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Baltic reboot at Two Cats Kitchen, Birmingham

Two Cats Kitchen, one of the most original restaurants in Birmingham, is shedding its “New Baltic” roots for a wider culinary exploration. Chef patron Niki Astley is planning a liberating menu overhaul in the Jewellery Quarter to give full vent to his creativity and food influences. Two Cats was born in April 2014 as a “pop-up” known …

Chef patron Richard Turner

Turners to axe “stifling” fine dining and tasting menus

Award-winning chef Richard Turner is to axe high-end Michelin star dining to escape the “straitjacket” of tasting menus and “stifling” formality. Turner is planning a radical revamp of his three AA Rosette Birmingham restaurant because he thinks elaborate £80-£90 dégustation menus are alienating customers. His small 26-cover restaurant in Harborne, just …

The entire kitchen brigade and front of house staff at Carters were all recruited from University College Birmingham

Michelin star restaurants in Birmingham joined by Carters

I missed saying “hurrah” when Birmingham won a fifth Michelin star last week as I was eating my way around China. So a belated “hurrah.” Or rather a qualified “hurrah.” Much has been written about the latest Michelin milestone, much of it nonsense. Lots of newly-opened mediocre/poor restaurants have been lumped …


Red-faced council bosses axe Birmingham Food and Drink Festival

An international food festival championing “the best of Birmingham” has been scrapped at the last minute – because the council forgot it is digging up the city centre. The Birmingham Food and Drink Festival 2015 was set to attract 100 stalls and was designed to “showcase what Birmingham has to offer alongside international flavours.” …


Cash crisis forces Birmingham homeless charity to axe services

An award-winning homeless charity is being forced to axe its weekend cover because of a £74,000 cash shortfall. SIFA Fireside in Birmingham can no longer afford to hold drop-in sessions on Saturdays and Sundays as its staff, some of whom are facing redundancy, struggle to balance the books. The cut in funding has …

A pair of Martin Luther King's pyjamas, left behind when he moved on from Selma

Selma, Bloody Sunday and “Uncle Martin’s” pyjamas

We are standing inside the bedroom at the front of the single-storey house when Jawana Jackson picks up a carrier bag. She removes a blue garment that is neatly folded in a cellophane wrapper. “These are Uncle Martin’s pyjamas,” says Jackson, who is aged 55. “They say I should handle them with …