Blakes in Birmingham’s What’s On


Located within the four-star Westmead Hotel near Redditch, Blake’s recently underwent a full refurbishment. The hottest new concept in dual dining, the restaurant offers patrons the choice between the main dining area, with its classy sophistication, and the bar area with its vibrant buzz.

Following an absolutely gorgeous and expertly made lemon & vanilla martini in the bar area, my partner and I were taken through to the main restaurant, where soon afterwards we enjoyed our first course: a surf & turf board to share. Comprising a crab pot, cod fish fingers, wood fried chicken wings and honey & mustard chipolatas, it was nothing less than delicious. The crab pot - featuring both white and brown crab meat mixed with crème fraiche, pickled cucumber and onion, and topped with caviar - was as tasty as it sounds.

The cod fish fingers were exemplary. I normally find it hard to get excited about fish fingers, but these were a whole different, er, kettle of fish... The chicken wings were nicely cooked and oh-so-moreish, the honey & mustard sausages juicy and flavoursome. The starter had certainly hit the spot, leaving us excited about what was to come. For the main event, I ordered the 8oz fillet steak. The beef was tender and cooked to absolute perfection. It showcased a beautiful melt-in-the-mouth sensation and was certainly up there with the nicest fillet steaks I’ve eaten. A portobello mushroom, tomato, triple cooked chips and a gorgeous garlic & parsley butter further enhanced the experience.

My partner, having spotted the pizza oven during our time in the bar area, decided to opt for one of the restaurant’s wood fired pizzas - there were 18 from which to choose, and a calzone. After much deliberation, he selected the meatiest option, the Quattro Carne, comprising tomato sauce, mozzarella, ham, pepperoni, pancetta and chicken. It was ridiculously tasty. The dough was cooked perfectly and the ingredients of a high quality.

Also featuring on the pizza menu was a cream cheese, smoked salmon, cherry tomato, rocket and parmesan option, a Fruitti Di Mare pizza comprising sweet chilli sauce, mozzarella, prawns, sun-dried tomato, red onion and parsley, and the Boston pizza - BBQ sauce, mozzarella, sundried tomato, prosciutto, rocket and parmesan.

A real selling point for us were the restaurant’s large portions - even though, two courses in, we were bordering on being uncomfortably full. Despite this, we gave dessert our best shot. We decided to share the strawberry freakshake and the Lyons sticky toffee pudding. The latter, featuring peanut butter sauce and fudge ice cream, was without a doubt the nicest I’ve ever eaten. I urge anyone who visits Blake’s to try it. For those with an extra-sweet tooth, the freakshake, comprising a strawberry ice cream milkshake topped with whipped cream, marshmallows and a toffee-filled doughnut, is worth a try too.

Overall, If you’re a lover of tastefully presented modern food made with high-quality ingredients, then Blake’s is the place for you.

The service was fantastic - the staff being both knowledgeable and welcoming - the food was tasty and the surroundings impressively stylish - factors which, when combined, always make for a hugely enjoyable dining experience.

Lauren Foster

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