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All the regions food news & reviews you can digest

The UK’s first Prosecco Festival comes to Birmingham Town Hall

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Needless to say this event is an absolute must for fans of the fizz!

The UK’s first Prosecco Festival is coming to Birmingham Town Hall, on Friday 9th & Saturday 10th February.

There will be stations offering more than 40 types of Prosecco, Spumante, Cava’s, Brut, Pink Fizz and even Prosecco cocktails.

There will also be an array of Italian streetfoods which can be purchased at the festival, designed to compliment the varieties of fizz. Think gorgeous calzone and homemade meatballs….mmmmm.

General Admission tickets are £14.50 and look set to be a sell out. We’ll race you there!
http://www.proseccofestival.co.uk/

 

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The Horseshoe Bar and Grill Relaunch

Horseshoe Food

Popular local pub ‘The Horseshoe Bar “ have relaunched under new management this month and will be known as The Horseshoe Bar & Grill!  With a freshly refurbed pub section,  the restaurant on Stratford Road will now be riding the desi wave and offering a bigger mixed grill selection.

There are no neigh sayers in sight, as their magnificent mixed grills are already being hotly applauded and their cosy and relaxed surroundings are making for a bright and bustling atmosphere.

There is plenty to choose from with flavoursome staples for all palates. The Murgh Tikka Masala is a favourite – a chicken dish bathed in a rich, creamy onion and tomato sauce. Not to mention their amazing veggie friendly Kadai Paneer main, packed with herbs and spices. And, not to worry if Indian cuisine isn’t for you, ‘The Horseshoe’ have a fabulous, classic European menu too, featuring traditional fish and chips, pizzas, pastas and steaks.

Entrepreneur Bally Rama has invested heavily in the new banqueting area and the gorgeous bar, so if it’s just drinks you are after, you can’t go wrong! The Bakewell Tart cocktail is perfect for anyone with a sweet-tooth and providing you have the next morning off work the Zombie is a must try! Generous with a glug of 3 premiums rums, blended with a secret recipe!

He added  ‘Desi Grills are taking off massively here in the Midlands and ‘The Horseshoe Bar” customers have always been asking us to do it, so we are really pleased to launch our grill offering this January.” 

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Itihaas Wedding Fayre at Stanbrook Abbey

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Award-winning connoisseur of fine Indian dining, Itihaas Restaurant, is celebrating a match made in heaven with the announcement of a fabulous new Wedding Fayre at the stunning and historical wedding venue, Stanbrook Abbey.

The Wedding Fayre is to be held on Sunday 25th February and for those who were lucky enough to receive proposals on Valentines Day this will be a great opportunity to explore the Abbey, and speak to an impressive line up of wedding suppliers who will be on hand with great hints and tips to manage your big day effortlessly.

The extraordinary Stanbrook Abbey sits amongst the Worcestershire countryside and boasts a grand exterior and elegant rooms ideal for large wedding ceremonies. Nestled in the Malvern Hills, the Abbey has a wonderful historic charm and grace, with each of its 19 function rooms providing a beautiful setting for any part of your big day. Not only does the Abbey pride itself on its stunning vistas, but it maintains a level of practicality and experience in hosting events for up to hundreds of people.

Lovebirds will get the chance to see all the things that will make your day big, bright and beautiful, from bridal outfits and costume jewellery to luxury wedding cars and impressive wedding decor packages.

So whether you want a classy wedding like Meghan and Harry, or a bling affair like Kim and Kanye, there will be wedding planners on hand for advice and consultations and offering ‘deals of the day’.

And that’s not all, couples will also get the chance to try a plethora of delicious tastings of Itihaas’ canapés. Food is the heart of every great celebration and this will be an ideal opportunity to sample an exquisite Indian feast ahead of your big day.

This latest partnership with Stanbrook Abbey in Worcester sees Itihaas’ award-winning chefs design menus to complement the stunning surroundings of the venue. Itihaas already has an array of incredible venues under its belt, delivering traditional Indian cuisine to events and weddings at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Ricoh Arena, and more recently, West Midlands Safari Park.

The Abbey caters for every couple’s dream wedding: for those who prefer a more understated affair can utilise the intimate space of St Anne’s, and if a huge celebration is more to your tastes, there is the extravagant backdrop of the Callow Great Hall. The partnership will see Itihaas’ help provide the perfect Asian wedding experience in the classic beauty of the venue.

Speaking about the partnership, Itihaas Managing Director, Raj Rana, comments:

“We’re honoured to have secured such a wonderful partnership with Stanbrook Abbey. We recognise the venue’s dedication to provide an unforgettable Big Day to the happy couple, as this is something we also uphold.’’

 Gareth Davies, General Manager of Stanbrook Abbey, said this of the partnership:

“As a contemporary wedding venue, we’re always looking to broaden our horizons and cater for a multitude of different weddings. Itihaas’ professionalism and expertise in both Indian cuisine and the Asian wedding experience makes for a great partnership with Stanbrook Abbey. We’re so excited to see what’s in store for us!”

The partnership is set to be a real success, with years of experience under the belts of both Itihaas and Stanbrook Abbey, this is really a case of two giants in the events and catering industries joining forces to create something really special for happy couples and their nearest and dearest..

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A Bigger, Bolder And Better Indian Brewery

IB

The Indian Brewery is getting bigger, bolder and better. The team have been busy expanding into the archway next door and will be ready to serve you all up some refreshing home-brews with your favourite mixed grills in a much bigger and brighter space!

Jaspal Purewal, who owns Indian Brewery which supplies Birmingham Lager, Indian Summer, Bombay Honey, Peacock and IPA to Birmingham venues (including Harvey Nichols and Connolly’s wine merchants) has taken over the unit to the right and created an impressive bar.

The site on Livery Street has remained open while the expansion has been underway and will aim to open in the first week of January.

The new and improved Indian Brewery will now seat 90 people with plenty more standing room too. Diners will get a direct view of the glass cellar and see their favourite brews dispensed through the pumps.

Birmingham Lager is still their most popular seller, as well as their new product, Koko, their new chocolate and cocoa infused beer.  Also on offer are 10 keg beers, 5 cask ales and over 100 different craft beers in bottles and cans.

The great architectural character is a key feature of this urban generation, with a ‘Made In Birmingham’ sign hanging in the entrance as a nod to all the local producers, talent and contractors they have employed. Last January there were just 2 people on the payroll and now they employ 20 people, a testament to their growing popularity and success.

Two talented local artists, Seven 9 Signs and Dan Griffin-Hayes have been working around the clock to create Indian inspired bespoke artwork on the walls.

They have also spent over £6,000 on the indoor heating system so it will always feel like an Indian summer in the bar!

Owner Jaspal Purewal said, “The Indian Brewery has always been drinks focussed but the past year has shown that our food offering has been just as popular.  With an expanded new food menu and a cocktail list, we’re sure it will satisfy more hungry appetites to come. We also have new teas likes the Baileys chai and new desserts too.

Check out this sparkling asset to the Jewellery Quarter this New Year.

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

Officially opens 3rd January 2018 with extended hours.

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George Michael Tribute Night

George Michael

 

 

We all love a good shin-dig over Christmas and the cheesier the better. So it’s great to see so many tribute acts over the festive season all around Birmingham.

So if you are a Young Gun having some fun, The Westmead Hotel are launching their party nights this December.  First up they’re getting the party started with a Motown and Northern Soul night on Wednesday 6th December.

Hot on the heels of that is a Dance Through the Decades party night on Tuesday 12th. December. But the night that everyone is getting excited about, is the tribute to George Michael and 80’s night on Wednesday 13th December.

We all remember George Michael tragic passing on Christmas Day last year, but what better way to commemorate his legacy than to celebrate the music of Wham and his international solo chart success.

So whether you want to hop aboard the love train for an unforgettable night of soul classics or slow dance to Last Christmas  and reminisce over George, there’s sure to be a fun filled night for everyone.

 

Dining and dancing tickets available from the Westmead Hotel 0121 445 1202.

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Aluna at the Mailbox Unveils New Menu

aluna

Aluna is proud to be unveiling a delectable new menu. It’s out with the old and in with the new, but its still filled with Aluna’s signature pan-asian allure. Diners will be lavished with offerings such as Thai Green Curry, Malay Butter Prawns, and Salt and Pepper Squid. Vegans and Vegetarians have been taken care of too – try the Stir Fried Tofu with Cashew Nut, and Chargrilled Vegetable and Glass Noodle Salad. Meat-lovers will be glad to see the Aluna Burger and Rib Eye Steak from the grill with a choice of peppercorn and oriental sauces.

General Manager  Nitin Solanki says: ‘We’re really happy with our new menu and excited for everyone to get down to the Mailbox to try it out. Whether its a meal with friends in the evening or after work drinks, Aluna has just the right vibe to get you in the festive spirit.’

 

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Curry King cooks up a storm for 2017 return

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Chances are if you’re from Birmingham, you’ve proudly told someone that your hometown invented the Balti. Dubbed the ‘Curry Capital’ of the UK, the city has something for everyone when it comes to curry; from your Friday night takeaway to your fine Indian dining. So it’s no surprise that charity LoveBrum is making the most of the Brummie love for curry for its annual ‘Curry King of Birmingham’ fundraiser.

Following on from last year’s debut, Curry King of Birmingham will return to the ICC, Birmingham on Thursday 16 November with hundreds of guests creating their very own curry whilst enjoying a delicious dinner prepared by the experts. As Bobby Davro opens the event in his true belly-laughing style, each table will nominate a ‘chef’ to deliver the table’s chosen spices to a chef on stage who will then cook up the creation ready to be judged by an esteemed – if not terrifying – panel of experts who will choose this year’s Curry King (or Queen) of Birmingham.

LoveBrum is pulling out all the stops for next month’s event, with 10 of the region’s finest foodies judging the culinary creations; esteemed food writer Paul Fulford will join fellow writer Anita Champeneri from Delicious PR, and Asian Today and Birmingham Awards organiser, Anita Chumber, on the panel. Restauranteurs Aktar Islam (Lasan Group), Rai Singh (Praza and Pushkar), and Raj Rana (Itihaas) will also lend their expertise to the evening’s competition. The ‘Black Country’s Master of Food’ Nitisha Patel will be joined by founder of Miss Macaroon, Rosie Ginday, and Soul Tree Wine’s Gorvinder Singh, on the panel. Additionally, the most recent judge to be announced is the wonderful Richard Turner from Turners at 69.

Returning judge Aktar Islam, commented: “I’m delighted to be part of Curry King of Birmingham once again this year; celebrating our city – and nation’s – favourite cuisine in such a fun way… it’s an event like no other!

“I’m so proud to be involved with the amazing work that LoveBrum does, as it really goes above and beyond when it comes to supporting the city’s unsung heroes and bringing communities together. The fact that this event will allow support to those who really need it only makes it a more wonderful event to get involved with; whether that’s judging, entering or simply attending.”

Curry King of Birmingham is all about fusing food, fun and fundraising in the most exciting way. Described as ‘black tie, but not as you know it,’ the event is all about interaction and participation, with each table joining together to create their curry ready for judging. In addition to the competition, there are also a host of great opportunities for guests to raise money for LoveBrum, including an interactive quiz, raffle, silent auction, and a live auction – with every single penny raised going directly to the local causes that LoveBrum supports.

To add to the evening’s entertainment, six-piece band HouseJammerz will be playing 80s classics, followed by a DJ set from Rob Holliday of The Prodigy/Marilyn Manson.

With headline sponsors East End Foods and SimkissGuy Recruitment joining forces with drinks sponsor Swallow Drinks, Curry King of Birmingham 2017 is an event like no other!

Tickets cost £90, with tables of 10 also available, from ticketlist.co.uk/curryking.

All proceeds from Curry King of Birmingham will go to LoveBrum, a charity that prides itself on unearthing and supporting hidden gem projects within the city, in particular ones that may not have access to the support and exposure they need. The charity aims to profile around 40 causes per year, with 12 receiving £2,000 funding complemented by a year of business support. These projects are promoted as part of a monthly vote, where members find out about a cause every week and vote for their favourite at the end of the month.

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Brum Celebrates the Best in Business

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400 business leaders packed into Edgbaston Stadium on November 9th to celebrate the inaugural City of Birmingham Business Awards, hosted by Downtown Birmingham, and sponsored by Lifestyle Partnerships.
The gala awards dinner, presented by Ed James, rewarded some of the best businesses and business leaders in the City Region.

The big winners on the evening included Paul Cadman, Michele Wilby and Bart Dalton who won the Man of the Year, Woman of the Year and Business Personality of the Year respectively.

Best Hotel went to Hotel du Vin. Pictured are General Manager, Tony Elvin and Sales Manager, Jason Simpson.

The biggest prize on the evening went to Argent LLP who won the Business of the Year award.

Frank McKenna CEO of Downtown in Business commented: “It has been fantastic to reward all of the amazing businesses in the Birmingham City Region. The calibre of businesses in the city made a nomination for these awards an achievement in itself. I would like to congratulate all of the winners and wish all the nominees best of luck for next year when the COBBA’s will return.”

Celebrations went on long into the night, with a terrific set from Happy Monday’s icon Rowetta, followed by an aftershow party at the Malmaison Hotel.

 

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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: http://stablepizza.com

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Review – Blakes Restaurant at the Westmead

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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

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