Edgbaston has started morphing into a real food destination. With Michelin-starred Simpson’s, The Deli at Edgbaston and the arrival earlier in the year of boutique hotel and cocktail lounge, The Edgbaston, it was already beginning to take shape. But with Peach Pub’s first foray into Birmingham in the shape of gastropub The Highfield, it’s knitted the place together. With a soft launch a week before the official launch party, I took the opportunity to head down and check it out.
Sunday nights at 7pm aren’t traditionally busy times for pubs, but word of The Highfield’s doors opening had clearly spread and the pub was as full of people and had a great vibrancy to it. The pub is open plan; the first half of the venue’s interior containing the well-stocked bar; the back half of the pub which is presided over by the kitchen has more of a dining area feel to it. Decor is subtle but effective and the inclusion of booths, tables and barstools means the transition between the two spaces is seamless.
Choosing a booth beside the kitchen meant we were able to peak in. My friend Andrew, a food technologist who can spot a pre-prepared meal a mile off, enjoyed noting that everything that came out of the kitchen was made on site. Given it was a Sunday we each ordered a Sunday roast. I went for the organic roast pork, which was served with an enormous Yorkshire pudding, which kept two very salty pieces of crackling nice and crunchy and away from the gravy. The pork and pudding sat on a bed of carrot puree and roast potatoes with cabbages and broccoli being served in a side dish. Each component part was expertly cooked and whilst it doesn’t look like a mountain of food it was a decent portion – plus extra potatoes were on offer.
For pudding Andrew and I shared a Sunday Sundae and an Apple & Blackcurrant Tart with Coconut Crumble. The sundae was made with Chantilly cream which made it much more interesting than usual sundaes, although I’d have liked a little more brownie. The apple and blackcurrant tart was more of a bakewell tart which despite having a very tough base was delicious and not too heavy after a large roast. And where there is cake there ought to be tea, which is Yorkshire tea and served by the pot and arrives with proper mugs, which can be actually quite rare!
With 16 other suburban pubs, Peach should certainly know what they’re doing and with The Highfield, even in its infancy, they seem to be on to a good thing. Service was efficient and friendly, food was fresh and homemade and though I didn’t try any of the drinks (pre-dinner drinks at The Edgbaston had sorted that side) the bar was well stocked with a good variety of spirits and wines.
Whether it’s post-drinks after Simpson’s, a spot of lunch after shopping at the Deli, or heading there for the whole experience, The Highfield is well worth checking out – but book, it’s already proving to be a popular destination!
Disclosure: Like many others, we received free main meals during The Highfield’s soft opening phase. We paid for our drinks and desserts and were not obliged to give a positive review.