Keep up to date with our FREE newsletter
Twitter link
Site search

For Email Newsletters you can trust

Facebook link

All the regions food news & reviews you can digest

The Stable Cider Experience


Cider Tasting

If you have eaten at The Stable before, you will know that these guys are not only passionate about their pizza, but their cider too.  So much so, they are extending their expertise to improve our knowledge of the good stuff by offering a range of different cider tasting experiences. If you are looking for a Christmas gift with a twist, this really is a must for a cider-loving loved one!

The nationwide chain offer three unique events: ‘The Strictly Cider’, ‘The Cider and Supper’ and the top dog ‘Ultimate Cider Experience’. First up is ‘The Strictly Cider’ event which acts as an introductory experience. At £15pp guests are treated to rustic cheese and crackers, all washed down with ten of the tastiest ciders brewed on home shores. There is also plenty opportunity to ask the cider expert on hand any questions you may have about the carefully selected drinks you’ll be enjoying on the day.

For £22.50pp ‘The Cider and Supper’ event provides all the ‘Strictly Cider’ experience does and more! You will be talked through the top ten tasters. Additionally, the cheese and crackers will act merely as a warm up to your choice of pizza to follow. Group bookings can request a buffet range of The Stable’s cheesy treats. Individuals can pick from a cutely, quirky menu of home-cooked options. A real comfort during winter months.

The ‘Ultimate Cider Experience’ offers a much more in depth experience for those who love all things cider. A steal at £30pp. The ultimate option is ideal for those who want to pick up skills to take home. You will try a wider variety of high-end ciders and be given a work-shop on distinguishing notes, tastes and colours. Pizza will be served alongside, in keeping with The Stable’s specialty. You will also be offered cider brandies to accompany the gloriously, rich brownies you will enjoy for dessert!

If you are a self-proclaimed sucker for scrumpy it really is worth checking these events out. Great for an array of occasions; birthdays, an understated stag or hen party, even a work’s Christmas gathering would suit the location. No doubt, the forever warm and welcoming staff will be on-hand to ensure you a memorable visit.

To find out more head to the website:

  • Share/Bookmark

Review – Blakes Restaurant at the Westmead


On Friday we had the pleasure of dining at Blakes, the new restaurant just launched at the Westmead Hotel in Hopwood. First things first, the service throughout was amazing – not too many check-backs, and a really polite and friendly face from everyone working there.

The dining part of the restaurant is all dark navy and soft grey, a more composed version of the bright (and decidedly Instagram-friendly) flower wall in the bar. We started with two duck eggs which had slowly exploding, golden yolks, perfectly seasoned, nestled on three al dente sprigs of fresh asparagus. Sometimes asparagus can be woody or tough, but this was great, grilled gently, and served with a swipe of acidic pea puree to contrast the salty yolks.

The other starter consisted of a hearty portion of juicy, whole chicken wings in a sweetly succulent barbecue sauce, with a fresh salsa with a good kick, and a mini bucket of homemade slaw. This was really good value as a starter and lovely that it came with salsa as that really cut through the stickiness of the wings.

After freshening with a finger bowl, we enjoyed the last of our cocktails – mine a french martini studded with a raspberry and coated with a fine, silky, froth, and a very punchy mojito – one of the best I’ve tried.

For the main, we selected a chicken burger – but this was no ordinary chicken burger. In the middle, buttermilk chicken thighs, in a coating that was creamily reminiscent of the name, gherkins – fresh with an audible snap – onions and tomatoes. On the outside, the brioche bun was a textural delight. The surface of the bun  buckled under fingertips but underneath had a bouncy, brioche tenacity.

While picky about pizza, this one was just right: delicate mozzarella, fresh jalapenos, discs of salty pepperoni and the best part and a unique selling point of Blakes – a dough base made in-house. When baked in the special-order, copper penny covered, wood fire oven, this base becomes a grainy, satiny wonder when folded to capture the rest of the sliding hot pizza.

Finally we managed to find room for a masterpiece of a dessert. Consisting of a warm, marbled slab of brownie, with pistachio ice cream and peanut brittle, it was artfully arranged but hearty in the generous, rich flavour of the brownie.

Blakes offerings for Sunday lunch look incredible and they are constantly coming out with new and exciting seasonal cocktails to get you in the mood – Poisoned Apple Pie for Halloween definitely sounds intriguing.

 Reviewed by Dhechen Lama

  • Share/Bookmark

Only the best – Hotel du Vin & Bistro’s autumn menu lets the ingredients do the talking

hdv 3 hdv 2 hdv 1

Every good chef knows it is the quality of ingredients that can make or break a meal, which is why Hotel du Vin’s Chef Director Matt Powell continually travels the length and breadth of the UK to source the very best.

This year’s Autumn A la Carte menu, which has just launched at Hotel du Vin & Bistro, is no different. The dishes have been carefully created by Matt to really showcase that quality which goes into each one.

The smoked salmon starter, for example. Served with quails eggs, shallots, capers and cornichons, it’s a signature dish of Hotel du Vin’s that is never far from the menu in one form or another. The secret to its success is the salmon, provided by bespoke smoking and curing specialists Severn & Wye Smokery. They follow a very traditional smoking process, ensuring their produce is of the highest quality, and pride themselves in having zero carbon footprint by using alternative energy supplies to prepare their produce.

A new addition to the menu is the Herdwick lamb shank tagine with ras el hanout and cous cous. Always a crowd pleaser, flavoursome, tender and versatile lamb is not just for Spring. The Herdwick lamb on Hotel du Vin’s menu is sourced from the prestigious Altham family, a quintessential British butcher who are steeped in heritage and tradition. They work closely with producers such as Cumbrian fell top famer Jonathan Hope. With the rolling Skiddaw Fells for a backdrop, Jonathan’s flock of hardy Herdwicks are free to roam and graze naturally on the local fell vegetation, where wildflowers mingle effortlessly with native grass. This natural, no-stress lifestyle plays an undeniably important role in ensuring that tender, succulent lamb can be enjoyed for an extended season.

And to finish? Valrhona chocolate is internationally recognised as the producer of the finest chocolate in the world, so you can’t go wrong with this years’ delicious Baked Chocolate and Pear Pudding with honey crème fraiche. Based in the Rhone Valley in Southern France, Valhorna use traditional techniques and machinery to produce exceptional chocolate from Cocoa beans sourced from long term growing partners.

Matt Powell said, “The Hotel du Vin philosophy is simple. You need to start with quality ingredients to create delicious meals. We work incredibly hard to ensure we work with only the best suppliers, and we’ve seen a growing interest from our guests in the stories behind the produce on their plates. We take our food, and our suppliers, seriously and we want our customers to experience that philosophy in the dishes we serve them.”

  • Share/Bookmark

Oxfordshire pub the White Hart reaps National awards

Kay and Mark Chandler, The White Hart Oxfordshire

Kay and Mark Chandler, The White Hart Oxfordshire

It has been a bumper award-winning year for an Oxfordshire gastro pub that sources much of its ingredients from a bountiful kitchen garden. The White Hart at Fyfield has received a crop of accolades including being named Restaurant of the Year South East in the Food Awards England.

 Owners Mark and Kay Chandler were delighted to receive the gong at the fourth annual award ceremony held at the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel on Monday, October 2nd.  The White Hart team have also been recognised by The Good Food Guide 2018 and The 2018 Michelin Guide.

Irfan Younis, CEO of Food Awards England organisers Creative Oceanic, said: “We are honoured and delighted to have such great finalists and winners representing the English food industry and enhancing its reputation nationally and internationally. These were the fourth annual Food Awards England. They are a true reflection of the talent in the country and we want to make sure that the hard work and determination of English food professionals don’t go unnoticed.”

Mark and Kay put their success down to their ethos for sourcing the very best, seasonal ingredients and the dedication and passion of their team. They commented: “It has been a wonderful year for us. We were honoured to win Restaurant of the Year South East and to feature in both The Good Food Guide and the Michelin Guide 2018 was the icing on the cake for us and our fantastic team.”

“We are lucky to have such a talented and enthusiastic team and such wonderful fresh produce on our doorstep. Our ethos centres around using the best sustainable produce in the area. We work with local farmers and suppliers, grow lots of Read more »

  • Share/Bookmark

Top 5 Street Foods Here and Coming to Birmingham

tamatanga rice

Birmingham is a city worth celebrating, to state the obvious our city has gone street food crazy which only means one thing for your appetite it’s about to go through the roof! Street food inspired restaurants are emerging in all quarters, but can you blame them? It’s a riveting concept and even better when the food is mouth-watering!

If you’re on the hunt for authentic street food experience packed complete with all the flavour and excitements of the market delights, you’re in for a treat. Her’s are top 5 Deliicous choices.



Hearty, home styled Indian food! Tamatanga is nestled among some of Nottingham’s best restaurants.  Brummies look no further this chic eatery has brought their flavours of success into our turf with the promise of “a new way to eat Indian”.  Try their tapas style sharing dishes, you can choose from ambrosial dishes such as Chaat, Samosas, Jerk Tikka, Prawn Tempura as well as regular curry dishes made from traditional recipes.


The perfect love affair spot for Indian street food lovers!  Zindiya is a new eatery and bar in town serving Indian realness with a culture twist. Stuck for what to eat for lunch? Well this little bundle of joy fits perfectly into that mould. Before the food arrives you will find yourself already feeling enticed by the bright walls covered in authentic artwork bringing a piece of India to Birmingham. Whether you’re after a light bite at lunch as well as a more substantial dinner in the evening, Zindiya will have you wishing all restaurants serve Chaat.


This little gem offers a true celebration of Indian street food and cultural heritage, tucked in Shirley and Solihull the food at Indico has been carefully selected to showcase the best and tastiest dishes from the Indian street food culture . Make sure to try the buttery paranthas of the Punjab and Goa’s famous Goan fish curry rice and Raos omelette  which is an omelette dipped in spicy coconut gravy garnished with lime and onions.

Gateway To India

You’ll never see such fab mixed grills than here.  It’s a real feats for the eyes. They have the best selection of vegetarian dishes like Chana bature, papri chaat and pau bhaji


Booming already in Liverpool and Manchester, Mowgli will be opening its doors late September stationed at Grand Central.  The venue layout is intimate surrounded by a Jungle Book theme, when you arrive you will know this place is unique. The menu is fresh and innovative, be sure to try the Indian styled ‘chip butties’,  flavour filled yoghurt Chaat bombs and delicious fish dishes as well as an extensive wine list to choose from. If you have specific dietary requirements do not feel left out they also serve gluten free and vegan meals!

Get your tummy ready and just about everybody you know because things are about to get exciting!

  • Share/Bookmark

It’s Mooncake madness as China town’s Mid Autumn Festival roars into the Arcadian

Chinese lion pic

This weekend will see a host of colourful cultural festivities at the Arcadian as The Chinese Festival Committee host the Mid Autumn Festival this Saturday afternoon.

Headed up by James Wong, owner of the Chung Ying Restaurant Group, there will be a feast of activities and food to enjoy for all the family.

The Mid Autumn Festival has been celebrated in China since the Shang Dynasty over 3000 years ago. It has ties to the moon, fertility, and the Autumn harvest time.

James Wong says, “It gives me great pleasure to bring the Mid Autumn festival back to Southside. The Arcadian is a great space for all the festivities and in modern times the day is a time for Chinese families to get together to eat lots of delicious food! Not many know the historical story of the festival and the tradition of the mooncakes, and it is an interesting one.”

One of the many legends goes thus: after Hou-Yi shot the nine other suns out of the sky, the gods were impressed and gave him an elixir of immortality. But he loved his wife Chang so much that he couldn’t bear to live without her.

People were jealous and when Hou-Yi left the house his friend Peng Meng chased his wife for the elixir, which she loyally refused to give away. She was forced to flee into the moon, and in his overwhelming grief Hou-Yi arranged all her favourite foods outside their house as an offering to her.

This is where the tradition of mooncakes comes from. They are a sort of savoury, filled dumpling with red bean paste and a duck egg, which resembles the moon when the dumpling is broken into.

With Taekwondo performances, Dragon Dances, a performance from the Hall Green Academy choir and fireworks to end the festival at 7pm, you are sure to work up an appetite.

Luckily, there will be a plethora of street food offerings. City favourites Digbeth Dining Club will be on hand, as well as the fantastic Dim Sum Su, which we can’t wait to try out.

If all this wasn’t enough, Mr James Wong himself is even promising to shave his head in aid of cancer research if £4,000 can be raised for Macmillan. That’s worth a visit in itself.

Entrance is free and the weather looks fine so this is sure to be an event for all the family.



12:00 – 19:00 at The Arcadian –  Birmingham


Hurst Street, Southside, B5 4TD Birmingham United Kingdom



  • Share/Bookmark

Birmingham’s best flock to Hopwood as elegant Blakes restaurant celebrates party launch


Last Friday night, the great and the good from Alvechurch and Barnt Green businesses attended the official launch of Blakes restaurant – the newly revamped fine dining restaurant at the Westmead hotel.

Special guests in attendance included former Villa players Cyrille Regis and Mark Walters as well as TV presenters Noreen Khan from the BBC and Suzanne Virdi from ITV

VIPs were treated to champagne on arrival. Restaurant manager Kieron also showcased his cocktail skills with an array of Blakes speciality cocktails including the Sofia, which is sweet with a burst of cinnamon.

Guests were  impressed with the canape sharing boards, rosebud shaped garlic dough balls, fried tempura prawns, pea and goat’s cheese tarts, and macarons for dessert made the rounds of the guests, and even some hot wings for those who dared!

Plus mini soupcons of mushroom soup, and mini ham terrine and duck. The team showcased their new  pizza oven covered in one pennies which  was a massive hit,  churning out the delicious home cooked pizzas. Light and tasty, there were even ones topped with chocolate and bananas.

Guests were thrilled by the novelty of the tropical flower wall which provided a unique backdrop our movers and shakers were only too happy to take selfies at.

  • Share/Bookmark

Blakes Restaurant Launches At Westmead Hotel

blakes small

For those yearning for a little elegant dining in the leafy outskirts of Birmingham, then you would do well to head out to Hopwood, just 5 minutes drive from affluent Barnt Green. Here is where you will discover the revamped Blake’s at the Westmead Hotel.

The 80 cover restaurant has been transformed into an elegant brasserie ideal for modern fine dining. Guests will love the stylish interiors decorated in cosy greys and warming bronze tones creating a contemporary elegance.

Blakes Director, Sapna Panesar says, “Our customers have always enjoyed the superb quality provided by the Westmead, and we want to continue offering diners the same level quality with our new look. We have been working very hard flexing our creative muscles with the design team behind Adam’s and we are really impressed with the results.”

The kitchen team headed up by Head Chef Tom Kavanagh have also been showing off their culinary flair creating a new menu of tempting seasonal dishes. Tom and his team use classic produce and have produced enticing dishes full of flavour and style.

Tom says, “Our exceptional team has been working creatively hard developing a menu that will combine the best dry-aged beef, finest seafood and freshest locally-sourced ingredients to create a unique and charming dining experience. Guests will be spoilt for choice with the menu, such as Fresh Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli with Chargrilled Courgette; Grilled Red Snapper; Confit of Duck, Sweet Teriyaki Pork and Roasted Monkfish in parma ham. All beautifully presented of course!”

Bar manager Kieron, formerly of Hotel du Vin Birmingham, will be on hand to talk you through the well thought out wine list and an innovative cocktail offering.

The new venue will official launch with a VIP party on Friday 29th September and open to the public on Saturday 30th September 2017

  • Share/Bookmark

New FUMO Restaurant & Bar for Selfridges Birmingham

New FUMO Restaurant & Bar for Selfridges Birmingham

New FUMO Restaurant & Bar for Selfridges Birmingham

Birmingham’s multi-award winning Italian restaurant company, San Carlo Group today announces it’s to further expand operations in the city.

The Italian family owned and run group which has 17 leading UK restaurants, including the original and hugely popular San Carlo on Temple Street and Fumo on Waterloo Street, is to open a Fumo restaurant, champagne and cocktail bar at Selfridges in Birmingham this Autumn.

Fumo will be located in Selfridges on the 4th floor with stunning views overlooking the iconic Bullring. With a nod to the popular and critical success of its Fumo restaurants in Birmingham, Manchester and St Martins Lane, London, Fumo will serve delicious, seasonal Italian small plate dishes to share or eat alone and a feature bar will specialise in cocktails and Laurent Perrier champagne.

The £1m restaurant will be the third Selfridges San Carlo Group restaurant – San Carlo Bottega and Gran Café are situated within Selfridges Exchange Square, Manchester.

The Group’s success has been built on providing original Read more »

  • Share/Bookmark

MFDH Awards goes off with a Bang!

Sabai win mfdha17

What a magnificent night! Monday 26th June 2017 saw the Midlands Food Drink & Hospitality Awards take place at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground.

The Midlands Food Drink & Hospitality industry was out in full force and saw over 450 people in attendance, including the biggest names and faces in the food and catering industry from all around the West Midlands, to honour and award the very best restaurants, cafes, eateries, chains, hotels, chefs and more in the Midlands world of hospitality.

The MFDH awards, founded by Anita Chumber, Ifraz Ahmed and Anita Champaneri, was sponsored by Pepsi Max, with diamond sponsor NFU Mutual, and category sponsors Birmingham City University, Pathway Group, NA Consulting, High Speed Training, Bacardi and Laurent Pierre.

The night kicked off with a stellar reception that welcomed the guests, hosts, judges and sponsors to the beautifully decorated venue at the cricket ground. It was an electric night full of fun and frolics.

Host Raaj Shamji, known for his flamboyance and infectious humour, and his eclectic band kept the guests entertained with their unique brand of wit, wonder and flair. They brought a sense of cabaret, zest and fun to the night that kept everything up and lively.

Live music was provided by the Walsall Wallaz and Beat Asylum, guests were also treated to a stunning performance from Nemesis from Britain’s Got Talent.

Drinks were aplenty at the bar and food was provided from Mahir’s Experience.  The delectable cuisine was perfectly fitting for a night celebrating the very best in food.

Needless to say, when it came to the winners, the level of excitement and tension was palpable. Some of the most coveted awards and winners of the night included Sabai Sabai for Best Oriental Restaurant; Best Spanish which was picked up by El Borracho De Oro; Best Themed awarded to Indico Street Kitchen; Best Boutique Hotel went to Hotel Du Vin and a special Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Rajdoot. Also a big congrats to Edgbaston Boutique Hotel for winning Best Cocktail Bar and Best Afternoon Tea; Asha’s for winning Best Curry House, Malmaison for winning Best Hotel Bar and the most petulant, but wittiest food blogger around, Simon Carlo for winning the Best Blogger Award.

The crowd moved to the after party after the awards was over, which saw yet more fun, laughs and partying with music provided by DJ AKB.

The organisers of the night, commented:

It is overwhelming to see so much support for this very important industry in the Midlands. The awards, now in its second year, has been a huge success.  A huge congratulations to the winners & nominees and thank you to everyone that has supported the event this year.”

Next year’s MFDH awards is already being planned and looks set to be even bigger, better and brighter. Look forward to seeing you next year!

For images from the night, please click here and for further photos please click here.

See Winners List here!

  • Share/Bookmark