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Round ups

    Round ups

    September round up

    I totally tried to write that this was the October round up, which I think goes to show my general feelings on how flipping fast this year is passing.  I’m half expecting to go to sleep tonight and wake up to find its Christmas, which wasn’t helped by having my first Christmas drink yesterday…admittedly it was a bottle of something fizzy and non-alcoholic that Ikea tells me is a popular drink at Christmas in Sweden and just makes me think someone should introduce them to Vimto all year round.


    Anyway, so October September, was…well what a month.  Food wise I went to Gas Street Social for a friend’s birthday brunch where they challenged their bottomless Bellini offer – it was the day I was flying out to Qatar for work so I stuck with soft drinks.  I’ve now eaten brunch at Gas St a couple of times and once I’m done faffing with the photos I’ll tell you all about it.  Faffing with photos is something which I seem to spend a lot of time doing and I finally got round to blogging about the Henry Wong’s bloggers dinner I went to a couple of weeks beforehand.



    And then there was Qatar.  I was incredibly lucky to be offered the chance to go help out with one of our work events out there and it was an amazing experience for all sorts of reasons I won’t bore you about again.  But one of the great things about to Qatar was the food, which was an eclectic mix of Middle Eastern cuisines and I’m determined that I’m going to go in search of these in Birmingham.  Some kind souls have already suggested a bunch of places, but the thing I’m really looking for is somewhere that does um ali, a sort of Egyptian bread and butter pudding but infinitely better.

    Let them eat cake

    french martini cake

    Oh yeah, it was also National Cupcake Week in September, which I completely failed to realise beforehand.  So instead I whipped out a recipe for French Martini cupcakes, because it’s one of the few good looking cakes I’ve actually had the patience to make.  I really like baking cake but faffing with decoration is something that I can’t be doing with.  I think this was fairly evident from the recipe for chocolate curry cake which I shared before I went to Qatar; the recipe was weird but worked surprisingly well, but they didn’t look great.

    Grand Central Birmingham


    And from then it was all about Grand Central Birmingham.  I was in town on the Sunday new New St opened and was handed one of the maps which pointed out lots of very exciting new eateries that were open or opening in the station itself, so it seemed sensible to create a list of places to eat and drink in new New St and Grand Central Birmingham.  And no sooner had I done that I was lured to Benugo for lunch, where I voluntarily ate salad…which my mum is very proud of.  I also got a sneak peek at pre-open Grand Central Birmingham with a visit to Tortilla for one of their soft launches.  I’ve been back since, to Pho, but I didn’t take my camera to so I’ll just have to go back – I know, just a hardship!

    What’s coming up


    Just as the month was ending I went to a menu tasting at The Studio on Cannon St and for dinner with my mum to Chung Ying Cantonese which I’ll be blogging about soon.  I also managed to do some cooking so expect a beef and chorizo meatball recipe and a review of Holy Cow curry sauces.  There’s also a bunch more stuff coming up in October and some drafted posts, so there’ll be plenty more to tell you about too.

    As always, I love getting emails and messages from people.  If there’s anything you want to tell me about drop me an email on hello @ fulltothebrum . co . uk or catch me on Twitter or Facebook.

    Round ups

    August Round Up

    Hey, look at me doing one of these on time for once!  August was a bit of a weird month because I was struck down with a sort of writer/blogger’s malaise which made it tricky to write.  I know that sounds pretty lame but it was taking three times as long to write things as usual and was a painful exercise, particularly as it was really hampering time to spend on my other hobby (Netflix…I’m currently loving Friday Night Lights).  After a week off I managed to get some sleep and get back to writing.


    himalayan_salt_seared_fillet_steakAugust started off with a write up of the preview night at the newly refurbished Harvey Nichols in the Mailbox.  It was pretty fantastic to check out the place, hear about the inspiration for the menu and try some great food.  Actually the Mailbox seemed to feature quite heavily in the blog this month as I also wrote about Strada’s set menu and a slightly disappointing trip to try the food at new bar Aluna – although the amount of Harry Potter references I managed to get in made up for it.

    News stuff

    original_patty_men_burger_battleAnd it wasn’t just Harvey Nichs that was taking all the limelight, loads of stuff seemed to be happening in Birmingham so I pulled a lot of things together and bundled them up as a new story.  As well as various bits of news it was National Burger Day which was a nice excuse to post a bunch of burger photos – and write a guest post for Hungry House.  Looking forward, I also found a bunch of food themed events at the Birmingham Literature Festival which seemed well worth checking out.


    joe_deluccis_ice_cream_bullringDuring August I’ve been getting used to learning to cook again and one of the things I’ve been doing more of is actual having breakfast at home.  This has been helped out massively by the Cravings Cube who gifted me two items on my wish-list and means I’m learning to make my own lattes.  Of course, anything I could muster up won’t be a patch on an amazing breakfast I had as part of the Birmingham Breakfast Club & Adam’s collaboration, but a girl can dream.  Oh and I went on the food version of a bar crawl at the Bullring, which was random but cool.


    And so onto September.  Well firstly, if all goes to plan I’ll be out of the country for a week for work so it’ll be a little quieter than normal.  But there’s a bunch of event write ups which I’ll be posting along with some recipes – I know, I promise I’ve tried them and I’m still alive!

    As always, I love getting emails and messages from people.  If there’s anything you want to tell me about drop me an email on hello @ fulltothebrum . co . uk or catch me on Twitter or Facebook.

    Round ups

    July round up

    I’m pretty aware I start most of these round ups with a general surprise at how quickly the month has passed, and you’d think by now I’d sort of be used to it…but I’m not.  July was no different and whilst not quite as manic as June, moving down a gear sort of knocked me for six and I ended up getting a bit ill.  Anyway, this is what happened on the blog in July…


    There was plenty going on in Brum in July, from vegetarian street food events organised by Brum Yum Yum and Vegan Grindhouse, to cooking demos and Solihull’s seasonal name change.  But the give news was another Coming Soon round up of all the places opening in the city – plus a few that had opened and I hadn’t managed to include and one that was due to close.  And the long awaited Rub smokehouse opened this month too.

    Does my Not Just Another Food Blogger award interview from Hungry House count as news?  I think so!


    One I’m pretty proud of, was a review of Umami for olive magazine‘s website.  I’ve been reading them for ages, so it was a real honour to be asked to get involved.  I was also incredibly honoured to be asked to judge Best Dessert at the Colmore BID food festival – and had a hell of a time choosing!

    Apart from the Umami review for olive there was only one restaurant review on the blog, from my trip to Nomad, but what a meal it was

    Coming Up…

    I’ve got a massive backlog of blog posts to finish and post about, some of which I’m really excited about.  The whole being under the weather means they’re a bit slower, but by the end of August there should be plenty to whet your appetite for food and drinks in Birmingham.

    There’s loads of stuff I have to blog out, but as ever, I’m always keen to hear from people about places I should check out, products to try and exciting food and drink related adventures.  So if you fancy emailing me, please do, my email address is hello @ fulltothebrum . co . uk or catch me on Twitter or Facebook.

    Round ups

    June round up

    So June was a hell of a month.  I picked up the keys to my new flat at the very end of May and spent most of the beginning of June buying furniture and kitchen stuff and remembering to get the right bus home.  It also coincided with a pretty crazy work schedule and no internet in the flat which meant blogging went on the back burner.  I’d like to say everything is back to normal but after a marathon of a month I’m feeling fairly shattered and it might take me a while to get back up to my usual posting frequency – but I’ll get there!

    Anyway, in between all the madness it turns out I blogged more than I thought I would…so here’s a quick round up.


    It seemed to mainly be drinks news last month, with am Argentinean wine and dinner pairing at Opus on Cornwall St, plus the line up for the Birmingham Cocktail Weekend was announced.  And for any that overindulged, there was also a pop-up feel good cafe in Victoria Sq from Weight Watchers.

    There was also some big news for me personally; as well as the whole house move, I was asked to write a post for the Travelodge website on cheap places to eat in Birmingham…and I threw in some good places to drink too!


    There were a few events I managed to get to, despite all the chaos.  The first was the bi-annual BBC Good Food Show summer, which is always a lot of fun and I picked up some great treats.  The other was the latest instalment of the UK Burger Battle which I think was the best yet – Grillstock and Original Patty Men being award-winners in their own right and a tough acts to beat.


    I managed to squeeze in a few reviews this month, although there’s plenty in development so expect more in July.  The first was a trip to Las Iguanas in the Arcadian, somewhere I hadn’t been for something like five years previously.  The other was an award-winning take out, Simla in Hall Green.

    Other Stuff

    So, really June would’ve been Full to the Brum’s first real birthday, and back at the beginning of the year I had the notion of doing something big for it, but yeah…life got in the way.  So anyway, Happy Birthday Full to the Brum, it’s been a blast and here’s to another twelve months of food adventures.

    There’s loads of stuff I have to blog out, but as ever, I’m always keen to hear from people about places I should check out, products to try and exciting food and drink related adventures.  So if you fancy emailing me, please do, my email address is hello @ fulltothebrum . co . uk or catch me on Twitter or Facebook.

    Round ups

    May round up

    Whoa, another one of these already? Life has been a bit manic as of late; I’m in the process of moving house so as well as being up to my eyeballs in paperwork, I’ve been dealing with trying to cram all my stuff into boxes.  It does mean the blog might be a bit quiet for the next few weeks, but I’ll be storing up plenty of posts, which I’ll publish when I can.

    Foodies Festival

    After announcing it ages ago, it was finally time for the Foodies Festival.  Just before the event kicked off, I published a post about some of the local chefs who would be gracing the stage over the three days. And then when it was in full swing I headed over to wander around, and blogged about my experience of the festival.


    This month seemed to mainly be about liquid news – with an English Wine Takeover at the Bond, plus a Licor 43 take over at Island Bar.  There was also a new general manager for Bar Opus and a packed post about a raft of new venues coming soon.


    I did manage to scribble up some reviews, in between packing.  As everyone well knows, I’m a big fan of burgers and I posted my thoughts on the third UK Burger Battle between Le Bun and Fat Hippo, plus another burger related post as I tried the Temper burger at the Lord Clifden.  I also wrote up some things about Bistro 1847’s kickstarter to bring its brand of veggie fine dining to Liverpool and a review of a couple of great Catalan wines.

    A look to June

    Usually this is when I waffle about some of the posts in the pipeline, but between packing, moving, unpacking and no internet for a few weeks at the new place I’m going to struggle to get much posted.  So whilst there will be posts they might be a little irregular and I don’t want to promise anything as everything is a bit chaotic at the moment.

    I’m always keen to hear from people about places I should check out, products to try and exciting food and drink related adventures.  So if you fancy emailing me, please do, my email address is hello @ fulltothebrum . co . uk or catch me on Twitter or Facebook.

    Round ups

    April round up

    First things first; May the Fourth Be With You!  I know this isn’t a movie blog, but I hope my fellow cinephile foodie fans are having a fun on this auspicious day.  Anyway, enough about Star Wars, this is a quick round up of April which will be quick because I had a pretty horrid case of insomnia over most of April, which made it a bit difficult to find the focus and time to write.  On a plus side it means that I’ve now got a really nice backlog of posts that, if I can get written up, should provide for a fun May (possibly less references to Star Wars though).

    NJAFB award logoNews

    Well, it felt like there were two big news stories this month.  The first being that the people at Hungry House awarded me one of their Not Just Another Food Blogger Awards, which I’m really quite chuffed about.  As I mentioned, it’s been a bit of a rough month and it always makes me smile when people interact with the blog, whether it’s tweeting for recommendations, sharing news or giving me an award.

    The other news is that I ran a competition for the Foodies Festival which takes place this month.  It’s my first big competition and there were a lot more entries than I expected, which was really lovely to see.  The competition ended today and I’ve just emailed the winners, so congrats Anthony, Denise and Claire!

    Talking of winning tickets, I also blogged about a chance to win tickets to Glynn Purnell’s Friday Night Kitchen.  And there’s also the news that the Gin Festival is back at the Bond in Digbeth…but you’ll have to buy your own tickets to that!

    Food Glorious Food5 pork belly

    Whilst I spent a lot of the month struggling with sleep, I did get a couple of reviews written up.  The first was from my trip to Big Papas Beautiful South street food who’ve taken over the kitchen at the newly refurbished Sunflower Lounge.  The second was a return to one of my favourite pop-ups, Two Cats Roaming Kitchen…but they won’t be roaming for long, which I’m so very pleased to hear.

    My day job involves lots of events stuff and having used The Studio on Cannon St for a few events I was chuffed to be invited to their Spring/Summer menu tasting…only to return a couple of weeks later to see it in action.

    Give Me the Hard Stuff…or don’t

    Pancakes bacon and poached eggs on rosti copyBut it wasn’t food this month.  I also blogged about some non-alcoholic wine which I took along to a family BBQ…the review was really more my mum’s doing because she drank the bottle (but in all fairness I had a glass and it meant I also got a lift home). 

    Talking of drinks and food, I wandered along to The Victoria’s inaugural Sunday Brunch which for Easter had a whisky-infused element to it.

    What’s coming up in May

    Frankly there’s a massive back log of posts that I need to write and if I start listing them here I’m going to cry.  But some of the ones I need to tell you about involve unleashing my inner tea fiend, drinking whisky in the top of the Rotunda, hip hop and burgers, eating ants and a few afternoon teas too.

    Round ups

    March round-up

    It feels like every month I write about how quickly the last month went, but March really was a manic month for me; work was crazy busy and so was the rest of my life too!  And lucky enough for the blog a lot of this was food related…

    Food and the communitypopupcafe_RJFP

    Last month I spotted that the Real Junk Food Project were popping up at Digbeth First Friday and from the looks of things they’ll be regulars.  There was also news about 100 Meals in Birmingham, which aims to bring Brummies together to chat – a fantastic concept and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with it.

    New newsGBK_chicken_bacon_burger

    I really thought after January the news of more venues coming soon might slow down a little but it turns out not.  I had so much drinks and specifically cocktail news that I rounded it all up.  And no sooner had I done that but I realised that there was enough for the third coming soon post.  And on the subject of new, Gourmet Burger Kitchen’s newly refurbed Mailbox venue opened so I went down to check out that – and their burgers, of course.


    Despite my mother being out of the country for yet another Mother’s Day, I celebrated without her thanks to Roberts Bakery.  There was also the return of a bigger and better Holi Rave and Indian Streetfood Feast-ival.  And free beer curtsey of Old Speckled Hen seems like a reason enough to celebrate to me.

    Fine dining outDSC_1065

    This month I got round to sharing some posts from some of the fancier side of my dining out adventures.  Bromsgrove’s very own Restaurant Epi in the courtyard started doing lunch to which my camera and I heading down to.  I also completed the Lasan group set with a trip to Lasan itself…just in time for their newest venue to open.

    Adventures at homeDSC_0765

    It’s not all fine dining in fancy restaurants about town either.  There was also plenty of stuff that could be enjoyed in the comfort of my own home.  I wrote about my experiences with cake delivery service Tarte & Berry and also about pomegranate juice, Pom Wonderful – which also included a quick recipe for a refreshing drink.

    Tastes from afarPrawn Pandanus and Muu Satay

    This month I managed to pack in a lot of different cuisines.  As well as the aforementioned Indian-fusion experience at Lasan, there was also No Ping No Bling’s Thai lunch which was pretty fantastic.  I also made it down to Chung Ying Central to try out some of their dim sum and cocktails and discovered that you can have a tasty drink named after vermin.  We had a fantastic work experience girl with us at work and to celebrate we went to Bodega for lunch…and I got her to guest post her experience.

    And now, for April…

    Well, I’ve already broken my own imposed rules and blogged in April before doing the round-up, but I had to share some photos from The Botanist.  I’ve been back since and I’ll write up something about my experiences soon.  I’ll be doing a lot of drink blogging this month; two Catalan wines, the results of my month long trial of Beauty & Go’s radiance drinks, teapigs Everyday blend and possibly some more wine.  All being well I should be off to a couple of afternoon teas, plus Las Igunanas has a new menu and I’m booked in for Nomad’s no rules evening too. Phew!

    I’m always keen to hear from people about places I should check out, products to try and exciting food and drink related adventures.  So if you fancy emailing me, please do, my email address is hello @ fulltothebrum . co . uk or catch me on Twitter or Facebook.