create a buzz, but it’s the food and cocktails I wish to highlight. 

For Vegetarians the starters and nibbles and deli boards part of the menu are enticing, think homemade Humous boards, Turkish flatbreads, salads, garlic mushrooms, cheese, and roasted red peppers. 

For £ 9.75 you can buy 4 items with Turkish Flatbread, and though it seems on first glance a bit salad heavy for vegetarians and vegans should taste good and be a good share. With the cocktails on offer by The Botanist sharing  is for me where it’s at. Though some may prefer a larger plate. 

Also on the menu for veggies is a home comfort cheese and onion pie, a Halloumi kebab with couscous, which is lovely and of course deserts, such as their sticky toffee pudding. 

I was lucky enough to be invited on the   2nd to the media lunch, which was excellent as you will see in my preview post next week. 

Some of the photos from The Botanist lunch below: 

  

   

   

   

   

   

           

   

   

Alongside the botanical cocktails are cask ales, champagnes, a good mocktail list, and ciders. 

Run by Living Ventures (New World Trade Company) who also have bars in Manchester and Newcastle, manager Julian Rose-Gibb ( formally of The Victoria) says it will feel like ‘home from home’ and will be a good living, working venue with a lively atmosphere, and eccentric design. 

Find The Botanist on 14-16 Temple Street, Birmingham B2 8BG. 

0121 600 7430

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊 

       


Photos courtesy of The Botanist. 

Amantia: New Spanish restaurant, Birmingham


    

The other evening Myself and Ruth had the privilege of been invited to the launch along with other lovely Birmingham food bloggers of new Spanish restaurant Amantia on Bennetts Hill in Birmingham City Centre near New Street. 

Amantia is an independent family run restaurant that showcases well presented Spanish dishes opposite the Briar Rose in Central Birmingham and just up from Bodega. 

Housed in the iconic Sun House offices  (once insurance offices) next door to Burne Jones House. 

  

Run by husband and wife team chef Andrea and front of house Marta Retanaga it has a design of sophistication yet informality and will be a hit with the lunch time crowd in the Colmore Business District. 

Amantia represents the name of some ruins near Andrea’s Birthplace, but also contains the initials of their children. 

The food is a mixture of tapas, pastas and crepes and for veggies has good and interesting options. 

On the night of the launch I tasted a couple of the dishes a lovely authentic and indulgent tortilla da patata (Spanish potato Tortilla) and a lovely cheesy blue cheese and truffle croquettes (croquetas) which was good and a tempting introduction to their tapas dishes, which I love. 

Croquetas    

 

Though the options for veggies were limited on the night, I was impressed with what I ate to feel excited about returning and trying the fuller tapas and food menu. 

Also on the menu for Vegetarians are:

Tapas:

Creamy mushroom croquetas (croquettes) 

Homemade crepes: 

Cremosa: leek and spinach bechamel

Rustica: Roasted aubergine, sundried tomatoes, and mascarpone cheese.

Pasta

Ravioli con berenjena: aubergine and scamorza cheese in a creamy spinach and walnut sauce. 

Greek Salad

Deserts include tiramisu and crepes. 

There are also main course options so a traditional three course meal can be had too. (No veggie main course) 

Amantia also specialise in Gin and have dozens of artisan brands. Plus gin cocktails, good wines and Spanish beer. 

As a venue and style of food Amentia is unique in central Birmingham and offers quality and independence in abundance, and for that it’s very welcome amongst the chains nearby. 

Keep an eye on my blog for a further review soon. 

Amantia Spanish restaurant, 9-10 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham, B2 5RS

0121 643 3647

http://www.amantia.co.uk/

Menu see below link. 

https://attachment.fbsbx.com/file_download.php?id=407589196069551&eid=AStK6r4xxszDt8pE–K2RqKLpJDvbqv5W0ggf879sTo1UMIXtygIHUS-KHTy2EEqjuE&ext=1427109630&hash=ASt7diglUlL_rIqP

I was invited to the launch of Amentia so all food and drink was complimentary. My opinions are my own and no post was required, but I’m so happy to write one. 

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊


Christmas Dinner at The Highfield, Edgbaston


It’s taken awhile for me to visit The Highfield, a lots been going on in the last few months, but I’m so glad I left a first visit until Christmas as our first experience was exceptional.

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Last Friday Ruth and I with my parents visited to try out their Christmas menu.

The Highfield sits in leafy Edgbaston opposite Simpsons restaurant (the place ruth and I had our first Christmas meal at) and near the lovely Edgbaston bar and hotel.

It’s white colour stands out, a lovely villa type building that looks the part from the outside and inside is as cool as a cucumber and on a busy Friday before Christmas was buzzy and lively.

Initially the service was leaden and as lumpy as Carvery custard, but greatly got better though I was unsure why the waiter that took us to our table told me I couldn’t have a Langley’s Gin Martini at the table, very odd.

Ruth chose her obligatory Cosmopolitan and I chose a Langley’s gin and tonic with juniper berries. Both were stunning, and a great way to begin a meal, good choices.

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So to the food.

My parents and Ruth chose the mushroom soup and porcini cream which they all loved and it certainly looked delicious.

I chose the whipped butternut squash, goats curd, and baby leaves, tossed seeds. A really enjoyable dish, the whipped squash cooling and delicious against the crunch of seeds a thoroughly lovely starter.

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Myself and my Mum both chose the veggie option as we both are, which I would say was a surprising delight of flavours and a real joy as a main course.

The shallot, and chestnut Bourguignon, beetroot relish dish was very memorable. The depth of flavour of the red wine sauce with the chestnut and the zing of the shallots, a superb dish. All main courses were served with vegetables and it proved a worthy Christmas dinner main course.

My Dad and Ruth both had the turkey and this went down well too.

To end I had the White chocolate Valrhona cheesecake which was creamy and very enjoyable too. An excellent cheese cake. Light and with a lovely delicate Baileys flavour running subtly through.

As a gastro pub The Highfield is certainly adept in the kitchen, as a bar a place to have a drink and move on.

The cooking at every level was a notch above expectation for a Christmas dinner and wetted my appetite for a Sunday lunch in the new year.

The veggie options were original and very rewarding.

Our Highfield visit, well better late than never. One to return to again and again.

A buzzy gastro pub and restaurant, with cracking thoughtful food.

The High field
22 Highfield Road
Birmingham

0121 227 7063

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Bar Opus launch for breakfast, lunch, and after 5pm fun


Bar Opus is the newborn child of the Opus family of restaurants that include Opus on Cornwall Street and Cafe Opus at the Ikon Gallery. Both firm favourites of mine 🙂

This week Ruth and I were kindly invited by Ann and David of Opus to attend one of their pre launch evenings to sample the ‘after 5’ sharing plates and some of the drinks.

Bar Opus is at No’ 1 Snow hill, Birmingham City centre, a new complex behind Snowhill Station. That it resides in such a nice location is a positive for the bar with a clutch of through foot traffic, local businesses and the new Midland Metro tram line nearby when it’s complete.

Bar Opus has an inviting terrace area for those Alfresco lazy summer days and evenings which I can imagine will be a real sun trap and will provide the Birmingham with a continental type atmosphere.

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On arrival we were greeted with two glasses of Champagne and were straight away impressed with the light and modern decor which is a mix of Cafe Opus decor and a continental inspired light openness.

The bar was busy, with a lovely atmosphere. The bar area is split into a long bar, an open kitchen, some seating in the windows around tables for eating on and some bar stools and tables.

Near the bar is an impressive Musee d’Orsay (art gallery in Paris, if you haven’t been go) clock (see photos above) which gives
Bar Opus a real iconic central image that invites the eye. A real symbol of the bar and its continental leanings.

As a vegetarian I have always loved the Opus food, whether the formal Opus restaurant or the laid back cafe in Brindley Place with its fab terrace and Meat Free Monday menu.

The ‘After 5’ sharing plates were what we had come to sample. The premise is that from the open kitchen the chefs will serve up a variety of dishes from £4.50 onto plates where the colour indicates the price. The waiter will at the end count the plates you’ve had and produce your Bill.
The plates include meat, fish and vegetarian a whole plate is £10.50.

Ruth tried the meat and fish options that were handed round and loved the complex flavours and in some cases simplicity of the dishes, they were presented in a delicious looking way.

My vegetarian options were plentiful. The ones that stand out are the confit tomato & mozzarella croquettes, which were delicious, real Italian creamy mozzarella, which complemented a complex and lovely tomato texture. The other I enjoyed was the Daylesford organic cheddar rarebit which was the best cheese on toast ever.

They reminded me of the type of food that you find in Aperitivo hour in Italy which is a very relaxed thing to do with friends and family..try it with a Aperol or Campari Spritz or Negroni.

The food I tried at Bar Opus in conclusion was made with the same high quality ingredients as at the other two venues and I was impressed with the vegetarian selection on all the menus. The all day menu includes four different options which is superb.

To add I also enjoyed a lovely Negroni Cocktail which was well made and probably the best I’ve had in Birmingham.

Bar Opus has a lengthy cocktail list, a good wine menu and also stocks craft beer and their very own Opus lager. A lot of the menu has local gin makers Langley’s on it, the Negroni was made with Langley’s gin.

Bar Opus is a superb addition to Birmingham’s food and bar scene. As an all day venue from breakfast until evening it’s going to be a very popular and exciting place to go.

I can’t wait to visit properly and try out their all day menu and ‘After 5’ options in full.

Bar Opus is a bar redefined.

Thanks to Ann and David for their invites. The food and first two drinks were on the house and our glasses of wine hereafter were paid in full by me. I was not required to write a post for my blog.

All opinions are honest and my own.

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Bar Opus
1 Snowhill piazza
Birmingham
B4 6GH

0121 289 3939

Open from

7am-11pm Monday to Friday
10am-11pm Saturday

@baropus

http://www.baropus.co.uk

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