In Praise of: Hampton Manor in Hampton in Arden. 


If awards are given for hard work and patience then Peels Restaurant at Hampton Manor in Hampton in Arden, just outside of Birmingham deserve their Michelin Star awarded in 2016 (and retained in 2017) more than anyone. This exquisite hotel is a beautiful place to stay and eat in as Ruth and I found in late 2015.

At that time we believed the food was worthy of a star but it was only a year later that the award was bestowed upon them.

Peels Restaurant at Hampton Manor uses ingredients well, provenance to ingredients, well constructed dishes, thoughtful menu that demonstrated a kitchen in The groove.

Sumptuous rooms, comfortable and beautifully presented, with a thoughtful design to the past but highlighting modern touches and character of the building.

Hampton manor is a lovely and beautiful independent hotel with some of the best food in The Midlands and beyond.

It’s clever with fresh produce, local and home grown and has a modern refinement that is more contemporary than classical.

The dining room is sumptuously lit which gives a romantic delight to the meal. Dark wood and contemporary wallpaper make it feel grand but relaxed.

Start the evening in the lounge with a glass of champagne or cocktail.

For Vegetarians the food at Peels restaurant is a delight.

Very High standards are presented in the dishes.

The dishes are exciting, intriguing, and innovative, with balanced seasonal

ingredients which showcase the polished and modern ideas. It’s a special place to dine with exceptional service. An essential place for Vegetarians to dine and stay.

Now, there are slight changes afoot, but made for the best in order to take the hotel forward. James and Fjona Hill have ideas to make Hampton Manor more luxurious and inviting.

James says:

‘We’ve come a long way since Mum and Dad opened the doors of our first English pub in 1986. Many years later they let us loose on developing the Manor. Fjona and I were just 26 and it was a daunting task to take on. We have made so many wonderful friends through the business and grown as a family in our vision to steward Hampton Manor for generations to come.

Our conviction is that the house really sparks into life when people gather around the table. Meaningful moments need memorable places. With this in mind, we have taken the decision to make your time around the table our singular focus. Whether you’re coming to enjoy a foodie experience with friends, a landmark celebration, or bringing your innovative company to plan for the future, we’re making some changes to ensure that we deliver the very best hospitality.

Over the last year we have been quietly refurbishing the bedrooms, developing the in-room experience and refining our food and drink offering. Last month we brought together the finishing touches by reimagining the dining room and lobby spaces of the house.  At last it feels like home and the relaxed, creative space that we’ve been working towards.

To make the most of this next chapter our family has reflected on how we can best redesign the business. Our goal has been to give our team the time needed to prepare well and ensure that everything we do enriches your time around the table.  The changes we’re sharing below are the small steps we’re taking to do that.

My Vegetarian four courses menu.

Blueberries

Textures of cauliflower.

Petit fours at Hampton Manor

Cocktails: Gin Martini

Extra cheese course.

The A La Carte menu is being replaced with a choice of two 4 Course menus or the 7 course tasting menu.  

Head chef Rob Palmer has been busy creating new dishes. With the determination to raise the quality even further.

Veggie menus available.

Dinner Available Tuesday to Sunday on a reservation only basis.

From Wednesday 11th October the Parlour doors will swing open and beckon guests into a new afternoon tea experience.

Guests will be invited in at 3pm for a garden-led cocktail, followed by a procession of savoury and sweet creations. Whilst there will be a nod to the traditions – this is an afternoon tea for the foodie. The delicious warm scones will still make an appearance and perhaps even occasionally a very good finger sandwich.

Veggie and vegan options available.

£40 per person. Tuesday – Saturday at 3pm. Reservations only.

Delicious Vegetarian Breakfast at Hampton Manor.

Our Bedroom at Hampton Manor.

The first to stay in it.

Hampton Manor from outside.

The grounds are also stunning with a wildness and sophistication that makes for a cool escape. It’s hard to believe it’s so close to the built up city and provides a home from home that lacks nothing in splendour and relaxation. It’s an outstanding place to stay with joyous food and service to match.

I can’t wait to return.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

Congratulations to Hampton Manor for achieving a Michelin Star in 2017, for a second year running.

Hampton Manor

Shadowbrook lane,

Hampton-in-arden, West Mids B92 0DQ.

United Kingdom.

https://hamptonmanor.com/

All photos taken by myself.

We paid for our stay and food/drinks in full.

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Ring in the holiday season with Park Regis afternoon tea. 


Park Regis Birmingham has added a very special festive Christmas Afternoon Tea.

Here It’s beginning to taste a lot like Christmas.

Afternoon tea is a lovely treat as a gift, party, or special romantic indulgence.

It’s Available until the end of the year, visitors to the hotel’s 1565 Bar and Lounge will be able to enjoy a delicious afternoon tea full of tempting festive treats and even a glass of fizz.
Park Regis’ Festive Afternoon Tea includes ‘Snow White’ marshmallow (check for veggies) and coconut knot, lemon frangipane drizzle, clementine mousse, ‘Nut-Crackers’ dark chocolate macarons, scones with jam and clotted cream, and a glazed ‘Egg-Nog’ brulee tart – all of which are certain to leave you Santa-sfied.

For Vegetarians alongside this it will include The below replacement sandwiches. Vegans can also be catered for with advance notice (same for veggies)

– Roast pepper and hummus
– Mozzarella and pesto
– Mediterranean roast vegetable and aioli

Alongside this are a delicious assortment of savoury snacks, including British roast turkey sandwiches with cranberry and apple chutney, Warwickshire truckle cheese with red onion chutney sandwiches and ‘Sleigh’ roasted sirloin of beef on a toasted brioche bun. To kick the whole thing off are a duo of festive amuse bouches Which can be veggie.

The Afternoon Tea comes with a selection of teas, coffees and hot chocolate, and for those really looking to get into the festive spirit, a glass of Prosecco is available as an extra treat for just £5.

Robin Ford, General Manager of Park Regis, said: “Our Afternoon Tea has already proved to be extremely popular throughout the year, but we’ve been busy giving it a festive makeover just in time for Christmas.

“It’s the perfect way for couples, families and friends to finish an afternoon of Christmas shopping as it provides visitors with the opportunity to sit down and enjoy some fantastic festive treats in the comfort of our 1565 Bar & Lounge.”
Park Regis’ Christmas Afternoon Tea is available at £25 and tables can be booked by calling 0121 369 5555.

Looks a lovely seasonal tea in one of Birmingham finest hotels.

As a veggie My advise is always to check the ingredients used in the above treats. Substitutes may be available with the sweet ones.

For more information see

http://www.parkregisbirmingham.co.uk/

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

Park Regis Birmingham, 160 Broad Street, Birmingham, B15 1DT.

Yoga and a view with Yoga Sweat launched at Rofuto, Birmingham.


  
Yoga with a view.

  

  
I’ve eaten at Rofuto and drunk some amazing Japanese whiskey in their bar. This though is something different. Rofuto Sweat begins on Sunday September 11th from 10.30-11.30.

A new weekly yoga workout with a view. It will include DJ’s and different brands as it progresses. 

Food and health and well been are so intrinsically linked that you can say you are what you eat and drink. 

As a vegetarian health issues have always been important to me and yoga is a beautiful way to become more fit and supple. In time though the gentle harmony of yoga practice can link ones fitness with their approach to life and how they see the world. An inner peace, the essence of yoga, evolving.

  
So now you can escape the city and join Yoga Sweat every Sunday at Rofuto Bar for weekly rooftop yoga at 141ft in the sky, with breathtaking 360 degree views of Birmingham.

Rofuto the newly opened modern Japanese restaurant and bar has collaborated with Yoga Sweat to offer ‘Yoga with a View’ classes every Sunday at 10.30am for £15 per person. The classes will be held in the bar area, an oasis of calm with panoramic views of the city. 

The hour long classes include a freshly squeezed Rofuto Super Juice and will be led by Yoga Sweat’s founder Andrea Hassett. The yoga sessions will work up to a flow, challenge yogis of all abilities and allow guests to work at their own pace, build strength, flexibility and leave you feeling refreshed and re-energized. The visual aspect of rooftop yoga ensures people feel more uplifted, and encourages a positive, open yoga practice.

 Rofuto offers an izakaya-style restaurant, serving a high quality modern Japanese menu of world class dishes and sits alongside the stunning cocktail lounge and sake bar in its unique rooftop position at the new Park Regis Hotel.

Founded by Andrea Hassett in 2014, Yoga Sweat’s mission is to bring a new, unique yoga offering to the people of Birmingham. Andrea has practiced yoga for over 14 years and instructed for seven. She honed her craft travelling the world gathering insights and techniques from some of the finest teachers working across the USA and Europe.

Access to the classes is via an Express Lift at the Rofuto entrance on Five Ways

All Sessions cost £10 for non members and £5 for Yoga Sweat members for a one hour session from 10.30-11.30am.

Bookings must be made in advance via Yoga Sweat on 0121 643 7772

Address: Rofuto Bar

Park Regis Hotel

160 Broad Street

Birmingham, B15 1DT                    

 Website: http://rofuto.co.uk/

Facebook: rofutobham

#Rofutosweat 

Twitter: @RofutoTweets #yogawithaview          

Instagram: rofuto  

Thanks for reading, 

Andy😊

Information and images courtesy of Rofuto and Neil Reading PR.

For my review of Rofuto’s food see the link below.

https://t.co/6UA9milYc8


 

 

Restaurant review: Marco’s New York Italian at the Holiday Inn, Birmingham Airport. 


  
Airports, love them or hate them, they are not necessarily the place you go for good food. That arrives when you get to your destination, that far flung land of foodie decadence and if like me over indulgence. 

Though Marco’s New York Italian isn’t in the forecourt like some other ‘foodie faves’, it sits quite perfectly in the Holiday Inn that is within a short distance of the terminals and forms part of Birmingham Airports hotels. In fact a shuttle link takes you to the dreaded check in (my thoughts!) and that far flung land. 

I have to say, honestly that eating in a Holiday inn wasn’t my idea of a fun Friday night, but I’d seen photos of the restaurant and felt reassured that it is a place in its own right to visit. Sitting on the Coventry Road not far from Solihull town centre it has a nice comfortable inviting feel about it, and is spacious with booth seating (which we liked) and tables for couples and fours etc. 

The last time Ruth and I ate at a hotel restaurant at an airport it was I recollect a dodgy Beefeater type place that had a a la cardboard as its main course for vegetarians, made exotic by serving it with new potatoes. So on walking into Marco’s We were pleasantly surprised to find a smart modern decor and more upscale feel. 

The restaurant felt intimate and good for couples with its plush monochrome design. 

   

Marco’s New York Italian at Birmingham Airport is open all day and blends American and Italian dining, think pastas, steaks, burgers, pizzas, cocktails and salads. 

It has numerous vegetarian dishes on the menu so I was well covered. 
    

Ruth and I jumped straight in and ordered a couple of cocktails whilst we looked at the menu. Ruth ordered a Gin Martini and myself a Negroni, a classic of Italian cocktails, (aperitif) which shouted Italy as soon as started drinking it. Mmm Florence!

Ruth enjoyed her Martini which she said had a nice gin kick to it. 

    Olives, grissini sticks, croccante with warm baked sourdough bread, olive oil and balsamic. (Below) 

  

We grazed on the above table sharing plates. The olives, garlicky, salty, were good and along with the breadsticks and croccante crackers a highlight and plentiful for 2 or even 4. Though the sourdough?Mmm, not so good, and certainly not the sourdough I’m used to from Maison Mayci in Kings Heath. Not very airy or light, very disappointing. 

  Salad of beetroot, goats cheese and walnuts.

  

For a Vegetarian starter (though the sharer was like one) I chose the salad of beetroot and goats cheese with walnut dressing. I really enjoyed this dish. It looked pretty, the beetroot thinly sliced but not overpowering the salad and with the right quantity of goats cheese and walnuts ( scattered over) was the right type of starter (with hindsight) to enjoy at Marco’s New York Italian. Not too large and lights a feather. A lovely Vegetarian dish. 

Ruth chose the Caeser Salad, with avocado and though this was came with anchovies they said it could be made without. 

For my main course I ordered Macaroni di funghi, wild mushrooms with a poached egg and we shared a side dishes of Onion Rings and Sweet Potato fries (though I think I ate greedily most of the fries).  

Surprisingly, I am pleased to admit this was a lovely dish. The mushrooms, deeply flavoured with a runny poached egg providing a lovely rich and deep flavour to the well cooked and lightly coated macaroni and a contrast to the earthy delicate mushrooms interspersed within the pasta. 

The egg making the dish feel more substantial and though a decent and generous sized plate of food it didn’t feel heavy or repetitive. The flavours held well together to make another excellent vegetarian dish which you can have as a starter also (smaller portion). 

The sweet potato fries were very good though the Onion Rings were not so and became soggy at the bottom of the dish they came in. 

Ruth ordered a 10oz ribeye steak (which I knew she would) with garlic and rosemary, fries and tomatoes and said it was good and I believe her! Well what else can I do. 

  
  Side dishes: Sweet Potato Fries and Onion Rings. 

  Macaroni di Funghi with poached egg.

  

For desert we were persuaded to sample a number of dishes, a trio in fact. I insisted on trying the Hot Italian Donuts with Chocolate sauce and Ruth chose the Classic Affogato with Amaretti biscuits, vanilla ice cream with espresso. (Forgot to take a photo)

We also chose the temptingly sounding and recommended by the restaurant Sicilian lemon sorbet with Frozen Limoncello. 
  

    

The Italian Donuts were very impressive. Hot rich Gooey Chocolate for dunking the lightest donuts I’ve tasted for a long time. A perfect desert with a coffee and an outstanding choice when at Marco’s.

The Sicilian lemon sorbet was a total contrast. Zingy, refreshing, with a good limoncello liquor flavour coming through. They both  worked well together, lovely. 

The Classic Affogato, was also to be recommended. A full espresso flavour, made well. Good flavours with a whopping three scoops of vanilla ice cream. 

We also ordered two large glasses of wine with our main courses both recommended by our server Jason.

Ruth ordered a deep and recommended red wine, a Shiraz (Short mile bay) from Australia with her steak and I ordered a white wine, A Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. 

A so called ‘Marco Recommends’ wine, right? Written as MR on the menu. Got it! They were both good. A nice recommendation. Thanks Jason! Not Marco. 

I was very impressed by Marco’s New York Italian at Birmingham Airport. Not once did it feel like a second rate restaurant in a hotel. It had a quality feel, felt relaxed, modern and in our case romantic. The service was attentive and friendly throughout, helpful when asked for recommendations which were frequently made during the evening. The food we ate was very good, tasty, substantial and had the balance between New York and Italy just right with a good range of dishes. The Vegetarian side of the menu has numerous choices, and for that it is a recommended place to dine for veggies. 

In fact what the restaurant does is provide those living in the area a nice venue for special occasions that is affordable and doesn’t involve a curry or sitting in a pub. 

It’s a hub for the community as well as guests to the hotel and for those guests it’s not A La Cardboard but A la LA (or New York) good, tasty food and good service that ticks many boxes. 

You can feel refreshed taking off (or getting up at home) the next morning, full and satisfied and that can’t be a bad thing. Now that for me is a recommendation, Marco! 

 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

I’ve teamed up with the Gastro Card  who Invited me to try out the new vegetarian dishes and menu at Marco’s New York Italian at Birmingham Airport. Our food and drinks were complimentary, but a positive review wasn’t required, just an honest one of our experience which I’ve duly delivered by aeroplane. 

Marco’s, Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport, Coventry Road, B26 3QW.

http://www.mpwrestaurants.co.uk/restaurants/birmingham-airport

For details on the Gastro Card see

http://www.gastrocard.co.uk/

http://www.gastrocard.co.uk/restaurants/

Thanks in particular to Jason and his team for the service on the night and recommendations. 

Also note that if you drive to the restaurant/hotel then you can claim back your car parking fee.

   
 The last two photos courtesy of Marco’s New York Italian and Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport. 

Nathan Eades former Head Chef of Epi moves to St Andrew’s Hotel Droitwich Spa. 


Nathan Eades formally of Bromsgrove’s eponymous restaurant Epi at The Courtyard, has joined as Head Chef of St Andrew’s Town Hotel in Droitwich Spa. 

Nathan will oversee all aspects of the food offering at the 31 Bedroom property, including the relaunch of the hotels restaurant which is due to re-open on 1st September 2015. 

  
Drawing on experience from working with industry high profile names, Nathan will look to bring a similar dining experience as to what one would have experienced at Epi, great food without the fuss of fine dining. 

On his appointment Nathan commented “I am delighted to join such a well respectable and established hotel such as St. Andrew’s with such fantastic produce on our doorstep, creating a ‘Modern British’ menu in such idyllic surroundings will be an absolute delight. Our goal is to create not only a fantastic Hotel/Restaurant within Droitwich, but one within the Midlands and the UK. 

Having experienced one of the best Vegetarian meals of last year at Epi, I know that Nathan’s cooking is innovative, using the best seasonal produce, and creating dishes that bring out the best in their flavours and textures. His dishes also look stunning too. 

   
   Photos from my previous visit to Epi. 

The St Andrew’s Town Hotel was built in the 1820’s as the home of the town clerk of Droitwich Spa. The elegant Georgian building which has been sympathetically extended, refurbished and with a tranquil garden, making you feel that your’e in a country house retreat, not minutes from the Motorway network. The hotel also has a choice of function rooms for both business and kwasurw customers, including a new orangery which seats up to 150 guests. It can also cater for weddings and functions. 

I’m looking forward to visiting the restaurant when it opens in September and the new vegetarian dishes are launched. 

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊

Twitter: https://twitter.com/st_kitchen

@nathaneades

@standrews_hotel