A month in food- August

Monthly roundup of where we have been and what we have eaten. Two trips away and a house move have kept us pretty busy.

August has been and gone and I have moved firmly into the ‘do I need to take a coat?’ territory.  It’s been a busy month for us but we have finally moved house and can start buying food again!

 

Revisits

Hiller’s garden restaurant

Technically, this is a bit like a cafe at a garden centre however, the food here is always good and the farm shop is great. Supplied by local producers it’s somewhere I like to come for fresh veg and some rather good scotch eggs. If lunch on the patio in the sun and a mooch around is your kind of thing its worth checking out. Also they have a ‘Maize Maze’ in the summer and a miniature railway. I decided to go for a treat rather than the normal breakfast options..

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40st Paul’s

Ok, I’ve been here a fair few times now but I’m always impressed, they have a few new gins on the way too that I am really excited to try. As always, I prefer a seat at the bar so I can look at whats going on but its good in a group too for a ‘grown up’ night out

New Places

Scotts of Harborne

Nice and close to home we popped in for brunch after reading some rave reviews from the Birmingham Bloggers group. It has a stripped back, industrial feel with a large communal table in the middle.They have a bunch of traditional offerings for anyone that likes a big breakfast but also good coffee and suitably hipster dishes for people like me who want something different/are in love with avocado’s. I also discovered they do pancakes which is a real danger to my waistline.

Opheem

This did not disappoint, we had an amazing dinner and fell in love with the decor. There are lots of rumblings about Aktar picking up a star for this venture. The food certainly warrants it and with a little more experience and confidence under their belts the service could seal the deal for them. Give it 12 months and this will be an uber slick affair but for now- I am desperate to go back.

 

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Events

With food festival season over (mostly) there hasn’t been that much on, I did however get a ticket to a Conjurers kitchen Taste-along at the Electric Cinema for Silence of the Lambs. If you haven’t seen these before, Annabel creates themed sweet treats to eat whilst watching a film, and by themed, I mean grim gory items like body parts- Its excellent! I’m a big fan of Dr. Lecter movies but it turns out I’ve been a little spoilt, the only experience I had previously of Conjurers Kitchen was the Series 2 launch of the Hannibal TV programme where a lifesize body was constructed in all of its glory complete with snails and mushrooms- all made from cake and sweets. I will have to ‘dig’ out my own photos but needless to say, it was spectacular. I enjoyed the Silence of the Lambs event but I hadn’t realised it would be several smaller items instead, it was good but missed the mark a bit for me as my expectations were a lot higher.

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Hannibal cake, photo taken from https://horrornews.net

Trips

The bulk of our adventures this month, we took two trips which I will write about in more detail but the highlights were as follows

Cornwall

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been rabbiting on about how much I wanted to go back to Cornwall, I used to go there quite often but it had been so long it seemed like a dim memory and Jordan had never been. As it turns out, with many a trick in place to deceive me we went there for my birthday. On the way down we stopped at The Masons Arms by Exmoor for a Michelin starred lunch in the sun. Food was excellent and its a very relaxing rural venue. It was a nice way to break up the journey and we came away raving about the Gazpacho.

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Having finally worked out where we were headed, I guessed our destination might be Padstow. We obviously visited Rick Stein’s The Seafood Restaurant like all good foodie tourists, the fish was excellent but the venue busier than I had expected. Service wasn’t great and its the only time I have ever known Jordan to return a dish because it wasn’t good enough (pudding) I enjoyed it and it is a sort of right of passage but it isn’t as much of a culinary highlight as people would expect.

Raising the bar significantly was Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, our dinner here was incredible and a true reflection of good fish and seafood prepared with care. Nothing felt too fussy but service was fantastic and every dish truly satisfying. 100% would recommend.

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Finishing up our restaurant activities was Fifteen by Jamie Oliver, it’s such a positive enterprise and the location is beautiful, we had a long lunch looking out over the beach and were very pleased with the food. We also fell in love with Panzanella and have eaten it *a lot* since then.

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Obviously we still managed to fit in all the other niceties of being by the sea and had our fair share of Ice creams, pasties, fish and chips

Copenhagen

I’ve wanted to visit Copenhagen for such a long time, when this trip eventually came round it ended up that we moved house the day before so we took a break and had a fairly paced bank holiday weekend rather tan rushing around.

Aside from all the coffee and hunting out gin bars we also had some great food. Right next to our apartment was an awesome breakfast place called Mad & Kaffe which is the mecca for all brunch lovers. I liked that ordering involved just ticking boxes on a sheet and that there was a variety of options on offer. I had chicken nuggets!

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Kodbyens fiskebar

A cool little find, we didn’t expect to get a table as the queue was out the door but a table of two does make life a bit easier sometimes and we managed to get a spot at the bar. I don’t know if ‘Scandi-Tapas’ is a real term but if not it should be, we settled on several smaller plates and were disappointed that we couldn’t eat more. Grey mullet with black garlic, blue mussels steamed in cider and the quintessential fish and chips but with smoked cod and remoulade. They also had bread with seaweed butter which was a nice touch.

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Relae

I’ve already written about Relae but this was the culinary highlight of our trip. Michelin starred and a feature on the ’50 Best’ list. Everything was fresh and home grown so despite eating a full tasting menu we came away feeling healthy and light.

You can read the full review of Relae here

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Reffen

From Fine Dining to Food trucks- I do love the variety that Copenhagen has to offer and the pace of life is very appealing. When we arrived ,I starting spamming my friends with photos, I was so excited it was a little like being drunk but it is *JUST. VERY.COOL* I fell in love with Reffen, its like the more spacious sibling of Digbeth Dining Club but with cashless operation and a more DIY vibe. I’d love to see what it’s like on a friday night

At Home

Cooking has taken a bit of a backstep for us this month and we have relied on easy to make dishes that require little or no fridge space! Probably most notable are the numerous bowls of panzanella we seem to have consumed and my first attempt at pickling beetroot.

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Next Month

September is looking pretty quiet with no reservations in the calendar, instead we will be cooking at home and hopefully getting ready to take on our first ever allotment. We have a cooking class booked in too and will be doing useful things like buying a fridge freezer for the new house!

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