Opus leads the way in showcasing Birmingham’s independents.


Opus one of the top fine-dining restaurants in Birmingham is leading the charge for independents, joining forces with some of the best talent in the city.

Billed as a celebration of the bespoke, Opus in Cornwall Street is keen to support local businesses that offer something different from the norm and has so far linked up with artists and an award-winning wine merchant.

Pawel Skrzypinski, general manager at Opus, said: “Birmingham is an exciting, diverse city in which to live and work and if you are willing to meander off the beaten track through our lovely city centre, you will be rewarded with shops and artists showcasing an individuality and tailored approach that makes you feel special and appreciated.

“We think it’s really important for independents – especially those who have a natural synergy – to support one another because we have a unique offering. The beauty of being an independent business is that you have the opportunity to team up with whomever you like and over the past few months alone we have found some real stunners with whom to work.”

Over the summer, it is collaborating with Loki Wine, the award-winning wine merchant and wine bar based in Great Western Arcade, enabling customers at both venues to take advantage of some fantastic offers.

Loki is offering 15% off the Loki Wine Tasting Card for Opus Loyalty Card holders, while Opus is offering all holders of a Loki Wine Tasting Card 25% off all bottles of wine purchased (see T&Cs online)  and £10 off the flight of five wines that accompany their weekend five-course tasting menu.

Phil Innes, of Loki Wines, said: “There’s already a natural crossover between Loki and Opus customers but the opportunity to work with the restaurant, which will benefit all our customers could not be passed up. We’re thrilled to collaborate with Opus.”

Sculptor Viv Astling, OBE, has two pieces of art being displayed at the restaurant over the next few months.

An elected member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA) and a former student of the renowned sculptor John Tonks, he uses English limestones particularly from quarries in Portland, Dorset, and Ancaster, Lincolnshire. His piece Turning Point is being displayed at Opus’s reception desk, while Ariel is on display in the bar area.

Bar Opus at One Snowhill has joined forces with Jewellery Quarter-based Argentea Gallery to feature a selection of photographs by Birmingham multi-media artist Sophie Hedderwick from her critically acclaimed series Swift As A Shadow.

Argentea is a new gallery in the Jewellery Quarter launched by Jennie Anderson and is dedicated to showing the very best contemporary photography from both British and international artists.

Jennie said “We were thrilled to have Sophie exhibiting her work at the gallery and to collaborate with Bar Opus is another great way to take her work to a wider audience and engage with people who wouldn’t necessarily think of visiting an art gallery.”

Also at Bar Opus are five works by Birmingham-born innovators Key & Tam, known as LOWLFE. The pair take everyday objects, such as phones, plants, coins and dead insects, and introduces them to the world of miniature people in whimsical settings.

The new collaborations follow Opus’s inaugural art exhibition with Mark Howard of independent fashion store Disorder Boutique earlier this year, when the walls become a canvas for his creations.

Pawel added: “The past few months have been exciting as we have expanded our support network of leading independent talents and we’re looking forward to continuing our efforts to introduce other great Birmingham names to our customers. So make sure to watch this space".

Great to see such a fantastic collaboration between two of the cities best independents.

Also note that Opus are offering 50% off select wine in August. It includes a range that covers most tastes. From lighter summery whites to fruity cherry-like reds and rose wines a bargain is to be enjoyed with the new set price menu or tasting menu.

In Bar Opus news become all Italian and try a Rose Aperol Spritz with complimentary nibbles for £5 from 2-5pm. Aperol Spritz is one of the finest drinks and with added nibbles and hopefully sunshine on the Bar Opus terrace one of the must things to do this Summer in Birmingham. Go on try it!

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

All photos and information courtesy of Opus, Bar Opus and Clive Reeves PR with thanks.

An introduction to The Botanist Birmingham 


  

        

When is a review not a review when it’s an introduction to, as in this case to The Botanist recently opened on Temple Street Birmingham. 

I was kindly invited to the media lunch before it opened officially to try some of the cocktails and Vegetarian dishes. 

   

 

The Botanist is very impressive to look at, it has a cool chic feel about it, almost cosy pub, but offering more depth and discoveries the further you go in. When you walk through the wrought iron gates you discover an inner conservatory area that I like a lot, a kind of posh parlour. Then through a door into the bar area. 

Introducing The Botanist, think Gardeners world studying plant life and indulging in cocktails and food, and  no carrots and rhubarb in sight. (Well maybe on the menu).

The decor untreated wood floors, a mix of vintage looking furniture, quirky chandeliers, watering cans, lamps that are constructed from rope pulleys, and a glorious sky light in the bar area that lets the natural light into an already light bar.  

     

On entering I was offered the cocktail menu, which is long (and that’s not just the style of cocktail) which was like reading the what’s what of cocktails and who’s who’s who at the same time. I liked that though. It allowed me to follow my test of asking for a recommendation based on the Martini part of the menu. Ed behind the bar suggested I tried The  Botanist Pornstar, ( black cow vodka, and Passoa shaken with fresh passion fruit, strawberry purée, rose syrup, pineapple juice, and lemon, served with a shot of prosecco. 

  

   

     

It was excellent, fruity, herby, with a powerful kick and with a good amount of vodka. An interesting combination of fresh fruit, and purées, a lovely introduction. Thanks Ed😊🍸

The bar area is quite large, but feel intimate and has a really light airy feel about it. From there you can just about see the restaurant peeking out beyond, which I feel gives a feeling of temptation to move over to that part of The  Botanist to try the food, and to explore.  The Botanist has an open kitchen which is also fun. 

It was good to see fellow food bloggers there and after been seated in the restaurant, which is a mixture of table types with some benches, and very nice and light, we were able to choose the food from the menu. 

   

   

I mentioned the menu in my last post. See here http://t.co/xN8TYij74M and mentioned the Vegetarian options. 

The dishes I ate were: 

From the starters and nibbles section Pan Fried garlic Mushrooms. With crusty bread and truffle butter. A nice dish beautifully presented in a small wheelbarrow. The mushrooms were fresh, well flavoured, and with a good strong garlic flavour running through made for a lovely starter. 

   

     

Salt and Pepper onion petals: A good nibbling sharing dish, salty, with a nice sour cream to dip into. 

Flatbread: very good bread, fresh and good for breaking. 

  

For my main course I ordered the Hanging Kebab with Halloumi and couscous. With a sweet chilli, ginger and garlic butter.

   

   

A spectacular looking dish, very theatrical. The waiter poured the sauce over the kebab from above so the sauce filtered over the veg and Halloumi onto the cous cous. The sauce added a nice tasty bite to the dish (there was an option to have the kebab with chips instead of cous cous but I felt that wouldn’t work so well as the chips may become soggy and wet fom the dripping sauce). We were given a small plate that the veg and Halloumi can be eaten off with the cous cous. 

The Hanging Kebab with the cous cous worked well as the sauce gave it a coating that made for a fuller rounder flavour. The Halloumi was well cooked, but could have done with a couple more pieces in my opinion. The veg was cooked perfectly and the dish looked fun and smart. 

I also ordered The Botanist cocktail green mark vodka, Havana 3 Rum, elderflower liqueur, red amarinth, mint, jasmine syrup, and lime juice topped with lemonade. I really enjoyed this cocktail, the combinations of vodka and rum worked well and with the mint and juices added a fruity touch that was delicious. 

   

   

I didn’t order a desert on this occasion but hope to on my next visit. 

I ordered an Americano coffee that was very prettily presented in nice flowery mugs.

It was a lovely introduction to The Botanist the service was good, friendly and very informed of the menu and cocktails offering recommendations and having a good knowledge of the dishes on the menu. I would on reflection like to see maybe at least one more vegetarian dish on the main menu, maybe two as not everyone takes to the smaller plate trend and may not like the kebab. As a chain, that I’m often suspect of, The Botanist seems to have that quirky botanical difference that makes it feel special and unique in the city, fresh like the herbs. Here’s hoping it stays that way, but as a cocktail venue  its possibly the best in Birmingham, and offered the most thoughtful and eclectic menu of passionate botanist indulgences and this along with the solidly good Vegetarian food is to be applauded. 

  

   

           

I was invited as a guest to the preview media lunch at The Botanist and hence the food and drink was complimentary. Thanks to the Botanist and to WPRAgency for the invite. 

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊

For menus see below link: 

http://thebotanist.uk.com/menus/birmingham

http://thebotanist.uk.com/location/birmingham

The Botanist, 14-16 Temple Street, Birmingham, B2 5BG

0121 6007430