New Haig Club Scotch Bar launched at The Cube, Birmingham.


Oh whisky how much do I love thee, let me count the ways!  

Birmingham has welcomed a stunning new skyline destination with the launch of the Haig Club Bar on Level 25 at The Cube last month. 

The bar, which sits alongside the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill with views across the city, features a dedicated entrance on Level 25. It seats 36 guests, showcasing Haig Club and Haig Club Clubman through a specially crafted drinks menu and cocktail list, alongside small plates and sharing dishes. 

For Vegetarians try Halloumi and Courgette flowers and Patatas Bravas thus far. 


The interior design has taken reference from the copper and distinctive blue of the Haig Club brand, to create a stylish and contemporary space for guests to relax and enjoy the company of friends or colleagues.

With a separate entrance and exclusive feel, the Haig Club Bar on Level 25 will be open from Tuesday – Saturday, 6.00pm until 1am and will also be available for private hire.

Max Bennett, Operations Manager at Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill Birmingham said: “We’re hugely excited to have unveiled the new Haig Club Bar here on Level 25. The bar has been designed to create an exclusive experience for our guests, with a dedicated and knowledgeable team to welcome them. We know that it will soon become a must-visit destination for whisky lovers and cocktail connoisseurs, in addition to offering a unique venue for business meetings and private celebrations.”

Commenting on the new Haig Club Bar, Nick Temperley, UK Head of Reserve Brands at Diageo said: “We are really excited to be working with The Cube Birmingham, creating this unique Haig Clubman experience in a city where cocktail culture continues to grow and excite.”

Only Haig Club and Haig Clubman whisky will be sold and the bar is table service only. 

Jack Spencer who was previously at Bourne and Co. in the city will be head bar man. 

For whisky lovers and cocktail connaseurs it become a must visit bar with a smart view to match. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

https://www.haigclub.com/

All photos and information courtesy of Rewired PR and The Haig Club, with thanks. 


 

The Plough, Harborne launches ‘Spit’ wine and spirit school. 


  

The award-winning team at the Plough in Harborne has launched a wine and spirit school with a difference. ‘Spit’ will cater for enthusiasts and those looking to secure industry-calibre qualifications alike and offer a range of recognised wine courses and tasting events, gin and whisky nights and other short courses in a simple, fun and straight talking fashion – with plenty of hands on tasting. 
‘Spit’ is an approved Wine and Spirit Education Trust program provider and the courses will take place ‘Next Door’ at The Plough which is home to two private dining and meeting rooms. The courses will showcase best-in-class, progressive wines and spirits. 

 The Plough has forged a reputation for its well-curated selection of craft spirits which takes in a 100+ strong whisky list and the courses will be designed to introduce delegates to exciting and lesser-known spirit and wine varieties. 
The Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) was founded in 1969 to provide high quality education and training in wines and spirits. Since then the WSET has grown into the foremost international body in the field of wines and spirits in education, with a suite of sought after qualificatIons. 
The Plough’s James Thewlis who is an approved WSET provider will lead the courses. James has over 20 years’ experience in the hospitality sector earning his stripes as General Manager at Circo, the first bar in Birmingham to secure a late license and then heading up cocktail bar and restaurant 52 Degrees North. An eight year stint in Melbourne followed before returning to Birmingham’s fine dining and michelin star scene as Sommelier at Turners, before joining The Plough four years ago. 
James said, “Our aim is to make wine and spirit tasting interesting, sociable and accessible. We’re thrilled to have been approved as a WSET provider, these courses are a great way for those in the industry to bolster their experience and credentials. Wine tasting has something of a stuffy reputation, we’re really keen to dispel that and the idea that you aways have to ‘spit’. We’re passionate about illustrating how much fun it can be whilst introducing some top-class spirits and wines to an many people as possible.”
Each WSET course includes lunch from The Plough’s popular sharing menu, which has been designed especially for ‘Next Door’, and will be followed by a glass of wine in The Plough bar afterwards. 
Course Details:

15th June 2016, 9.30am – 5pm
WSET LEVEL ONE, £140

22nd June 2016, 7pm – 9pm 
INTRODUCTION TO SPANISH WINES, £17

18th, 19th, 20th July 2016, 9,30am – 5pm 
WSET LEVEL TWO, £355

27th July 2016, 7pm – 9pm 
INTRODUCTION TO ITALIAN WINES, £17

ABOUT WSET LEVEL 1 AND 2 
WSET LEVEL 1
This course is a good starting point for the exploration of wine styles. No prior knowledge is required as the course is designed to introduce wines in an interactive, structured and concise manner. This course will suit a novice wine enthusiast or those wishing to start their career in the wine or hospitality business.
WSET LEVEL 2
The course covers the major grape varieties, regions of the world, food and wine pairing, sparkling wines, fortified wines and the major spirits. You will not need any formal qualification, just an enthusiasm for the subject and willingness to learn. This course is ideal for anyone wishing to be introduced to wine or spirits in an informative and structured manner. It is suitable for both the enthusiast and those looking to enter or already working in the wine and hospitality business requiring a good level of product knowledge.
About The Plough:
The Plough, Harborne has been serving fresh home-cooked food and the best coffee and Sunday lunch in the neighbourhood for 11 years. Established in 2003 The Plough has undergone extensive renovation since its launch boasting a quirky and eclectic interior and an ‘outdoor lounge’ that is airy, light and unrestricted by season. With a focus on quality and provenance, ingredients are carefully sourced locally to minimise the environmental ‘tread’ of the business where possible. No stranger to accolades The Plough has been recognised for its coffee, Sunday lunch and interior – named by the Independent as ‘best coffee shop’, celebrated by The Times for the best Sunday Lunch in the region and awarded the ‘Best Restaurant / Bar Design’ at the Northern Design Awards. 

The Plough, 
21 High Street

Harborne

B17 9NT

Follow Spit here: 
@spitwine

Follow The Plough story here: 
Instagram : @ploughstagram 
Twitter : @PloughHarborne 

Facebook : The Plough Harborne

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

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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