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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’

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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.

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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

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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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Indian Brewery Opens



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So many marvellous independent beer places have opened up over the last year in Birmingham, that now beer lovers are truly spoiled for choice. The newest addition to the Jewellery quarter, Indian Brewery Snowhill, is set to spice things up a little which is great news for beer fans as well as street food lovers and artisan coffee folk.

The Indian Brewery has resurrected the old coffee shop, Brewsmiths under Snow Hill’s railway arches, and resurrected it as a bar selling craft beer as well as artisan coffee. Obviously, being Indian you have to throw a bit of masala into the mix, so during the morning it dishes out an innovative breakfast menu and mouth watering street food from midday till late.

Jaspal Purewal, who owns Indian Brewery which supplies Birmingham lager, Indian Summer, Bombay Honey, Peacock and IPA to Birmingham venues including Harvey Nichols, Connolly’s wine merchants and Indico, has taken over the lease of the cafe and had added an impressive bar. The old worn out  exterior has been replaced by something altogether more slick and modern and the interior has a more industrial feel. It’s casual and relaxed with benches for drinkers to enjoy an artisan beverage whether it be coffee or Indian sodas as well as their beers, whilst admiring the classic Bollywood posters on the walls. A place of social gathering and good times.

Jaspal told the Birmingham Mail: “We’ve wanted to set up a bar for our brewery for a long time and the Jewellery Quarter is the perfect location. There is so many exciting things happening here. This will be our flagship store – for all to consume our beers along with in-house artisan coffee and street food.”

The site on Livery Street quietly opened on Friday 13th and customers were quick to hot foot it down there to see what was on offer.

Beer is served in craft cans, bottle cask and on draught these include Indian Brewery beers and also an impressive range of guests.; The Indian Brewery beer is brewed at their Great Barr base.

As well as bacon, sausage or egg naan on the breakfast menu, diners can enjoy pakora pops, Indian fish and chips and Chaat bombs!  The Bombay Breakfast; a twist on the English –  is bound to be a hit with people seeking quality, taste and innovation.

The food menu has a distinct street flavour but there is a difference! Jaspal revealed: “We’re not your typical Balti house or Indian pub, we’re truly different and being innovative was key, the public has spoken.”

Indian Brewery Snow Hill, Livery Street, Birmingham B3 1EU

Officially open from Monday 15th January 2017.

Breakfast is available Monday to Friday from 7am to 12pm midday, Saturday from 8:00am to 12pm midday, and Sundays from 8.30pm to 12midday.

Street Food is available Monday to Thursday from 12pm midday to 9pm, Friday & Saturday from 12pm midday to 9:30pm and Sunday from 12pm midday to 8pm.

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Rajdoot Tandoori celebrates 50 years of service














A jewel within the Jewellery quarter – the team behind Rajdoot Tandoori are gearing up to celebrate their 50th anniversary of delivering exemplary North Indian cuisine.

In half a century the doors of the Rajdoot have seen many famous faces pass through, such as The Beatles, Keith Floyd, Princess Margaret, Simon Cowell and even Jamie Oliver.

All these stars have been enticed by their exotic flavours and opulent interior design; that in 2013 won Rajdoot the Best Restaurant Design award at the English Curry Awards.

Proud owner Manjit Gill said that: “We always strive for excellence in both food and service and we’re proud to have been a top-quality and well-recognised for almost 50 years”.

“We consider it a huge achievement to have been running for 50 years, and we look forward to many more years to come”.

Their menu boasts everything from sizzling tandooris cooked in traditional clay ovens, a plethora of sumptuous seafood options, indulgent desserts and an extensive range of vegetarian options – visitors are simply spoilt for choice!

If the amount of choice is over-whelming, diners are welcome to opt for Rajdoot’s set menu options, caringly put together from their chef’s recommendations of dishes that complement each other.

For high calibre and authentic food in a luxurious setting, Rajdoot Tandoori has been setting the standard of excellence for 50 years and will strive to continue for the foreseeable future.

Rajdoot Tandoori Jewellery Quarter

78-79 George Street,

Birmingham, B3 1PY

T: 0121 236 1116

follow on twitter: @rajdootindian

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Deck Du Vin with your best woolly!

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On Friday 16th December it’s the official Christmas Jumper Day and Hotel du Vin in Colmore BID will be getting into the fundraising spirit by collecting items for the local Food Bank.

Pop in any time of the day in your most festive woolly, leave an item for them to donate to the Food Bank and enjoy a cup of mulled wine on the house!

So what better excuse to get into the festive spirit than a day of fun in the Bubble Lounge at Hotel du Vin. After all, it’s Chrissttmmaaass!!

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Birmingham’s most expensive cocktail at the new Varanasi Indian restaurant

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Fine dining connoisseurs are set for a new treat as Broad Street is set to get another mega Indian restaurant with the arrival of Varanasi.

Located at the top of Broad Street by Grosvenor Casino, the venue is set on 3 floors, 2 of which are subterranean. It’s a sumptuously chic restaurant, with no expense spared to showcase a breath taking décor fit for a King.

The owner of Varanasi travelled the globe researching chic upmarket bars and the finest restaurants, from its interior design, how it operates and the food created, to find inspiration in to produce something Birmingham has not seen before.

The entrance to the restaurant is temple-like, with the entrance acting as a sentry post, guarded by a row of Buddhas standing to attention.

General Manager Pawan Chhabra says, “the team has spent the last two years working tirelessly to create an iconic restaurant for the Midlands. With gold leaf hand painted artwork throughout, we have strived to create an experience like no other. Varanasi can accommodate up to 500 covers so it really will be a jaw dropping restaurant for the city.

The menu has been curated by Michelin-star chef, Alfred Prasad; who has created an impeccably presented, authentic, Indian, haute-cuisine menu.

There will be a premium drinks menu, with an extensive selection of Gins, Whiskeys and Rums and also boasting the Midlands most expensive cocktail ‘The Jewel of Varanasi.’

Priced at £500 its served in a crystal brandy balloon, and made with Hennesey Paradis, Grand Marnier, vanilla pods, quails egg, lemongrass syrup. Then shaken and served with an edible flower, black truffle shaving and 24 carat gold leaf.

Varanasi have 14 full-time chefs and have created an additional 40 part time and full time jobs. It also boasts two of the most luxurious private dining rooms you will see which can to accommodate up to 30 covers each.

The name Varanasi comes from an ancient city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh dating to the 11th century B.C. Varanasi is regarded as the spiritual capital of India, the city draws Hindu pilgrims from around the world to bathe in the Ganges River’s sacred waters. Along the city’s winding streets are some 2,000 temples, including Kashi Vishwanath, the “Golden Temple,” dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.

With lots of fine dining Indian restaurants in Birmingham, Varanasi sets out not to be just another fine dining Indian restaurant, Varanasi aims to take the customer on a heavenly journey and dining experience both culinary and visually.

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