The Beech House Arrives in Style

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And it’s an arrival that has caused some excitement in the area.

On entering The Beech House it’s hard to believe this modern meeting place in the heart of Solihull only opened its doors a couple of weeks ago.

It was mid afternoon when we visited and there was already a hum of activity from inside where many were enjoying food and drink. There were even a few brave souls on the front terrace – enjoying our British Summer…ahem!

Our table was booked for early evening but we decided to make an afternoon of it; giving us chance to sample the cocktail menu…don’t judge me!

I started light, with a glass of Prosecco and hubby had an espresso martini after challenging them via Twitter to impress him with his all time favourite.

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They were certainly up for the challenge, and it was good. I then moved onto this pink little number – if you follow me on Instagram you know I cannot resist a Cosmo! Which was lovely, and more than a little boozy!

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The bar area was pretty full of people checking out what The Beech House has to offer. They have an extensive nibbles, light bites and sandwiches selection to eat in the bar and having eaten lunch here earlier in the week I can confirm that they certainly are tasty. I  highly recommend the smashed sweet potato.

The restaurant has a related atmosphere and pleasant lighting – you will see that some of my photographs certainly have a ‘soft glow’ to them.

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The menu has everything you would expect; including pasta dishes, burgers and home comforts. But it also offers Antipasto Misto and Greek Mezze sharing platters, thirteen different types of Forno Vivo Wood Fired Pizza

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…and a selection of dishes cooked on an Oakman Inns speciality – the Josper oven. It’s a charcoal fired grill which allows food to be smoked, slow cooked and roasted resulting in deliciously tasty and tender meats and vegetables.

Speaking of food…I ordered the chicken liver parfait from the specials menu to start. Which was divine – chunky, fresh and so tasty. It came with a red onion chutney and toasted brioche.

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Hubby had the saltimbocca scotch egg with prosciutto, Lincolnshire sausagemeat and hollandaise.

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The egg was so soft inside when he cut into it – just perfect.

For our mains, we both ordered from the specials menu. I had the smoked salmon, cod and spring onion risotto.

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This was deliciously tasty, with just the right amount of spring onions and without being too fishy.

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I have to admit, it was so filling I did not finish it all.

Hubby had the fish pie, which is something he would not usually choose. But boy were we glad he did – this baby was a.ma.zing!

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I don’t know whether it was the cheddar mash potato lid, the creamy sauce or the fish itself but there was a little something something in there that my tastebuds went crazy for! Hubby described it as “fantasmagorical” – mind you by this point he had consumed a cocktail, a pint of Guinness and was now on the rosé!

I asked three different members of staff but they did not reveal what secrets the pie held – I’m sure the chef would have told me had I asked, but then he’d probably have to kill me…

After a much needed breather we moved onto desserts. I had the blueberry cantucci biscuit meringue mess which was a mix of vanilla, lemon, meringue, mascarpone, smashed Italian biscuits, blueberries, toasted hazelnuts and lemon jelly.

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It was an impressive medley of textures and flavours rather than a mush that eton mess type desserts sometimes are.

Hubby had the yoghurt and vanilla cheesecake with raspberry sorbet. Which was a pretty substantial slice when delivered and I’m afraid to say I had to help him finish it.

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The desserts menu is a lovely one – a final mix of both traditional and seasonal puddings. They are clearly all worthy of a taste as I asked five members of staff what their favourites were and they all gave different answers!

We finished our meal with two of the nicest coffees – and they were hot. Not lukewarm like some, but hot.

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Our meal at The Beech House was absolutely lovely and this was enhanced by the atmosphere and the staff. They were professional, thoughtful and attentive without being over fussy. They brought extra cutlery (in case I needed a spoon for my risotto) and offered to take our photograph.

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Judging by how busy it was when we left, I believe The Beech House has made its arrival known. And as they say, if you’re going to arrive…arrive in style!

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The Beech House

727 Warwick Road

Solihull

B91 3DA

On this occasion we dined as guests of The Beech House. However we had previously eaten lunch there ourselves and as always, all thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own and all photographs were taken by us unless otherwise stated.

 

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Not Your Average Opening Night @The Beech House

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Hold onto your horses Solihull, there’s a new gal in town!

With the refurbishment complete, The Beech House has finally opened its doors to the public.

If you’re thinking the old ‘ Lazy Cow’, has just had a lick of paint and a new name – you are in for a shock as this Oakman Inn has had a major transformation!

It has a completely new look including open plan theatre style kitchen, beautiful seating areas inside and an impressively landscaped outdoor area.

It’s this exciting outdoor area that first greets the eye on arrival. Where once there was a small seating area overlooking the front car park, there’s now a pretty terraced dining area, complete with pergola and overhead lighting and a trendy artificial grassed area that houses comfortable seating and an al fresco bar.

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Further exploration through the restaurant revealed another outdoor seating area…

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…and a stunning double tepee that can be used for functions, including its own bar made from a shipping container.

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The restaurant itself is light and spacious with a variety of options for seating. Experience the bar in full swing…

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…relax by the fireplace,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA…or choose to sit in this beautiful space to eat your meal.

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Alternatively, sit with a view of the open plan kitchen.

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This enables you to watch your food being cooked. Oakman Inns are famous for their Josper charcoal ovens and wood fired pizza ovens too.

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We sampled canapés of cured salmon with avocado purée and chicken liver pâté and if these are any indication of the food that will be served – it will be amazing!

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I also partook in a little cocktail tasting – well it’d be rude not to! And if you’ve been following me for a while, you know that it’s a weakness of mine.

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This was the rhubarb and custard – it came highly recommended, made with Warner Edwards rhubarb gin and was so worth it.

Hubby had a virgin Mojito which he assured me was very good too.

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Solihull I believe, will welcome the arrival of The Beech House with open arms and I am certainly looking forward to sampling their full menu.

So far so good!

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The Beech House

727 Warwick Road

Solihull

B91 3DA

The evening was a pre-opening event and by invitation only; however I did not receive any reward for this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own and all photographs were taken by me unless otherwise stated.

Not Your Average Garden Party @The HighField

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Watching the weather forecast all week, I wondered if the garden party would be wonderful or a wash out.

Summer is a little hit and miss at the moment in the UK – you can’t leave the house without taking both umbrella and sunglasses. However, fortune smiled upon us and sent some sunshine between the clouds.

The High Field is a gastro pub that always delivers fabulous food in a friendly and stylish setting (click here if you’d like to read about my previous experience). And I was excited to attend their garden party especially when I heard that The Glamophones were performing.

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We sat by the fire pit and relaxed with a beverage of the alcoholic kind…

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There was a selection of games to play…

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We even had time for a card trick or two…

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…and finally enjoyed the ladies performance of 40’s classics and modern pop songs all sung with beautiful harmonies in their unique vintage style.

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It was a fabulous afternoon full of good company, great food and glamorous gals.

Here’s to a Summer of more of the same (fingers crossed!).

Tell me – what’s your idea of a great garden party? Who would you invite – real or imaginary; alive or dead?

Let me know in the comments below…

The High Field

22 Highfield Road

Edgbaston

B15 3DP

 

This event was open to the general public and I did not receive any reward for this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own and all photographs were taken by me unless otherwise stated.

 

Not your average late night shopping @Aspire Style

I’m not a fan of late night shopping – but if I’m going to do it, a glass of bubbles in hand is certainly the way to go.

We all need to partake in a little late night shopping every now and then – and I can’t think of a nicer way to do it than with a glass of bubbles in hand, wandering around a newly refurbished boutique, talking to the owner Sue and her friendly staff (who were very accommodating in showcasing some of their beautiful accessories – thank you ladies).

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Aspire Style is a small chain of independent lifestyle boutiques catering for women who are looking for a modern twist on vintage styles.

I’ve personally shopped here for years. It’s a place where I can always find something beautiful and I always walk away with a gorgeous little something, beautifully wrapped in pink tissue paper.

So, I was super excited when I found out that my local branch was having a shindig to celebrate it’s new look.

Aspire pride themselves on selling everything a woman could want. And by everything I mean only the most beautiful, glamourous (and a little flirty!) unique gifts, clothing, jewellery and accessories.

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I was happily seduced by the selection of alcohol themed lovelies.

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I mean, who doesn’t want to spend the day lighting Mojito candles and applying Prosecco lip balm?

There was also an abundance of flowers; on dresses, stationary and gifts for the home.

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Floral charm without the chintz.

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Aspire Style also stock a range of modern vintage styled clothes and accessories.

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I took these beauties home.

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Looking for some fabulous gifts to inspire and delight?

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Sassy…

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Inspirational…

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This is so my mantra!

Tongue in cheek…

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I think this one was my favourite!

If you’re looking for something fine, flamboyant or foxy for your home, to wear or simply a gift for a phenomenal female – you need not waste your precious time trawling from shop to shop.

Aspire Style is full of fabulousness – go check it out.

Branches in Coventry, Warwick, Solihull, Stratford, Oxford.

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The Aspire Style relaunch was open to the general public and I did not receive any reward for this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own and all photographs were taken by me unless otherwise stated.

Not your average afternoon tea @Robata

We were enticed to Robata, a restaurant that prides itself on combining Pan-Asian styled cuisines with a modern approach, by images of a high tea the likes I’ve never seen before. Both the Head Chef and Head Pastry Chef have previously worked in award winning restaurants and hotels and their expertise and experience was evident in all courses of our lunch.

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With a wall of windows that let in an incredible amount of natural light and delicate background music the restaurant atmosphere was relaxed and calm. This mellow feeling continued throughout our lunch as we were leisurely, but efficiently served by a team of cheery staff.

High Tea is priced at £19.50. Other options available include a Champagne and a  Gentleman’s version both priced at £27.50. We opted for the Cocktail High Tea priced at £24.50 as I cannot resist a pretty little alcoholic number.

First we had a Ginger and Lemon Iced Tea; complete with flowers. We were informed that it was to cleanse your palate and prepare your taste buds for what was to come. It was surprisingly enjoyable and very refreshing.

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High Tea is served in two waves with complimenting drinks. This helps set the pace for the experience, in fact we were advised not to rush but take our time, as it’s more filling than you might imagine.

Our hot food was delivered in a bamboo steamer basket. When the lid was lifted, the smell was divine.

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It was tasty too; the Duck Leg Long Bao was soft and tender; the Chicken Yakatori and the Breaded Prawn and Tofu Ball were both full of flavour.

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After a short while, an extravaganza was brought to the table. Both Hubby and I said “Wow” in unison! They say you eat with your eyes first and this certainly fulfilled. The photograph doesn’t do it justice, it was so beautiful.

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We started with the Avocado Maki Roll – my favourite type of sushi. Dipped in a little soy sauce, I popped the whole thing in my mouth (quite a feat as it was pretty big!) and it was really good.

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The Beetroot Cured Salmon and Squid Ink Cracker was an amazing sight. To me, it resembled the bottom of the ocean or a coral reef. It tasted as good as it looked too, although I ate this a little more delicately!

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Our cocktails arrived at the same time and if you follow me on Instagram you know I’m always on the lookout for a pretty one. I had the Mandarin and Kumquat Bellini.

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And Hubby had a non alcoholic English Garden.

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First shelf devoured, we moved onto the desserts. They all looked so amazing we both said we didn’t know where to start. However I quickly decided it had to be the Yuzu and Lime Tartlet which was a myriad of textures and flavours that ticked all the boxes for a sensory gal such as myself – crunchy base, soft filling, chewy meringue…mouth-wateringly yummy.

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The Orange Scone with Orange Curd had a subtle zing and the filling was a refreshing alternative to clotted cream and jam. It had a lovely softness that only just baked cakes have.

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The piece de resistance for us both though was the Hazelnut and Chocolate Delice. The sponge was moist, with an almost mousse like texture, soft, gooey and totally chocolatey.

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After devouring the chocolate delight, a much needed breather came in the shape of our tea. Hubby opted for traditional English Breakfast, but I went for a mellow Jasmine Blossom.

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After our pause, all that was left was the Spiced Strawberry Trifle. Thankfully this was a light affair and not too much to handle.

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I am no stranger to afternoon teas and although they all have their own signature element – nothing has come close to this unique dining experience.

Carefully crafted, perfectly presented and delightfully delicious. High praise for the Robata High Tea.

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Robata Bar & Grill

Resorts World Birmingham
Pendigo Way
Birmingham B40 1PU
United Kingdom

This meal was not complimentary and I did not receive any reward for this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own and all photographs were taken by me unless otherwise stated.