Friday 26 February 2016

Afternoon Tea at Marco Pierre White Birmingham - Mother's Day Father's Day and even Easter

The good folks at Marco Pierre White's in Birmingham have seriously upped the afternoon tea ante. Afternoon tea as you know it is all about sandwiches, scones and cakes. However, MPW has come up with not one, not two, but three variations on the traditional afternoon tea. As well as traditional afternoon tea, the team has dreamt up a Mother's Day, Father's Day and Easter afternoon tea.

Gentleman's Afternoon Tea

I was kindly invited the try out all three, and as always, as a gluten free blogger, my experience was a little different from everyone else's. As well as offering up the three different afternoon tea's above, I was treated to a special gluten free version.

To start, we have the Mother's Day afternoon tea. Mother's Day is on 6th March this year guys so don't forget!!

Here's what's included:

Sandwich Selection
Mini Brie & Spinach Quiche
Beetroot Gazpacho
Mini Fruit Pavlova
Petit Fours
Sponge Cakes
Shortbread Finger

In chronological order, Easter is next on 27th March. if you're thinking of getting friends and family together here's what you can enjoy:

Sandwich Selection
Scotch Quail Egg
Rabbit Ballotine
Hot Cross Bun
Chocolate Egg
Petit Fours

Finally, Father's Day is on 19th June. MPW has created a gentleman's afternoon tea for the occasion. Sadly, I didn't have a gent to try this out for me but I do have pictures!

Tamworth Streaky Bacon Sandwich
Open Roast Beef on Ciabatta
Fishfinger Sandwich on Ciabatta
Homemade Scotch Egg
Homemade Sausage & Stilton Roll
Welsh Rarebit on Cheese Scone
Baked Guinness Pudding with Brandy Cream
Bottle of Crafty Dan 13 Guns IPA or Purity Longhorn IPA or Purity Lawless Lager

Onto my special gluten free version. My afternoon tea was a little bit of a mix between the Easter, Mother's Day and traditional afternoon tea and included:

Chocolate egg and raspberries
Plain scone, clotted cream and jam
Meringue nests topped with cream, kiwi and raspberries
Almondy cake
Sandwich selection

It was so kind of the chefs to put this together for me :)

The sandwiches were lovely, and the scone in particular was fantastic. I loved the addition of raspberries with the chocolate egg, it made me feel a little bit healthier!!

Which afternoon tea is your favourite? Personally, I love the look of the Gentleman's Afternoon tea and the guys amongst us seemed to really enjoy it.

Are you taking your mum or dad out for a special treat? All the above are available to book for £29.99 including a glass of champagne for Mother's Day and either the above beer or a glass of champagne for Father's Day. Available daily from 12-5pm. Further details here.

Wednesday 24 February 2016

Food Review: The Studio Menu Tasting - Winter 2016

Usually, when I'm writing a food review it's about a pub, bar, or restaurant that I've been to. This time, I'm reviewing the food on offer at The Studio Birmingham. A fabulous meeting venue just around the corner from Snow Hill station, I've been here before for events and always enjoyed the laid back modern vibe.

Chocolate and Orange Bread and Butter Pudding (not GF!)

Well, they also have a great kitchen and if you're lucky enough to come to an event or conference here, you'll be able to try some of the tasty home cooked food. Freshly prepared by in house chefs, the ingredients are purchased locally and they are committed to the environment and sourcing food from as close as possible.

Goats Cheese and Pepper Stuffed Mushrooms

Onto the food, they laid out six days worth of food to represent the fact that the menu changes daily, and asked us for feedback. I dutifully filled out my forms, but I thought I'd show you the pictures too.

We were able to try not just hearty, filling, main meals, but also side dishes and desserts too. I couldn't try everything as I'm gluten free, but I was able to try the majority of dishes, and the chef was incredibly helpful and knowledgable too in knowing exactly what was in each dish. Too often, this isn't the case, but here it was clear that the team knew what they were cooking and exactly what was in each dish.

Aubergine Parmigiana

Onto the food. The Aubergine Parmigiana was served with garlic bread (non GF), but the dish itself was delightful. Not too much tomato, a good balance of salt and herbs and meaty pieces of aubergine made this a filling and satisfying dish.

Bubble and Squeak with Leeks and Cheddar

The bubble and squeak was actually a side dish to the chicken marengo dish, but I adored it! I've never eaten it before but I'd happily eat it again on a regular basis.

The stuffed tomatoes pictured at the top of the post were another highlight. These were veggie too and proved that you don't need to eat meat to put together a meal.

Moroccan Chicken with Chickpeas (and couscous)

Moroccan chicken was another hit for me, full of flavour and a rich tomato sauce.

Root Vegetable Gratin with Cheesy Crumble

The gratin was in fact an accompaniment to the Moroccan Chicken but stood out for me as being again, tasty, hearty and yet again, vegetarian.

Salmon En Croute (not GF)

Sausage Wellington (not GF)

Quinoa and Stir Fried Veg

Quinoa is so darn healthy, it's difficult sometimes to make it taste good. A round of applause to the chefs who managed to make it taste downright yummy. 

Baked Rice Pudding with Fruit Jam

Lets just take a minute to appreciate that the fruit jam that came with the rice pudding was homemade. Also, I love rice pudding. Will someone make me some, thanks.

Star Bar Chocolate Cheesecake (not GF)

Sticky Date Pudding with Burnt Caramel (not GF)

There were a few other standout dishes for me, I adored the chilli brisket with cajun wedges and sour cream, chicken marengo and the mushroom and spinach korma (with garlic naan). Sadly my pictures didn't come out very well though, sorry!

If you get a chance to book an event here then I would definitely recommend doing so as the venue is in a great location, very modern, bright and of course the food is fantastic. I wish that they did take out too because I would be first in the queue for their healthy and tasty dishes!