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Izza Pizza launches in Selfridges Birmingham

Izza Pizza by Aktar Islam

Wood-fired artisan pizzas with a unique sourdough base are coming to Selfridges Birmingham this week with the launch of the Lasan Group’s latest venture, Izza Pizza.

Restaurant royalty, Aktar Islam and his chefs from the succulently successful Lasan Group are bringing a quality unseen in the city before and it will officially open in the iconic Birmingham Selfridges Foodhall on Thursday 6th April.

Izza Pizza brings carefully-sourced ingredients of the highest quality from near and far, to create a picture perfect pizza for diners and shoppers and it is all about that base.

Aktar Islam, chief director at Lasan Group, said: “The bases are made with a combination of white and wholemeal flours. The wholemeal adds flavour as well as goodness and creates a lighter and slightly more ready texture than you find in ordinary pizzas.”

The sourdough itself is fermented using natural yeasts, ensuring a healthy and natural product. Izza’s wood-fired oven will ensure that the pizzas emerge crisp, irresistible and with slightly smoky notes.

To top it all off, the pizzas are dressed with mouth-watering ingredients ranging from classic and simple Margherita with tomato, mozzarella and basil to the indulgent Truffle in Paradise with Read more »

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Staffordshire Lymestone Brewery and Inspired Film and Video launch a new beer


Staffordshire  Lymestone Brewery ‘Brew Macari’.

Staffordshire businesses Lymestone Brewery and Inspired Film and Video have teamed up to launch a new beer called ‘Brew Macari’.

The beer has been brewed to mark the announcement of a new film marking the 1992/93 winning Stoke City side. Production has already begun and the film is due for release in March 2018.

Michael MacDonald, Business Development Director at Inspired said, “We decided to make this beer to support the production of “Macari’s Red and White Army”, a documentary we are making celebrating the league winning team, the fans, terrace culture of the 90s and Stoke-on-Trent in general. We wanted to do something a little different to raise awareness and thought nothing goes better with football and films than beer.”

The aptly coloured 4.5% red ale got its name following a competition carried by Duck Magazine and will be on sale at venues across Staffordshire as well as on line, over the next couple of weeks.

Ian Bradford, brewer from Lymestone said, “As a lifelong supporter of my local team I am delighted to be involved with Inspired in the creation of this brand new beer that will raise the profile of the project and help to raise funds.”

More information on Lymestone Brewery


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Luxury Lodge Michelin Breaks Launch in Oxfordshire

Luxury Lodge Accommodation Oxfordshire Panshill LeisureOxfordshire-based accommodation provider Panshill Leisure in Murcott near Biscester Outlet Village, have announced it is due to launch four, state-of-the-art luxury lodges complete with hot tubs, linking to local Michelin Star Pub, to help satisfy the area’s growing demand for premium luxury leisure breaks.

Set in 16 acres of private woodland, surrounded by fishing lakes and country walks the area is a haven for relaxation. The red Cedar wood structures have been built and developed by owner Ian Adamberry, who previously owned a successful Oxfordshire building firm.

Each detached lodge offers the perks of a secluded sanctuary while allowing guests to indulge in extra special creature comforts like top of the range kitchens, bathrooms, sumptuous bedding, oak flooring throughout, flat screen TVs and double doors opening onto a private terrace with hot tub, framed by a private backdrop of woodland.

 Built to the highest of standards and privately funded by local couple Tracey and Ian Adamberry, the lodges’ five star accommodation is matched by exceptionally high service standards delivered by the Tracey herself. 

Joint owner Mrs Adamberry said: “We are so excited about our new luxury lodges, they have been a long time in planning, with Ian and I researching many different constructions from all over the UK.

“We settled on these chosen ones, as they best reflect the woodland they are based in, and the local area, offering the most up to date facilities with the focus on comfort as well as luxury for our leisure break guests and business travellers.

“We have been owners of Panshill accommodation for 14 Years, and always received very positive feedback from our loyal customers who travel from all over the UK, and world to stay with us.

“In recent years the demand for quality has been raised as peoples own homes improve, so we have tried to meet their requirements with some amazing mod-cons, and hopefully adding a unique element to each lodge creating a more personable experience, attracting more leisure seekers to the region.”

Working to grow and develop Oxfordshire’s visitor economy, Panshill Leisure can sleep up to 37 guests in total and also offers private hire of a fully fitted cafè for wedding guests and business conferences.

The lodges appeal to both staycationers and guests from surrounding areas due to easy access to top attractions such as Silverstone, Blenheim Palace, shopping-mecca Bicester Village and the ever-romantic Oxfordshire and Cotswolds countryside.

Michelin Gourmet Breaks. Panshill Accommodation has teamed up with UK-based ‘GourmetXperiences’ that celebrates the greatest British chefs and restaurants, to create a bespoke dining experience adding a culinary dimension to the luxury break.

In association with the local Michelin Starred restaurant ‘The Nut Tree Inn’- voted in the top 50 of UK gastro pubs – guests can enjoy Read more »

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New Thai restaurant brand Siamais to open in Birmingham


City dwellers looking for a different kind of night out, need look no further than Birmingham’s brand new restaurant/bar, Siamais.

Opening with a soft launch on 24th March, the name Siamais (pronounced Siam-aze) is a clever play on words incorporating twins (Siamese), and Siam (the old name for Thailand) to reflect its dual offerings of drink and food, and also the style of the food – delicious modern Thai with a twist.

It’s the brainchild of young businessman Nishil Nathwani, who opened his first restaurant in Manchester at the age of 22. He then went on to launch Aluna cocktail bar by the water’s edge at The Mailbox, and now Siamais – a sister venue to Aluna.

“Aluna has been a huge success as a ‘mixology’ specialist cocktail bar,” says Nishil. “There, we combined sumptuous interiors, experimental cocktails and lively music, all designed to appeal to young professionals. And as a secondary offering, you can also choose from our Thai inspired food menu.”

“With Siamais, we’ve reversed the concept, and created a magical restaurant as the primary offering, and a completely curtained off, separate bar – with a choice of up to 60 cocktails)- to complement the food.”

“The choice is the customer. You can come here simply to drink and stay in the bar all night. Or choose to eat in the restaurant, but either way – it’s all going to be done very differently, with a little bit of Siamais magic.”

So – expect the unexpected! Cocktails in bamboo glasses, smoking drinks served in teapots, food to reflect the mystery of Old Siam, and décor that will take your breath away. All served by highly-trained and knowledgeable staff. Siamais, bringing an authentic taste of the true Thailand to Brindleyplace.

Siamais 2

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Plain sailing for launch of 1580 restaurant in Sutton

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All curry lovers in the city are certainly spoilt for choice – with an exciting new arrival of 1580 opening soon in Sutton Coldfield. The restaurant is inspired by the year sailor Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the earth in search of something rather precious. His expeditions paid him handsomely. For, he did not just return with sterling silver and glittering gems, but sacks full of exotic spices to present to the Queen of England.

The restaurants menu takes you on an exotic culinary journey too with dishes such as Drakes mussels. The interior design depicts his sailing vessel on its most famous journey.

Four friends have joined forces in business to bring their own brand of Indian hospitality to Suttonians.

Diners can expect a variety of authentic, flavorsome dishes from Handi Gosht (Pot Pepper Lamb Curry) to Drake’s Royal Meat Feast Platter (includes soft shell crab, tiger prawns, chicken tikka and lamb chops). The menu boasts contemporary interpretation of classic Indian cooking. Definitely worth trying out!

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The Edgbaston Launches a NEW Cocktail Menu ‘The Taste of Birmingham’

Screen shot 2017-02-24 at 19.17.57

The Edgbaston has a fascinating history, it was completed in 1848 by John Barnsley as part of the famously luxurious Calthorpe Estate. This area of the city is often nicknamed the ‘Mayfair of Birmingham’, with beautiful white Georgian buildings and green spaces. The Edgbaston was the home of the Martineau family for at least two generations and it is they who are responsible for adding the stunning porch and library, where we now display see of our rare Bourbon and Islay Whiskies. In 1953 the house became an office space until we took it on!

The Hotel was the brainchild of Stuart and Darren Insall, brothers from the neighbouring town of Kenilworth, and the Calthorpe Estate. Together we have refurbished the building from scratch to create a stunning art deco environment for our guests. With over 100 years experience between our small team (not least some time spent in New Orleans) you’ll always find someone you know you can trust. And once you’re here, it’s hard to leave.

The New Cocktail Menu ‘The Taste of Birmingham’ has been designed around the rich history, culture and heritage that the city is so well renowned for with drinks designed around the following categories:

Jewellery, Arts, Textiles, Glass, Metals, Great Minds, Confectionary.

With familiar flavours we all know and love, nostalgia a reminder of days gone by, of course the scientific using the fruits of our laboratory and unusual and exciting new flavours and experiences. There are also a variety of light cocktails with a lower booze content but equally enticing flavours and soft virgin drinks without the devil’s sauce!

This menu is filled with passion and creativity at its best, it’s industry leading and a sensational addition to the growing national awareness that Birmingham is indeed a serious food and beverage destination in its own right, within the UK.

Here is an example of one of our NEW cocktails:

A Trifle Bazaar – Birmingham’s Invention of Tennis

Strawberry Wine, Fino Sherry, Finlandia Vodka, Trifle Liqueur, Custard

Little known to many is that tennis was first played just five minutes away, where a club was set up on a former treasure trove of wild strawberries

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The Tipple Truck bar is live and raring to go!

Screen shot the tipple truck launch

Officially launched on 9th February 2017 at the NEC Genting Arena, The Tipple Truck is the only fire engine bar in the country which is fitted with the technology to let customers pour their own drinks.

The engine uses an Oyster card style system, so people buy credit, take their card to the pumps, and choose which drink to sample.

“Whilst we can of course run The Tipple Truck as a normal service bar, we believe the self-pour will be hugely popular, as it means customers can get right up close to the fire engine,”  explains director Richard Brown.  “Also, because we will be selling new and exciting craft beers, brewed by small micro-breweries that people may not have come across before, customers don’t have to go straight for a full or half pint: they have the opportunity to taste them all and see which ones they like best, as they only pay for what they pour.”

“Giving people the chance to try something new is at the heart of our business,” agrees co-director Mel Evans.  “Incredibly bored with traditional beers and lagers, you can imagine our excitement when we discovered the amazing taste and variety of craft beers being brewed right here in the UK.

“Our joy soon turned to frustration when we realised how few bars offer a decent selection on keg – so we decided to do something about it.  The Craft Engine Limited, and its first outlet, The Tipple Truck, were born, to fulfil our mission to take awesome craft beers to the people – and, hopefully, to have a few leftovers to finish up ourselves!”

The beers on sale will change on a very regular basis, and will initially be sourced by local beer expert and cellar man, Jason Greene, but this won’t always be the case, as Jason explains:

“I’ve been working with brewers and landlords across the Midlands for over 25 years, and loved the idea of taking the best of the brews out and about, rather than relying on people travelling to one set venue.

“Whilst I have played a big part in sourcing the beers for launch, what The Tipple Truck is really about is getting customers to tell us what they love – not just of the beers we are already serving, but others they have sampled anywhere in the country –  so we can add the best to our stock list.”

Customers will be asked to share their thoughts via social media, where they will also be able to keep up to date with the Truck’s schedule of events.

All public events will be listed on The Tipple Truck’s Facebook page, where people can also click through to hire her for private and corporate events, celebrations and parties.


Beers and wines featured at the launch are:

Urban Assault, a 5% ABV American Pale Ale from Anarchy

Hopfest, a 3.8% ABV Golden /Blond Ale from Red Squirrel

Flatiron, a 4.7% ABV American Red from Fourpure

Bo Ho Lager, a 5% ABV unfiltered Bohemian lager from Tiny Rebel

Gammaray, a 5.4% ABV American Pale Ale from Beavertown

Glera Frizzante, an 11% vol sparkling wine from the San Martino vineyard in Veneto, the Prosecco region of Italy

Rosé Frizzante, an 11% vol sparkling rosé from the same family vineyard, only recently available in the UK


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Hotel Du Vin: New Wine Dinners and Events

Well, what a start to 2017!

A sell-out New World vs Old World Wine Dinner (check out the photos below) and, we have now just sold out our February Perrier-Jouet Champagne Dinner.  Thank you once again for your support!  Here are a few photos of you good looking lot from the last dinner.

hdv wine dinner1

So, I had better tell you about our next batch of wine dinners and events to whet your appetite and we’ve got some corkers!!

3rd March – ‘Punks and Pioneers’ £79 – An Adventure into Australia with Katie Smith of Bibendum, looking at wines from Col McBride, the world’s most tattooed wine producer and mastermind behind the fantastically named ‘Some Young Punks’ and ‘Vinemind’ brands, we’ll also be looking at Pioneers like Josef Chromywho fled war torn Czech Republic, arriving penniless in Tasmania but working up to become one of their most successful producers and Wynn’s Coonawarra Estate who were the first people to plant grapes in this ‘terra rossa’ landscape.  Forget everything you think you know about Australian Wines with four stunning HdV courses with canapes and 6 superb cuvees.

21st April – Piemonte Italian Dinner £79 – Italian Wine Dinners are always popular at Hotel du Vin, especially when Nigel Wilkinson MS is choosing the wines.  This time we delve into Piemonte which brings us wonderful wines such as Gavi di Gavi, Barbaresco and Barolo, maybe even a little drop of Asti Spumante and more!?  Book early to avoid disappointment.

19th May – JB ADAM Alsace Wine Dinner £85 – Re-scheduled from 7th April, this dinner will be worth the wait.  It is just over a year since we proudly hosted our last sell-out Alsatian Wine Dinner.  This one promises to be just as good.  JB ADAM have been making wine since 1614 in the sleepy town on Ammerschwihr in Eastern France.  I was lucky enough to visit the winery in 2015 and ever since then I have been plotting to bring the winemakers to us for a dinner.  The wait is over and you’ll soon have the opportunity to try some of the finest Alsace wines, benefiting from fourteen generations of expertise; Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Muscat and Pinot Noir could all feature alongside a typical Hotel du Vin banquet of four courses and canapes.

23rd June – ‘A Journey through the Loire’ £79 - with Marek Wilimowski of Bancroft Wines.  Famous for its natural beauty, magnificent châteaux and great wine, the Loire Valley is home to the famous villages of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fume, Anjou, Samur and Chinon producing wines from the grapes of Chenin blanc, Sauvignon blanc, Cabernet franc, Melon de Bourgogne, Gamay, Pinot noir and more.  Together we’ll explore the very best of the Loire Valley paired with canapes and four sumptuous Hotel du Vin courses.

On Thursday the 20th April we are hosting the Midlands Wine Spirit Association for a ‘Growers Champagne Tasting’ followed by a three course dinner.  This event is open to non-members and is just £48 per head and bookable directly through the ‘MWSA’ by contacting .  The event will commence at 7pm where we will taste 8 different champagnes before heading off to enjoy a 3 course dinner.  (Grower Champagnes are sparkling wines made in the Champagne region of France that are produced by the same estate that owns the vineyards from which the grapes come. While large Champagne houses, such as Mumm, may use grapes sourced from as many as 80 different vineyards, Grower Champagnes tend to be more terroir-focused, being sourced from a single vineyard or closely located vineyards around a village.)

Coming Soon:

So much in the pipeline!! We’re just in the process of finalising dinners featuring ‘The Best of North America’, The Spanish Wines of ‘Torres’, a ‘Trinity Hills’ New Zealand Wine Dinner, a Halloween Dinner and a Rum Dinner (idea stolen from HdV Newcastle) for all of you Pirates out there, more on those soon.  I am also liaising with the Electric Cinema over our next wine tasting movie event after the recent success of our Sideways and White Christmas events and am in talks withPhil Innes at Loki about further interesting ‘producer led’ collaborations for the coming year.

Looking forward to seeing you all soon, Tony, Nico and the team

 Please call the Events Team on 0121 794 3005 or drop them an email enquiry to to book or find out more.  Special accommodation rates are available on request from the team, for those attending our dinner events.

No expertise required – leave that to us!

 For information on our current promotions and offers you can also, just click here:

Please reply with the word “UNSUBSCRIBE” at the top if you’d rather not be badgered by my emails.

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The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel Designs and Creates a Signature Cocktail for Sir Matthew Bournes

Edgbaston boutique cocktail
The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel and Cocktail Lounge are proud to announce that this week and during the entire performance of Sir Matthew Bournes production of The Red Shoes until 11th February, The Hippodrome will be serving The Edgbaston’s signature and especially created cocktail ‘To Dance? To Live!
The cocktail designed by Luke Pearson Bar Manager of The Edgbaston, inspired by the productions glamorous vintage feel consists of
Laurent Perrier Champagne, French grape spirit infused with Golden Plum, Grape seed tincture and Red Poppy Paint.
Luke commented this is a cocktail that truly reflects the passion for dance humming through the dancers veins. “Why do you want to dance?”……”Why do you want to live?”

The cocktail has been designed around  the unique performance of The Red Shoes which is a ballet within a ballet, and on that basis The Edgbaston have created a grape within a grape cocktail. The glamorous setting of Paris and Monte Carlo meant The Edgbaston have chosen a plethora of exotic ingredients that would also not be out of place in the period the production relates to.

To celebrate the grape it of course all starts with Champagne, it’s delicious buttery Chardonnay notes are complimented by a distilled grape juice infused with french golden plum’s. At the heart of every grape is a drying grape seed tincture to prevent the drink from being overly sweet. Capturing the texture and intense colour of the red shoes, there is an edible red paint along the the inside of the flute which is flavoured with Red Poppy.

The Red Shoes, an intoxicating drama where life imitates art with fateful consequences, will dazzle your senses and break your heart and is reported to be Matthew Bournes finest achievement to date. Such is its success the performance will be returning to The Birmingham Hippodrome in July.

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Toms Kitchen Birmingham

Toms Kitchen

Tom’s Kitchen is set to open a restaurant, bar and deli in Birmingham’s The Mailbox on 30th December. Founded by renowned chef Tom Aikens, Tom’s Kitchen has four restaurants and three delis across London, making the upcoming Birmingham launch the group’s first UK venture outside of the Capital.

Committed to serving the best seasonal and ethically sourced ingredients, Tom’s Kitchen offers British favourites and comfort food classics in a relaxed and informal brasserie setting. The upcoming launch will be no exception, serving a menu that combines signature dishes celebrated throughout the group, along with some brand new recipes exclusive to Birmingham.

Open 7 days a week, popular dishes include starters of Spicy Crab Cake with tomato and cucumber salsa; Truffled Macaroni Cheese; and Steak tartare, main courses feature Fish & Chips with crushed peas, tartare sauce and lemon; Poached Monkfish with escabeche, saffron sauce, herb crust alongside dishes from the dedicated grill menu such as Tom’s Kitchen Burger with smoked Applewood cheddar, bacon and gherkins; 650g Angus Cross Chateaubriand Steak; or Cornish Lemon Sole served with caper and parsley sauce. Desserts include Sticky Toffee Pudding (to share) with date and vanilla ice cream; Plum Bakewell Tart and Chocolate & Peanut Butter Fondant. New dishes that have been added to the Birmingham menus include, Spiced Pumpkin with burrata, savoury granola, hazelnut dressing and rocket and Prawn Tagliatelle with red peppers, basil and black olives. An after-dinner cocktail menu provides the perfect finale to a meal with classic cocktails served such as Old Fashioned, Espresso Martini, Grasshopper and Brandy Alexander.

In addition, the restaurant will serve weekend brunch, with healthy dishes such as Superfood Granola served with honey and Greek yoghurt; and Bircher Muesli; as well more indulgent choices such as Truffle Eggs Benedict; Tom’s Full English; or Brioche French Toast with caramelised apples and cinnamon cream.

Tom’s Kitchen Birmingham will also incorporate a lively yet relaxed bar, welcoming diners from the restaurant, guests wanting to drop in for an after-work beer or pre-dinner cocktail, as well as those looking to while away an evening with friends over a bottle of wine. The bar menu will offer a wonderful selection of craft beers, including those from Whitstable Brewery, as well as classic cocktails, Champagne and contemporary seasonal concoctions, alongside fine wines from around the world and unique wine from artisan suppliers, chosen by Nicholas Clerc, the wine consultant for Tom’s Kitchen.

For those on the lookout for a quick bite, Tom’s Kitchen Deli will be located in The Urban Room of The Mailbox, offering an affordable and express option for breakfast, lunch and afternoon treats, serving sandwiches, soups, hotpots, salads and homemade treats. The deli will be open seven days a week and will also sell a selection of alcoholic beverages, providing the perfect setting to relax after a day’s shopping.

The design for all Birmingham outlets is overseen by B3 designers and will offer a range of private and semi-private spaces, perfect for parties and events.

Speaking of the launch of Tom’s Kitchen Birmingham, founder Tom Aikens commented: “Birmingham is a vibrant andbustling city with a thriving food scene. There is already a wonderful array of restaurants in the city, and I believe that Tom’s Kitchen will offer an exciting new option for diners in The Mailbox development”.

Simon Samuels, Partner at Brockton Capital, joint owners of the Mailbox, said, “We’re hugely exciting to welcome Tom’s Kitchen to the Mailbox later this year. The Mailbox is home to a number of ‘firsts’ and, being the first venture for Tom Aikens outside of London, this latest opening is no exception. The arrival of Tom’s Kitchen is further testament to the Mailbox’s reputation as a premier shopping and lifestyle destination and the restaurant will be a fantastic addition to the Mailbox’s already impressive portfolio of premium lifestyle brands.”

Tom’s Kitchen Birmingham

Address: 53/57 Wharfside Street, The Mailbox, Birmingham B1 1RE Telephone: 0121 289 5111 Email:

Restaurant Monday to Friday Lunch: 11.30am-3pm // Dinner: 5pm-10:30pm Saturday Brunch & Lunch: 10am-4pm // Dinner: 6pm-10:30pm Sunday 10am-6pm

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