As 80 per cent of the UK population can reach Birmingham in 90 minutes, Birmingham is a great place to meet up with far-flung family and friends for a little food and wine this Christmas…
Riding the crest of an award-winning wave, Birmingham’s food scene is still on the up. The capital of the Midlands will be celebrating in style this year, with some of its finest restaurants serving up festive feasts that will make you wish that Santa came a-visiting all year round. Here are just a few excellent eateries which have caught our Yuletide-loving attention.
Edmunds – Birmingham
Edmunds carries off its billing as offering ‘French fine dining’ with panache. Classic white table linen and sparkling cutlery make Christmas at this city-centre restaurant an understated and classy affair. Stylish Brindleyplace is the setting, so if you’re catching a Christmas show at the nearby Birmingham Rep, Edmunds is also great for pre-theatre dining (Tuesday to Friday from 5.30pm to 6.30pm).
So what do Edmunds’ chefs have in store for us? Well, there’s caramelised Isle of Skye king scallops, shallot pureé, wild mushrooms and herb cream – and that’s just to start. Game replaces turkey for the main course, as roasted breast of Worcestershire pheasant breast, boudin blanc, fondant potato, Savoy cabbage with bacon and Port jus takes centre stage. Wrap things up with hot toffee soufflé and ‘bitter’ chocolate ice cream.
Lunch is served from Tuesday to Friday (midday until 2pm), with three courses coming in at just £29.50 per person. From Monday to Saturday evenings (6.30pm to 10pm) three courses are a more than reasonable £44.50 per person. If that’s not enough to satisfy your French-fare-loving tastebuds, return on the 31st for the New Year’s Eve eight-course gourmet tasting menu at £95 a head (an optional wine flight is available).
New Hall Hotel & Spa – Sutton Coldfield
The 12th-Century New Hall Hotel is located just outside the city in Sutton Coldfield. Its 26 acres present a particularly Christmassy scene as you arrive for a festive meal or afternoon tea. Overseen by head chef, Matthew Warburton, New Hall’s Bridge Restaurant boasts a fine-dining experience and two AA rosettes, but it’s the brasserie-style Terrace Restaurant that’s the setting for this December’s merry-making.
Throughout December, for either lunch or dinner, parties of up to eight guests can enjoy the delights of the Terrace. If you fancy celebrating away from the crowds, private dining rooms are available for parties of six up to 50 guests. The festive menus feature something for everybody. Start with spiced parsnip soup, complete with onion fritters, apple and coriander, to be followed by noisette of Hertfordshire beef, Dauphinoise potato, honey-glazed carrot, buttered kale and merlot jus. New Hall Christmas pudding, brandy sauce, clotted cream and redcurrants is a fitting finale in a luxurious setting such as this. Book a table for Boxing Day and for £37 per person you can enjoy three courses with freshly brewed tea or coffee and mince pies.
Café Opus – Birmingham
Little sister to the much applauded Opus Restaurant on Cornwall Street, Café Opus is the perfect option for an informal get-together this year. Located within the notable Ikon Gallery, Café Opus serves a menu that’s all about local ingredients and classic café cuisine. A steal at £18 per person, Café Opus’ season-to-be-jolly offering is simple, concise and utterly delicious. There are just a few options for each course, but whatever you choose – I went for free-range ham hock terrine with potato salad, then roasted free-range turkey with trimmings, and finished with Christmas pudding and brandy sauce – you’ll be impressed. The festive menu is available from Monday 1st December until Tuesday 23rd December inclusive.