BBC Good Food Show Summer, returns to NEC this June, plus competition to win two pairs of tickets.


This Competition is now closed.

Michel Roux Jr. will be returning to the NEC this summer for the BBC Good Food Show 2018.

One of the summer’s most popular days out will return to Birmingham again this June, as BBC Gardeners’ World Live and the BBC Good Food Show Summer take over the NEC for four days.

With one ticket, visitors will gain entry to both spectacular events, which will attract over 500 exhibitors from the culinary and horticultural worlds from Thursday 14 June – Sunday 17 June.

As well as the hundreds of stands, the Shows also bring a star-studded line-up of some of the country’s favourite gardeners, chefs, experts and bakers.

The line-up includes BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World lead presenter Monty Don plus co-presenters including Carol Klein, Adam Frost and new to the Show this year, Mark Lane and Arit Anderson. Fellow television personality Alan Titchmarsh also joins the team on Friday.

At the BBC Good Food Show, firm favourites Mary Berry, James Martin, Tom Kerridge, Michel Roux Jr. and many more will be cooking up a storm on stage in the Big Kitchen, with plenty more chances to see them around the Show.

This year’s BBC Good Food Show sees the return of a selection of fantastic shopping areas including the Producers’ Village and the Drinks Emporium.

New to the 2018 Show is the Eat Well Zone, showcasing the best in vegan and vegetarian products, with expert advice and recipe ideas at the Show’s Summer Kitchen stage.

Some of the best Veggie and Vegan stands are:

Blacks cheese (cheese stand)

Proper Nutty (Peanut butter stand)

Nutriplanner

Juvela, (gluten free foods)

The Brownie Bar ( brownie stand) see image below.

There’s also a WH Smith at the show. The Hairy Bikers will be present at some point signing books of which their most recent is a vegetarian cookbook called ‘The Hairy Bikers go veggie’ so pop by if you’d like it signed or any other cookbook you have at home. Other chefs will be there also at allocated times.

Stepping outside, you’ll find inspirational Show Gardens and top shopping for your garden. The Made in Birmingham garden will feature a railway embankment plot with allotment, wildflower meadow and a working steam engine with Pullman Dining carriage.

The Wyevale Garden Centres Solutions Garden will display stunning best practice ways to deal with common issues such as soil types or shady areas; the Tesco Every Little Helps Garden offers up ideas for small changes that can make big differences; the Beautiful Borders will be full of small space ideas, plus much, much more. The Floral Marquee and Plant Village is a haven for plant lovers with over 100 dedicated places to buy quality plants, seeds and bulbs.

Whether inside or outside, you’ll find the best in cooking and gardening inspiration with four days of free entry stages showcasing a full mix of plot to plate inspiration, live demos, Q&A’s, talks and plenty of advice. Plus, the chance to chat to more artisan producers and gardening experts than you can fit into one day.

Ticket holders will gain entry to both Shows, with children under five going free and discounts and free tickets available for groups of eight or more. For an extra special treat, the VIP and VIP Luxe packages include front row seats in the Big Kitchen super theatre and BBC Gardeners’ World Live Theatre, access to exclusive lounges and much more.

Adam Frost, who will be giving his insight in the BBC Gardeners’ World Live Theatre on the Thursday and Sunday of the Show, said: “This year’s Show is really about helping gardeners make every space count. I’ll be live on stage, talking about the progress of my own garden and giving lots of design tips, as will many fellow Gardeners’ World presenters, including Monty Don and gardening legend Alan Titchmarsh too. It’s the perfect show for anyone looking for exciting garden inspiration to try at home – see you there!”

Tom Kerridge, who will be cooking live in three Big Kitchen sessions, said: “There aren’t many events that compare to the BBC Good Food Show at the NEC Birmingham. With the size of the venue, the amount of delicious food and drink to sample and buy, and the expert demonstrations, it really is an amazing day out.”

For more information and tickets to BBC Gardeners’ World Live and the BBC Good Food Show and, visit www.bbcgardenersworldlive.com or www.bbcgoodfoodshow.com

To celebrate the return of the two shows this Summer I’m running a competition to win two pairs of tickets.

All you have to do is retweet my post on Twitter or like the competition tweet to be in with a chance of winning.

The competition begins on Monday 7th May at 11am and ends on Friday 11th May at 11am.

Keep an eye on Twitter for my competition tweets and then follow me @andydhare and retweet, or like to be in with a chance of winning.

I will then randomly select the two winners and contact them via Direct Message on Twitter to let you know you’ve won, and your details will be passed onto a third party who will contact you and send the tickets out to you.

Good luck!

This competition is now closed.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

T&C

1. The event runs from the 14th-17th June at the NEC Birmingham.

2. Tickets are Only valid on Thursday, Friday or Saturday Admission.

3. Prize includes 2 pairs of entry passes-no travel expenses or accommodation is provided.

4. General admission tickets do not include a seat in the Big Kitchen. Seats are available to purchase on the day for £3 subject to availability.

5. Not all celebrities appear on all days.

6. You must have followed @AndyDHare on Twitter and retweeted/like the competition tweet to be entered.

7. Giveaway ends at 11am on the 11th May 2018.

8. Winners picked at random and will be notified by message on Twitter after 11am on the 11th May.

9. Contact information will be supplied to a Third Party who will post your winning tickets directly to your home address.

10. The prize is for two pairs of general admission tickets so there will be two winners.

11. Prize cannot be swapped for cash or sold on.

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Bar Opus joins forces with Brummie artist for exhibition.


Bar Opus, one of Birmingham’s best independent city bars, is exhibiting works by a city-based artist for its fourth art exhibition in support of local talent.

The bar at One Snowhill is showcasing works by Tom Parry, whose art of Birmingham landmarks is sold under the Made On The Canal brand.

Opening on Thursday 22 March, the exhibition will comprise a number of A4 and A3 hand-finished artworks and 3D pictures in different media, including watercolour, paint and ink, that depict landmarks such as the Library of Birmingham, Victoria Law Courts, Alpha Tower and Edgbaston Waterworks.

Tom, a graduate of Birmingham City University, takes up to 20 hours to complete his intricate pieces of 3D art, which involve gradually building up elements of the architecture 1mm at a time and cutting out recesses to create complex layered pieces.

He said: “I pride myself on producing affordable pieces of art and I’m really thrilled that Bar Opus has asked me to submit some pieces for its next art exhibition. It’s an amazing opportunity to have my work in a busy city centre bar and it’s great that the bar continues to support local artists such as me.

”I hope that my art will provoke some conversations about the beautiful architecture that Birmingham has.”

Irene Allen, director, said: “Our customers have loved all our art exhibitions so far and have been very supportive of what we are trying to achieve by showcasing local talent and highlighting truly stunning art. Tom’s works are not only striking to look at, they are also very affordable, which makes them truly accessible.”

Sounds a fantastic opportunity to see some fantastic local affordable art in a fabulous independent bar.

For more information on Bar Opus, visit www.baropus.co.uk

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

Rola Wala arrives at Birmingham Selfridges.


The arrival of any new Indian cafe/restaurant is a cause for celebration for me and countless other veggies and vegans as it means we’ll get fed well.

Birmingham – the city of the balti – is about to experience a flavour explosion when Rola Wala brings its authentic Indian street food – plus the spiciest chilli chutney – yet to the city this week.

A refreshing new take on Indian street food, Rola Wala (which means ‘man that rolls’ in Hindi) is opening in Selfridges Birmingham on February 19th where it will serve a range of fabulous flavour-packed dishes from the mildest dal to many other tempting veggie and vegan dishes.

Balti-loving Brummies will also rise to the challenge of Rola Wala’s eye-watering Scorpion sauce, made from the Scorpion chilli, which peaks at a tongue-stinging 1.4 million Scoville heat units on the Scoville scale.

If Birmingham’s hottest chutney is a step too far, enjoy Rola Wala’s freshly made dishes that feature layers of complex spicy and savoury, sweet and sour tastes.

Try spice bowls filled with sweet potato saagwala, and vegan-friendly red dal served with sourdough naan or nutrient-rich red rice from Sri Lanka.

Complement the main course with a range of sides, including  Kashmiri Cauliflower Popcorn Bombay Birdsnest Fries, Avo’ Chaat Salad, and the incredible ‘Red Channa Dal’ – a spice-fuelled twist on India’s favourite comfort food.

And for every meal bought, Rola Wala helps to feed a hungry child living in poverty, by donating a meal through charity One Feeds Two. Since the restaurant launched, it has provided 350,000 meals.

Rola Wala is the brainchild of Australian Mark Wright and was born on the streets of London via Mumbai and Kolkata. It launched in 2012 when he tested out his ideas at street food markets in London after a trip to India.

After regularly appearing at street food markets in the capital, Mark and his partners Mark Christophers and Danny Vilela set up their first restaurant in Leeds, with two more sites opening in Spitalfields and Oxford.

Mark said: “Three years ago we had a gazebo with a hole in the roof, and wet hair at a festival, now we’re opening our fourth bricks and mortar restaurant in the heart of the Bullring in Birmingham – the home of the balti, some of the best Indian food in the country…and the most passionate foodies!

“For our new restaurant, we’re keeping it ultra casual, just like we did on the streets – with an incredible range of dishes inspired by our time in India – sourdough naan rolls, flavour-packed spice bowls, and inspired sides made using all-British meat, spices from North India, onions from Mumbai, and limes from Kerala.”

Sam Watts, general manager of Selfridges Birmingham, said: “Street food is a huge trend in Birmingham and we’re excited to bring this concept to our food hall, where you can celebrate some of the best cuisine around – from a simple cup of coffee and a cupcake to ramen, katsu and American diner classics. Rola Wala provides our customers with yet another fantastic option for casual dining.”

To welcome new customers, Rola Wala is offering 50% off any meal until the end of February. To sign up for a money-off voucher, visit https://rolawala.com/selfridges/. Students also get 20% off their bill.

Though not fully veggie or vegan in anyway, Rola Wala is sure to prove popular with meat free diners in Birmingham looking for a quick and different food stop.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

https://rolawala.com/menu.pdf (example menu only that may differ in Birmingham)

With thanks to Clive Reeves PR for the information and photos.

Restaurant Review: Lasan, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham. A sophisticated experience for Vegetarians.


It was roughly twelve years ago that I first entered Lasan’s doors. I was gobsmacked by the textures and flavours of this exotic place and of then head chefs Aktar Islam’s touch in creating such beauty on a plate. There was nothing like it in Birmingham.

Two years later i met Ruth and it soon became our go to place for great food, celebrations and an all round good night out ( who can forget one New Years Eve and scarf gate). Just ask!

We took Ruth’s parents, friends, my Mum enjoyed a few meals there with me and anyone who cared to listen we insisted it was the best place to get s curry in birmingham.

Roll on a few more years and chef Aktar has now left to follow other exciting dreams. We are both a little older, with less money and less time to eat out, but hey, Lasan is still here. But wait, now with its refurbishment things have changed.

Launched In 2002, Lasan, based on James Street just off St Paul’s Square, has now experienced a £500.000 re dawn. Lighter, brighter, glistening in its re birth. The decor in the dining room is beautiful and comfortable. It’s A triumph and so much better than the dark and slightly dull, tired look of before. The bar area is also light with tables, bar stools and a cocktail menu. A place for a pre or post meal drink that makes a loud statement of intent when you walk into it on arrival.

The food has always been the thing with Lasan, but to me it had sadly dipped in its importance and felt as if it was trading on past awards and praise. Ruth and I hadn’t been for awhile, says it all really.

Now, in its reincarnation the vigour feels like its back. I feel an excitement return like the days of old. Hopes have stirred.

The Popadoms have always been some of the best in the city, but often the sauces have let them down. Not now, the pineapple one is one of the nicest small bowls of food you can taste anywhere, the mint sauce was superb. Popadoms, Crisp. They come with three Pani Puri, tiny morsels of chickpeas and tamarind to be eaten in one go. They are lovely.

My starter of Ananas Paneer, Pineapple infused Paneer, garlic and onion seeds, textures of beetroot highlighted the point to me where majestic cooking can make a simple sounding dish sing, lovely flavours, the Paneer perfectly cooked so that it soaked the delectable gentle pineapple, not sweet but holding a well balanced flavour. A stunning dish perfectly presented.

My main course Shakarkand Kofta, followed the same line, roasted sweet potato kofta roundels were gently simmered in a yoghurt and turmeric sauce. Again the execution of the dish showed the simple art (for some) of presenting simple ingredients and spices to perfection. The kofta roundels sparkled in their gently spiced sauce with overlapping flavours punching the taste buds with a soft delicacy that was quite enrapturing.

Two sides were chosen to have with the kofta, both complimented the main course perfectly. The Gobi Angara, tandoori roasted cauliflower sautéed with Nigella scented onion masala. A knock out side with a stunning complex earthy flavour.

The Nigiri Paneer, soft Paneer, slow cooked spinach and fenugreek nilgiri korma sauce which was also beautifully cooked and both sides made perfect additions to the kofta main course.

I’m overexcited by desert. The Beetroot Halwa, a clean precise plate of refreshment that engulfs and rewards with every sliver. Caramelised nuts apples, pistachio ice cream create a delicious combination of flavours with the earthy Beets. Gentle notes of harmony with lovely contrasting textures, A charming pudding of classy and sophisticated pleasure.

Lasan’s food is ambitious, made to a higher standard than the norm, harmonious flavours, quality ingredients, perfectly cooked and spiced, in a polished, relaxing dining room that has a touch of luxury about it.

The attentive, well informed service simmers gently and is relaxed.

The vegetarian dishes sing, refined spiced perfectly each ingredient can be deciphered from the next.

For lovers of fine food and a dapper and quietly amazing food experience it’s comforting in my world that when all else in my life has changed in the last year beyond comprehension Lasan is now truly back in pole position of Birmingham’s Indian food scene and the world is better for it.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

The beautiful recommended bottle of red wine enjoyed on the night. Sadly not on the menu.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Fulford and Lasan for the invite and Paul and fellow Brummie blogger Laura from Bite Our Brum for the company. All food and drink was complimentary.

All opinions and photos of the food are my own. The photos of the restaurant and bar are courtesy of Lasan with thanks.

For Laura’s blog

https://t.co/ztvfni9Pvk

Lasan, 3-4 Dakota Buildings, James Street, off St Paul’s Square, Birmingham B3 1SD.

https://lasan.co.uk/

Award winning Lichfield Gin is a real tonic for Selfridges, Birmingham.


Sometimes a Gin and tonic is the only thing that hits the spot (and I know it) after a long day and this gin is closer in mileage to Birmingham than you may think.

An exclusive gin brewed in Lichfield has landed at Selfridges Birmingham just in time for the weekend 🍸 and Christmas.

The Gin wowed judges in an international competition just five months after launching. Fifth Spire won a gold medal in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in April this year, is made by Greywood Distillery.

Best friends Tom Lindsey and Rory McKerrell registered the business in late 2015 after a few months of making gin as a hobby and set up one of the UK’s smallest micro-distilleries, eventually launching their gin in November last year.

Fifth Spire creates its uniquely flavoured gin using twin copper stills, one of which contains the main botanicals such as juniper berries, coriander seed, cassia bark, angelica root, orris root, liquorice root, pink peppercorns, almonds, and Seville orange peel.

The other is only used for fresh citrus fruits including lemons, limes and grapefruit. When combined, the result is a smooth spirit that has a classic gin base and waves of citrus notes.

Tom said: “To win a gold medal at such a prestigious international competition has really helped to launch our brand and within a month of winning that we were invited to Selfridges.

“We’re  still producing on a very small scale -just a few thousand bottles a year – and we’re thrilled that Birmingham is now the exclusive city centre stockist and we’re looking forward to introducing our premium brand to the department store’s discerning customers.”

Sam Watts, general manager of Selfridges Birmingham, said: “Gin has never been more popular and because our customers are always keen to try out new brands we’re always on the look-out for interesting new talent. Fifth Spire really impressed us and the fact that we’re able to support a local distiller is even better.”

In 2016, UK drinkers bought 40 million bottles of gin – 12% more than the previous year, outstripping sales of sparkling wine and beer. Artisan distilleries are also on the rise, with more than 130 in the UK, double the number from 2012.

Go on enjoy!

THE PERFECT WAY TO SERVE FIFTH SPIRE GIN:<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
ic

Big glass

Lots of ice

Wedge of pink grapefruit

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

Thanks to Clive Reeves PR for information and photo.

Hotel Chocolat opens new store on Birmingham New Street with chocolate cafe and Vegan chocolate Christmas range.


’Tis the season to be jolly and it ‘Tis the season for chocolate. Well maybe. Though it’s certainly the season to over indulge on the good things in life and that includes Vegans too.

Luxury British chocolatier and cocoa grower, Hotel Chocolat, has announced the opening of a brand new store in Birmingham New Street, This latest addition, which opened on the 8th November forms part of the company’s boutique portfolio that boasts locations across the UK, Channel Islands and Europe.

Located slap bang outside the Frankfurt German Market its certainly has the location for a top break from the shopping place to unwind.

This latest opening continues the company’s strong design ethos that successfully marries the dual personalities of Hotel Chocolat – namely the sophisticated, fashion-led side of its stylish products and the earthy, authentic aspects of a hands-on cocoa grower. CEO, Angus Thirlwell explains, “Each and every one of our stores is designed to be a real sanctuary for our guests, which connects with the escapism of Hotel Chocolat – so we go to great lengths to ensure they are restful, elegant places that are easy to navigate. But we also want them to reflect that we are one of the world’s few cocoa growing chocolatiers, which is why you’ll find weathered wooden cabinets going hand in hand with sleek, polished surfaces.”

At Hotel Chocolat you’ll find everything from elegant gift boxes of chocolate to your everyday chocolate fix, all made according to our mantra – More Cocoa, Less Sugar – for a satisfying cocoa hit. Our house white chocolate contains 36% cocoa – more than you’ll find in many milk chocolates – while our house milks are 40% and 50% and our house dark is 70%.

That’s not to mention our range of rare and vintage chocolate bars, which includes single-origin chocolates made with premium cocoa from around the world, and even single-côte chocolate – made with beans from a specific terroir, or growing environment – the cocoa content of which can be up to 100%.

Looking for something unusual? For fans of a particular drink there are our cocoa-infused interpretations such as Cocoa Gin and Cocoa Beer, or our new teaolat: a light, all-natural infusion that blends herbs, spices and cacao shells for a refreshing cuppa that’s tailored to your mood.

Meanwhile, foodies will love experimenting with the range of sweet and savoury condiments, including Spiced Cocoa Nib Ketchup, Cocoa Balsamic and Chocolate Orange Marmalade.

You can also set down your Christmas shopping bags and take a weight off at the café, over a range of drinks such as hot chocolat’s, Coffee Chocolat Lattes and teaolat, as well as snacks including an irresistible seven types of brownies.

With ten types of hot chocolate including the divine sounding salted caramel, there’s plenty of choice.

The Birmingham New Street café is also featuring their NEW cocoa nib Ice Cream of the Gods, which is exclusive to select stores only. Infused with St Lucian Theobroma cocoa nibs, direct translation ‘cacao, food of the gods’.

Their will also be fifteen Vegan items in stock in the build up to Christmas. Hotel Chocolat are building up their range.

You can also have Vegan friendly chocolate in your drinks (darker percentages) with coconut milk been the alternative milk served.

Birmingham New Street café opened on 8th November and there will be a customer shopping day on 17th November. Visitors to the store on customer shopping day will be treated to free chocolate samples, as well as café samples and 15% off throughout the store. That’s as well as being able to discover the range of new season chocolates.

www.hotelchocolat.com

Thanks for reading,

Andy😊

Thanks to Hotel Chocolat for the details and all photos are theirs apart from the external shots of the cafe which are my own.

Restaurant Review: Tom’s Kitchen, Mailbox, Birmingham. A chic, smart place for veggies.


So once more Ruth and I were let out of the house together, as parenting duties were suspended for the evening. Not only were we let out but we ambled up to the big smoke (City Centre) nosebleeds in tow and wondered how long it may have been since we ate together in the city centre. Awhile in fact is the answer, so bless Tom’s Kitchen for having us and been trusting with our rusty city etiquette.

I’ve known a few Tom’s in my time. Sound as a pound chaps who’ve been reliable and good to hang around with. My son likes the Tank Engine chap and he says he’s cool so that’s ok with me, though that Controller chap I’m not sure of to be fair.

This Tom is Michelin Starred Tom Aitkens. You may remember him from The Great British Menu. Other outposts of the restaurant are in London and Istanbul.

Tom’s Kitchen in The Mailbox is a natty place. It has a Chic feel, step inside to cosy booths, dark wood, a sophisticated feel and a nice warm atmosphere and you have the makings of a good meal. With its dim lighting It has a nice romantic feel too which gives it an edge in an area of more vociferous chains and pale imitation Food. In fact Ruth and I felt relaxed as soon as we entered.

I start with the insanely good Macaroni Cheese with added Truffle. Loveliness in a warming bowl, not made for pretty photos but a depth of rich cheese, with that just perfect hint of truffle running through, An ingredient when overdone can slam bam ruin a dish in one foul swoop, trust me! A dish to devour and then devour it again, a comfort food award winner, though annoyed i didn’t order any bread to mop up the runaway cheese. Humph!

Now, here’s the thing. I’m not one to order a mostly cold salad like dish in the evening. I’m more of a lunch time punter for that accolade. But then I go and do it. Why? Oh why? Because in this instant I fancied been a revolutionary soul in my own skin. Away from my son, anything goes. Well only if it’s veggie or vegan.

The dish in question was the Courgette Dukkah, fennel and Turmeric. A zingy dish of complex flavours that had a lovely Summery taste. The Dukkah, breadcrumbed courgettes that added a warmth to the cooling salad with fennel. A lovely dish that was well worth diverting from the norm for.

Some quality shared chips.

And, afterwards Chocolate and peanut butter Marquise.

Chocolate decadence, sticky, beautiful and rich with the good things in life. Eat it slow as it’s too nice to rush. Taste it and sigh.

Staff were lovely. Though we sat early evening for dinner we didn’t feel rushed or pressurised to order quickly. Enthusiastic, professional service goes a long way.

There were some grumbles. I’d like to see a vegetarian main course dish on the specials, especially with the abundance of fresh veg produce in Autumn and maybe the mains themselves (apart from

The Dukkah) could be a bit more adventurous and vary and not just follow the burger (though I hear it’s seriously good) or risotto route, though I’m not doubting they would be lovely examples of two fine dishes and well worth trying.

Tom’s Kitchen is an excellent and smart restaurant. The use of fresh seasonal produce is done well. The veggie dishes have simple bold flavours which show off the key ingredients well and demonstrate a real skill in the kitchen.

The dishes follow a British staples line and are comfort food made well. I like the fact the portions are generous and the wine list is excellent and offers good choices that compliment the dishes.

The added cocktail menu that included for us a superb Negroni and dry Gin Martini, are good examples of the quality on offer. They were both done well.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Tom’s Kitchen for Vegetarians. Especially if you

are with meat eaters it’s a good choice to make everyone happy and with dishes made well and changing seasonally it’s well worth discovering.

We also drank a delicious glass of Trebbiano and Sangiovese. Top notch wines.

Thanks for reading.

Andy 😊

Thanks to the lovely PR company Rewired for the invite, and for their patience with the arrangements. Our food and drinks were complimentary (at the restaurants discretion) and all opinions made are my own.

https://www.tomskitchen.co.uk/en/birmingham/restaurant/

Tom’s Kitchen, 53 The Mailbox, Wharf side street, Birmingham, B1 1RE.

Architect-turned photographer to stage first exhibition at Bar Opus.


Bar Opus this year has demonstrated its support to promoting local artists in its bar through events and exhibitions. They are due to launch their final one of the year this month.

The man who helped to drive city centre redevelopment in Birmingham has joined forces with Bar Opus the leading independent city bar, to stage an exhibition of his

photographs.

Philip Singleton’s Pause Project, which features 12 images of buildings that are in a state of transition, is the third art exhibition that the bar at One Snowshill

has showcased this year in support of local talent.

Philip, the former CEO of Millennium Point and assistant director of city centre development at Birmingham City Council, is studying for a Masters in photography at

the Falmouth University Institute of Photography and says he is looking forward to unveiling his atmospheric images on September 20th.

With a background in architecture and urban development, Philip says his interest in photography grew out of considering the architectural metamorphosis across the

city.

“Birmingham has to be one of the most rapidly changing cities in the country and is a master at reinventing itself,” he said. “I wanted to capture and document what

is happening and have been able to gain access to spaces that are private or hidden away. These aren’t architectural studies; instead, I’ve focused on another layer of the empty, melancholic spaces that people leave behind.”

The photographs include an empty cell in Steelhouse Lane police station; the safe deposit boxes in the former Municipal Bank in Broad Street; the industrial units

at Icknield Port Loop; and the BCU Conservatoire, which has been demolished to make way for the new Paradise development.

To further cement the exhibition’s connection to the city, Philip used Digbeth-based photographic developers Palm Laboratories and framers Harris Moore to create the exhibition.

“Bar Opus has given me a tremendous opportunity to exhibit my work and it has been incredibly generous in its support,” said Philip. “It’s great that a high-quality

independent business in the city is helping emerging local artists and I’m excited to have my works exhibited there in the Colmore BID.”

Irene Allen, Opus director, said: “2017 has been a transformational year for us as we’ve sought to bring the work of local artists into Bar Opus. We’ve enjoyed giving a platform to some incredible artists and our last exhibition of the year is another fascinating study, documenting spaces that we don’t normally see. We’ve no doubt that they’ll be a real talking point for our customers.”

Since the beginning of the year, Bar Opus has showcased the work of internationally renowned artist Sophie Hedderwick, art from Birmingham-born innovators Key & Tam, the creative duo behind LOWLFE, and Birmingham artist and owner of Disorder Boutique Mark Howard.

For more information on Bar Opus, visit

www.baropus.co.ukThe work that both Opus Restaurant and Bar Opus do to support and promote local individuals and issues should be commended and I hope this exhibition is very successful. Take a look next time your around the city centre. And enjoy lunch or a drink too.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

#TastyMorsels: Veggie and Vegan happenings.


Mowgli Street Food is opening at Grand Central by the end of September, offering simple Indian street food.

YouTube Vlogger Nisha Katona owns the restaurant which originated in Liverpool.

Mowgli will opening in the centres casual dining area next to Tapas Revolution and Pho. Serving home style fresh food including tiffin boxes.

Mowgli sets itself up as taste of adventure with their famous yogurt chat Bombs at the heart of the menu.

The menu will include many vegan dishes and will now doubt be popular amongst veggies and vegans in Birmingham.

A healthy mix of good food and fun atmosphere awaits.

Watch this space for more news as I know it.

Laghi’s Deli has just opened on Islington Row just off Five Ways island.

Italian delights a plenty, home made breads, cakes, homemade pasta you name it it’s here. They also do Aperativi. The aperitivo period after work in Italy when for the price of a cocktail or wine finger foods can be enjoyed alongside. So try focaccia, olives or cheese maybe. Heaven! Is there a finer time in Italy? From 5-7pm

Oh and good coffee…but of course.

They also stock an impressive range of wine.

The 40 cover restaurant bar is open for brunch, lunch and dinner.

Expect a visit from me, to sample their wares, at some point… could be the Italian gaff I’ve been dreaming of for Brum!

At last.

Laghi’s is open from 8am-11.30pm Mondays to Saturdays.

Vegan Mex it Up are presenting An American Affair on Saturday 30th September at The Pie Shop in Stirchley on the Pershore Road.

The menu is below:

Booking via info@mexitupfoods.com

The Vegan Cakery will be providing the desert.

Mex it up have also been nominated for best vegan caterer. You can vote for them below.

https://london.vegfest.co.uk/awards/vote/

As mentioned in the previous Tasty Morsels, The Indian Streatery is now open for business with a great selection of veggie and Vegan dishes. The menu is below:

Find it on Hill Street just off New Street in Birmingham City Centre.

I Can’t wait to try it out.

Las Iguanas opened on Temple Street in the city centre on the 28th August. The Latin American themed restaurant has many vegetarian dishes and a devoted Vegan menu on offer. Plus 2-4-1 cocktails all day every day. They are also still open in The Arcadian area of Brum.

Tamatanga.

Anther new Indian Street Food eatery is due to open in Birmingham City Centre on Navigation Street this month. Tamatanga is Nottingham based for over ten years and is now opening up a flag ship restaurant in Brum. Authentic Indian dishes will be served all day including breakfast and the restaurant will be completely family friendly.

Open from 7.30am food will include breakfast items and thali’s and small plates, 3 dishes for £15 and five for £23.

Veggie Dishes include Chaat, veg samosas, chilli paneer and a dish called ragda Pattice, crispy potato cakes on masala yellow peas, with homemade chutneys.

Cocktails are also served.

They will have crayons, high chairs and kids menus.

Sounds a brilliant family restaurant.

Can’t wait to try it.

Vegetarian restaurant Bistro 1847 are offering 50% off in Birmingham this month (September). For tables up to 4 people, when booking quote September50 in the comments section online and receive the deal on their a la Carte menu.

Sounds veggie and vegan heaven to me.

Photo AH

And another new kid on the block is Grit -Food and Drink- opening at the space in the Jewellery Quarter vacated later this month by the excellent Two Cats Kitchen.

The former Jewellery workshop on Warstone lane will be serving affordable quality food from an A la Carte menu. More neighbourhood restaurant than fine fine dining a sample menu highlights some lovely sounding veggie dishes such as caramelised cauliflower, scorched salad , truffle, cheddar and sunflower seed. Using some of the old Two Cats team this opening sounds right nip my street and offers the type of food I love.

Can’t wait, Standby for more details when I have them.

Open October 17th.

And finally Brewdog in Birmingham have a showcase and meet the brewer on Friday September 8th with Kings Heath, Vegan Brewery Glasshouse Beer Co.

Showcasing 4 beers, Vermont Pale, IPA, Choccy Milk, and Stout and Raspberry Pale.

A Brewery to keep an eye on, but of course I’m biased.

Oh, and Ben and Jerry’s are now selling Vegan ice Cream across U.K. Supermarket s. Check out the flavours below. Enjoy.

That’s all for now folks.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

All images and photos courtesy of restaurants and breweries apart from where stated.

#TastyMorsels: Veggie and Vegan happenings.


Beginning on the 20th August The Warehouse Cafe is introducing their Vegan Sunday Roast lunch menu. From 12-3pm every Sunday. With gluten free and kids options. The menu is below.

Get booking.

Vegetarian restaurant Bistro 1847 in the Great Western Arcade are offering 50% off in August. This offer is for up to 4 people on the A La Carte menu.

Offer available from Sunday until Friday. Only available when booked via the link and add August 50 in the comments.

http://uk.resdiary.com/go.aspx?id_message=19967&id_prov=5220&id_subscriber=110029387&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.resdiary.com%2FRestaurant%2F1847Birmingham

 

 

Vegan eatery Natural Healthy Foods have a curry, Jazz night on Sunday 27th August. This is a ticketed event. Tickets are £20. £2 of which will go to charity Animal Healing Trust and horse rescue. Jazz will be from the Mish Mash Quartet.

For menu see poster.

For tickets see below link:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/curry-jazz-night-natural-healthy-foods-eatery-tickets-36774336029

As mentioned in the last tasty morsels The Vegan Grindhouse have a residency at 1000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter beginning on the 15th August until the 26th August. Every day apart from Sunday’s for your street food Americana.

See the menu Below:

http://1000trades.org.uk/aint-nothing-wrong-little-vegan-grind-2/

Mex It Up have a Kitchen takeover ‘Thai it up’ on Sunday 20th August at The Pie Shop in Stirchley. A set menu of delicious Thai Vegan food. From 17.30-21.00. The menu is £15.00 per person.

Starter : Mixed platter of crispy fried tofu, spring rolls and garlic n soy fried beansprouts with dipping sauces.

Main: Veg Green Curry served with rice noodles

Dessert: Sticky Coconut Rice with Mango Sorbet.

The first of a regular series of pop ups for Mex it up.

The Pie Shop is on the Pershore Road.

Digbeth Dining Club regulars The Indian Rasoi are opening up an eatery and cocktail bar in Birmingham city centre. Called The Indian Streatery it’s due to be open from Saturday 26th August.

Their Chaat is legendary and with a plethora of veggie and vegan options it looks set to be one of the best places for meat Free options in the city centre.

It’s to be based in the original Adams restaurant building just off New Street on Hill Street.

Look out for more details on this blog when I have them on menus and a review in due course.


On 26th August Fletchers Bar in Kings Heath have a tapas tasting day. Free samples a plenty from 1-5pm. Well worth discovering.

And, Nyam Nyam, the Caribbean vegetarian and vegan street food trader will be at the Kings Heath Street Food Market this Saturday, 19th August.

Veggie heaven indeed.

That’s all for now folks.

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊