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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New Indian Streetfood restaurant Zindiya set to bring colour to Moseley. 




There have been a lot of false dawns with restaurant openings recently. The hype doesn’t always result in a place been good for repeat visits. For Vegetarians disappointment when the menu is presented to you, a lack of choice, a lack of thought. I can safely predict that Zindiya doesn’t fall into that category looking at the menu which is on first glance predominantly veggie. 

Zindiya, a new Indian Street food eatery and cocktail  bar opened on the 7th February in Moseley, Birmingham in a building that has been empty for 10 years. Some of you may remember Lukers  the bakery. Others won’t, well it was 10 years ago! Remembering last week is hard enough. 

But, you’ll remember Zindiya. Well that’s the plan from owners Ajay and Shivani Kenth. Moseley born and bred, and back to rock the village with little plated curry stuff. Hurray! 

Derived from the Indian name for life and the name of the owners daughter ‘Diya’. Seating 90 people it’s decor is colourful bustling, Indian street food market. 

Across the road, is one of the best. Kababish a Moseley icon is different so don’t go to Zindiya expecting the same. This is Street Food, tapas like sharing plates and dosas, flatbreads and more sharing dishes than  a family picnic in the summer. 

It’s the Cocktails that are on the tips of people’s tongues though. Created by Rob Wood the man behind so many great cocktails in the city they borrow influences from all over India and can be paired with food, which I’m hoping to be convinced is ok. 

Purity Beers are providing the beers for those that prefer. Lawless lager and Longhorn IPA is the name of the game. Plus delectable bakes from Miss Macaroon and wines from city centre based Connolys. 

Also Birmingham Lager from Indian Brewery Co.

The food menu is reasonably priced and won’t set you back on your mortgage repayments and includes for Vegetarians: 

Chaat street food: £4

Pani puri, papri chaat, Bhel puri, Aloo tiki chaat, Pav Bhaji, samosa chaat, chilli Paneer, and Vada Pav ( potato pasty and bun with chutneys) 

Side Street: £3

Chilli cheese toast (Mumbai cheese and toast) okra fries, Mogo Chips, onion bhajis, Masala chips.

A La Carte: £6.50

Idli Sambaar ( steamed rice and lentil dumpling served with sambaar, a lentil based stew, with coconut chutney, 

Trio of Dosas, (Masala aloo, Paneer)

Grill Street: £7 cooked over charcoal. 

Paneer tika, 

Hara Bhara Kabab(served with yoghurt dip and salad.

Paranthe Wali Gali: Flatbread. 12-4 Saturday and Sunday only. 

Aloo Paratra: potatoes and onions.

Plain Paratra 

Gobi Paratra (cauliflower)

Metri ( fenugeek leaves) 

Deserts include Chocolate Gol Gappe and kulfi and Cin alla Kreer (rice pudding) 

With so many Vegetarian options Zindiya goes straight to the top of the must visit list (for vegans check beforehand). 

Also available will be An Afternoon tea which includes sandwiches, Pakoras, Cardamon scones and chai infused prosecco. 

For the best in good value eat-drink-share It’s sure to do well and bring a spot of Indian colour to Moseley. 

See you there. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Zindiya is at 21 Woodbridge Road, Moseley, Birmingham. B13.

Closed Mondays. 

0121-439-0953 Or hello@zindiya.co.uk for bookings. 

http://m.imgur.com/a/nuOtV 

See the above link for full menu. 


All photos courtesy of Zindiya. 

#Coffeetime: Coffee Lounge, Wake up and smell the coffee


Coffee Lounge is a newish independent coffee shop located on Newhall Street in Birmingham City centre near St Paul’s Square.

It’s tucked a bit out of the way of the main drag of the city centre, but is well worth the walk.

It was in mid week, feeling quite stressed due to moving house that I decided to find some calm and enjoy the soothing harmony ‘s of lower Newhall street and the nearby St Paul’s Square.

On entering Coffee Lounge I found a laid back and contemporary coffee shop that was quite quiet and had the peace and serenity that I required to read and relax.

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Coffee Lounge has a good mix of sofas and table seating and bar stools that should suit all tastes and customers. Though it is apparent that at certain times of the day it caters for the local business sector, it’s was also popular with families and customers eating afternoon tea and stopping off after touring the Jewellery Quarter.

The decor is modern, light with a good purple and white colour scheme that is cosy whilst been spacious. It’s a relaxed space, good for work, good for catching up with friends and good for reading.

It’s not crammed full of tables so it feels a place whereby you don’t feel rushed to leave. You can take your time and relax. Perfect😊

My flat white was good, well made, a good coffee flavour and though not the best in the city it came with a nice biscuit that is quite rare to find generally in coffee houses in Birmingham. Very welcome as I didn’t feel like any cake or sandwiches, well not on this occasion.

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The food on offer last looks good though, from cakes, pastries, sandwiches, afternoon tea, breakfasts such as full English, and burgers, soup and jacket potatoes, it is quite a lengthy list.

Charmain and Daphne are the owners, the service is friendly, and they have created a fun, modern and relaxed place to while away time and in my case chill for awhile.

As an independent coffee shop it’s a nice addition to the growing Birmingham scene, and has a different feel to the ones in the main part of the city.

This is good and I recommend the informality and charm this brings us coffee drinkers.

The Coffee Lounge is a place to return to, and for me to eat in and read or write.

A good detour with a nice vibe.

I used my Independent Birmingham card to obtain 10% off my drink. You can also gain 20% off afternoon tea for two people with the IB card. See website below if you wish to purchase one or two.

Twitter: @cdlounge
http://www.facebook.com/cdlounge

http://www.independent-Birmingham.co.uk

Coffee Lounge,
101 Newhall Street
Brindley House
Birmingham
B3 1LL

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Thanks for reading.

Has anyone been to the Coffee Lounge?

Please feel free to leave a comment underneath or via Twitter @andydhare

#TastyMorsels: New tea, cake, breakfast & Tapas


These three tit bits on Tasty Morsels include a bit of everything:)

1. Byzantium Meditteranean Tapas on York Road in Kings Heath have relaunched a tapas menu at lunchtime.

For £6.95 you can order three tapas veggie options are strong and include olives, Mini flatbread, Humous, Patatas Bravas, Spanish Omelette with potatoes, spinich and caramelised onions, and greek salad and Patatas Alioli.

They have also introduced an early bird menu special for £25.00 when you sit between 5.30-6.30pm the meal for two is inclusive of drinks and includes 1 Flatbread, 1 dip, 3 tapas, 1 special, and 2 drinks.

I love the food there and recommend it very strongly for veggie and vegans.

See earlier review.

2. The Boston Tea party group of all day cafe’s have just this week opened in Harborne. They already reside in Central Birmingham on Corporation Street. They specialise in Breakfasts, cakes, tea and coffee serving brunch, and all day and evening food.

Boston Tea Party are a small family owned independent cafe group serving ethically sourced feel good food and drink that is home made and fresh.

They are well known for their ethical stance, and awards for sustainability (recently awarded a 3 star rating) Their food is 100% free range and organic, their milk is too:) and they cater for veggies and vegans well.

Amongst other things They serve Veggie Breakfasts, eggs florentine, pancakes, sweet potato couscous, salads, mushroom burgers, cakes, toasted sandwiches, loose leaf tea in teapots, coffee and everything is home made on the premises. See website for full menu.

The cafe seats 100 guests, and caters for 50 outside in a private courtyard walled garden area. It is in New The School Yard site off the High Street in Harborne.
0121 427 8722
http://www.bostonteaparty.co.uk

3. Cafe Opus in Brindley Place is still offering this Summer its Afternoon Tea deal. At £10 per person, this is a wonderful way to relax over three tiesr of sweet and savoury delights.

Finger sandwiches, fancy cakes, scones with clotted cream, and fresh fruit preserve, and a pot of tea.

On top of this is can be taken weather permitting on a beautiful terrace looking out on peaceful Oozell Square.

Afternoon tea is served daily between 2.30pm-5pm at Cafe Opus at The Ikon Gallery, 1 Oozells St, Brindley Place B1 2HS.

Just a note, from my previous review. Cafe Opus is still serving a veggie and vegan supper menu for Meat Free Monday. All produce is market fresh. Every Monday savour all things veggie with a glass of house wine with every main course ordered.

It’s all from local produce as only Opus know how:)

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