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All the regions food news & reviews you can digest

Chef Ron Faulkner re-writes the recipe book for his own restaurant

Restaurant Manger William Levrard with Chef Ron Faulkner & selection of their daily ‘Bar Plates’

Restaurant Manager William Levrard with Chef Ron Faulkner & selection of their daily ‘Bar Plates’

Chef Ron Faulkner Re-writes the recipe book for his popular Ronnies of Thornbury, Near Bristol

It’s been 7 years since Chef Ron Faulkner opened his eponymous restaurant ‘Ronnies’ in sleepy Thornbury,located North of Bristol, and according to the Sunday Times National Newspaper, helped establish the town as one of the ‘4th Best Places to Live in the UK!’ Quite an accolade for the town, and quite a gauntlet for Chef Ron – he continued to pick up series of awards and accreditations, including Good Food Guide restaurant of The Year for the UK.

Thornbury is becoming a destination for foodies once again, with the popular ‘Hawkes House café & Bar’ also in the square and ‘Romy’s Kitchen’ Indian Restaurant – Ever-one to push the boundaries, Chef Ron is now set to re-write the gastronomical guide for the region by undergoing a complete overhall of his popular Ronnies Restaurant, from the dishes on the hot plate through to the flavours on the customers palate, and everything in between, even including the furniture – “Alot has happened in the past Seven years” Comments Chef Ron “we were one of the first aspirational eateries in the region and were proud to be part of the renaissance that Thornbury underwent, and Bristol and the South West has certainly continued that accreditation for food – Styles have changed over the years, as have the desires and expectations of Read more »

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Birmingham’s Chef Andreas Antona & Brian Turner CBE to Find the Next Culinary Chef

Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington, with Andreas Antona & Peter Allen

Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington, with Andreas Antona & Peter Allen

The search is on to find the UK’s home-grown culinary superstar, with the launch of Aubrey Allen’s ‘Home Cook of the Year’ competition with the help of celebrity chefs, Brian Turner CBE and Andreas Antona as judges.

Entries are now being welcomed for this challenging new foodie initiative, which is being held in conjunction with the Leamington Food & Drink Festival on 6-7 September in the Royal Pump Room Gardens, Leamington Spa.

Aspiring home cooks of all ages are invited to enter by submitting their most favourite three course menu, which includes a cold starter, a hot main course using Aubrey Allen’s succulent ‘Farm Assured’ Cornish lamb and their very best dessert. Four finalists will be short-listed to take part in the Grand Final at the Leamington Food & Drink Festival on Read more »

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Affordable Luxury Comes to Warwickshire

Bluebell Inn Owner Leigh Taylor with Head Chef James Devonshire offer their new menu

Bluebell Inn Owner Leigh Taylor with Head Chef James Devonshire offer their new menu

The UK dining out market has in recent years undergone a battle with restaurant brands and supermarkets, to capture the price led ‘meal deal’ market in the pursuit of the magic £10 meal – however this has been to the overall detriment of the quality of the overall meal offering and the provenance of the ingredients sourced. A Warwickshire food pub has bucked the national trend to create an indulgent £10 lunch menu, that will challenge the quality of most high end eateries.

The close knit team at The Bluebell Restaurant & Free House in picturesque Henley in Arden, Warwickshire, have been working with some of the region’s finest producers and suppliers to create balanced dishes each day that provide quality, flavour and incredible value for their loyal customers.

A recent regional Winner of The Good Food Guide Restaurant of the year, and the proud holders of 2 AA Rosettes, and who count Heston Blumenthal as one of their customers, Head Chef James Devonshire believes in the provenance of his larder “We are spoilt by the choice and range of quality suppliers in the region, but are also aware of the demands on our customers pockets when choosing to dine out, or indeed choose to stay at home – so we have worked very closely with our suppliers to source and develop ingredients for our carefully considered menus, which we believe rival most of the regions finest eateries – whilst offering the value one would expect from shopping at a higher end supermarket to dine at home – we believe we have created the perfect Read more »

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Good Food Guide Midlands Winners Carters of Moseley

Carters of Moseley

Carters of Moseley wins Waitrose Good food Guide Midlands Restaurant

The Good Food Guide  announced the ten regional winners in its prestigious Readers’ Restaurant of the Year Awards, and Birmingham’s favourite ‘Carters of Moseley’ were crowned regional winners – as voted for by members of the public.

Chef Brad Carter

Chef Brad Carter

Chef Brad Carter and Holly who is the perfect  maître d are popular with Midlands diners, and their relaxed, warm and convivial approach to dining has often been praised. Chef Brad’s approach to quality regional ingredients helped them to secure this prestigious award. They will be going previous winners including Michelin Chef Richard Turners, of Turners Restaurant who won the award last year, and in previous years The Blue Bell in Henley in Arden, and  Chef Andy Waters previously.  Michelin Chef Richard Turner commented “We were delighted to hear the news last year when we were contacted by the Good Food Guide, and it means much more as its voted for by the public – Brad and Holly are worthy winners, and are infact a favourite neighbourhood restaurant of mine to visit with my wife and friends, if ever I get time off!”.

Elizabeth Carter, consultant editor of the Good Food Guide adds; ‘Now in its seventh year, the Good Food Guide’s Reader Awards prove once again that it is an exciting time to eat out across the country. The response has beentremendous – a bumper crop of nominations from an army of loyal fans. From appealingly simple venues that chime with the times to big city eateries that are genuinely user-friendly, these are the fantastic places that have won our readers’ hearts this year. By understanding the way we want to eat now and judging their market exactly, each winner had a simple recipe for success that made them stand out against some very strong competition.’

Of the ten regional winners, one will go on to be named as the overall The Good Food Guide Readers’ Restaurant of the Year, to be announced at the beginning of September.

How are the winners decided?

Over 30,000 food-loving members of the public nominated their favourite eateries around the UK for an award, either via postcards or using the online restaurant feedback form. The Good Food Guide editors then verified all the nominations to pick the winners and celebrate some of the best dining experiences around the country.

To qualify for these awards, aimed at championing local neighbourhood eateries, restaurants needed to be independently run and offer regional or local produce where possible.

The standard of entries this year has been Read more »

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Restaurant Review: Peach Tree, Shrewsbury

Major campaign launched to cut tourism VAT as regions tell Chancellor: Give Us A Break

Alex Nicoll investing at the White Hart Ironbridge

Alex Nicoll investing at the White Hart Ironbridge

Major campaign launched to cut tourism VAT as regions tell Chancellor: Give Us A Break

The tourism industry, backed by MPs from all parties, has launched a major campaign to cut VAT on hotel accommodation and tourist attractions to 5% in a bid to give Britain’s regions a helping hand.
Hundreds of companies big and small have been calling on George Osborne to make the change to enable the many regions dependent on tourism to invest in jobs and offer a better deal to tourists who can find cheaper holidays abroad.

Experts predict the change could create more than 120,000 new jobs. Tourism chiefs, together with a growing army of MPs, are calling on Mr Osborne to reduce the rate of VAT on hotel accommodation and attractions to 5% – which EU law enables it to do freely. This would make domestic holidays cheaper for Britons and the UK tourism industry more competitive internationally – in the face of the strengthening pound pushing people to head abroad.

Thousands of supporters range industry bodies such as the BHA and BALPPA, to small B&Bs, family run attractions, zoos and major international brands.

Alex Nicoll operator of the White Hart Inn, Ironbridge Shropshire, who has been a Operations Management Consultant for many years across the UK added  ”We welcome this initiative which would stimulate the tourism industry. Shropshire is a very popular destination for both UK and many oversees guests who naturally dine in restaurants and pubs; but many note how relatively expensive it is to eat out in the UK;  to my mind there is no question that if selling prices came down both tourists and locals would dine out more, which in turn would Read more »

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Shrewsbury Food Festival Fringe Chefs Lineup

Pans at the ready! James Sherwin, Julia Wenlock, Chris Conde and Dr Lal Haider will be performing at the Food Festival Fringe in the Market Hall, Shrewsbury, this weekend.

Pans at the ready! James Sherwin, Julia Wenlock, Chris Conde and Dr Lal Haider will be performing at the Food Festival Fringe in the Market Hall, Shrewsbury, this weekend.

Some of the best-known chefs in Shropshire will be cooking live at the under cover Market Hall building in Shrewsbury town centre, this weekend as it hosts Fringe events in support of the Shrewsbury Food Festival. A rolling programme of demonstrations will run from 11am to 5pm on Saturday June 28 and Sunday June 29.

The Fringe event is in addition to celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, and artisan food attractions taking place at the main festival site in The Quarry Park throughout the weekend. Chefs taking to the Urban Bikes Stage, in the middle of the indoor market hall, include Chris Conde, executive chef at Henry Tudor House and a former Masterchef The Professionals quarter-finalist; Shropshire Council’s 2013 Curry Chef of the Year Dr Lal Haider, of The Old Hall Persian Restaurant, Dorrington; Michel Nijsten, head chef at the award-winning Albright Hussey Manor Hotel; and Paul Maders, head chef at The Inn at Grinshill. (See below for times and full programme listing).

Kicking off the show at 11am on Saturday will be James Sherwin, as recently seen on The Taste UK TV show, who has been dazzling diners with his pop-up restaurants across the Midlands. He will be followed at noon by an injection of culinary fun and theatrics by Vic Rowling, head chef at The Lord Hill Hotel, who will be performing a foodie version of ‘The Generation Game’.

Also taking part will be Mark Jones, head chef at The Corbet Arms, at Uffington, and the market’s own talent – multi national award-winning artisan chocolatier Julia Wenlock, of Toot Sweets; fishmonger-chef Ian Cornall, of Barkworths Seafoods and the popular Read more »

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Amateur Cook Turned TV Chef Lands top Role Shropshire Restaurant Kitchen

Henry Tudor House Chef Chris Conde with James Sherwin

Henry Tudor House Chef Chris Conde with James Sherwin in the foreground

An aspiring Shrewsbury chef who made his name on the TV programme “The Taste” has fulfilled his long-held ambition – transforming his pastime into a profession.

Keen amateur cook James Sherwin appeared on the Channel 4 show earlier this year, impressing star judge Nigella Lawson with his skills. He has now made a similar impression at leading Shrewsbury restaurant Henry Tudor House, situated just off Wyle Cop, where he has been refining his craft.

“We initially took James on to help in our kitchen for one day a week and have been very excited by his enthusiasm, expertise and ideas – so much so that he is now a permanent member of our team here,” said Graham Jenkins, proprietor of Henry Tudor House, which features a restaurant, function room and brasserie with 200 covers.

James has been given a full time job, working alongside the Read more »

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AGA Carvery Concept Launch in Worcestershire by Nostalgia Inns

Plough inn owners Mark and Louise Giles Launch Their AGA Carvery

Plough inn owners Mark and Louise Giles Launch Their AGA Carvery

Successful Launch of AGA Carvery in Worcestershire.

Worcestershire recently  saw the successful launch of the much anticipated AGA Carvery at The Plough Inn, Far Forest, near Bewdley.
Over 200 guests were treated to a free carvery for the newly installed AGA Cooker, which now sits pride of place at the fully refurbished family run Plough Inn, Far Forest.

The installation follows the resounding success of a recent innovation created by MD Adam Giles of Worcestershire based Nostalgia Inns, who own the Plough at Far Forest, Near Bewdley, and their sister pub Ye Olde Punch Bowl inn, Near Bridgnorth – the first venue to install the innovative concept AGA Carvery – The Next generation of Carveries in the UK.

Joint owners of The Plough Inn, Mark and Louise Giles, {Pictured in front of their AGA “Total Control” Cooker} celebrated the night with 200 guests, and hailed it as a resounding success, thanking everyone for their support. “Since Adam installed his AGA at the Punch Bowl in February, we have been inundated with requests from our regulars to install one of our own after they had tried it – commenting on how tender the meats are, and the crisp roast potatoes and tender vegetables – so we spoke to our local AGA Shop in Kidderminster who helped with the Read more »

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Hotel La Tour To Sponsor VIP Area at Birmingham Independent Food Fair

La Tour Restaurant

La Tour Restaurant

Birmingham’s Hotel La Tour will entertain VIP guests and visitors at the upcoming Birmingham Independent Food Fair, set to take place on 13 September 2014 at Millennium Point.

The independently-owned luxury hotel, located in the city centre near Eastside Park, is popular with visitors to the city, and will use the fair as an opportunity to showcase its hospitality and dining credentials, serving drinks and canapes in the second-floor VIP gallery.

Aalto, housed within the hotel, is a brasserie-style restaurant serving classic British dishes with a modern twist. The regularly changing menu incorporates locally-sourced, seasonal produce. A chef’s table dining experience is available for food lovers who want to Read more »

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