#Coffeetime: Waterstone’s independent cafe Birmingham.


Now books, that’s another story. I’m always to be found with a book in my hand, whether fiction, poetry, gardening or art, I’m never far from one. In fact I’ve been known to spend a few hours in book shops and thus if in Birmingham Waterstone’s is the main and largest book shop in town to visit. 

  
The new impressive Waterstone’s Birmingham on High Street on the Bull Ring intersection is huge. 

Covering five floors, it covers every type of book and has a lovely floor for its Children’s section which also has its own cafe and cup cake making sessions (plus children’s play area).

Created as a ‘flagship bookshop for the Midlands’. The fiction section has its own floor (basement) and there are oak bookcases fitted throughout. Topped with this there’s also a varied events programme (see in store or on the website) and the shop itself feels more engaging, more user friendly with a new shop front and enhanced book range (though the poetry section is still a bit small for me). It’s a joy to walk around and another step on the revolutionisation of Birmingham as a cultural city merging with an impressive and vibrant city centre. 

  

Now it appears that me and Mrs Mills’ cakes have a thing going on, but just keep it a secret, but then I’m bound by been a blogger and all food consumed is ‘for the blog’ and the blog alone. Ruth my wife disputes this, and feels that I just consume food, well because I like it. It’s probably one of the reasons why I began my blog. As, what’s the point in being a food blogger if you don’t like food, and cake is food…right. 

The cafe is run independently and this shows in its free and easy layout and atmosphere with comfortable seating throughout. It’s a peaceful spot, but there is a surprise that you can sit on any floor with your drink and food if you wish (as long as you don’t mind carrying it up flights of stairs).

The aim is as much as possible to use local producers for cakes and bakes such as Mrs Mills. 

  Cheesecake and Flat White. 

  Yummy 😊

  Mrs Mills’ Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake: 

Creamy chocolatey layers of delight. Cheese cake base well made, a good bake. Rich Vanilla pod infused with a thick swirl of dark chocolate running through each slice, chocolate chip pieces. Melt in the mouth deliciousness. Indeed the best cheese cake in Birmingham no doubt.

Eaten with a lovely flat white. In fact everything one should be. Velvet micro foam and a powerful double shot of coffee.

   
 Flat white 

  Mrs Mills’ Chocolate Brownie (with Pips Hot chilli sauce).

The second cake I’ve eaten at Waterstone’s cafe is the Chocolate Brownie made with Pips Hot Chilli Sauce and sea salt. A luxurious brownie, with a definite chilli hit, which though quite powerful compliments the gooey chocolate well and makes for an indulgent treat at any time of the day. A very beautiful brownie that deserves repeated trials. A treat. 

Eaten with a disappointing cappuccino which wasn’t intensive enough in coffee for me and felt quite flat next to the brownie. Shame.

Waterstone’s cafe also serve sandwiches and biscuits. Bread is provided by local artisan baker Peel and Stone from the Jewellery Quarter. Other local producers are Anderson and Hill and Too busy to bake. 

It’s a delight in every way and a place to wile away the time, but beware if you fancy working there, their wifi is erratic and tempermental, in fact much like writers.  

A match made in bookish heaven. 

   Cakes and sandwiches at Waterstone’s. 

  Christmas time 

  

   
   Cafe seating.

 The view from the cafe of Birmingham’s German Market in the distance. 

   
   
  

 Children’s floor with plenty of activities. 

 

   
    Books and coffee, whatever next?

    Cafe seating amongst the books. 

 Waterstone’s Birmingham, High Street, 24-26 High Street, B4 7SL.

0121-633-4353.

Disclosure: I paid in full for my coffees and cakes. My opinions are honest as always. 

Mrs Mills Cakes makes celebration cakes, on the go granola bars, indulgent deserts and cheesecakes, biscuits for mail order and at food festivals, fairs and Brum Yum Yum Streetfood events. 

All cakes baked using free range eggs. 

At Brum Yum Yum Kings Heath on the 12th Decenber. 

https://m.facebook.com/MrsMillsMakesCakes/
  

http://mrsmillsmakescakes.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/mrsmillscakes

Christmas orders: 

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Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

Street Food INC comes to BrindleyPlace Birmingham City Centre 2-6 April 


For 5 whole days from the 2-6th April (Thursday-Monday, Easter Bank Holiday)  Central Square at BrindleyPlace Birmingham will be transformed into one of the largest street food markets with over 15 traders per day. Billed as a celebration of home grown talent and the fantastic food scene that Birmingham has to offer it promises to be a vibrant and lively foodie weekend, and will host some brilliant Vegetarian friendly street food traders. 

   

Organised by I Need Catering, Lucy Darby  the main host has organised a brilliant line up. 

On all 5 days Veggie Foodie favourites The Vegan Grindhouse will be present, showcasing their 100% plant based Vegan burgers, chilli, and a number of other superb dishes. 

Plus Veggie Foodie favourites Barebones Pizza will be present for 5 Days also. With superb pizzas, and their delicious Vegetarian and Vegan pizzas. 

The Vegan Grindhouse   

       Barebones Pizza 

Plus Pip’s Hot Sauce will be presenting an exclusive Vegan hot sauce in conjunction with The Vegan Grindhouse and running a competition New Mystery Sauce challenge- where you have to guess the correct ingredients in Pip’s Fantastic new sauce to win a 90 minute workshop with Circus MASH @circusMash. 

Also there for 5 days are The London Pie and Mash Company who will have a Roasted Vegetable pie with gravy for Vegetarians. Yummy! 

Also appearing will be Vegetarian friendly Becky’s Bhajis (Thursday only) Bournville Waffle, and Hibiscus Grove South East Asian Cuisine (friday-Monday) and Delize Italian (Friday only). 

Also veggie friendly Muy Loco Tacos who will be serving Tacos with a twist. 

   

       

The line up includes:

Thursday 2nd April: 

The Vegan Grindhouse, Barebones Pizza, Becky’s Bhajis, Fat Duck Spuds, London Pie and Mash Co’, Toby’s Tacos’, Sticky Fig

Friday 3rd April

The Vegan Grindhouse, Barebones Pizza, Delize Italian, leave it to Esme-Caribbean, Bournville Waffle, Hibiscus Grove, Fat Duck Spuds, London pie and mash. 

Saturday 4th April

The Vegan Grindhouse, Barebones Pizza, Leave it to Esme, Bournville Waffle, Hibiscus Grove, Toby’s Tacos, Savannah Grill. 

Sunday 5th April (Easter Sunday)

The Vegan Grindhouse, Barebones Pizza, Leave it to Esme, Toby’s, Bournville Waffle Company, Savannah Grill, Hibiscus Grove. 

Monday 6th April

The Vegan Grindhouse, Barebones Pizza, leave it to Esme, Bournville Waffle, Toby’s, Hibiscus Grove. 

The Easter Street Food Market will also have CircusMASH performing a fred community showcase (the production is called ‘Spring Up’) and will be offering free workshops from 2pm-4pm on Saturday and Sunday. 

CircusMASH were at Lunar Festival last year and have appeared on This Morning on TV. 

  

Also Drum Together Brum will be doing a few performances throughout the weekend. 

For full details of the line up follow @ineedcatering on Twitter and on Facebook. 

It promises to be a brilliant Easter Weekend of Street Food INC goodies. Hopefully the sun will shine and the rain will keep away. 

   

 

Any more information that comes my way I will add to my post. 

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

@andydhare


#TastyMorsel: The Eight Foot Grocer opens: A Feast of Veg in the Jewellery Quarter


If you are a vegetarian and you don’t eat or like fruit or vegetables, then maybe ask what’s the point. Veg are the kings of vegetarian and vegan living. All hail the veg 🙂

So in that respect any news that an Independent food grocer is opening in Birmingham is therefore greeted with the applause and plaudits it deserves.

That’s why I love the idea of The Eight Foot Grocer. i did wonder if the guy who owned it initially was a giant, that eating all those veg like your Mother told you to do had made him grow so much that he had turned into a fairy tale character, old Jack himself.

No in fact, his name is Chris James and his grocers is in the lovely Jewellery Quarter and is housed in a eight foot wide former loading bay near
St Paul’s Square.

Chris has turned a quirky venue into a new fruit and veg store selling exciting deli produce locally sourced where possible and all in a eight foot wide space. The store is in Caroline Street next to the Braderie Vintage shop and opposite The esteemed Bloc Hotel.

The shop is an eclectic mix of local art, and photography, and receives daily fresh bread deliveries from nearby Peel and Stone bakers and stocks such items as jams, marmalades, loaclly made Cufuffle preserves,
Kneals Chocolates, Pip’s Hot Sauce, pastas and olive oil.

It also serves porridge for breakfast, and sandwiches, salads, and cakes for lunch.

It’s a proper shop, independent and local and open from
8am-8pm Monday-Saturday.

The Eight Foot Grocer
13-15 Caroline Street
off St Paul’s Square
Jewellery Quarter
Birmingham
B3 1TR

@The8footgrocer

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Veggie Foodie Guide to: The Birmingham Christmas Markets for vegetarians


Navigating the Frankfurt German Market in Birmingham City Centre at this time of year for vegetarians and vegans can be difficult.

The times I’ve been out with Ruth, family and friends and whilst the meat eaters have a array of fleshy delights us veggies are left eating cake and pastries and if we are being greedy Garlic Bread. Good but hey, we like Christmas too 🙂

Then of course it is easier for veggies to drink more at the market than eat some super independent food.

This year it appears their are though some jewels to be sought out and tasted. Yes, you have to search and yes you have to walk a bit, but it is worth it..trust me 😊

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The Birmingham Christmas market that stretches all the way from The Bull Ring up New Street into Victoria Square and onto the area around the Town Hall, and the Art Gallery up to The Hall of memory and up to the New Library of Birmingham and the Big Wheel.

The lower part from the Bull Ring to Victoria Square is the long running and expensive generally German Market which turns Birmingham tourist crazy for a month and makes Brum feel like a European city bathed in Christmas joy. It’s good fun and full of drinking dens, but little hot good veggie food.

The Frankfurt Market leads into the Birmingham Christmas craft markets by the Art Gallery which is much more independent and has a greater amount of food outlets that veggies can enjoy and stretches up to the New Birmingham Library.

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On wandering around the markets last week with my brother Pete (also vegetarian) we found a number of options.

Within the Birmingham craft market (further on from the Frankfurt Market) by the old Central library and Birmingham Art Gallery lie two good options to begin with for veggies.

First is Woktastic which serves noodles and a variety of Japanese dishes some veggie options. A good option. They also have a stand at Paradise Forum and restaurant too.

Then, nestled within the Christmas trees at the top of the steps lies The Mumbai Grill. For curry and a spicy kick it can’t be beaten. They have a vegetarian menu that includes a vegetarian platter, onion bhaji wraps, samosas, channa chaat, and a chana chickpea wrap. They also have balti chips.

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Then, further through the Paradise Forum over bridge past the Hall of Memory you will find local Pips Hot Sauce, a creperie, and a fully veggie and vegan falafel stall.

The falafel stand sells numerous falafel options, a veggie burger, and is the markets only completely 100% veggie option. Prices start from £4.50. It looks brilliant, and I can’t wait to try it. Their are falafel wraps, spicy Jalapeños, grilled Halloumi and other falafel dishes. See menu.

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Next door so to speak is a Creperie stand that sells sweet and savoury crepes and has veggie options on the savoury side. The creperie has outside tables and is popular.

Next door to the Creperie nearest the New Library of Birmingham is Pips Hot Sauce with vegan options.

Trader Pip Bradley from Kings Heath sells dishes such as sweet potato fries, nachos, salsa, jalapeños, guacamole, and vegan friendly sauces. Try a combination of the dishes and a few sauces maybe?

Pips Hot Sauce also sell gift packs of her superb sauces that can be brought as gifts. Well recommended.

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Back to The Frankfurt Market, their is a stand that sells pizza, and Italian sandwiches near the Town Hall and a stand in the centre near the fountain that sells a nice spinach and feta strudel. Plus, sweet ones too. One I’ve not noticed before.

Then last but not least is the aforementioned garlic bread stand, that is a delight. Try it with cheese, always a winner, but this year it seems not the only hot option. Stationed next to the long bar nearest to the Council House on Victoria Square.

As well as those hot food options their are a number of sweet food stands and some are brilliant. I will leave you to discover those 🙂

As always the Frankfurt Market divides opinions in Birmingham, but at least some independent and local food traders are involved in Birmingham’s Christmas Markets, and their is always Digbeth Diner and Brum Yum Yum to satisfy that independent street food demand.

If you get out into Birmingham have a good Market experience and eat, and drink and be merry, but watch those alcohol prices at The German Market that are quite steep compared to elsewhere. Their are a good selection of drinks at the craft market, near the town hall, including mulled cider, mulled wine and Pims.

Their is also a Hogan’s cider tent near the hall of memory with sofas inside. Looks great, very popular.

Have fun and thanks for reading and Happy Christmas. 🙂

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Library of Birmingham

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