There's nothing like stepping foot in a hotel to make you leave behind your day, slow down and unwind.
That's exactly how it feels walking into the lobby of the Hyatt Regency in Birmingham city centre. Central it may be, but that doesn't stop you from taking a big deep breath out and releasing the tension that city life so easily creates.
Enough about the city. The Hyatt Regency Hotel is, as well as being well located, stunning to look at. The main entrance brings you into the central lobby which is overlooked by balconies from above where conferences and events are usually held.
Aria Restaurant has recently launched a new spring menu. Full of green, lighter dishes such as fish and desserts with an airy texture, I was invited in to try it.
For starters, I chose the Spiced Cauliflower and Broccoli Soup. A light but flavoursome dish, I was also served an individually wrapped Gluten Free roll to accompany it. Together, this was filling and just right for a spring menu.
One of my dining companions went for the Duck Egg, Asparagus and Mushrooms which also happened to be Gluten Free. As you can see, the presentation here was exceptional and light of hand.
The Scallop and Black Pudding starter was sadly not Gluten Free, but I could see the scallops were slightly charred, just how I like them, whilst the Black Pudding is presented on the plate as a hint of flavour in crumb form.
Onto the mains, I ordered the Goosnargh Chicken, whilst my companion opted for Spring Lamb. Both were a sophisticated play on the traditional meat and vegetables offered up on many a British table.
When it came to dessert, I was delighted to see that the Chocolate Orange Sphere was Gluten Free. This was by far the best dish on the menu; inventive, surprising and delicious. My dining companion had the Rum Baba, and although delicious, did not have quite the same impact as this shiny chocolate coated ball.
The experience at Aria was perfect from start to finish. From the welcome to the relaxed informal drinks reception, the way in which we were seated, the drinks and food service and the knowledge shared with us from the Head Chef himself, time almost stood still whilst we were in such great company. The food, ambiance and service all came together to make this an extremely enjoyable experience, created by a team that clearly cares about the guest experience and has considered the details.
I'd wholeheartedly recommend a visit to Aria for a relaxed evening; just make sure you're not in rush because I promise you won't want to leave.
UNPAID AD - This meal was kindly gifted to me by the Hyatt Regency Hotel.