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.

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Bar Opus’ monthly wine club launches in September. 


  

I seem to be drinking in the wine on my blog at the moment, but this one’s a too good an opportunity to let pass. 

Bar Opus launches its new Wine Club on the First Tuesday of the month, from 6pm (starting Tuesday 6th September).

 Hosted by Bibendum Wines you can learn about five different wines per class – from understanding the individual flavours, the importance of origin, and what wine should be paired with what dishes – as well as getting to enjoy a taste of the fruity drink. 

Classes are one hour and cost £10 each (or book three classes for September to November for £25). Call 0121 289 3939 to book. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

The Plough, Harborne launches ‘Spit’ wine and spirit school. 


  

The award-winning team at the Plough in Harborne has launched a wine and spirit school with a difference. ‘Spit’ will cater for enthusiasts and those looking to secure industry-calibre qualifications alike and offer a range of recognised wine courses and tasting events, gin and whisky nights and other short courses in a simple, fun and straight talking fashion – with plenty of hands on tasting. 
‘Spit’ is an approved Wine and Spirit Education Trust program provider and the courses will take place ‘Next Door’ at The Plough which is home to two private dining and meeting rooms. The courses will showcase best-in-class, progressive wines and spirits. 

 The Plough has forged a reputation for its well-curated selection of craft spirits which takes in a 100+ strong whisky list and the courses will be designed to introduce delegates to exciting and lesser-known spirit and wine varieties. 
The Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) was founded in 1969 to provide high quality education and training in wines and spirits. Since then the WSET has grown into the foremost international body in the field of wines and spirits in education, with a suite of sought after qualificatIons. 
The Plough’s James Thewlis who is an approved WSET provider will lead the courses. James has over 20 years’ experience in the hospitality sector earning his stripes as General Manager at Circo, the first bar in Birmingham to secure a late license and then heading up cocktail bar and restaurant 52 Degrees North. An eight year stint in Melbourne followed before returning to Birmingham’s fine dining and michelin star scene as Sommelier at Turners, before joining The Plough four years ago. 
James said, “Our aim is to make wine and spirit tasting interesting, sociable and accessible. We’re thrilled to have been approved as a WSET provider, these courses are a great way for those in the industry to bolster their experience and credentials. Wine tasting has something of a stuffy reputation, we’re really keen to dispel that and the idea that you aways have to ‘spit’. We’re passionate about illustrating how much fun it can be whilst introducing some top-class spirits and wines to an many people as possible.”
Each WSET course includes lunch from The Plough’s popular sharing menu, which has been designed especially for ‘Next Door’, and will be followed by a glass of wine in The Plough bar afterwards. 
Course Details:

15th June 2016, 9.30am – 5pm
WSET LEVEL ONE, £140

22nd June 2016, 7pm – 9pm 
INTRODUCTION TO SPANISH WINES, £17

18th, 19th, 20th July 2016, 9,30am – 5pm 
WSET LEVEL TWO, £355

27th July 2016, 7pm – 9pm 
INTRODUCTION TO ITALIAN WINES, £17

ABOUT WSET LEVEL 1 AND 2 
WSET LEVEL 1
This course is a good starting point for the exploration of wine styles. No prior knowledge is required as the course is designed to introduce wines in an interactive, structured and concise manner. This course will suit a novice wine enthusiast or those wishing to start their career in the wine or hospitality business.
WSET LEVEL 2
The course covers the major grape varieties, regions of the world, food and wine pairing, sparkling wines, fortified wines and the major spirits. You will not need any formal qualification, just an enthusiasm for the subject and willingness to learn. This course is ideal for anyone wishing to be introduced to wine or spirits in an informative and structured manner. It is suitable for both the enthusiast and those looking to enter or already working in the wine and hospitality business requiring a good level of product knowledge.
About The Plough:
The Plough, Harborne has been serving fresh home-cooked food and the best coffee and Sunday lunch in the neighbourhood for 11 years. Established in 2003 The Plough has undergone extensive renovation since its launch boasting a quirky and eclectic interior and an ‘outdoor lounge’ that is airy, light and unrestricted by season. With a focus on quality and provenance, ingredients are carefully sourced locally to minimise the environmental ‘tread’ of the business where possible. No stranger to accolades The Plough has been recognised for its coffee, Sunday lunch and interior – named by the Independent as ‘best coffee shop’, celebrated by The Times for the best Sunday Lunch in the region and awarded the ‘Best Restaurant / Bar Design’ at the Northern Design Awards. 

The Plough, 
21 High Street

Harborne

B17 9NT

Follow Spit here: 
@spitwine

Follow The Plough story here: 
Instagram : @ploughstagram 
Twitter : @PloughHarborne 

Facebook : The Plough Harborne

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

The Warehouse Cafe, now with added Vegan friendly beer and wine. 


  

  
The Warehouse Cafe has always had a special place in my heart. For many years not long after I first became Vegetarian (27 years ago) I used to frequent it often with veggie friends. The veggie burger was a huge favourite as was the potato wedges and desserts which were back then vegan friendly. There weren’t many places to go, in the city centre it was the one and only! Over the years it’s changed hands a few times but has always stayed similar and offered deliciosly good value vegetarian and vegan food. Now things have changed, but for the better. 

Vegan friendly beers and wine are now more popular than ever. Look in the supermarket or good wine shop and you’ll see more available than ever before. 

This summer marks three years since The Warehouse Cafe reopened the doors to Birmingham’s original Vegetarian restaurant and cafe. 

After a successful application for an alcohol license a new drinks menu will be introduced over the next few weeks. 

In order to stick to a completely Vegan friendly range and keep the environmental impact to a minimum the real ale and craft beer will be supplied by local Birmingham brewers Two Towers

The beers on offer at The Warehouse are Complete Muppetry, Electric Ale, Hockley Gold, Bhacker Adams, and a special craft beer Come on Feel the Noize- in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Birmingham band Slade. 

The wines will be supplied from independent merchants Underwood Wines who are based in nearby Stratford-upon-Avon. 

Try the drinks with dishes such as Digbeth Daal, The Warehouse Burger, Refried Bean Quesadilla, Halloumi Fish and Chips or ancient grain risotto. 

I’m looking forward to giving the beers a run for their money and walking down memory lane again as i always do when I visit. 

   
   
   
    
    
   
 http://www.thewarehousecafe.com

http://www.underwoodwines.co.uk

http://twotowersbrewery.co.uk/

Thanks for reading, 

Andy😊

Thanks to Darren at Two Towers for the beer images and info re beers. 

What is Vegan Friendly? 

It is during the filtering process of wine or beer that the non-vegan and vegetarian part usually occurs. For beer this part of the process is usually only reserved for cask ales, where Brewers use finings to clear away excess yeast suspended in the beer. Finings are also used in the production of wine. Animal derived products include most commonly islinglass. A form of collagen obtained from raw fish bladders. Finings don’t remain in the finished product, but by using finings that are not animal derived, such as Irish miss it adheres to the core principles of veganism and vegetarianism. 

A tale of three drinks: Wine, Detox cocktails and Smoothies at Opus restaurants. 


   
 

Some of us at this time of year are thinking of either our health or our wallets or both. Birmingham Is generally very good at promoting its non alcoholic cocktails, and smoothies, but this month The Opus Restaurants are offering some good deals.

Opus of Cornwall Street have introduced their  January Wine Sale – Monday 4th January to Saturday 30th January.
From these dates you can Enjoy 50% off selected bottles of wine at Opus at Cornwall Street’s annual January wine sale. With 18 bottles to choose from including red, white, rose and dessert, wine enthusiasts can enjoy a range of fruity, spicy and velvety drinks. From the powerful but elegant ‘Valpolicella Ripaso’, a deep ruby red that is usually £35 but will cost just £17.50, to the soft ‘Auxey-Duresses Blanc’, a rich but relatively soft drink with orange blossom and lime notes that usually costs £75 but will be just £37.50, this is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy an old favourite at half price or to try something new.

To see the full wine sale menu, take a look here: http://www.opusrestaurant.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/JANUARY-WINE-SALE.pdf

http://www.opusrestaurant.co.uk/

Cafe Opus at Ikon Gallery: 
The cafe have introduced a number of  Detox Smoothies, packed full of healthy ingredients and sold All day, every day.

   
 
  
Cafe Opus will be serving three delicious smoothies – ‘Ginger Spice’, ‘Green and Clean’ and ‘All About The Berries’. All smoothies contain healthy ingredients, which are full of antioxidants and fibre to help purge those festive toxins. 

Each smoothie costs £3.50 and can be enjoyed to drink in or takeaway. 

To find out more about events happening at Cafe Opus at Ikon, visit: 

http://www.cafeopus.co.uk/

  

Bar Opus from the outside, AH

   
 Bar Opus at One SnowHill have introduced a number of Detox cocktails if you are Bidding the booze goodbye this month with Dry January or just want to cut down on alcohol or you are the designated driver. 
Luckily for you, Bar Manager Sam has whipped up some delicious alcohol-free cocktails for your January health kick. 

With six flavours to choose from including beetroot, pear, banana, carrot and ginger, apple, and kale and cucumber, these detox drinks are the perfect solution to not drinking but still going out. 
Cocktails are £3 each or £15 per case of 6. 

   
 Plus , Bar Opus have introduced  Wow Weekend – Every Friday and Saturday.

If you’ve got an Opus loyalty card then enjoy 50% off Prosecco from 5pm on Friday and all day Saturday. 
Opus loyalty cards can be picked up from Opus at Cornwall Street, Cafe Opus at Ikon and Bar Opus at One Snowhill and can be used in connection with other fabulous offers, including gaining 10p points for every £1 spent.

http://baropus.co.uk/

Whatever you do this year have a healthy one. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊
All photos apart from one are courtesy of Opus Restaurants.