TAPS Brings the Beer Festival to the City

Why do beer festivals seem to be the sole reserve of the provinces? Forgive me for sounding overtly metropolitan (I am) but almost every advert I see or flyer I receive promoting a beer/ale/cider festival appears to be in some remote hinterland (usually near Wales). A successful jaunt to one of these also seems to... Continue Reading →

The Startling History of Soho House

I created this blog largely to be about Birmingham and the surrounding areas with occasional forays outside of the midlands (see the last piece about Portsmouth). One would presume therefore that I have a something of a passion for the city and the region, which is true, and yet to my eternal shame it took... Continue Reading →

Powerlifting in Portsmouth

“It takes a great man to wear pink, it takes an even greater man to wear cerise pink!” The man in question wearing the bright pink singlet walks out proudly and stands over the loaded bar looking confident. He may or may not have heard the tongue-in-cheek jibe by the compere but he probably didn’t... Continue Reading →

A Sushi Philistine No Longer

‘Gaijin’ is a Japanese word that can mean ‘foreigner’ or ‘outsider’ or even just simply “non-Japanese”. Despite living in my home city of Birmingham, I couldn’t have felt more like a ‘gaijin’ as I ambled towards the city’s latest (and very well reviewed) sushi spot. My lifelong dismissal of this alien cuisine where they don’t... Continue Reading →

Blending Brum’s Past and Present

Birmingham may not be the world’s prettiest city but for myself it is home and home stirs emotions and memories like nowhere else. It’s easy to criticise its peculiar skyline and how it succumbed so viciously to the concrete hysteria of the 1960’s and 70’s but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an interesting subject. On... Continue Reading →

Some Drinks Deserve More Attention Than Others

Following the mead epiphany that came out of the blue at the Independent Birmingham Festival after an initially innocuous perusal of the menu at The Vanguard’s pop-up cocktail bar, I was left with no choice but to visit the actual bar itself on Frederick Street in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. I normally sigh at the prospect... Continue Reading →

A Welcome Addition to Summer Row

A bright and welcoming pizzeria has risen from the ashes of where FSK formerly stood on the revolving door of establishments that is Summer Row. Nearly every bar or restaurant that has stood on this awkwardly situated spot has had a troubled time of things over the last two to three years, largely owing to... Continue Reading →

Mead is a Revelation

Yesterday I visited the Independent Birmingham Food Festival at Aston Hall, one of the more curious locations in the city. A grand leafy historic setting spread across 50 acres encircled by the grim greyness of inner city suburbia. To wander around Aston Hall is to detach oneself from city life whilst inside a city of... Continue Reading →

The Absurd Pie in Tipton

Apparently you get a certificate for completing the ‘Desperate Dan Cow Pie Challenge’ but the only thing I wanted was my bed. The satisfaction of finishing off the remaining morsels of the 4lb monstrosity that had presented itself at my table a good 40 minutes earlier was tempered by the feeling of having a medicine... Continue Reading →

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