Tag Archives: Birmingham

Merry & White at Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill

A few weeks ago, I was invited to the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill in The Cube, Birmingham for an exclusive preview of their Christmas menu. Alongside me were a selection of Birmingham’s finest bloggers, including Full To The Brum, Word in Veg Ways, Out In Brum and A Much Prettier Puzzle.
The evening started with Prosecco in the bar with my fellow bloggers and then we were taken into the private dining room to begin our Merry & White Christmas meal. More Prosecco was served and soon our starters were served. I had the Potted Duck with Piccalilli and Sourdough Toast. The duck was rich, creamy and simply melted in mouth. The piccalilli was sharp in contrast and was one of the best I had ever tasted (I wish they sold it in jars!!) and the toast was perfect serving vehicle for the duck and the piccalilli.
For my main, I had Roast Turkey with Marco’s homemade stuffing, cranberry and port gravy with roasted potatoes. The turkey had only come from a farm 35 miles away and complimented by the stuffing, it tasted amazing! I usually find turkey boring but this was really tasty. I would definitely eat it again. My only minor issue was the lack of festive vegetables as it took me a while to find them on my plate. A couple of pieces of carrot, a few potatoes and a few bits of parsnip do not say generosity to me, which is the whole meaning of Christmas in my opinion! For £40 a head for four courses, a few extra vegetables would be appreciated! Everything else was good though and I wish my turkey would taste like that on Christmas Day!

For pudding, I had Double Chocolate Cheesecake with Mini Marshmallows. I am not usually a fan of cheesecakes, however this was different. It was full of chocolate and although the white chocolate and mini marshmallows made it really sweet, the dark chocolate centre was bitter enough to cut through it. My plate was clear at the end!

To finish the meal, we had coffee and a warmed mince pie and it was soon time to step back out into the cold with our full happy bellies. It was the most relaxing Christmas dinner, I am going to have this year!!!

I dined as a guest of MPW Steakhouse Bar & Grill. All opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.


Win Tickets to BBC Good Food Show Winter!


It is nearly that time of the year again! The BBC Good Food Show Winter will soon be here! It is on from Thursday 27th November until Sunday 30th November at the NEC and I am very excited! This year promises to be the biggest and best yet and here is why:

Paul Hollywood

  • Over 450 producers of food, drink and must have kitchen gadgets!
  • The Belling Live Cook Stage will see the legendary Brian Turner focusing on traditional British dishes.
  • The new live demo’s on the Hotpoint stand hosted by Lisa Faulkner
  • The Saturday Kitchen Live stand, sponsored by Lakeland and hosted by Glynn Purnell and Michael Caines
  • A new way to taste wine with The WineTubeMap tasting tours
  • The new Bakes & Cakes stage sponsored by Magimix and hosted by the gorgeous Marcus Bean (do you remember when I went to his cookery school here!)
  • As ever, there is is Supertheatre, sponsored by Kenwood which will see stars such as the Hairy Bikers, the yummy James Martin and the godlike Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood on the stage!

As I am one of a small number of official BBC Good Food Show bloggers, I am pleased to offer my readers a chance to win 1 of 3 pairs of tickets to the show. All you need to do is enter the rafflecopter widget below.

Good luck! Hope to see you at BBC Good Food Show Winter! I will be there on the Thursday :-)

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A Day at Brompton Cookery School

Marcus, Daniel and I

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to spend the day at Brompton Cookery School in Shropshire. I was kindly invited by the BBC Good Food Show as I am part of their blogger community. The cookery school is run by Marcus Bean and his wife, Jenny. Marcus is hosting the supertheatre at the BBC Good Food Show Summer which starts tomorrow.

Marcus showing us around the garden

Marcus’ house and B&B

After arriving at the cookery school and meeting my fellow BBCGFS community bloggers along with Katy and Flo from the BBCGFS team, we were taken by Marcus on a tour of his very extensive garden. Unfortunately, Daniel woke up at this point so I did not fully hear everything Marcus was saying, however his house and garden are absolutely gorgeous and full of many inspiring and unique items that would encourage any cook to get in the kitchen.

Rob showing us how to make bread

Back at the cookery school, we were given a bread making demonstration by Rob Swift, of Swifts Bakery who regularly teaches classes at the school. He had brought a large amount of bread dough with him and much of the session was spent with Rob showing us the many different types of bread you can including rolls, tin loaves, and Twist breads. I hope to make one of these soon to show you how to make a simple and impressive bread.
Once Rob had completed his demonstration (and we had asked a million questions!) it was time for us to do dirty work and make some bread ourselves. I decided to make a ******** (I have forgotten the name! – baby brain! I will update the post as soon as I remember) as I am a great lover of pizza and this seemed to be great alternative and would be perfect to share at a picnic or BBQ. It was also simple to make which was good for my sleep deprived brain!
After our bread had baked and was cooling, we sat down to a delicious lunch kindly provided by the cookery school and a selection of producers who will be at the BBCGFS this year. While Rob had been doing his demonstration, Marcus had whipped up two asparagus quiches with wild garlic pastry, a glazed ham and a chocolate mousse with honeycomb for pudding. We also had a selection of breads from Swift’s Bakery, some Cheese from Mr Moyden’s, some Great British Sauces, a selection of products from The Garlic Farm and lots of tomatoes from The Tomato Growers Association to name a few. Lunch was amazing and it was wonderful chatting to so many like minded people.
As it was Marcus’ birthday, we had a mini blogger bake off and I made a rather large chocolate cake for you. Unfortunately I did not win the bake off but it was still a great chocolate cake. More to follow in my next post soon. At the end of a fun and busy day, we left with full tummy’s, heavy goodie bags and enough bread as we could carry.

Rob and Daniel

Duscosure: I was invited to the cookery school as a guest of the BBC Good Food Show. We received samples of products in a goodie bag at the end of the day. All opinions are my own. If you use the code above to purchase ticket(s) to the BBC Good Food Show, I will earn a few penny’s.











The BBC Good Food Show Winter is This Week!!

From Wednesday to Sunday of this week, the BBC Good Food Show Winter will be at the NEC, near Birmingham. My big bump and I are visiting on Friday and we are looking forward to seeing:
  • Lakeland are back at the show – they're sponsoring the free of charge Saturday Kitchen Stage and will have a shop at the show too where visitors can find the latest gadgets, Christmas gifts and baking essentials.
  • All the Great British Bake Off contestants from all series have been invited to the show, and many can be found demonstrating on the free of charge The Great British Bake Off Stage, along with GBBO Village with a fantastic selection of companies demonstrating, sampling and selling baking supplies, ingredients, equipment, baked treats and more!
  • The World Cheese Awards are being judged on the Wednesday of the show with over 3000 cheeses from all over the world on display. There'll be a tasting shop too for cheese fans to taste and buy their favourite cheeses.
  • Lots of small artisan producers where visitors can find some unusual that they won't find on the high street. We can stock up for Christmas on luxurious drinks, smoked salmon, juicy hams, free range turkeys, bacon, fizz etc.

If you want to join in the fun but have not got a ticket yet, you can use the discount code below to get 15% off the ticket price until Sunday. This offer comes to you, my readers as I am part of the Good Food Show Bloggers Community.


A few weeks ago, along with my fellow Good Food Show bloggers (Gingey Bites, Annie Ko, The Foodie Couple Blog & Glamour in the County) and our organiser and font of knowledge of everything to do with the Good Food Show, Katy of Fabulous Food Finds, we went to Fiesta del Asado for lunch. While we were there, owner and chef Aktar Islam was in the kitchen practicing cooking his dishes for the next series of Great British Menu. He wouldn't tell us what he was cooking but it looked very interesting!

While we were there, we ate a vast array of amazing food including fried whitebait, padron peppers, baby back ribs, grilled chicken, lamb and a couple of varieties of sausages, all served with homemade bread, fries with parsley and garlic, orange and fennel salad and Malbec sauce. It was delicious and I cannot wait to go back there again soon!

At the end of our meal, Nikki of Convivium Wines told us about an exciting new wine tasting concept that you can try at the Good Food Show called WineTubeMap. The basic idea of the map is that you find a wine (station) that you like then travel further up or down that line to find similar wines that you may like too. It is a really simple idea and I am sure it will be really popular at the show as it makes wine tasting much simpler and enjoyable to understand.

I hope you have a great time at the show if you are going. Please say hello to me and my bump on Friday if you are there then!!!

Thank you to Katy and the Good Food Show bloggers community for an amazing meal at Fiesta del Asado.

Disclosure: The meal at Fiesta del Asado was complimentary. I am attending the BBC Good Food Show Winter on a complimentary press pass. All opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.



Win Tickets to the BBC Good Food Show Winter 2013!

BBC Good Food Show Winter 2013

I am a massive fan of the BBC Good Food Shows and make sure I attend both shows a year at the NEC in Birmingham. This time, I am pleased to announce that I have five pairs of general admission tickets to giveaway to the BBC Good Food Show Winter which runs from 27th November to the 1st December 2013.

The Show will feature over 50 chefs and experts from across the country on 7 different stages this is the perfect place to prepare for Christmas! The nation’s favourite TV programmes will be brought to life with Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry live in The Great British Bake Off, James Martin live in Saturday Kitchen sessions and John Torode and Gregg Wallace live in MasterChef cook offs on the Supertheatre, sponsored by Tesco finest. Visit The Great British Bake Off Village where you will find The Great British Bake Off Stage featuring some of the most popular past contestants and winners including the 2013 winner. The MasterChef Masterclass will host demonstrations from current champion Natalie Coleman as well as Celebrity MasterChef winner Phil Vickery. Plus Marks & Spencer will be bringing some Christmas sparkle to the Show on the Christmas Theatre. The Producers’ Village will be packed with some of the best artisan producers in the country including our pick in the Good Food Champions area as well as the Bursary Award Winners – perfect for picking up tasty stocking fillers and unique ingredients for the festive season.

Not a winner? To book tickets and for more information on the BBC Good Food Show Winter please visit bbcgoodfoodshowwinter.com or call 0844 581 1341

Use code JK20 for 20% off ticket prices until 29th October 2013, online or using phone number above

To enter giveaway please follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below:

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Wing Yip’s Hunt for Young Chef Begins

L-R Valerio Grimaldi-Plant, Jospeh Vinten, Ruby Rainey

Leading Oriental food grocer Wing Yip has launched its 2014 search to find the finest Young Chef for Oriental Cuisine.

New for this year the competition is going nationwide and applicants aged between 18 and 25 years old, employed in the hospitality industry or training at college or university, will have the opportunity to enter and demonstrate their flair for Oriental cuisine.

Wing Yip’s Young Chef of the Year 2014 competition offers aspiring cooks the chance to showcase their culinary talent, develop their skills and win a once in a lifetime trip to Hong Kong.

Joseph Vinten Winner 2013 Wing Yip Young Chef Oriental Cuisine

Mr Wing Yip, the Chairman of the company, said, “We want to celebrate the rich vein of young culinary talent in the UK.

Asian and Oriental cuisine is fast becoming one of the most popular in the UK. More and more TV food programmes, including BBC Masterchef, are featuring chefs who are using and experimenting with a raft of authentic Oriental ingredients in their dishes. This competition will showcase the dedication and skilful chefs we have coming through in the UK.”

Entrants will be required to create an Oriental menu using ingredients of their choice.

The panel of judges which includes TV Chef, Ching He Huang, Michelin-starred Birmingham chef, Glynn Purnell, and British Culinary Federation President Peter Griffiths, will put the finalists through their paces.

Under the watchful eye of head judge Peter Griffiths the cook-off finalists will be marked on their authenticity, skills and innovation:

Peter Griffiths said: “This is the second year the competition has run. Last year we were incredibly impressed by the use of flavours, presentation and creativity in the finalists’ dishes. It has certainly set the standard for this year and we are very much looking forward to seeing what this year’s chefs have to offer.”

The competition will be judged in two stages: a paper-based entry for the first round (closing date 10 January 2014), followed by a competitive cook-off at the University College Birmingham on 21 February 2014.

The winners will be announced at an official awards dinner at the University College Birmingham following the competitive cook-off.

For further information and to download an entry form please go to www.wingyip.com

Stuart and I were lucky enough to go to the awards dinner last year. Here is the post I wrote about it. I would like to go next year too but may not be able to due to having lots of newborn cuddles.

Brum Yum Yum Summer Special Tomorrow!!!!


Visit Britain has named BRUM YUM YUM as one of the Top 5 Food Experiences in Birmingham, alongside Michelin starred chefs, Cadbury World and the Balti Triangle.

This Saturday’s instalment of the already-famous #KingshEATh Streetfood Market will see the Moseley based streetfood entrepreneurs celebrate the accolade with a summer special.

BRUM YUM YUM founder, Duncan Stanley says, “We’ve worked so hard to make streetfood happen in Birmingham and to get this kind of recognition really means a lot. So this Saturday we’re partying!”

Since its launch in April, the monthly food & music extravaganza has attracted thousands of visitors & rave reviews from all corners of the foodie community. #KingshEATh is not just a streetfood market; it’s a free urban festival combining high quality food and drink, an eclectic selection of live music and a truly unique atmosphere

Says Stanley, “The focus is on the streetfood, but #KingshEATh isn’t a ‘food fest’. It’s a whole day out and there’s nothing else like it anywhere.

#KingshEATh attracts far more people than most streetfood events, even in London. Food reviewers, bloggers and our customers all tell us that our food is the best they’ve eaten and people keep coming back because we keep the show fresh & interesting.

Because #KingshEATh is so unique and exciting, and Birmingham is so accessible, we attract top streetfood crews from all over the country. We pitch them alongside the best of the Midlands and you have a high quality dining experience that’s totally unique to Birmingham.”

Streetfood is the current food trend and BRUM YUM YUM’s food has propelled them to the forefront of Birmingham’s renowned dining scene.

Duncan Stanley comments, “I read Marco Pierre White saying that people want honest food, food with provenance and dining without pretension. Well we have the most honest, unpretentious food available and we know where all of our ingredients come from, so you know exactly what you’re eating.

BRUM YUM YUM streetfood is the best food in town, hands down. No restaurant can match it because what you see is what you get. And if you want to know more, just ask as you watch it being prepared right in front of you. Our chefs know where every ingredient comes from. They probably raised the porkers in those sausages themselves, but if not they’ll tell you the name of the farm that each little piggy came from. Where else can you get that?

Our menus feature classics done perfectly, with a streetfood edge: The Krispy Kreme Burger, Steak Rossini Baguette, Baby Back Ribs (barbecued in a filing cabinet), Belgian Banoffee Waffles… And exotic dishes, done the BRUM YUM YUM way: Kimbap/Bulgogi (Korean sushi and chargrilled beef in one box), Filipino Sausage, Bombay Burgers, Escargot pots a la Bourguignon.

This is stripped down cuisine, so you’re only getting the good stuff.”

BRUM YUM YUM also produces the innovative and popular #BYYUNDERGROUND dining-clubbing night and will soon open the doors of #clubBYY, billed as ‘the world’s first Streetfood Nightclub’.

BRUM YUM YUM supports ‘Birmingyum’, Visit Birmingham and London Midland’s new tourism campaign and will be holding showcase events across the city, as well as #KingshEATh Christmas Market in December which promises to be an exciting foodie alternative to the German Market.

Saturday will feature 20 of the UK’s top streetfood vendors. Most dishes are in the £3-5 range including snacks and sharing plates, plus there’s a quality bar and live music all day. So for a taste of what Brum Yum Yum streetfood is all about, gather family & friends & head down to #KingshEATh at Kings Heath Village Square this Saturday 10 August, from 12pm for the ‘best day out in Birmingham’.A season of #BYYxmas parties and a streetfood night market for the Jewellery Quarter called #BYYjq are also planned.

Find BRUM YUM YUM on twitter @brumyumyum or facebook/brumyumyum

The menu for tomorrow is:


You can find out more about Brum Yum Yum from when I visited the first event here. Stuart, Thomas and I are hoping to attend tomorrow and it would be lovely to see you there too! :-)


Afternoon Tea at Hotel La Tour, Birmingham

Birmingham shoppers are in for a treat this summer if they want a relaxed and classy break from their shopping. Hotel La Tour on Albert Street, near Moor Street station is offering Afternoon Tea every day between 2-5pm for £18.95 per person. To have a glass of champagne with your afternoon tea it is £27.95 per person. I went along to sample the afternoon tea last week and I was very impressed. It is well worth the money. My dining companion  and I were so full after our afternoon tea that we did not need any dinner later on in the evening.

La Tour Afternoon tea 1

 The first layer of the afternoon tea contained a selection of sandwiches. In our selection, there was Coronation Chicken, ham and tomato, cucumber and mint and smoked salmon with cream cheese. We were both very impressed with the freshness of the bread and the choice of sandwiches offered. My favourite was the Coronation chicken, however the ham and tomato sandwich was a very close second. It is such a simple combination but it tasted really good and the quality of the ingredients really showed through. Also, on the first layer was a rarebit dip made with grilled cheese, mustard and Purity UBU ale, served alongside crisp bread sticks. I really had to restrict myself with this dip as it is really delicious and I knew if I ate lots of it, I would not have room for anything else afterwards. I could eat it by the bucket load.  Fortunately, you get the rarebit dip as a bar snack which I shall be ordering the next time I go to Hotel La Tour.

La Tour Afternoon tea 2

 The second layer contained two fruit scones and two plain scones served with generous amounts of strawberry jam and clotted cream. The scones were very crumbly and were served warm. There was barely a crumb left on our plates once we had eaten them.

La Tour Afternoon tea 3

 On the bottom layer, there was a selection of small desserts and petit fours. Hotel La Tour is well known for its excellent patisserie and I was excited to see what today’s selection was. It included, freeze dried strawberries and dark chocolate macaron, lemon cake, raspberry and dark chocolate jammie dodger and cucumber and strawberry pana cotta. My favourite out of all of them was the lemon cake.  It was light and full of citrus and really refreshed the tastebuds.  I enjoyed the jammie dodger too but thought the top biscuit was a tiny bit too thick for my taste.

La Tour Afternoon tea 5La Tour Afternoon tea 4

To drink with our afternoon tea, my companion and I had a tea pot each of High Iced Tea which is fruit tea bags served  with iced water. There are a variety of different flavours to choose from and they are really refreshing on a hot summer’s day. We also tried a limited edition ‘Little Prince’ cocktail which was made with Slipsmith Gin, passionfruit vodka, passionfruit syrup, Earl Grey syrup and a tiny bit of pasteurised egg white, which is mixed together in a cocktail shaker. Due to being pregnant, I only tried a little bit of the cocktail however my companion can confirm that it is very refreshing and is a drink that you could drink a great deal of and then forget how to use your legs later on!!

Many thanks to Sue and the team for a wonderful time at Hotel La Tour. I look forward to going back there soon

Disclosure: we dined as guests of Hotel La Tour




BBC Summer Good Food Show 2013 – Part Three

Theo Randall Makes Pasts

This is the final part in my series on the BBC Summer Good Food Show 2013. For the other two parts, please see here and here. After a quick lunch break and food from one of the street food vendors (more about them later in the post), my fellow Good Food Show bloggers and I went to the Supertheatre to see Theo Randall and Tom Kitchin cook live on stage. There was great banter between them and it was really fun to watch.

The Jabberwocky

Ross & Ross

Squisito Deli

Fresh Rootz

After the show has finished, I had time for a quick walk round the show and went and saw old friends, Kate from Gower Cottage Brownies and Tim from Macarons & More. It was great to catch up and see how fast their businesses are moving forward.

After this, it was a short trip back to the press office to hear talks from the Midlands street food vendors who were invited to the show for the first time and the Good Food Show Bursary Award Winners (who get a free stall at the show if their business is unique in some way). I went and saw the street food folk earlier on in the day (images above) and they seemed to be doing a roaring trade. For all of them, it was the biggest thing they had ever done. The story was the same for the award winners too. They are all had unique food products that they produced themselves and in some of the cases, they had gone from having the idea to setting up the business really quickly. It was lovely chatting to them.

The street food vendors were:

The bursary award winners were:

Soon though, it was getting close to 6pm when the show closed for the evening. I just had time to do a little bit more shopping then it was time to head home after an inspiring, interesting, fun and exhausting day.

Many thanks to Ginny, Katy and the team for a fantastic tine. I cannot wait until the show in November now! :-)

Disclosure: I attended the Good Food Show with a complimentary press pass. I purchased some products from the producers at full prices, others were given to me at a discount due to being press and others were received complimentary.


BBC Summer Good Food Show 2013 – Part Two

Galton Blackiston and I

While I was at the BBC Summer Good Food Show 2013, and as a benefit of being part of the BBC Good Food Show bloggers community, I got the chance to interview Galton Blackiston.

Galton is a lovely guy who is very passionate about food especially the produce from his home county of Norfolk. He is very approachable on social media and is one of the best people I have had the chance to interview. The audio file of the interview is below. Apologies for the background noise. The interview was recorded backstage behind the Supertheatre and there was lots going on.

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Many thanks to Galton for doing the interview and to Ginny and her team at the BBC Good Food Show for setting it up and giving us the most fantastic day. Stay tuned for part three of posts about the Good Food Show where we talk street food and meet more amazing producers.

Disclosure: I received entry to the show via a complementary press pass. All opinions are my own.

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