You’ll probably be surprised by the culinary heritage of the Midlands. Not only is the region blessed with beautiful farmland that produces some majestic meats and venerable fruits and vegetables, it’s also the home of the pork pie, Stilton cheese, the Cadbury’s factory in Bourneville and a whole lot more. If you’re thinking of enjoying a stay at one of our luxury cottages in the Midlands you’ll want to make sure you’re up to date with the best places to eat and the most tempting foodie activities you can indulge in – so we’ve gone out and done all of that delicious research for you! Here’s our pick of the best foodie experiences in Midlands.
1. The Cross, Kenilworth
Kenilworth’s unassuming Michelin-starred restaurant has all the charm and wholesome atmosphere you’d expect from a classic English pub. The award-winning team behind the restaurant have created tasting and à la carte menus bursting with delectable local flavours: tender shanks of lamb are served on cracked wheat and sheep’s cheese, while wood pigeon is paired with a potato and bacon terrine. The specifics of the menu change according to the seasons and the availability of the produce, so a fresh and finely crafted meal is guaranteed.
Price Range: Tasting menu starting from £65pp and A La Carte main courses starting from £24
Location: 16 New Street, Kenilworth cv8 2ez
Bookings: Call 01926 853 840 or Email email@example.com
2. School of Artisan Food, Worksop
The School of Artisan Food is so committed to passing on their skills and knowledge that you can even study there for a semester to get a diploma. Thankfully, the school also runs short courses suited for time-tight holidaymakers who want to learn a new skill. One of their classes, for instance, teaches you how to make your own sausages. The class is led by a real meat expert – a local butcher – who will talk you through every stage of the sausage-making process and offer advice on how to make them as tasty as possible. As with most of the school’s masterclasses, all the ingredients are provided, as well as some light refreshment, so you just need to turn up and get stuck in.
Price Range: One day Courses starting from £165
Location: The School of Artisan Food Lower Motor Yard Welbeck Nottinghamshire s80 3lr
Bookings: Online schoolofartisanfood
3. Loki Wine Merchant and Tasting House, Birmingham
Birmingham’s celebrated wine merchant has garnered a whole host of awards for the quality of the vintages it stocks and the expertise of its staff. The shop is named after the Norse God of mischief, and mischief is something these merchants take seriously – they want to bring the fun back to wine tasting. There are over 40 types of wine you can try by the glass, as well as cheaper tasting drams so you can sample before you settle on a bottle to enjoy with friends in the tasting room. The talkative, knowledgeable host makes it an educational experience as well as a gastronomic one.
Price Range: Courses starting from £25
Location: 36 Great Western Arcade Birmingham b2 4hu
Bookings: Online lokiwine
4. Chocolate Alchemy, Loughborough
While the sugar-fuelled delights of Cadbury World are undeniably appealing, Chocolate Alchemy offers a slightly classier chocolate experience in the Midlands. The dainty truffles and sweet treats in the shop are bursting with flavours and you can take them home in a selection of your choosing. Alternatively, stick around in the café to try the confections on-site and sip a rich hot chocolate. The highlight of the shop is the calendar of chocolate-making workshops where visitors can discover the alchemy for themselves and craft their own sweets under the watchful eye of cocoa-experts.
Price Range: Workshops £60 for 1 person, £100 for 2 people, £130 for 3 people, and £150 for 4 people,
Location: 5 Churchgate Mews, Loughborough le11 1tz
Bookings: Call 01509 238113 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Simpsons Restaurant, Edgbaston
Simpsons Restaurant is something of an institution in the Midlands; it has held a prestigious Michelin star since 2000 and the celebrated chefs who have passed through its kitchen have gone on to run other lauded restaurants such as the Cross in Kenilworth. It’s easy to see why Simpsons has remained popular; the Grade II listed building hosts an open-spaced dining area where patrons can eat their way through a wonderfully balanced eight-course menu. There are smaller three and five course options available, but after you’ve seen the list of dishes – featuring the likes of apple and artichoke cheesecake and rabbit and ham hock served with nasturtiums – you’ll want to try everything the chef can cook up.
Price Range: Tasting menu’s starting from £55pp
Location: 20 Highfield Road Edgbaston, Birmingham b15 3du
Bookings: Call 0121 454 3434 or Online simpsonsrestaurant
The town of Melton Mowbray is primarily associated with two classic English foods: Stilton cheese and, of course, the pork pie. Dickinson and Morris have been churning out these delicious filled pastries for over 160 years and they are still making them as tasty as ever. Head to Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe for the Pork Pie Experience, where you can make your own delicious treat under the instruction of the bakers who have been crafting them for generations. Of course, you can simply buy a hamper full of them from the shop – perfect for a group or family picnic.
Price Range: ££
Location: 10 Nottingham Street Melton Mowbray Leicestershire le13 1nw
Bookings: No need to book just show up!
7. Lasan, Birmingham
Lasan exquisite Indian food is so delicious that it has earned the praise of none other than Gordon Ramsay, who dubbed it the Best Local Restaurant in the UK. One evening tasting the delights of Chef Aktar Islam’s menu and you’ll realise why. The authentic Indian food defies the expectations created by many a cheap takeaway, offering more complex dishes like soft shell crab in Kashmiri chilli batter, or beef marinated in yoghurt, nutmeg and papaya.
Price Range: ££
Location: 3-4 Dakota Buildings James Street St Paul’s Square Birmingham b3 1sd
Bookings: Call 0121 212 3664 or Online Lasan
8. The Sourdough School, Northampton
If breads can be trendy, then sourdough is the trendiest bake around at the moment. Bread expert Vanessa Kimbell runs classes for beginners in how to create your own sourdough starter – the dough made with wild yeast that you have to keep ‘feeding’ – and how to find the right combination of flavours. The classes are small, with a maximum capacity of seven students, so the session is personal and fun, and you’ll get hands-on input from the experienced teacher. It’s also a kind of rite of passage for budding breadmakers, and, after you complete the class, you will be part on an exclusive sourdough club, which allows you to stay in touch with other bakers, trading tips and showing off bakes.
Price Range: One day courses starting from £145
Location: The Sourdough School, East Bank, Northampton nn6 9au
Bookings: Online Sourdough or Call 07813 308 301
9. Dining Room at Mallory Court, Leamington Spa
The magnificent Mallory Court, a mansion and hotel outside of the charming town of Royal Leamington Spa, hosts one of Warwickshire’s best restaurants. The menus change regularly according to the local suppliers, but diners can expect British staples with contemporary twists. A bonus: the delicious meals are served in an attractive oak-panelled dining room, which has views over the surrounding countryside.
Price Range: Tasting menu’s starting from £49.50pp
Location: Harbury Lane, Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, cv33 9qb
Bookings: Online Mallory
10. The Olive Branch Pub, Clipsham
The Olive Branch takes pub dining to a new level, serving time-honoured classics like pie and mash, but with the kind of aesthetic flair and rich flavours that you would expect from a gourmet restaurant. The chefs cook using seasonal produce, so expect hearty root vegetables as the days get colder and fresh greens throughout the summer. Whatever the time of year, the dishes are sure to be inventive, tasty and filling.
Price Range: ££
Location: The Olive Branch Main Street Clipsham Rutland le15 7sh
Bookings: Online Theolivebranchpub
If you’re hungry for a stay in this tasty part of the world, our helpful concierge team can find you the ideal place to stay (just tell them what you’re looking for) or help you book if you’ve already chosen the perfect holiday home. Already booked and looking for a bit more travel inspiration? Our blog is jam-packed with articles to inspire and inform, like our list of the top things to do in the Midlands, or our amazing activities for families. Or you could just enjoy browsing through some of the best foodie experiences around the UK.