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Tom's Kitchen Birmingham

Tom's Kitchen Birmingham Restaurant-5

Tom’s Kitchen has paused from its rapid colonisation of London to make its debut in Birmingham. Sat Bal dropped into the new location at The Mailbox.

 

The Layout

Glass lift doors open to reveal an airy reception space with the restaurant edging out into The Mailbox as if to remind itself that it’s part of the complex. First impressions are that the restaurant’s design is relatively spartan amid the high-gloss glam of its Mailbox neighbour Harvey Nichols, although both venues can safely lay claim to the ‘reassuringly expensive’ tag.

 

Toms Kitchen

 

This conflation of traditional and contemporary is something of a hallmark of Tom’s Kitchen where familiar British food favourites are treated with Tom’s twist. Settling into our places, the quality of the venue’s fit-out is obvious, even if the close spacing of neighbouring tables threatens diner privacy. Like its sibling restaurants Tom’s Kitchen Birmingham is unashamedly meat-driven as depicted by olde butcher’s shop wall tiling and an earthy colour palette of brass pendant lighting, oaken tables and caramel Chesterfields.  

On this Wednesday night business looks reasonable with alternate tables across the restaurant populated by predominantly middle-aged diners. With predominantly Wolverhampton twangs. Elsewhere, corporate types drop in for some after work tie-loosening at the cosy bar which serves craft beers, classic cocktails, champagne and alongside fine wines from around the world.

 

The Menu

 

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The meat dishes feature an array of steaks, burgers and lamb variants. Fish options include poached monkfish and traditional fish and chips. We decide on a starter of seasonal parsnip and honey soup which nicely whets the appetite for the meaty prospects ahead.

When we do get to the main course, a disappointment awaits. There’s no Daylesford seven-hour confit of lamb! We wonder whether this is a mid-week omission.

This epic dish which, by definition, takes most of the day to cook had wowed us at the opening of Tom’s Kitchen, Somerset House many moons ago. Back then, the seven-hour lamb was the star of the media launch party. Even Michelin-starred Tom was present to explain his concept but tonight, in the absence of Tom Aikens or his confit, we opt for the lamb cutlets. We soon get past our bias with the help of a bottle or so of cabernet franc.

The real food success story of the night was the steak. The steak fans in our party positively cooed over the chunky cooked-to-order Cumbrian rib eye with peppercorn sauce.

Dessert raised more cooing. Dark treacle sponge arrived with ice cream was kindly presented with requested off-menu custard. The chocolate and peanut butter fondant all but silenced the table.  New dishes have been added to the Birmingham menus include spiced pumpkin with burrata, savoury granola and hazelnut dressing.

For less indulgent, healthier fare the restaurant serves weekend brunch, with dishes such as superfood granola served with honey and Greek yoghurt and Bircher muesli.

The bill weighed in at around £60 per head including drinks.

 

The Facilities

 

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The restaurant features two private dining rooms, one accommodating 12 guests and the other, 16. There’s also the Veranda, a semi-exclusive area that has capacity for 36-40 people and is useful for networking events. Then there’s the deli area in the Urban room that’s available for a networking event of 50-200 guests.

Diners might be surprised that the restaurant features only one unisex toilet but there is a more adequate set a few steps away from the restaurant.

 

Stop press…

Atul Kochhar, the two-Michelin-starred chef and TV personality is also about to open a new restaurant at The Mailbox.  

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What’s Cooking Tom?

Tom Aikens  Date:  07/03/2013 Ref: B3407_222649_G01   COMPULSORY CREDIT: Tom Campbell/StayStill/Photoshot Please agree fee before use Tel: 020 7421 6000 **HIGHER RATES APPLY**



Birmingham is set to welcome Tom’s Kitchen, in time for Christmas. The group of restaurants and delis founded by chef Tom Aikens brings Tom’s Kitchen Birmingham to The Mailbox, with design overseen by B3 designers. Abigail Parkin

The group’s first foray outside of London will offer all-day dining, 7 days a week, serving British favourites and comfort food classics in a relaxed and informal environment. Event spaces will also be featured, private and semi-private spaces.

Founder Tom Aikens commented: “Birmingham is a vibrant and bustling 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, said: “We’re hugely excited 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”.

Tom’s Kitchen currently has five sites across London as well as one international flagship in Istanbul. The London restaurants, located in Chelsea, Canary Wharf, St Katharine Docks, Somerset House, and quayside at HMS Belfast.

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MTV Crashes Coventry

Ricoh

This was the weekend that MTV was sent to Coventry, bringing with it a host of stars for two days of fun and frolics. (29 May’16)   

 

The city’s Ricoh Arena welcomed stars including Kaiser Chiefs, John Newman and Chase & Status to its stages – and thousands of fans through its doors, for the weekend party.

Basking in sunshine the crowds warmed nicely to DJ Sigala (below) and guest John Newman spurred on by hostess and girl-about-MTV Laura Whitmore.

COVENTRY, ENGLAND - MAY 27:  Sigala performs during 'MTV Crashes Coventry' at Ricoh Arena on May 27, 2016 in Coventry, England.  (Photo by Richard Stonehouse/Getty Images for MTV) *** Local Caption *** Sigala

Richard Stonehouse/Getty Images for MTV

 

X Factor star Fleur East wasted no time transforming from backstage…

Fleur 5

 

 

...to on stage, pumping out hits including Sax.

 

COVENTRY, ENGLAND - MAY 27:  Fleur East performs during 'MTV Crashes Coventry' at Ricoh Arena on May 27, 2016 in Coventry, England.  (Photo by Richard Stonehouse/Getty Images for MTV) *** Local Caption *** Fleur East

Richard Stonehouse/Getty Images for MTV

 

It then fell to Tom Odell to soothe the pace with his grand piano renditions of Wrong Crowd.

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Who better on this roster than Kaiser Chiefs to up the tempo with I Predict a Riot and Ruby??

 

COVENTRY, ENGLAND - MAY 27:  Ricky Wilson of the Kaiser Chiefs performs live  during 'MTV Crashes Coventry' at Ricoh Arena on May 27, 2016 in Coventry, England.  (Photo by Richard Stonehouse/Getty Images for MTV) *** Local Caption *** Ricky Wilson

Richard Stonehouse/Getty Images for MTV

 

Chase & Status aptly ended the day with End Credits plus more from the hotly received DJs.

Thus ended day 1 with the baton handed over to artists including Basement Jaxx, Kano, Pete Tong and The Chainsmokers for day 2.

Hot on the heels of MTV Crashes, there’s no let-up for the Ricoh Arena as it welcomes Rihanna and Bruce Springsteen to its ever-busy stages.

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Ragley Hall Invests In The New Season

Ragley West Wing

Ragley Hall prepares for seasonal change by flinging its stately doors open to a heightened visitor experience. Abigal Parkin

The Palladian mansion, designed by Robert Hooke in 1680, is the Warwickshire home of the 9th Marquess and Marchioness of Hertford and the family will be welcoming visitors anew on Saturday 19 March.

Initiatives include the appointment of a house manager and head gardener to lead guided walks in the gardens, linked to veteran landscape designer, Capability Brown. Elsewhere the children’s playground  is sure to continue its popularity and a myriad of events bring Game Fair, Classic Car & Motor Show, Battle Proms Concert and Great British Food Festival to enthusiasts. Brand new is Camper Calling, a family festival held over the August bank holiday.

In addition there will be regular garden open days and tours of the stately home plus sporting events such as the avenger triathlon, open water swimming and extreme cross country running as well as boat hire on the lake during the summer.

This year celebrates the 300th anniversary of Capability Brown and his work in Warwickshire. The gardens will help mark this tercentenary with colourful bloom of tulips and daffodils in the spring and a Rose Garden and Prairie Garden throughout the summer.

Ragley Hall Stairwell

Government higher level stewardship input and a partnership with Natural England means that Ragley has embarked upon a £250,000 scheme to improve the parkland this year. Tree replanting and the restoration of the lake cascade, the Victorian Pump House and original bathing hut plus the Victorian decoy pond, comprise some of the improvement measures.

 The importance of dining at Ragley Hall is highlighted by the appointment of a new head chef so that visitors can enjoy  home-cooked dishes in the Terrace Café. These feature light lunches, afternoon teas, cakes, and ice-cream. Corporate lunches and wedding breakfasts in the Hall add to the events dimension.

Visitor tours take in the Great Hall, Red Saloon, State Dining Room, Prince Regent’s Bedroom, the Mauve Siting Room, Music Room, Breakfast Room and Green Drawing Room as well as the South Staircase Hall and its imposing mural, ‘The Temptation’ by Graham Rust.   

Ragley Hall, Park and Gardens entrance : - Adult day ticket £10.50, Child aged 5-16 £6.50, Child under 5 – Free.

See more at www.ragley.co.uk.

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Wickham House Opens For Business

 

 

Grade II listed Georgian manor Wickham House has just opened for business events for companies who like their meetings discrete and in exclusive surroundings. Chris Page (13 Oct ‘15)

Set in 52 acres of picturesque countryside in West Berkshire the estate will only be available for exclusive hire and comprises The Barn, The Pavilion and part of the Main House, located amid the acres of greenery. 

Wickham House is owned by the D'Arcy family and the recently added Barn and Pavilion have been built to encompass high-spec business technology and stylish interiors. 

Service is discreet and professional yet personable, and the menus are healthy and sophisticated, built around fresh local produce. 

Privacy is the order of the day at Wickham; guests will have exclusive access to the estate and its extensive grounds, including the Robin Templar-Williams designed walled garden. Wickham is just an hour from London via the M4 and local rail links from Paddington are located five minutes away from the venue. 

The Barn consists of a boardroom style meeting room designed for gatherings of up to 24 guests, while the Pavilion seats 12 and provides an al-fresco alternative in the confines of The Walled Garden. Finally, the main house offers an elegant dining room for formal events for up to 16 guests, with an adjoining drawing room for pre and post meal cocktails. 

Philippa D'Arcy, owner says, “Wickham is a very different proposition to the plethora of hotels and venues that are available for meetings. Our intention is to be the ‘go to’ place for high level business meetings. We are all about discretion and intent on establishing an outpost where The City's influencers can take stock, brainstorm, structure deals and take decisions in privacy and comfort. We look forward to inviting businesses to experience Wickham House in 2016.”

 Wickham House is privately owned by James and Philippa D'Arcy. Philippa (née Rose), rose from City eminence and retired from The Rose Partnership in June 2013.

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Private Dining at The Brighton Grand

Brighton Grand Low jpg

Exclusivity comes to the The Grand Brighton with the launch of two newly refurbished meeting spaces at this iconic hotel on Brighton’s seafront. Hannah Charlesworth (17 Sep’15)

 

Executive chef, Alan White has introduced four and five course tasting menus for a high-end dining experience. Some 90% of the seafood is being sourced from within an eight- mile radius of the hotel.Private dining menus will feature dishes such as duck consommé followed by Sussex scallops with a pea purée and bacon or squid with a black risotto. For mains, guests can choose from wild seabass with crab ravioli, to a fillet of beef with lobster hollandaise. The desserts include palate of chocolate and the trio of lemon along with local cheeses Brighton Blue, Sussex Tremains cheddar and Sussex camembert with a selection of petit fours including raspberry macaroons and fruit pastilles.

The two refurbished rooms, designed by Hove-based boutique interiors company, Park Grove are part of the independent hotel’s five-year renovation plan which incorporates 13 recently restored meeting spaces with capacity for up to 900 delegates.  The new rooms offer versatility from company dinners, client entertainment and special occasion dining. Décor and furnishings are distinctly British furnishings and bespoke features, such as the striking art mural of Brighton seafront.

Both rooms also benefit from state-of-the-art Crestron Air Media Technology, a sophisticated audio visual gateway, which enables customers to seamlessly, present, play, collaborate and share content wirelessly.

General Manager Andrew Mosley said: “As a business we’re always looking to exceed our guest’s expectation and, due to having the expertise and demand, the new tasting menus are an exciting addition which helps us showcase the talent we have amongst our teams. After maintaining our Meetings Industry Association (mia) AIM Gold accreditation in February, it’s great to be able to further invest in our offering and we look forward to updating our customers on further exciting developments in the near future.” 

Designed and built in 1864, the historic hotel is only a 10-minute walk away from the city’s main rail station, with regular services in to London Victoria and Gatwick Airport.

Contact  conference@grandbrighton.co.uk

 

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Goodwood Hospitality

Goodwood

Goodwood is famed for hosting some of the most thrilling and quintessentially British events in the summer calendar. And with hospitality to match. Chris Page (20 Jul’15)

Whether it’s Goodwood Revival or the Festival of Speed, Goodwood brings some of the finest hospitality to top motor sport and horse racing events in the UK. This hospitality is led by Goodwood Food by Levy Restaurants UK, part of Compass Group and its team of highly talented chefs.

Bryn Williams joins the Goodwood complement as guest chef when he creates a unique menu for Qatar Goodwood Festival (28 July-1 August) and the Goodwood Revival (11-13 September) when his Odette’s restaurant makes its Goodwood debut. Bryn will be working closely with Goodwood head chef Julian Frost-Wilson to create seasonal fare throughout the summer event calendar.

 “I love horses and cars and I look forward to being a part of these fantastic Goodwood events,” he said. “Cooking some seasonal delights alongside a truly brilliant team of chefs, I will have as much fun as the guests!”

Dishes feature British and local produce including produce from the 12,000-acre Sussex estate, Goodwood Home Farm. Whether at the races or the motoring, in the Secret Garden or the Library Lawn, guests can look forward to the best of English catering.

At Qatar Goodwood Festival (Glorious Goodwood), a large garden party with a family atmosphere celebrates the best flat horseracing has to offer. And the English-themed menu includes new-season asparagus with truffled and rapeseed mayonnaise or ham hock terrine with spiced pear and toast.  Monkfish, asparagus and treacle-marinated beef fillet add to the English array.

Elsewhere the drinks menu encompasses a champagne reception and a complimentary bar of house wines, house beers and soft drinks. Naturally, traditional afternoon tea makes an appearance later in the day.

Prices start at £270 (plus VAT) per person

 See  https://www.goodwood.com

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House Party

Hedsor House fireworks 1

Hedsor House introduces 11 diligently restored guest rooms, this month, to guests who demand venue versatility. Chris Page (3 July ’15)

Mark Ronson held his birthday party there, Nicole Kidman filmed The Golden Compass and Dustin  Hoffman’s Quartet  extensively used Hedsor House as a film set dispelling any image of the heritage venue as ‘conventional’.

The new guest rooms mean that party revellers can stay overnight at the 1166 house. Its Bridal Suite spans the entire front of the house putting it  among the largest in Europe. Exclusive use of the venue means all manner of private events can be hosted and guests get a taste of living in their own stately home.

Hedsor House Guest room

The restoration has taken three years of planning with architects and designers of CJCT Studios working closely with the owners, the Shephard family.

Exclusive hire of Hedsor House starts at £5,450 +VAT booking the house for an event or party. This includes house hire and overnight accommodation for up to 22 people (sharing double rooms).

 See  www.hedsor.com

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Private jet lunch launches

If the Chiltern Firehouse is becoming a little passé try PrivateFly's private jet flights to three Michelin-starred restaurants in Jersey, for lunch that makes a statement. Sat Bal (27 Aug’14) Read more

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Marco Pierre White launches at Hilton

April sees Marco Pierre White launch ‘affordable glamour’ to diners at the opening of two new Steakhouse Bar & Grill restaurants. They are set to open at Hilton London Syon Park and DoubleTree by Hilton Cambridge. Chris Page (31 Mar’14) Read more

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