Simpsons Restaurant, Birmingham

My friend and I had planned a shopping trip & lunch in Birmingham last Saturday, but when the other halves got wind of the plan they decided they would join us! Why not make a day of it we thought, so I made a reservation at Simpsons.

We arrived a little early and headed inside – it’s hard to explain the feel of the place when you walk in –  modern stately home maybe? The ceilings are high, rooms are large and the structure quite traditional, but mix that with framed photography, plush contemporary furniture and extravagent coloured glass light fittings and you have the perfect mix of old and new – it works very well​ and feels incredibly inviting

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Fera at Claridges, London

The Saturday of Easter weekend we made a lunch reservation at Fera at Claridges and took the train down to London for the day

After a lovely morning exploring the city, we arrived slightly ahead of our reservation time so that we could enjoy a pre-dinner drink. We sat at the bar and I ordered the ‘J’adore’ cocktail which consisted of fresh pear, raspberry vodka and apple liqueur topped up with Laurent Perrier champagne – it was gorgeous! We sat for a while talking to the fabulous bar manager Dennis about some of the high end whiskies they have on offer – fascinating but eye-wateringly expensive!

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Turners at 69, Birmingham

I love to make sure that I have things planned during the time inbetween Christmas & New Year, so as to really make full use of the holidays. This year we booked an overnight stay in Birmingham, and arranged lunch at Turners at 69 with friends

We had a couple of drinks at The Botanist before lunch, then grabbed an Uber from the city centre – finding a taxi when the Christmas market is on is not an easy task!

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Fischer’s at Baslow Hall, Derbyshire

A couple of weekends ago we booked a table for lunch with friends at Fischer’s at Baslow Hall which is not far from the Derbyshire town of Bakewell. As the restaurant is only a few minutes’ drive from Chatsworth House, we decided to pop there before hand to visit the house in all its Christmas glory!

This year Chatsworth has a Nutcracker theme and I have to say it was lovely! Having never been inside before, I was amazed by the sheer scale of the house and the work that clearly goes in to creating such amazing decorations

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La Grand’Vigne, Bordeaux-Martillac

As you will have seen in my previous post, we recently stayed at Les Sources de Caudalie for a night and booked a table for dinner at their 2 Michelin star restaurant, La Grand’Vigne. After a freshen up in our room, we headed down the path to the main part of the hotel for an aperitif before dinner…

We took up a table by the bar and ordered a Kronenbourg and a kir vin blanc, which were brought over to us along with some flaky pastry straws and olive tapenade

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The Cross at Kenilworth

Last Sunday we we visited pub restaurant The Cross at Kenilworth.

Sister restaurant to the long standing Michelin starred Simpsons Restaurant in Edgbaston, The Cross is a 19th century inn that that has been carefully refurbished to reveal it’s original features and was re-opened in late 2013

Holding its own Michelin star since 2014, The Cross is owned by Andreas Antona who has worked with some of the biggest names in the chef world. In 1993, Andreas opened his first restaurant and two years later was among the first restaurants in the area to win a Michelin star.

Head chef at The Cross is Adam Bennett, who has cooked at several high profile restaurants – most recent being Simpsons. In January 2013, Adam and his commis chef, Kristian Curtis achieved the best result ever for a UK team in the Bocuse d’Or – the world’s most challenging and prestigious cooking competition. Our meal was definitely going to be in good hands!

We had made a reservation for 2:00pm, and arrived slightly ahead of time to enjoy a drink before we ate. The pub feels inviting when you enter, with exposed beams and low ceilings, which then open up into the bar and dining areas. We chose two comfy seats by the bar and ordered our drinks – I had a glass of the Ruinart “R” Brut and the husband went for the Kirin Ichiban malt beer which he’d had before but said was a really good pint.

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