Marriott’s New Year Extravaganza Volume.2
We thought it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, we were wrong…
Yes, The Birmingham Marriott Hotel had invited us back to sample their New Year’s Eve menu – this was incredible news! We knew that this time we would need back up, and also it would be necessary to fast for 24 hours prior in preparation for the festive extravaganza that lay a mere 1760 yds up the road!
As soon as I step inside The Birmingham Marriott Hotel I feel Christmassy. I’m not sure what it is, perhaps it’s because for some reason the foyer reminds me of the hotel in Home Alone 2 – perhaps it was the Christmas trees outside? Anyway we were led to our table, which had been decked out in full celebratory regalia; feathers, hats, poppers - It looked and felt the part as we donned our hats and cheersed (is that a word?) each other - we were ready for the main event – well the starters anyway….
As per our previous visit, The Marriott chefs had prepared one of each dish on the menu! Last year this took a monumental effort – it was perhaps the greatest feat of consumption this century, so this time myself and Louise enlisted the help of Marcia. This was not a hard sell as we had regaled her with tales of last year’s epic feast.
The starters arrived… and luckily for us we all had an immediate favourite. We all invested heavily in our own.
My favourite was the chicken liver pate, luckily, Louise favoured the goats cheese and basil leaves.
Marcia was a big fan of the Red Lentil, Pumpkin Caraway and minted yoghurt soup and we all got involved with the potted shrimp & toast.
Each one was delightful and based on the quality of these, excitement had reached fever pitch for the mains.
An apple sorbet arrived to cleanse our palate – I went in easy, I knew what was to come…
And, just then, a sublime piece of pork belly appeared before me, with dauphine potatoes and kale. Crispy on top and tender in the middle the braised belly was delicious and I immediately felt like I had to guard this piece of pig from the others...
Luckily they had spotted the SEABASS! Perfectly grilled – meaty, yet juicy, it was served on a lovely bed of crab, chilli and coriander risotto. Slurp.
And now… a lovely rump of lamb was placed before us – rare as we liked it...
Luckily Marcia is a bit picky on the ol’ meat (we had chosen our dinner guest wisely!) so myself and Louise took the lion's share. It was, as per everything that had gone before, perfectly cooked, this was served with pearl barley and tender stem broccoli.
To be honest I usually steer clear of the vegetarian option – but the Herb and Potato Gnocchi with wild mushroom and Parmesan cream was a revelation - the gnocchi was perfect – I’d go as far to say the best I’ve ever tasted – and my fork kept returning to the plate to pick off a piece - from now on I will fry mine, as this had been.
Incredibly we still had room (barely) to squeeze in the desserts – it was a tough gig but someone had to do it. Luckily Marcia had helped us with the mains this time – she was about to help us a whole lot more!
Marcia fell in love with the traditional Treacle sponge with vanilla custard – I think it evoked childhood memories from the Black Country (at one point I thought she was going to get all sentimental on us – it was a bit like that scene at the end of Ratatouille). So we gave her a spoon and the whole bowl.
No hard shakes, we had a cheese board, a chocolate tart and a mulled pear with Lemongrass Panna Cotta to enjoy! Oh my!
This was the end to a perfect lunch. The chocolate tart was my favourite, rich but not sickly, the cheese board came in a close second.
Fit to explode with food and joy we were presented with some homemade petits fours, it would have been rude not to. I thought of the scene in Monty Python with the wafer thin mint, but luckily I did not suffer the same fate as Mr Creosote!
We left with a doggy bag of cheese and a chocolate tart – feeling especially festive we skipped back to Marketing Birmingham HQ. Actually that’s a lie we were utterly stuffed and it was more of a waddle.
Book your Birmingham Marriott Hotel package here – it comes very highly recommended. A fantastic overnight package is available, as well as the delicious food detailed above, it comes complete with entertainment, casino tables, midnight drinks and nibbles, oh and a bed! HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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