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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Rofuto brings Birmingham Dining to new heights this April.


   

  

I’ve been walking past the new Park Regis Hotel at Five Ways in Birmingham quite frequently and have seen it develop and fill the vacant space that sits next to the shops on the roundabout. It looks impressive, offering another landmark on the city skyline. At a cost of £50 Million, the development is due to open on the 29th March. 

With 253 bedrooms, two Junior Suites and the largest Presidential suite in the city, it’s set to become a destination for leasure and business. 

  
Inside as well as as the hotel a bar and two restaurants and ‘Shakina’ Urban Dry Spa will be on offer to hotel visitors and the public. 

Renowned restaurateur, Des McDonald is set to shake up the Birmingham dining scene with his latest venture Rofuto, ( opening on the 22nd April) a restaurant set high in the City skyline at over 141 feet in the sky with incredible 360 degree views. Opening on 26th April with a £3 million investment, Rofuto will offer an izakaya-style restaurant, serving a high quality modern Japanese menu of world class dishes. The restaurant will sit alongside the stunning cocktail lounge and sake bar, Kurabu, from its unique rooftop position at the new Park Regis Hotel.

Located high above the City centre, the restaurant and cocktail lounge sits on the 16th floor of Park Regis, the new 4 four star modern luxury hotel located in the heart of Birmingham, Rofuto is a direct translation of the word ‘loft’ in Japanese and the interiors reflect this inspiration. With a large central bar, an open Japanese style kitchen and an eclectic mix of furnishings, unique hand painted murals and design, Rofuto is a truly theatrical dining space. Kurabu, with its panoramic views of the city skyline, world class DJs and a backlit bar is perfect for more intimate drinking and dining.

The vision for the restaurant and cocktail lounge has been created by one of the UK’s most respected restaurateurs, Des McDonald. With over 20 years’ experience running some of the world’s most high profile establishments including Le Caprice, Scott’s, Soho House and Annabel’s. Early in his career, Des was Head Chef at the world famous Ivy restaurant, before moving from the kitchen into the boardroom to become CEO of Caprice Holdings. Des was inspired to open Rofuto following visits to Tokyo and Singapore; he has developed every aspect of the concept, design and menu to bring a new izakaya-style restaurant to Birmingham’s thriving dining scene.

Des McDonald says: “I am delighted to be opening my first modern Japanese restaurant Rofuto, with my partners at Park Regis Birmingham. I love rooftop spaces, having opened four successful restaurants on the roof of Selfridges in London. I fell in love with the unparalleled dramatic views from the 16th floor, Birmingham is a great, vibrant city and I’m excited to become part of it’s dynamic and diverse dining scene.”

Rofuto will be open for lunch and dinner on Tuesday to Saturday and Sunday for lunch. The restaurant will serve modern Japanese cuisine, made using world-class fresh ingredients, from traditional sushi to yakitori from the grill. The menu is divided into six sections: Sushi and Sashimi, Tempura, Robata Grill, Mains, Sides and Desserts. 

Rofuto also cater well for Vegetarians. 

The menu includes:

Vegetarian futomaki; cucumber and roasted sesame hosomaki; okra hosomaki.

Starters- Sesame, Spinach with Cassava crisps.

Tempura- Goma tare tempura aubergine and fig.

Robuto Grill- Asparagus yakitori with butter soy.

Mains: Japanese Wild Mushroom Congee, Crispy Tofu and Parsley Chlorophyll. 

Signature dishes on the main menu include Foie gras nashi pear gunkan Chinese truffle; Confit duck and raspberry sunomono; Saffron gindara with razor clams, Chinese sausage, kohlrabi puree and sea herbs; Sesame tuna tataki and soft shell crab with wasabi puree and black garlic crumble and Miyazaki Wagyu beef served with gobo crisps, avocado puree, garlic ponzu and truffle salt. 

Desserts feature twists on European classics such as Matcha tiramisu and wasabi macaroon and Cardamom and coconut panna cotta with passion fruit.

Rofuto opens on the 22nd April. 

Kurabu Cocktail lounge will offer an array of wines, beers and soft drinks, along with a bespoke cocktail list and unique sake offering to perfectly compliment the Japanese cuisine. Fresh Sake from Takashimizu Brewery in Northern Japan will be on offer, alongside Koshua aged Sake from Shiraki Brewery in central Japan. Rofuto will also offer ten Japanese Whisky’s which I’m very keen to try. 

The cocktail list includes highlights such as the Red Lotus which combines Shochu, Tequila, Cranberry and Lychee Sorbet and Kietsu which is an exotic combination of infused Raspberry Sake, Passionfruit liqueur, Apple and Pineapple. Rofuto’s wine showcases some more unusual varieties such as Pecorino, Gewurtztraminer and Pinot Blanc in the whites and a particular focus on low alcohol, low tannin reds.

The restaurant’s interior, designed by Tibbatts Abel (Interior Designer for Jinjuu Soho and Buddah Bar) is a fusion of urban, industrial and warehouse design inspiration alongside a fun and vibrant cocktail lounge style. Warm rustic timber is used throughout, with industrial tones and a palette of neutrals, warm taupe’s, greys and blacks.

Park Regis Birmingham opened on Tuesday 29th March 2016 and boasts 253 deluxe bedrooms, two junior suites, the largest presidential suite in the city, an executive level complete with conference and meeting space, and a business lounge with executive check-in facilities. The £50 million hotel is the brand’s first Park Regis in Europe and has created over 200 jobs for the region.

Rofuto will be running a soft opening with 50% off all food from Friday 22nd to Saturday 23rd April via advance bookings only through 

reservations@rofuto.co.uk

Rofuto Should be a super addition to Birmingham’s evolving dining scene and should offer something different, once again. I’m looking forward to giving it a try. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy😊

Rofuto, Park Regis Hotel, 158 Broad Street, Birmingham, B15 1DT.

0121-369-8888.

Serving modern Japanese Cuisine from Tuesday-Saturday 12pm-late

Sunday 12-6pm

Not open Monday’s.

@Rofutotweets: Twitter.

RofutoBham: Facebook.

reservations@rofuto.co.uk

 

  
All photos and images from Rofuto.

The second restaurant is called ‘1565’ and will feature signature dishes, grills and classics. I’m unsure as yet on the veggie options. It will also house one of the largest outdoor terraces in the city.

  

Hotel La Tour and La Tour Grill. A modern twist on the classic


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Late last year Ruth and I booked a staycation in Birmingham at Hotel La Tour via the Secret Escapes website. Worth checking on for good deals.

Hotel La Tour is in Birmingham City Centre, on the Digbeth side and is an excellent spot to stay if in the city to shop or take in Brums sights.

Hotel La Tour is a modern designed hotel that has a chic and quite sophisticated bar called Alvar which is brilliant for cocktails and a brasserie style restaurant called La Tour Grill which leans towards seasonal produce and is a steak specialist and serves a menu of classic British dishes. Presented with a modern twist.

La Tour Grill is also excellent for vegetarians as I surprisingly found out.

The Hotel has 174 stylish bedrooms which are modern in style and facilities, and on the whole are all you would require for a night away in the city or short break. Though our rooms was more basic than some it was comfortable and had all we required.

We had ordered dinner at Grill La Tour. I didn’t expect much to be honest, as a veggie, but I’m a bit cynical sometimes.

We began our evening as we do in a bar. The spacious and sophisticated area know as Alvar is a very relaxing and cool space. We ordered Gin Martinis. A check of quality, perfectly made, classy. It hit the spot.

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The bar area is comfortable with sofas and though quiet for a Friday evening still had a lovely atmosphere and is a must when staying at the hotel. In fact it’s lovely when in Birmingham full stop, with a huge cocktail, wine and drinks list including many many Whiskies 😊

We had booked dinner at La Tour Grill. A lovely space, with perfect lighting, and though large it felt more intimate than on first impressions. A real grower.

La Tour Grill uses seasonal ingredients. Sourced locally with some produce grown on their roof top garden allotment, Jardin La Tour, supported by
Edible Eastside in nearby Digbeth that I’ve championed before on this blog.

The Brasserie caters well for vegetarians with some options on the menu but on discussion with the waitress they had many more unseen and un menued veggie jewels that can be made upon request.

The waitress brought some excellent assorted breads to the table to eat whilst looking at the menu. These were varied, crisp and presented well. Always a good sign if the bread is of high standard.

I decided to order off the main menu.

I began with The Heritage Tomato and Burrata cheese salad. A lovely starter.

The tomatoes were fresh, grown on the roof, had a beautiful flavour and were both yellow an red in colour. Against the Burrata cheese you could imagine you were in Italy it tasted so fresh. The dish was also impressively presented. A simple dish, done well. Sounds easy, but rest assured i’ve had some rotters in my time.

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For my main course I ordered the delicious sounding
Asparagus, Pea, Courgette and Ricotta Risotto
.

This dish surprised me with its gentle flavours and perfectly creamy texture. Throughout the dish the flavours of the fresh peas against the slightly charred courgette felt warming and surprisingly indulgent. A lovely risotto, one of the best I’ve had for years anywhere. I was pleasantly surprised. I also ordered some lovely hand cut chips because I have to Im afraid. I love chips. Beatutiful.

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So far so good.

For pudding I chose a dish that I had heard rave reviews about, the pudding to have, the signature dish.

The Jaffa Cake Pudding, candied orange.

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It wasn’t a cake at all, but was the elements that make up one.

The pudding was a joy. The orange served as a little mound of sponge with a candied orange on top and a pot of melted hot chocolate to pour over the top (as much or as little as you like) that was served with pistachio ice cream.

A winning pud. At a winning restaurant, which if I’m honest surprised me. Grills are usually not great for veggies.
La Tour Grill bucked the trend for simple well made dishes using well sourced ingredients, some home produced in their edible garden and a smart, relaxed dining room.

The quality of the ingredients did show through. I think this element made the real difference to the vegetarian dishes which at face value seemed simple but on taste much more complex.

I expected La Tour Grill to be a bit pretentious, but found the service friendly, professional and relaxed. All served as I’ve said in a lovely dining room.

The eating was the pleasure, and though the Brasserie wasn’t anywhere near full, it felt intimate and romantic.

The hotel and restaurant are ideal for dates, a night away, or a romantic drink in an excellent hotel bar. A sophisticated treat. Try it.

We headed back to the bar to sample the Whisky’s and brandy’s. A long list but someone had to do it. We sat next to the piano, no one was playing, but we could hear the gentle music swish through our minds like soothing harmonies.

I’ve also heard rave reviews from fellow bloggers about the afternoon tea. Bring it on.

La Tour Grill has also a chefs table near the kitchen. We had a view of the kitchen without the chefs table service. The table there seemed to be enjoying their experience.

Next morning we took breakfast in the Brasserie- a hot and cold buffet, of numerous breakfast items. The veggie breakfast items were good, though no veggie sausage. Very pleasant, without been overwhelming.

We enjoyed once again lovely service and it was a good way to end our short but very sweet stay.

Hotel La Tour
Albert Street
Birmingham
B5 5JE

A short walk from new street and Moor Street Stations.

0121 718 8000

http://www.hotel-latour.co.uk

Facebook: Hotel/la-tour

Twitter: @hotel_latour

We paid for our stay and meal in full all opinions are my own and honest.

We thank the hotel staff and restaurant staff for helping us to have a lovely one night stay.

@andydhare

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