Read all about it! Your resident town crier here with all this week's juicy tidbits from across Warwickshire and the Midlands.
Muddy Stilettos Award winner set to open new ‘Zero’-waste shop in Leamington Spa
Ethical primary school teachers Charlie Demetriou and Marisa Edworthy (above), won the Muddy Award 2019 for best newcomers, for setting up Zero, pop-up plastic-free shopping stores across Coventry and Warwickshire. As Marisa is moving abroad with her family, Charlie, mum to two boys, has crowdfunded to open a new Zero-waste permanent store in 41, Russell Street, Leamington Spa. Due to open this month, it will stock a wide range of food and household items – both 100% plastic free and affordable. Local items already sourced include coffee beans, loose leaf tea, honey, beeswax wraps, granola, flour, reusable wipes, soaps, shampoo and conditioner bars, cleaning products, stainless steel straws and bamboo toothbrushes. Keep an eye on the website and social media channels for further news.
*Another sustainable community shopping experience which has just opened this month is Green Bean in 62 Smith Street, Warwick, from Wed-Sat, 10am to 4pm.
Heading to Hatton this Halloween? Pop in to pat the world’s oldest donkey!
You may have heard in the news this week that Hatton Adventure World resident Bubbles has been around for, you guessed it,…donkey’s years! Sixty in fact – making her the oldest donkey in the world! How incredible is that?! Bubbles is believed to have been born in 1959 – the date shown on her pet passport – making her around 20 years older than most donkeys. In human years that’s the equivalent of being 180 years-old! She succeeds a US donkey called Suzy who lived up to 54 in 2002, according to the Guinness Book of Records. Placid Bubbles celebrated her special birthday in style with carrots and a special birthday cake. This lovely quirky story has even been reported in the New York Post.
Three cheers to Brakspear!
Onto some more cheery news, Henley-on-Thames based brewer and pub experts Brakspear, have been named Pub Champion 2019 by the British Beer & Pub Association. Brakspear run lots of Muddy favourites including The George Townhouse in Shipston-on-Stour and The Townhouse in Stratford-upon-Avon.
New Openings in Brum
Looking for somewhere new to try in Birmingham? A new Peruvian restaurant, Chakana, has just opened in a beautiful old bank in bohemian Moseley Birmingham, by Robert Ortiz, the former head chef at Michelin starred Lima London – with an appetising drinks list including Pisco Sours, made from Peruvian brandy. This month also see the opening of a swanky new city centre restaurant with sky top bar, deli, open kitchen, private dining and cocktail bar on Temple Row by TV Italian chef Gino D’Acampo on Oct 31. The TV chef launched his My Restaurant brand in 2015 with sites in Harrogate, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester and runs three London restaurants under his My Pasta Bar brand.
On the hotel front, Latin American ‘flashpacker’ brand Selina has opened inside a former factory in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter this month. It has 39 rooms including shared ‘community rooms’ (dorms), private rooms and suites. There’s also a Latin-American speakeasy restaurant La Mariposa, a garden, cocktail bar, wellness studio, cinema room and communal kitchen and lobby.
Chai and Chat for Coventry creatives, plus Colours of Life art show launch
Set up to shine a light on the work of British South Asian women working in the West Midlands, Sampad’s Chai and Chat events focus on informal conversation with creatives, all served up with a hot cup of chai. Emerging playwright Lakshnie Hettihewa-Young is set to lead Coventry’s first ever Chai and Chat at 3pm on Saturday 9 Nov in The Belgrade Theatre. The free afternoon event offers an opportunity to network with like-minded creatives, while learning more about Lakshnie’s career so far and her experience of breaking into the theatre industry. A writer, podcaster and BACP registered psychotherapist, she joined Kali Theatre’s Discovery Programme in 2018 and went on to present her first play, Amma’s Girls, at Birmingham REP earlier this year. A second piece, The Long Way Home, was also recently selected for Tamasha Theatre’s Over To You, a scratch night showcasing bold new writing.
Colours of Life, a new exhibition brings together work by two British South Asian artists, Coventry-based Gurdip Junjuha and Kitty Kaur opens on the same day in the theatre with a free, informal launch at 2pm. To reserve your free ticket for Chai and Chat, visit belgrade, or Tel the box office on 024 7655 3055.
A double win at Food Awards England 2019 for The High Field, Edgbaston
Birmingham gastro-pub The High Field came away from the finals of the 6th Food Awards England 2019 with the title Midlands Gastro Pub of the year and named the second best Gastro Pub in the UK, losing out to The Three Horseshoes in Blyth, County Durham. Dishes on its new autumn menu by Head Chef Ian Meek feature top quality game, fish and seafood. Starters include Air-dried Dorset Beef, Pear, Pecorino and Pine Nuts and Grilled Sardines with Harissa Mayonnaise and Rocket and main such as Pan-fried Fillets of Sea Bass served with Saffron Potatoes, Sprouting Broccoli and Shellfish Sauce alongside Shiitake, Chestnut and Oyster Mushroom Pappardelle, White Wine Sauce and Walnuts and Butcher’s Steak of the Day. Puddings have taken an autumnal turn too with Poached Pear, Mascarpone and Hazelnut Brittle plus Apple Tarte Tatin and Vanilla Ice Cream.
Other winners in the region were: Damascena Coffee House, Birmingham (Café/Bistro of the Year Overall Winner); Otoro Sushi UK in Birmingham (Best Seafood, Midlands) and Blue Orchid, Coventry (Best Oriental – Midlands).