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hornet

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From the map, I think the Thistle Hotel is pretty much next door to Jessica's, on the Hagley Road. 

The Thistle is at the back of Snow Hill station on St Chads Queensway, a fair distance from Hagley Road, rates itself as a 4 star it clearly isn't, the rooms are small, the area is not good and only worth staying there if you get an extremely good rate. Best place to stay is probably the Marriot if you get a deal on it, tends to be my default when staying there. It's also within easy reach of Simpsons which is definitely worth a visit, stayed there a couple of weeks ago, food is excellent and reasonably priced, the menu degustation is thoroughly recommended. Rooms are pricey though, but the quality matches, probably one of the best rooms I've ever stayed in but also probably the most I've ever paid (and that includes some fancy 5 stars).

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There is another Thistle Hotel on the Hagley Road that I think the poster is referring to:

Thistle Birmingham Edgbaston

225 Hagley Road

Birmingham, England B16 9RY

Its 3 stars and very close to Jessica's

Yes, that's the one.

SJB


Stephen

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To all who have posted!!

Thank you all for all the information, I'll let you all know how we get on Tuesday night.

Erica


http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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There is another Thistle Hotel on the Hagley Road that I think the poster is referring to:

Thistle Birmingham Edgbaston

225 Hagley Road

Birmingham, England B16 9RY

Its 3 stars and very close to Jessica's

Yes, that's the one.

SJB

My mistake, I was talking about the Thistle Birmingham City

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Well now we've been to Jessicas (will post a report at some point), and had a good drive around the place, I have to say that is has changed totally from my student days, and we now intend to do a three day "city break" in the summer, so all of the recommendations are going to come in very usefull!!


http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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Did you enjoy the restaurant? (Don't leave writing your report too long or you might lose enthusiasm for the idea!)

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So before my senile dementia hits and I forget everything:

We all enjoyed ourselves at Jessicas. Location was a bit unexpected down what looked like a residential street, but thanks to our friends swanky sat. nav. we got there ok.

We were sat in the conservatory, which was peaceful, with a nice city garden to look out onto (gravel, water feature etc) The restaurant was pretty much full, which is good to see on a Tuesday night, although I'm fairly sure its pretty much full all the time these days.

Maitre d' was welcoming and charming, staff all French and again charming. One unfortunate cirumstance for us was that our table, although big was positioned into a corner, which meant that one of our party could not be served without the rest of us being leant over. Once or twice is ok but started to wear thin by the end of the night.

Best starter was Quail with Scallops, best main Fillet of Beef roasted on the bone.( a dish I keep seeing on lots of different menus right now) Its a shame though, that both of these dishes attracted a supplement. I know that menus have to cost out, but on a short choice menu of four or five choices, it normally makes me choose something else! The only execption to this for me is cheese, as without a supplement no-one would be able to offer a board. We all had cheese and pudding (if in doubt always order both I always say), and the cheeses were well kept and nicely served.

Rhubarb parfait served in the shape madonna boob shaped cones was a bit too frozen for my teeth, but well presented.

All in all, we were made very welcome and had a great time celebrating a friends landmark birthday. The bill was a bit painful, but we all had extra courses and a few bottles of wine, so I suppose on reflection it wasn't too expensive.


http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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Some quick notes on a good lunch I had at Jessica's yesterday with my sister.

The lunch menu seems to offer excellent value - at £23.50 for 3 courses and I was almost tempted by the option which had salt cod and squid starter, belly pork main and blackberry parfait dessert. However, once we saw the alc choices, and saw a menu surprise of 5 courses for £39.95 ... that's what we plumped for. The maitre d' checked if there were any dishes we wouldn't want - which allowed me to blackball the goat's cheese option - v good practice in my book.

So what did we have? Well, didn't take any notes so all the following is from memory

pre-starter - artichoke cream, pomme veloute, cubes of pear (can't remember the preparation - poached?), and roasted pistachio oil in a shot glass. Very good start - each flavour clear and distinct yet supporting each other really well. Particularly liked the sweetness of the pear with the earthiness of the artichoke, and the pomme veloute was amazing. Things were looking promising.

starter no.1 - veloute (?) of trompette de mort with a lightly cooked egg yolk, smoked haddock cream and confit of baby leeks. Hmm, the least successful dish of the day for both of us. The fish sauce was good but possibly over dominant, and it was impressive see the yolk was only just set on the edges. But ... didn't get enough of a flavour coming through from the mushrooms, and overall - the dish didn't really click for us. It wasn't a bad dish - just didn't work for us.

starter no.2 - ballotine of duck foie gras with orange jelly with parkin bread. Best dish of the day for both of us. Great foie - and we both liked the lift that the orange glaze and jelly gave it. But the genius touch was the treacly spicy goodness of the bread - delicious by itself but amazing with the foie. More please!!

starter no.3 - salt cod, (baby?) squid rings, and merguez sausage. We were very pleased when this arrived since we'd both been eying it up on the menu! and it didn't disappoint. Salt cod was dense and meaty as it should be - without excessive saltiness. Squid was tender and sweet, and was a rather delicious mouthful with tiny cubes of merguez. Think there might have been a dab of celeriac sauce on the plate - but we weren't sure and didn't ask. All very very good again.

main course - breast of duck, salsify cooked in pineapple juice, puy lentils, buttered savoy cabbage and black olive sauce/paste. Still doing pretty well here. I might have preferred the meat slightly more pink - but a very very minor quibble. Salsify was delicious, and again the fruit provided a pleasing sweetness (seemed to be a theme to some of his other dishes?).

dessert - popcorn parfait with coconut ice cream, caramel and lime syrup sauces. A good rather than stunning dessert I would say. Ice cream was very good - light and milky. and the parfait was nice with a decent popcorn flavour. We wondered what made him choose this dessert rather any of the others ... maybe it's more unusual?

Coffee/ tea and p4s to follow. A couple of bottles of water and the bill came to under £110 with service. There were no other drinks because although we'd ordered some wine by the glass, it didn't arrive immediately so we thought maybe it was being brought with the later courses. By the time the duck came, we realised they'd forgotten, and by then, we couldn't be bothered. But this was the only hiccup in what was otherwise very smooth service. We were amused when he asked if we were in the trade - were we that disruptive?! :blink::D

Eventually waddled out the door after 3pm ... and felt that we'd had a good meal. So - the acid test - will we return? Yes, probably - once we've figured out if we can fit it in. We both reckoned on trying the lunch menu next time to see how Chef worked with different budget constraints ... so we shall see.

website is here

Cheers

Yin

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