Colmore Food Festival Friday July 3rd and Saturday July 4th, Birmingham City Centre. 


2015 is the 5th year of Birmingham’s popular  Colmore Food Festival in Victoria Square. The two-day event on Friday 3rd July and Saturday 4th July from 11am-7pm and showcases the great food and drink the district offers.

Twenty five top venues – including Bar Opus, Ashas, Chung Ying Central, The Edwardian Tearooms will be serving taster options in Victoria Square both days with all dishes priced at just £3.

It’s a great way to sample an array of mouth-watering, internationally inspired cuisines as well as traditional British options, not forgetting artisan coffees, real ales, fine wines, champagne and delicious cocktails. 

There will also be a programme of live cookery and cocktail demonstrations, as well as live music, outdoor theatre and other entertainment.

Participating venues
All Bar One * Asha’s * Bar Opus * The Bureau * Chung Ying Central
Costa Coffee * Edmunds Bar * The Edwardian Tearooms * Ginger’s Bar
Hindleys Bakery * Hotel du Vin * The Jekyll & Hyde * JoJolapa
Metro Bar & Grill * Nosh & Quaff * The Old Contemptibles * The Old Joint Stock
Opus at Cornwall Street * Purecraft Bar & Kitchen * Purnell’s and Purnell’s Bistro
Refreshments by Centenary Lounge * Starbucks * The Square Peg
Urban Coffee Company * The Wellington * Yorks Bakery Café
The timetable for events for both days is:
Friday 3rd July.

11am BAND – The Boombusters
12pm JoJolapa kitchen demonstration
12.55pm Official opening of event
1pm Nosh & Quaff v. Opus kitchen demonstration
1.40pm Colmore Chorus
2pm Metro kitchen demo
2.20pm Asha’s kitchen demo
2.40pm Opus cocktail demonstration
3pm BAND – C-Jam
4pm Hotel du Vin kitchen demonstration
5.20pm Nosh & Quaff kitchen demonstration
6pm BAND – Ricky Cool and the In Crowd

Saturday 4th July

11am BAND – Stockholm Stompers
12pm Opus cocktail demonstration
1pm Nosh & Quaff v. Opus kitchen demonstration
2pm The Jekyll & Hyde gin demonstration
2.40pm The Bureau kitchen demonstration
3pm BAND – The Brothers Groove
4pm Metro kitchen demonstration
4.30pm Chung Ying Central kitchen demonstration
5.20pm Nosh & Quaff kitchen demonstration
6pm BAND – Rebecca Downes Band
You can follow the Colmore Food Festival on Facebook at

Join the conversation on twitter using #CBDfoodfest15 and follow Colmore Business District

I will be judging the best veggie dish at the festival, looks ago of competition. Keep an eye on Twitter @andydhare for the winner and the best of the rest. 

Thanks for reading and enjoy the festival. It should be a sunny one. 

Andy 😊

Details of the menus: including vegetarian options. 


Menus courtesy of The Colmore food festival. 


See you there. 

Win two tickets to the Foodies Festival May 15-17th at Cannon Hill Park Birmingham via Veggie Foodie. 

This competition is now closed. 

A few weeks ago I mentioned in my blog that the Foodies Festival was coming to Birmingham Canon Hill Park from the 15th-17th May. 

The Foodies Festival has a host of exciting things on offer including celebrity chefs, demos, street food, artisan food stalls and much more.

See my post here:

For the above festival in Birmingham I have a pair of tickets to give away to one lucky person to the event, for any day of the 3. 



All you have to do to win the tickets for the Foodies Festival at Canon Hill Park is: 

. Follow me on Twitter at


. Retweet any of my tweets about    the competition. 


. via Facebook 

Like the status and comment on Facebook and tell me which part of the Foodies Festival you are most looking forward to. 

Note: if you already follow me on Twitter you only have to re tweet my tweet about the competition. 

Terms and conditions: 

-To enter the competition you must do all of the above either on Twitter or Facebook. 

-The competition will end on Thursday 7th May 2015 at 5pm and no entries received after that date will be accepted. 

-One winner will receive two tickets that can be used on any day of the festival you wish and are valid for one day’s entry. 

-The winners contact details will be passed on by myself to Lanyard Media who will be dispatching the tickets to them. 

And good luck 😊

Thanks for reading

Andy 😊

I have been selected as an official blogger by Lanyard Media for the Foodies Festival in Birmingham. 

Marmalade: Bistro, coffee, cocktails, and great for veggies




Marmalade is the new bar/bistro that is opening on the 6th February at The Birmingham Rep Theatre in Centenary Square near the Symphony Hall and Broad Street.

It’s a joint venture from Birmingham Rep and independent Bitters ‘n’ Twisted who also run the successful Bodega, Rose Villa Tavern, The Victoria, Island Bar and The New Inn in Harborne.

Promising eclectic furnishings, quality wines, ales, craft beer and cocktails galore as well as an innovative food menu that is open all day for coffee, bar snacks, light lunch or pre theatre dining.

There will be a special food offer of two courses for £15.95 or Three courses for £19.95 from a set menu. A Pre theatre menu.

Bitters ‘n’ Twisted are keen for Marmalade to be known for its food menu as well as for the existing theatre, it’s an ideal place for a post theatre drink or just for dinner.

Having spoken to Bitters ‘n’ Twisted a few months ago I knew the menu would be brilliant for vegetarians, as they have considered their menu carefully with numerous innovative dishes on offer. 😊

Having now seen the menu this holds true with nine dishes on the menu and 5 sides plus of course puddings.

The food menu is split into five sections Appetisers, Small plates, Main courses, sides and puddings.

Try, goats curd, black olive tapenade, croutes, watercress, balsamic, or the lovely sounding beetroot, and feta croustade, samphire, bearnaise sauce, orange on the appetisers.

Or, Bosworth’s Ash Goats Cheese and watercress pancakes, Apple chutney or charred kale, caramelised swede, coconut, cranberries, walnuts. Which I have been told is delicious. Thanks Vicky😊

Or Sesame, Coated Halloumi, Seared Honeydew, Melon, Black olive tapenade.

For main courses you could try Mediterranean Vegetable Crumble, tofu, Roast Tomato sauce, Spinach, figs. Sounds lovely.

Or Quinoa, Broccoli, Sweet Potato, Olives, coriander, toasted butter bean, cannelloni, bean salad.

Or Roast Aubergine, Lentil, feta, Basil leaves, chick peas, croutons, curry oil, raisins, shiitake mushroom salad.

For sides try a number of salads, the roasted sweet potato and fig salad sounds delicious, as does the baby spinach salad, dates and walnuts.

Puddings include a Repertory mess, plum orange and apricot crumble and a gingerbread cheese cake. Yummy!

Vegetarian Appetisers are priced between £3.25 and £6.50 vegetarian small plates between £6.75 and £7.25 and veggie mains priced at £10.95. Puddings at £5.75.

I think the menu shows innovation and real thought for vegetarian diners, and many high end restaurants and bistros could take a leaf out of Marmalade’s book. Credit is therefore given to Bitters ‘n’ Twisted. Thank you.

Of course the proof is in the pudding as they say (or in the small plate) so I look forward to trying some of the above dishes soon and feeding back shortly.

The Marmalade Lounge bar is happily affordable, focussing on the creative and intrigue of its food menu. The veggie options certainly show exciting flavour combinations with an independent twist and style that would be expected. Food that is fresh and local where it can be.

For vegetarians Marmalade has the potential to be one of the most exciting new openings in Birmingham City Centre this year.

Remember Marmalade is open today. They are taking bistro bookings online via their website and serve brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 10-12 noon and Sunday lunches hereafter.

I will check on the menu and update my post. Full menus see below. web.pdf

Also follow them on Face book/Marmalade and Twitter @marmaladeBham

You may even bump into Paddington.

Marmalade Bistro Bar
Birmingham Rep Theatre
Broad Street
B1 2EP

0121-633 9349

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Some of the veggie dishes at Marmalade.

Photos courtesy of Bitter ‘n’ Twisted and Jack Spicer Adams.







#TastyChristmasmorsal: Bistro 1847 Veggie Christmas menu

Re blogged due to updated review of meal.

See link on full review.




Bistro 1847 in Birmingham City Centre last week launched its modern vegetarian Christmas menu.

They have a two course and three course menu available from Monday to Friday over lunch and dinner, plus Saturday all day and Sunday lunch.

There is also a six course taster menu available. Contact the bistro for the menu.

The menu includes vegan options too.

To make a booking call Birmingham on 0121 236 2313.

Or email them at

Booking is advised.

For the menu see

Or at under Christmas

Please note the menus may differ to the ones on the website.

Menus: 2 courses £18
3 courses £24

And a tasting menu is £40 for six courses plus coffee and petit fours.

Bistro 1847 are also running a cocktail masterclass for £29.00 for 2 courses and £36.00 for three courses including 2 cocktails which you will be shown how to make…

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#Tastymorsels: recent Independent cafe openings.


Three cafe’s/coffee shops have recently opened.

1. Health County: Is an independent cafe based in Star City, Kiosk 3, 32 Watson Road, Birmingham.

Health County is a new cafe/bar that sells a range of healthy food and drink options. Aiming at people who are on the go, and want a healthy option, but don’t have the time to wait around.

They sell a wide range of healthy meals, drinks, including smoothies, juices, paninis and wraps. They make their own juices and smoothies on the premises, and flavours such as Berry Blast Smoothies, Basil Banana Smooothie and Banana Stawberry smoothie are sold in their cafe.

Health County provide the benefits of fresh, simple and tasty food including many veggie options, such as salads, paninis, wraps and pastas.

They have out door seating, so for those not in a rush, can relax over their healthy fair trade, options. All recipies are…

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Moseley Mini Vegan Fair 5th July 10.30-4pm Moseley Village @ the Moseley festival.

This Saturday the 5th July 2014 from 10.30am-4pm to coincide with the Moseley Festival there will be a mini vegan fair in Moseley Village. Free Entry. All Welcome.

This will be held at St Columba United Reformed Church which is on the corner of Chantry Road and Alcester Road B13 8DD.

This is aimed at meat reducers, veggies, vegans, and the vegan curious or anyone who wants to seek out ethically minded people and products, food, recipes and contacts.

West Midlands Vegan Fest organise a variety of events to promote veganism in the West Midlands, including free food fairs and the annual West Midlands Vegan Festival in Wolverhampton.

For a full list of vendors and stalls see their facebook page and twitter.

The mini vegan fair is to be held as part of the bigger Moseley Festival which is running from the 4th July-13th July.

This is an annual community festival with local arts, music and culture with a lively atmosphere.

See for full details of events and participents.

or Twitter @moseleyfestival



The Bureau and The Langley Gin terrace opening

The Bureau has been on Colmore Row in Birmingham City Centre since October 2013. Housed in a beautiful grade II- listed building built in 1902-04 it has been a place to be seen in The Colmore Business District.

It has a main bar and a cocktail bar and downstairs a basement lounge area which has its own bar area and can be used for private functions.

The Bureau is known not only for its drinks but for its hip bar deli food with a difference. Small plates of food both meat options and good veggie options. A menu demonstrates thought and skill and with a choice of five for £10 is decent value.

On the 26th June 2014 The Bureau will open its roof terrace to the public. Birmingham is not blessed with roof terraces, but The Bureau promises to set the highest tone of indulgence and offer a sophisticated place to drink and eat and just in time for the summer weather. Their will be a weekly barbecue on offer and a well stocked bar to tempt and delight.

It’s set to open as the Langley’s No 8 Gin Roof Terrace (distilled near Oldbury).

Also, there are plans for a second floor bar and a mezzanine level conference rooms.

The success of The Bureau up to now is based around its aims to create a friendly and social environment where guests can indulge in locally produced and regional sourced food including many veggie options ( see my review soon).

The owners from Birmingham Paul Rutter and Zack Foley have certainly created a buzzy hospitable space.

As a bonus with the Independent Birmingham members card a 10% discount is given.

The Bureau has won many awards including ‘Hidden Gem Award’ from fantastic bar website Design My Night’s users.

The Bureau is a place for deli food and drink already, but the terrace should make it a place to enjoy the summer months much more.

The Bureau
10 Colmore Row
0121 236 1110



Epi restaurant Bromsgrove opening 6th June

I have updated the post with more information on the menu and website details.


After a successful series of pop up’s in both Bromsgrove and Birmingham Kitchen Garden Cafe in Kings Heath Epi restaurant is due to re open in the courtyard Bromsgrove on friday 6th June.

They will be offering a three course, five course and seven course tasting menus.

There will be strong vegetarian menus across the three offerings with a strong leaning to local and seasonal produce.

Epi have advised me that the veggie options will be made to the individual preference and taste which sounds thrilling to me.

I look forward to visiting and trying them for myself. Keep an eye on my blog for a review soon.

Epi Should be superb.

Epi are now taking bookings for June and onwards on 07969628959.

You can also book on line via their website.

Check the website for menus.

07969 628 959

The Courtyard
Satchwells Yard
B61 8AQ


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Loki Wine Merchant and Tasting House 2nd Birthday party 14th June 2014.

Loki is nearly two years time flies when you’ve drunk so much wine, or not maybe 😉

Loki is located in The Great Western Arcade near Snow Hill Station in Birmingham City Centre, in the Colmore Business District.

Loki is the most awarded wine merchant in Birmingham and is currently Decanter UK wine merchant of the year outside of London. Some Award!

To celebrate its 2nd Birthday Loki are holding a party on the 14th June between 5pm and 11pm. This event is ticketed and £7 will get you a ticket to the event plus a welcome glass of fizz and food. For £4 you will get a welcome glass of fizz and the entrance to the party (no food).

The food is from esteemed pop up duo Clarke and Lee who have done food events at The Church in The Jewellery Quarter. They are highly regarded and specialise in a mixture of Oriental and English fusion, there are veggie and meat options, the veggie ones are the stunningly named Veg Bao. The party is from 5pm-11pm annd Loki will take over the Great Western Arcade with music, dj’s, drinks promos and give aways, plus a special surprise, to be announced.


Loki is unique outside of London. It offers customers the experience of trying up to 24 wines by the glass at any one time, great for lunch, after work. or for a romantic date. It’s not stuffy, but really relaxed and chilled, a fun place to be. The advice they give on wines is superb, their recomendations spot on.

Not only can you taste, but you can buy from shelves full of wine bottles at outstanding value. You can buy a Loki wine tasting card which gives an opportunity to taste frequently changing selected wine of outstanding quality from the award winning range.

There is also a tasting room (very relaxing) where a sharing plate of good quality cheese (and cold meats for non veggies) can be purchased plus snacks that you can eat with your wine.

Phil who is Loki’s Director is very knowledgable, and knows his Prosecco from his Rioja. The Prosecco is lovely. I can recommend it.

Loki Wine is a superb place to visit after work, before a meal in the area, or just for a lunch time chat.

In fact Loki is goo all round, anytime of day. A real gem in Birmingham. Happy 2nd Birthday! 🙂

Loki Wine Merchant and Tasting House,

36 Great Western Arcade,

Great Charles Street,



B2 5HU

0121 212 9440


Great British Menu Finals week. Go Aktar!

If like me you have been following the Great British Menu on BBC 2 in recent weeks, you will know that the finals of the competition for 2014  are starting on Monday 2nd June and continuing all week until Friday 6th June when the banquet will be held.

Birmingham’s own Aktar Islam, Chef Director of acclaimed Lasan Restaurant in Birmingham’s St Paul’s Square area (apt) is competing against 7 other chefs. Only 4 of them will get the honour to go to St Paul’s Cathedral to cook a very special banquet to honour the men and women who gave so much for our country. The banquet itself will be televised on Friday 6th June, the 70th Anniversary of D Day.

I have always loved Aktar’s food and Lasan restaurant is one of the jewels in Birmingham’s fine food scene. As a veggie I have enjoyed some superb food over the years. See my review to come shortly of Lasan Restaurant.

On watching the Central region’s heat I loved and admired Aktar’s desert choice, (always a good section of the programme for veggies) called ‘Victory is Sweet’ which proved sweet for the judges in the heat. Aktar’s take on the queen of puddings featured  a Winston Churchill cigar filled with ganache, plus crumble, meringue, a quinelle of raspberry sorbet and spun sugar crowns. The judges said it was ‘the perfect pudding’ giving it a perfect score of 10 all round, making 40 points of sweet indulgence!. Fantastic!

The competition will be tough as there are some great chefs and competitors on show.

It should be a great week on the Great British Menu (GBM).

I wish Aktar a great week, we are rooting for you. Go Aktar! Go Birmingham!


Lasan Restaurant

3,4 Dakota Buildings

James Street

St Paul’s Square


West Midlands

B3 1SD

0121 212 3664