6/8 Kafe Craft Beer festival 10/11/12th November, plus discount.


Scaffolding is a necessary pest, a bit like slugs eating my veg or wasps in the summer. 

I once went to Florence and the great cathedral was covered in the stuff. How annoyed was I. The same happened in Rome with The Trevi Fountain. I was not amused. 

But then it comes off, as if by magic the structure below appears, more beautiful, brighter and and all is well. 

This is what 6/8 Kafe hope now their monstrous outdoor cover has been taken down and to celebrate they are having a craft beer festival. Well why not, they deserve it. Let’s toast progress! 

Sitting at the back of House of Fraser on Temple Row 6/8 Kafe is an independent coffee shop of some repute in the city and a innovator of the fine art of the Barista.

Festival organiser and proprietor Dav said:

”Our festival is about enjoying local beer with the amazing people that make them.

”It’s about tasting, learning and enjoying everything about craft beer. 

The line up includes: 

On Thursday ‘meet the brewers’. 

Burning Soul Brewing:

Bringing OCT IPA 6.7%

Mount Olympus Pale Ale 5.2%

Insert [Blanc] Single Hop Ale 5.2%

On Friday there is a ‘meet the brewer’ session with Twisted Barrel Ale who are launching their annual winter special ”Dark Knight Rises” and a Belgian Dubbel at Six Eight.

http://www.twistedbarrelale.co.uk/


On Saturday two Black Country brewers Sacre Brew at 6pm and Fixed Wheel are at the festival. 

Fixed Wheel will bring ‘Carbon Black IPA 6.8%, ‘Coffee Fix ‘6.1% and ‘Single Speed Equinox’ 4.5%.

Sacre Brew will bring  3 beers: Sloe Loris, Wendigo, & Donkey’s Years! 

Throughout the festival they will have live acoustic musicians appearing and playing to their hearts content. 

Tracks like down with the scaffolding should be popular on the playlist. 

Sacre Brew Microbrewery

http://www.fixedwheelbrewery.co.uk/

Tickets are £3.66 or £2.66 using my discount   ANDY_H at the checkout which will get you your first pint and access at the event. Enter the promotional code at the link. Andy_H.

Here: 

http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=JuO6H&m=gcE2TaB8ITvENEE&b=VsnXDFvrrJivKpZnMQMmMQ

https://www.facebook.com/events/1618496268450152/

Also present will be Digbeth Dining Club favourites Stufo providing the food. 
http://www.stufo.co.uk/

http://www.sixeightkafe.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/events/1618496268450152/

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊


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Coffee time @ Vegan and Vegetarian 3 Three’s Coffee Lounge, Birmingham City Centre.


  

3 Three’s Coffee Lounge is a new Vegan and Vegetarian coffee shop in Martineu Place, Birmingham City Centre. 

Recently opened it offers a mixture of hot ( soup, vegan hot dogs)  and cold food (Sandwiches, cakes, ice cream- 12 flavours, 4 vegan friendly) and of course coffee. All cakes are also Vegan friendly and dairy free. 

Most of the menu it seems is suitable for Vegans and offers mock meat style options (sandwiches, wraps) as well non meat style options such as hummus, avocados and roasted peppers and the soup and hot dog (Frankfurter) is dairy free. 

 

3 Three’s has an informal and comfortabl feel with good reliable Wi Fi and sturdy wooden tables, ideal for working on. 

It’s quite a large space with plenty of seating and art work on the walls. 3 Three’s also had a nice atmosphere, with good background music. 

On the two occasions that I’ve been it was busy considering it had only been open a few days and word of mouth seems to be getting round.  

On my first visit I enjoyed  a Chocolate Brownie (£2.20) that had an excellent chocolatey flavour, was nice and gooey in the middle, a good flat shape and had a homemade feel about it. It was a pleasure to eat and very tempting to repeat. 

My Flat White had a good espresso coffee flavour, though lacked the micro foam swirl of others in the city that makes it so distinctive, it was a bit of a disappointment though had a decent full flavour. I’m sure this will improve. 

Mine was made with semi skimmed milk, there are non dairy versions available with Soya or Almond milk. 

  
  Chocolate Brownie. All cakes are vegan friendly. 

  
    
  

On my second visit I tried the Vegan friendly Frankfurter Hot Dog £3.00. 

  

Served in a 8.5 inch white roll, the Frankfurter hot dog made out of tofu? I think, came with a choice of toppings, jalapeños, mustard, ketchup, and onion with salsa to be launched soon. It looked stunning and tasted exceptionally good. The Frankfurter was full of tofu flavour, and set off by the spicy jalapeños and soft silky onions and bright and vividly flavoured mustard was one of the nicest of it’s kind I’ve tasted for ages. 

I also enjoyed a semi skimmed Cappuccino ( £2.50) that had a nice strong coffee flavour and had a lovely arty chocolate 3 Three’s logo on top. A great coffee. 

  
    
  

Before now the brilliant Warehouse Cafe was the only informal veggie and vegan eating place in the city centre, but not a coffee lounge in any form. 3 Three’s is going in a different direction. It’s very much needed and in a decent central location with lots of foot traffic.

As a first look, I was very impressed with 3 Three’s Coffee Lounge. It’s a very friendly shop, wih staff that are enthusiastic and keen to please. The food I’ve eaten is of a high standard and the menu though limited so far, is nice and catering to an informal laid back crowd who want something different and find the indulgence of a Vegan/Veggie or Gluten Free friendly atmosphere to their liking. 

I’d like to see more risks in time with some of the food. I know this is in hand and the menu is constantly under development. A few salads, raw maybe using seasonal vegetables, breakfast items,  a bit more simple hot food, perhaps burrito’s, even a burger. 

These though are only my perceptions of an informal vegan/veggie space, from ones I’ve visited in London for example, not the definitive, but for now 3 Three’s is an improvement and an asset to Birmingham’s developing independent cafe and coffee scene and offers something different with quality for us non meat and fish (and dairy) eaters, (in fact the whole of Birmingham.) it’s a place I’ve warmed to and a place I will frequent often. 

Any new venture of this kind deserves support and is a positive start in creating a more defined informal Vegetarian and Vegan lunch stop in central Birmingham and this is most welcome. 

https://m.facebook.com/3threescoffee/

http://www.3threescoffee.com/

3 Three’s Coffee Lounge, Martineau Place, City Centre, B2 4UW.

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

  
  

I paid for all my food and drink in full, my opinions are my own and honest as always. 

Veggie Foodie Lunch watch: Java Lounge, Colmore Row, Birmingham. 


Sometimes you just want a simple lunch. Nothing fancy, nothing glamorous, just something that hits the spot, is warming and non offensive. This is what I found at Indie Coffee shop Java Lounge on Colmore Row in Birmingham City Centre. 

   

Having stumbled in, as you do, though I can assure you I hadn’t had a drink or much worse. I thought let’s give the Toasted Falafel Wrap with tomato and onion a go. It came with 2 dips and a mixed side salad. 

I was impressed, the falafel wrap was a decent size, with the tomato and onion offering a contrast to the firm falafel inside. It had a good flavour and wasn’t in any way falling away in my hands or was tough to cut with a knife and fork.  It was filling and even though I wasn’t sure of the dips which seemed an afterthought, maybe provide a oily chilli or balsamic dressing instead, it proved to be a decent lunch and not a rip off that some places are. For just over a fiver I had a filling vegetarian wrap and a Flat White (what else!). 

The flat white, pitch perfect, looked good. A really fine coffee. 

    
   

As the Java Lounge is only 5 minutes from the Birmingham Getman Market, it’s a lot more tempting for lunch for vegetarians than the overdose of meaty goods you can find there. It’s also inside and a darn site cheaper, unless you are having the cheesy garlic bread of course at the market. (Watch your breath though).

You can find Java Lounge on Colmore Row 5 minutes from Victoria Square. 
Thanks for reading

Andy 😊

I paid for my wrap and coffee myself and left with a bit more of a spring in my step than when I entered. 

For my coffee time review of Java Lounge see here: 

http://t.co/Rxwk0lWAj9

  
  

#Veggiebreakfast&brunchwatch: Loco Lounge Kings Heath. 


One of my favourite meals of the day has always been breakfast or brunch on a weekend. Especially the lingering kind, with the papers, Sunday Morning listening to Cerys Matthews on BBC 6 Music, bliss. Or in a hotel, when it’s cooked for you, and always appears more exciting without the washing up. I can still remember being impressed at L’Enclume in Cartmel, Le Manoir, or Northcote’s delicious cheese soufflé or just simple a croissant in Paris or on garden terrace in Rome. Magnificent. 

Both simple or extravagant, either eating too many pastries at Hotel Du Vin or just a good cooked vegetarian breakfast, eggs and veggie sausage, tomatoes, mushrooms, you get the picture. Good produce cooked well. 

So it was on a Sunday brunch time the other week that Ruth and I wandered into The Loco Lounge in Kings Heath, well known for their brunch menu and sensitivity to veggies and vegans. The Loco Lounge is an all day cafe and bar that is community driven and always busy whatever time of day. It’s my favourite place in Kings Heath to work in on my blog, free wifi and friendly staff and large so easy to get a good comfy seat. On this day it again was busy, a weekend crowd, jolly, relaxed, happy. 

The Loco Lounge do a substantial Vegetarian breakfast, and also it’s vegan equivalent. 

Sweetcorn fritters, hash browns, grilled tomato, baked beans, mushrooms, spinach, roasted red peppers, fried egg, and toast for £6.95. Good value, but alas no Veggie Sausage. Why? How?. 😉

Please remedy that👍 and put some on the extras. 

Though liked the veg aspect a lot and that’s so refreshing to see. 

   

   

I enjoyed the Sweetcorn fritters, crispy, a nice texture, filling, I liked the addition of spinach and roasted red peppers, different, again adding a different texture, and flavour. Also the egg was runny, the hash browns nice, so all in all a good breakfast that was plentiful and filling, but no veggie sausage option. You can’t win them all. I enjoyed it. 

Loco Lounge also serve a veggie kedgeree with Halloumi and of course the vegan breakfast with fried potatoes. 

There is a list of extras so if you feel like more as we did with the toast then order away. 

  

   

       

Kings Heath has a good choice of breakfast/brunch hang outs. Notably Cherry Reds, both vegan and veggie breakfasts, including sausage.

 Also Cherry Reds in Birmingham City Centre.

  

Kitchen Garden cafe, veggie breakfast and potato hash, which is yummy. 

Veg out Cafe, of course vegetarian breakfast, 

Maison Mayci do a Sunday brunch. 

As this is the first of an occasional blog post I’m sure to review all of these in the future. Also on my radar, Ju Ju’s in the city centre by the canal, Yumm cafe at the Custard Factory, Boston Tea party, Harborne and City centre and later this year Moseley Village. Yorks bakery in the city and The Plough in Harborne, who are introducing a new brunch menu including a divine sounding sweet potato and okra hash and Leverton and Halls in Bournville who have a vegetarian breakfast. 

All offer vegetarian choices. 

If anyone has any other recommendations or favourites. Then please let me know. 😊 via the comments below or Twitter @andydhare

Thanks for reading. 

We paid for our breakfasts at Loco Lounge. All opinions are honest and my own as always. 

Andy 😊

The Loco Lounge is part of The Lounges cafe bar chain who also have cafes in Harborne, Shirley, Wylde Green and elsewhere in Birmingham, see website for details, and soon the Cosy Club in Birmingham City Centre. 

   

 

Loco Lounge, High Street, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 

Open 9am-11pm every day. 

0121 444-1296

Vegan menu see below. 

http://thelounges.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/LO_Winter_Vegan_Menu.pdf

Main menu see below. 

http://thelounges.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/LO_Food_Menu_Winter_2014.pdf


#CoffeeTime: Loco Lounge- Kings Heath


I’m making no apologies for mentioning the Loco Lounge on Kings Heath High Street in Birmingham again on my blog.

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The Loco Lounge Is part of the Lounges group of cafe bars that offer an all day space and cater for the whole community and neighbourhood.

They also sell and eclectic mix of cocktails, craft beers and wine.

Loco has a large double fronted shop front which has some outside seating. Inside the the ground floor is open plan with stairs leading to a snug with a covered terrace to the rear of that.

It’s a large space with a loyal customer base and is popular at all times of the day. A real community space. A place for all the family.

The Loco Lounge is near my house, but until this occasion I hadn’t drunk a coffee in its cosy cafe.

As a cafe/bar caters for many different people in many different ways. Since this visit I have visited in the morning a couple of times and this time is popular with parents with children and people working on laptops…and me 🙂

It is for this reason one Friday afternoon that I visited. To work on my blog and my poetry. Yes I have new work 🙂 x 6!

The Loco Lounge I think is the best space for working in
in Kings Heath, spacious, free wi fi, and with comfy chairs, sofas and cushions, it’s like your front room with a casual buzz and friendly staff.

On the afternoon (a Friday) I visited the cafe was busy.
Some people had eaten lunch others were working with a coffee and some were chilling with a book and a coffee.

You have to order at the bar, and I chose my favourite coffee test a Flat White with a Vegan (yes vegan) chocolate and Ginger torte.

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The Flat White was lovely, creamy, well made, a good coffee with a decorative twist. Presented in a glass mug which was quite retro like. Excellent.

The torte alongside it was a lovely choice. The ginger against the vegan chocolate was delicious. It was well baked, soft, sticky, the vegan chocolate was thick and gooey. It was superb. A real surprise, I don’t mind saying.

A lovely combination.

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The Loco Lounge is a brilliant space to work in. It’s buzzy without been in your face, it’s spacious and cosy. The food and drink is varied, with lunches, evening specials, breakfasts, and a whole vegan menu on offer it covers all basis. In fact if you stay all day you can be well fed.

For coffee and cake it ticks all the boxes and makes for a satisfying stop off whilst in Kings Heath, for locals like me well it’s an extension of our living room, a home from home.

In my case with better coffee and cake.

The Loco Lounge
32/34 High Street
Kings Heath
Birmingham
B14 7JT

0121 444 1296

@loco_lounge

http://www.thelounges.co.uk/loco-lounge

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On Monday Loco do a pub quiz. On Tuesday they offer Tapas Tuesday where you can have three tapas dishes and a large glass of house wine for £9.75.

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Update: A delicious Cappuccino, creamy with a touch of chocolate class.

#CoffeeTime: Cherry Reds-Kings Heath &Birmingham City Centre


Cherry Reds have two independent cafe bars in Birmingham. One in Kings Heath near my house on York Road just off the high street and one in Birmingham City Centre on John Bright Street near New Street Station and opposite Brew Dog craft beer bar.

Both branches are intimate and quirky, with friendly staff, good alternative music and lots of charm. Try vintage furniture, comfy sofas, mismatched of course, vintage signage and a keen and developing craft beer range at the bar.

Cherry Reds are fantastic for vegetarians and vegans, they do gluten free cakes and all their food is made on the premises. From breakfasts, both veggie and vegan. Veg sausage sandwiches, Halloumi and mushroom sandwiches, jackets, salads, falafel burgers, and a falafel, Halloumi, and roast veg burger that I haven’t yet tried Cherry Reds has a bounty of veggie snacks and bites. They do pop ups, both Pika Pika (Japanese) on the second Monday of the month in Kings Heath and Taco Tuesday’s (soon to be relaunched) are fantastic nights, and great for veggies.

In the last few weeks I’ve been to both for coffee. I’ve eaten in Cherry Reds in Kings Heath before, both for Pika Pika Pop up (back in February) and Taco Tuesday, as well as lunch with Ruth.

During the course of the day in Kings Heath as on John Bright Street, Cherry Reds caters for differing food needs from all day breakfasts to burgers and craft beer.

The Kings Heath cafe bar is smaller, more homely, more intimate. This can be good and bad depending on how busy the bar is. Tables are rarer to find at busy times, but in the day it’s quieter especially in the afternoon after lunch the time that I enjoyed a Flat White and lovely chocolate brownie.

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The Flat white was well made, creamy and very enjoyable, but the brownie which I’ve eaten before is gorgeous, soft, rich, home made. A lovely chocolate flavour and a lovely balance to the flat white coffee and chocolate. Can’t go wrong.

I’ve also eaten lunch at Cherry Reds on York Road and shared a lovely and generous vegetarian sharer platter with falafel, olives, Humous, salsa, red pepper, and Halloumi, crudités, bread and delicious home made chips.

I recommend this dish for a lovely relaxing lunch or evening out with a couple of craft beers, ideal for sharing in a very chilled cafe bar.

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The Cherry Reds on John Bright Street is the larger and younger brother of the Kings Heath cafe bar. Set over two floors it sits on the corner proud and welcoming.

Exposed brickwork, mismatched vintage furniture, the themes and tones are the same but it’s less intimate, more spacious with more tables and room for an evening food and drinks fest. It has the same menu,

I enjoyed a delicious cappuccino creamy, warming, with chocolate on the top, no cake on this occasion but I do recommend their cupcakes. Veggie and vegan friendly. A delight.

Every last Monday of the month John Bright Street house a different food pop up, sometimes street food.

Delize Italian gave just completed a night with good veggie options and hopefully will do more in the future.

Both Cherry Reds do cocktails, again recommended, and wine. Look out on their website for cocktail nights, blues nights and food pop ups.

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Cherry Reds are independent and their aim is to provide great food and drink in a relaxed and cosy space. The atmosphere is laid back, snug, with friendly genuine service.

From 4-7pm Cherry Reds offer 2 4 1 cocktails every day, draught Beers, ciders, lagers, all very eclectic, all in a laid back way. Both are popular for different reasons, my local Kings Heath cafe bar almost feels like my long lost back room.

Cherry Reds also offer Independent Birmingham Membership card holders a free pint of ale, lager, cider or draught soft drink with every main meal ordered. (Including burgers and breakfasts)

Try them, they are brilliant for vegetarians and vegans, some of the best range of food in Birmingham.

All food and drink consumed at Cherry Reds has been paid for by me, enjoyed by me and thus my opinions are honest, and by me as always.

Cherry Reds
16 York Road,
Kings Heath,
Birmingham,
B14 7RZ

0121 441 3155

Facebook: CherryReds

Twitter: @Ilovecherryreds

Cherry Reds cafe bar
92 John Bright Street
Birmingham,
01216435716

Thanks for reading

@andydhare

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Vegetarian sharing platter and Pika Pika Pop up.

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#COFFEETIME: URBAN COFFEE COMPANY BIRMINGHAM CITY CENTRE


Drinking Coffee is a past time that I love. Birmingham as you know as a number of very good Independent coffee shops that offer many differing experiences and provide a solace for many different people. One of my favorites, and one that I have been frequenting since it opened is Urban Coffee on Church Street, Birmingham city Centre. Sitting a little away from Birmingham Cathedral and Snow Hill Station Urban Coffee is one of the original coffee pioneeers of independent coffee in the city.

Urban Coffee Company are dedicated to bringing and creating a unique coffee experience. Started by a couple who were tired of the chains and wanted to start an independent coffee shop in Birmingham, they now have three emporiums, one in Church street in the city centre, one in The Jewellery Quarter and one in Harborne.

It was the Church Street emporium I visited on a friday afternoon. When I entered surprisingly it wasn’t very busy, with plenty of tables free. You see Urban Coffee can be very popular, and finding space can be difficult at certain times of the day.

The Church Street Emporium is light and airy and has two levels. The ground is busier usually and more fitting for a quicker visit, with a traditional cafe layout, with stout tables, mixed seating and one long communal table. Upstairs has a more loungy feel, with bean bags and couches, a more leasurely and relaxed space.
I chose on this occasion to sit downstarirs for a change.

I chose to drink a flat white and sample a cappuccino slice. Though it was cup cake friday, the slice tempted me more. The Flat White was good, artistically presented, but certainly not the best i’ve had in Birmingham. It did have a good coffee flavour though and went well with a lovely cake, that I enjoyed. The cakes have always been consistent, and the filter coffee and the cappucino is excellent too:)

Unfortuantely every time I visit they seem to have sold out of handmade Yipsy Macarons, but never mind.

Urban coffee offers a good selection of cakes, pastries, bagels, teas, sandwiches, and has a licence which allows it to serve alcohol such as craft beer, spirits, cocktails and wine. It has a number of events such as live music, poetry readings, cocktail nights and book clubs that happen from time to time. See their website for full diary and food and drinks menu.

They serve bottled beer from 5-7pm when the emporium closes.

Urban Coffee is a great Independent coffee shop, it has a strong free wi fi, and the urbanisters (staff) are friendly, passionate and know their coffee and are happy to assist if you are unable to decide from a long coffee menu.

I like the Church Street emporium, it’s away from the hustle and bustle of the main part of the city and on a street that is a nice one to wander down. (off Colmore Row opposite the Cathedral). Urban Coffee is a coffee shop that is full of people who love coffee and and know of a good product and service.

I would recommend Urban Coffee, and though have not tried their other two emporiums feel that The Church Street venue as the original offers a good mix of airy space that caters for a mixed crowd of people. Though it can be busy.

In many ways, Urban Coffee Company are what makes Birmingham’s Independent coffee scene exciting and something to be proud of. It offers another unique expereince and thus is well recommended for coffee and cake enthusiasts. All veggies welcome 🙂

Urban Coffee Company
30 Church Street,
Off Colmore Row
Colmore Business District
Birmingham
B3 2NP.

http://www.urbancoffee.co.uk
@urbancoffee

For Independent Birmingham card holders Urban offer a free refil on any single estate filter coffee or tea.

Disclaimer: I paid for my own coffee and cake. My review is my own experience and is honest.

Have you been to Urban Coffee? What did you think?

what are you favourite independent coffee shops? Let me know using the comment box below.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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