November was all about murder mysteries, a new contender for my favourite Sunday Roast, and a quick jaunt to Portugal. And now its December we can finally mention the “C” word…..
November started with a much-anticipated trip to the New Alex Theatre to see the classic play The Mousetrap with some fab and funny old friends. You can find out what I thought about the show here. We started (and ended the night) at The Victoria… I can take or leave this Bitter ‘n’ Twisted venue, after having some record-breaking long waits at the bar and fluctuating bar prices in the past, but it was good to catch up and have a bit of a boogie to the old school hip-hop and funk.
We seem to have succumbed to some sort of habit of eating out on a Sunday, either brunch, lunch or dinner. So it makes sense that we try and work our way around some of the best that Brum has to offer. Bursting onto the Jewellery Quarter scene in the summer, 1000 Trades has recently introduced a Sunday Jazz/Roast so we thought it only right that we try it out.
It may have been a mistake to settle down in front of the roaring fire wearing a big chunky jumper but hey, I was embracing the season. Roasts are served from 12 ‘til they’re gone’ and the roast topside of beef had already gone when we arrived at about 2pm, but this was swiftly replaced on the menu by brisket of beef. We both opted for the beef, although the herb-encrusted leg of lamb also sounded very tempting. There’s a non-meat option too, with a veggie wellington also on the menu.
The brisket was melt-in-your-mouth, but for me the accompaniments were the star of the show. Parsnip crisps which actually crunch. Fluffy roasties. Chestnut and sage stuffing. And the piece de resistance – the tempranillo-braised red cabbage. The carafe of red wine helped it all go down nicely – not sure which it was but is was on the barman’s expert recommendation.
At £13 it’s not the cheapest option around, but you get a fair old portion and the food quality is well worth the money. Plus I always love the friendly and cosy vibe at 1000 Trades. I think we definitely have a contender for a Brum Sunday Roast award.
Another catch-up with an old friend, another chance to try out one of Birmingham’s newcomers. This time it was Gusto, located underneath the currently-under-renovation Grand Hotel on Colmore Row. It’s a beautiful looking restaurant, with olive trees, twinkly fairy lights, and large windows overlooking the hustle and bustle of Pigeon Park.
The menu is contemporary Italian, and if you catch it early enough you can take advantage of the early diner menu before 5pm and 7pm – two courses and a spritz for £20. There’s a limited choice of course but we both found plenty to satisfy us. The cocktail menu is also extensive, although neither of us partook in the alcoholic option being responsible drivers and all that.
I had the bruschetta to start (which you can’t really go wrong with), but the Peking Pizza was an excellent choice. The food wasn’t too heavy, obviously designed in the typical European style to encourage multiple courses and lingering over good food and drink. It was the service that was outstanding here though, we were constantly attended to even when there were larger parties around us and nothing was too much trouble. They didn’t even hurry us up when we obliviously outstayed our two hour time slot…
I look forward to going back soon to try out more from their full menu – and to sample some of those classic cocktails!
(No photos…too busy eating and chatting!)
Woo-hoo…it’s German Christmas (whoops, accidental mention of the “C” word there) Market time. Yes, I know I’m SO OVER IT but I still like to see what all the fuss is about each year, so I can complain about it all over again. A Sunday afternoon is a reasonably ok-ish time to visit though – it’s about battling pushchairs, slow-moving people who NEVER venture into town and large groups of people who stand stock still in the middle of the thoroughfare rather than battling drunks and inebriates. So it’s slightly preferable to a weekend evening, but not much. Schnitzel, garlic mushrooms then it’s off to the relative sanity of the Old Joint Stock for a quick mulled cider.
Still to come on A Brummie Home and Abroad…Porto: A City of Hills, Port and Bridges!