Those of you that know me will know I don’t take birthdays lightly. They usually last a good week or so and they always involve a LOT of food. This year was no exception. I spent the week split between London and Birmingham and basically spent my time sampling what both cities had to offer. I know I’m growing up because at the ripe old age of 24 I spent most my birthday stuffing my face instead of getting wasted. And I loved it. I’m going to have to touch on each place only briefly, because there were SO many and I will start with The Grove…
My boyfriend and I had booked a room for the Saturday before my birthday. This is one of my favourite hotels in London and I knew Joe would enjoy living like royalty for 24 hours so it was the perfect destination. We spent the day there enjoying luxuries such as the Sequoa spa and walled gardens. At 7pm we had dinner reservations at The Stables restaurant. I’ve been to The Glasshouse before and although its the obvious choice for a greedy pig like me, I wanted to see what else The Grove had to offer. I was more than happy with our choice, we both went for The Stables burger and fries and were not disappointed. A lot of people slate The Stables and say its over priced for what it is but in my opinion it’s a complete gem. The settings are casual and relaxed and the food is really good. Tess Daly and Vernon Kaye were on the table behind us and if its good enough for them then its good enough for me. I can’t fault the burger, everything about it was delicious, including the relish that I devoured two pots of. I’d go back in a heartbeat and I’d recommend it to anyone especially if you’re staying at The Grove. They brought me over a Happy Birthday Brownie with a candle and brandy snap, which of course, won me over.
In the morning we ordered room service. I was reluctant to pay £27.50 for what essentially is just a fry up but when it came that all went out the window and I didn’t care any more. Joe and I shared breakfast for one (he isn’t a big eater in the mornings, I am.) I had the cooked breakfast, a croissant and a chocolate muffin. Joe had cereal, a croissant and one of my sausages. It came with coffee and juice and all the condiments you could ever dream of. The best thing of all was the fact that it was brought to us on a moving table, with a table cloth and a hot compartment to keep the food warm. The woman set up a little area at the end of the bed where I was able to feel like a Princess for at least 20 minutes. This experience was dreamy and I cannot fault it. Not one bit.
When we left The Grove on the Sunday we went via The Cricketers in Sarrat, of course, for the best roast dinner in the world. I’ve told you guys about this place before so I won’t bore you with the details but I will pleasure you with the photographs..
We made our way up north on Sunday evening to spend the rest of my birthday in Birmingham. On Monday we had to spend a bit of time in The Jewellery Quarter (getting my present) and ended up finding one of Birmingham’s hidden gems. Right by the clock tower is a pub called the Rose Villa Tavern, shortened to the RVT by locals. My boyfriend was really skeptical about going inside because he said it used to be a “complete dive”, his words not mine! Things have obviously changed though because when we got in we were not only greeted by the nicest man in the world, manager Rick, but the decor was amazing and the food was really good. I was won over by the menu, not too much choice but what was on there was good – and even though they were out of a lot of stuff, it didn’t matter because what we did want, they had. The place is filled with quirky decor like a phone box and deer antlers all over the place. It’s got a real sense of humour and felt like the kind of place I could have sit in all day long. The cocktail list is amazing and the food was spot on. I had pulled pork in a brioche bun with onion rings and chips. Rick was happy to change things around for me (I hardly ever order straight off the menu) and although there were few teething problems due to new staff in the kitchen, Rick did everything to sort it out and it was a really really good meal. Highly recommended if you’re in the area and even if you’re not, it’s worth making the trip.
Monday night, the night before my actual birthday, 6 friends and I decided to live like kings and eat at Miller and Carter for dinner. I went to Miller and Carter in harrow not so long ago, as you should all know, but I wanted to see if the beef Wellington was just as good in Birmingham, and it was. Better even. Couldn’t recommend this place more, if you like steak, you must go!
So Tuesday, my actual birthday. The day I was born, 24 years ago. Big deal right? Yeah. On recommendation from my wonderful friend Victoria, we went to a pub in Moseley called The Fighting Cocks. I’m always a little bit skeptical about pubs because sometimes they can get food so wrong but these guys know what they’re doing. I ordered a vegetarian platter for about £8.50 and it was so ridiculously good I didn’t even know what to do with myself. It consisted of the most sensational tempura cauliflower I’ve ever tasted, garlic olives with tomatoes, mozarella fondue (what the fuck), cheese twists, crusty bread and unbelievably yummy red pepper humous. It came served on a wooden board (massive points scored there) and was just the most incredible combination of really well cooked yummy treats. I’d go back and have it over and over which isn’t like me because I usually like to try everything. Moseley has a lot of restaurant choices but this one is high up there on my list of places to eat in Birmingham now.