Syriana

We seem to be going a bit Jewellery Quarter mad lately. Virtually all of this year’s newout-in-brum-syriana-exterior venues have opened that side of the city. It’s fair to say though that not all of the JQ is as salubrious as the rest. Our latest foray there was to Syriana restaurant specialising in Syrian and Lebanese food. It’s in one of the most beautiful, if run-down, buildings in the city on Constitution Hill, just half a mile down from alternative gastro pubs The Church and The Lord Clifden, both of which are worth a trip if you’ve not already been.

Even if you don’t like the food, the building is worth a visit, shaped like New York’s well known Flatiron building but with considerably more Victorian pomp and beauty. Built in 1896 as works and offices for die sinkers H B Sale (who are still trading just a few hundred metres from this original building) the red brick and terracotta palace was erected as a memorial to Lord Roberts of Kandahar, Commander in Chief of the British Empire. It’s now Grade II listed, though I fear its glory won’t be with us forever as it has a long list of repairs required. More info on the building if you want it is available on Wikipedia here.

out-in-brum-syriana-interiorWe’d booked a table for six people but when we arrived we were given a table that barely seated four. Given that four of our six diners were built like rugby props, we asked to be moved to a larger table. At least it got us in to the “asking” mode, for we spent the evening asking multiple times for the food, the drinks, and the bill. After we were seated about an hour passed before any food arrived. In that time we’d been to the bar about four times as no table service was forthcoming for drinks. We were drinking “Beirut” pilsner, which was fine. The staff were friendly but largely unhelpful having no English at all, or being so rushed off their feet that they did’t have time to serve us.out-in-brum-syriana-starters

Eventually our starters arrived. We had Wara Enab (vine leaves stuffed with tomato, rice, parsley and mint), Muhammar (a dip of flame grilled red peppers, almonds, chillies, and garlic), deep fried Falafel. We also had a super smokey baba ganoush which tasted as smoky as a Laphroaig. I enjoyed all of the starters, despite the wait. Nothing was bad, nothing was exceptional, but at £4 a dish that’s not surprising.

Mains were less than mediocre. My grilled chicken was dry, and a dish of minced lamb with a cheese crust was greasy and unpleasant looking. It reminded me of one of those dishes Gordon Ramsey drags out of a freezer and loses his temper about at some awful US restaurant.out-in-brum-syriana-main

The Baklawa for dessert was nice, and very cheap, just £3.

Mains are about a tenner so with a couple of drinks, two courses and a main you can dine here for £25 a head. Had the service have been better, the experience overall may have been worth repeating, especially as there are other dishes on the menu that I’d like to try. So I propose you guys go try it and let us know how you get on before we return!

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Posted in Area: Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham Restaurant, birmingham restaurant review, Cuisine: Middle Eastern, Price: Average | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Pig & Tail

As we pointed out recently, the Jewellery Quarter seems to finally be finding its feet withOut In Brum - Pig & Tail - Exterior new and exciting venues opening all over it, and not just on St. Paul’s Square.  We’ve already given you a review of basement cocktail bar Downstairs, Thousand Trades, and Ana Rocha (read it here), and since then The Button Factory has opened (in the building previously occupied by Vertu bar) and we’ve tried the new offering from Pickled Piglet Chef Proprietor Mark and his wife Chrissy – The Pig & Tail.  They’ve converted the dilapidated George and Dragon in to a classy pub with relaxed food and service.Out In Brum - Pig & Tail - Interior

The interior is cozy with metals, woods, and leather offering somewhere to hunker down in the colder months with a beer, some food, and good friends.  There’s also a bright walled courtyard in which to sit to enjoy the sun with a beer and a bite to eat.  The old pub windows have been restored and from the street the Grade II listed building fits in with its Victorian neighbours.

When Mark and Chrissy’s first city centre venue, The Pickled Piglet, opened on Gas Street,Out In Brum - Pig & Tail - Small Plate 2 we were massive fans – in fact while we lived in the city centre it became somewhat of a weekly dinner jaunt for small plates and a pint. It opened just on the cusp of a hoard of openings. Literally dozens of new venues have opened while the Piglet has been finding its feet and a big base of loyal customers. It’s without surprise therefore that The Pig & Tail has opened already feeling professional and with it.

Despite us being difficult customers and ordering a couple of dozen small plates, the service was very friendly and competent. Our order probably wasn’t entirely balanced as Out In Brum - Pig & Tail - Small Plate 5we just said “we’ll have that section and that section of small plates”. It is possible to get a balanced meal here, but on an afternoon with friends and much beer, we went for meatier and higher carb options!

The glazed beef fillet medallions (£8) were so tender and tasty I could eat some right now. I loved the arancini (£4), golden breadcrumbed crispy balls of risotto with sweet peas and heady fresh mint, and they’d be a perfect snack with a pint. Slow cooked pork belly (£7) was gooey and mouthwatering, with a soy, honey, and mirin dressing, like a grown-up sweet and sour. Amongst many other dishes we also tried the cheeseburger (£6) (having about an eighth each), and it was really Out In Brum - Pig & Tail - Courtyardgreat, with succulent pork pattie and top class cheese. Reviewing that list has made me want a pint and a nibble! We finished by sharing a strawberry sorbet, clotted cream ice cream, and meringue pudding (£6), which was totally summery.

You can’t book a table here, you have to turn up and hope. However there are a lot of tables indoors, and if the weather is nice the beer garden is a lovely place to eat.

Definitely a Saturday afternoon watering hole if there ever was one, and perfect for an after work bite to eat too.

Out In Brum - Pig & Tail - Bar

Posted in Area: Jewellery Quarter, Cuisine: English, Cuisine: Tapas, Price: Average, restaurant review, Venue type: Bar, Venue type: Restaurant | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Butchers’ Social – Henley-in-Arden

Few places in Birmingham attracted such an immediate cult following as The Butchers’Out In Brum - Butchers Social Henley-in-Arden - Frontage Social in Harborne did. Within weeks of Chefs Jamie and Mike getting the keys to the closed Walter Smith’s butcher’s shop on the high street in April ’15, they managed to set up pallet made furniture and threw open the doors to the public to drink local ales and curated shorts and to eat fried chicken wings and beautifully presented brunches and dinners. By the time the summer came round, just a couple of months after opening, it was the norm that we couldn’t get a table at peak times! That’s testament to the food Jamie and Mike are capable of, and their deftness at dealing with customers. It was with great personal sadness that they closed the doors permanently on their Harborne pop-up on New Year’s day ’16.

Out In Brum - Butchers Social Henley-in-Arden - LoungeThat of course though wasn’t the end of the story… Chef Jamie Desogus remains at the
Harborne venue, and is undertaking an ambitious rebuild to open what will no doubt be a wonderful full service restaurant with bar in the autumn under the Harborne Kitchen name. Some of you will be familiar with that as the pair ran it as a pop-up in the city centre at the the Butchers in Harborne. We reviewed it here.

Chef Mike Bullard has taken the Butchers’ Social brand to chichi town Henley-in-Arden, which is becoming somewhat of a foodie haven on the outskirts of the Midlands conurbation. Trains run hourly from Snow Hill and take around 30 minutes to get there, Out In Brum - Butchers Social Henley-in-Arden - Barwith just a five minute walk the other end. The new Butchers’ Social is just next door to The Bluebell (review here) which we really like, and opposite Simpson’s former head chef Matt Cheal’s new restaurant, eponymously named Cheal’s of Henley.

The new Butchers’ Social (Mike has still stuck with that misplaced apostrophe) has opened in the venue formerly housing Matricardis. Mike has big plans for the interior, which has probably around 70 covers presently, and the large and attractive outdoor space. Though Mike only got the keys last Wednesday he’s already offering a Out In Brum - Butchers Social Henley-in-Arden - Mac and Cheesemenu. We went along at the end of brunch and at the start of dinner so ate off both menus.

The truffled mac and cheese (£6) was rich and creamy with a deep truffle flavour, and was served with parmesan crisps, onion granola, and basil leaves. The granola served to add a crunch to the soft pasta and sauce. I had the mackerel (£7) which was served with pickled radish and carrot and a hazelnut pesto. The fish tasted very fresh and was served as a dainty and pretty plate of food, with the pickles cutting through the flavour of the rich fish. We also had a half kilo of the salted Out In Brum - Butchers Social Henley-in-Arden - Mackerelcaramel chicken wings (£6), which were a firm favourite at the original Butchers’ Social. They were predictably great – sweet salty caramel sauce covered crisp and tender golden chicken with bits of salty bacon and sweet honeycomb. We had a couple of pints of Sam Adams lager and Whitstable Bay IPA with our lunch, Mike has a good selection of beer already and has big plans for the bar offering.

I suspect that The Butchers’ Social Henley-in-Arden will be as successful a venture as the Out In Brum - Butchers Social Henley-in-Arden - WingsHarborne restaurant. With it being only a fiver return on the train from the city centre, and with prices that are very wallet friendly, it’s certainly somewhere we shall be visiting.

Good luck to Mike and his team, we look forward to seeing what you do with the space over the coming months.

 

Out In Brum - Butchers Social Henley-in-Arden - Blackboard

Posted in Cuisine: Modern Mixed, Price: Cheap as Chips - Inexpensive, restaurant review, Venue type: Bar, Venue type: Pub, Venue type: Restaurant | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Wilderness (née Nomad)

Out In Brum - The Wilderness - The ShorelineAfter a legal spat about naming rights with a restaurant of the same name some three-thousand miles away, Chef Proprietor Alex Claridge’s Nomad Restaurant and his similarly named projects shut down, immediately reopening as The Wilderness. His restaurant hasn’t moved from its unobtrusive location on quirky Dudley Street, though the interior did get a bit of a refit including a coppice worth of trees and a ton of moss.

Alex and his Head Chef Brian Smith have worked on a number of projects together over recent years from no-price-tag pop-up crazy “no rules” events, gin tastings, breakfast for the Birmingham Breakfast Club including Out In Brum - The Wilderness - Scallopssome unexpected invertebrate ingredients, and more (including a pop-up where the oven stopped working and I had my dinner cooked on a pair of panini presses).

The Wilderness team have also just opened a pop-up on the ground floor of Selfridges Birmingham where you can go for some “tapas”, for a quick lunch, or for a cocktail – but that’s for another chapter.

By now I’m hoping you’re getting a feel that Alex is a little bit off-the-wall. In a good way. Out In Brum - The Wilderness - Forest and FieldYou won’t be surprised then that the food he and Brian produce is full of unusual ingrediants (e.g. embers, meadowsweet, melilot). It is however still fairly classic cookery, just with presentational twists. In the second incarnation of this permanent restaurant I think the team are now producing dishes with more finesse, and are presenting a more coherent menu. There’s a plan to increase the space in both the restaurant and the kitchen which could take it even further.

A few weeks ago we attended a birthday dinner there for a friend, and took the full tastingOut In Brum - The Wilderness - The Picnic 2009 menu (£50) with the drinks flight (for the uninitiated that’s a different drink with each course, £30). Chapter one, “The Shoreline – Evening to Dusk” included a first dish of pea, pickled onion, potato, mackerel, served like a rock on a shoreline complete with pink plastic-looking edible flotsam. This was followed by a juicy hand-dived Orkney scallop cooked and served in lightly bitter embers, with caviar. Chapter two “The Forest and the Field” comprised beautiful pink lamb, peppery nasturtium flowers and beans from the team’s allotment, and forest and sea herbs.

Chapter three, “The Picnic 2009”, included three courses. The first included a signature ingredient of wood ant, lemony tasting crunchy ants theatrically marching towards a creamy cheddar brûlée with many flowers, again from Out In Brum - The Wilderness - Oh Bollocks - a dropped 99their own allotment. Accompanying this course was Black Cow Vodka, made from cheese whey. We then moved on to a pre-dessert of “Jammy Dodgers” which were tasty suite and crunchy à la their namesakes. The final course – “Oh Bollocks” – was a “dropped” 99 ice cream, including a cone, flake, and gooey strawberry sauce.

This is a light-hearted playful place to eat, with interesting and competent cooking, and attentive fine service. It isn’t super formal, so if you’re after that then try one of the many other restaurants we now have offering it, it’s a place to come and smile as you dine at the tongue in cheek jokes from the chefs.

Personally, I’ve never got over THAT carrot…

Out In Brum - The Wilderness - Jammy Dodgers

Posted in Area: Central Shopping, Area: China Town, Area: City Centre, Area: The Bullring, Birmingham Restaurant, birmingham restaurant review, birmingham review, Cuisine: Modern Mixed, Price: Average, Price: Get your dad to pay - above average, restaurant review, Venue type: Restaurant | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rare Chance to See & Dine Upon ‘FLYING SCOTSMAN’ Whilst In Steam in Birmingham

‘FLYING SCOTSMAN’ TO TAKE CENTRE STAGE AT TYSELEY LOCOMOTIVE WORKS AS PART OF BIRMINGHAM HERITAGE WEEK

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Birmingham’s vibrant history and buzzing culture will be celebrated this September as Birmingham Heritage Week takes over the city again. This year the week will see the world’s most famous steam locomotive, ‘Flying Scotsman’ visit Tyseley Loco Works for the public to view.

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Following on from its mammoth overhaul and successful inaugural run, the locomotive is scheduled to be on display in Tyseley from Friday 16th through Sunday 18th September. The locomotive is on loan courtesy of the National Railway Museum.

4936_4965_4953_brw_v-950x525‘Flying Scotsman’ will join the Tyseley-based fleet of steam locomotives including ‘Clun Castle’, ‘Earl of Mount Edgcumbe’ and the stalwart of the ‘Shakespeare Express’, ‘Rood Ashton Hall’. The ‘Shakespeare Express’ is Birmingham’s own steam train service that operates on summer Sundays between Birmingham Snow Hill and Stratford-upon-Avon, now in its eighteenth year of continuous operation.

The Flying Scotsman visit is part of over 170 events taking place during Birmingham Heritage Week, with many of them free for the public to enjoy. Visitors will be able to explore venues that are rarely open to the public, enjoy interactive storytelling, take part in workshops and discover Birmingham’s hidden gems on guided tours.

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Highlights of the week include seeing what lies beneath Snow Hill station on a tour with Birmingham’s Hidden Spaces, an illustrated talk with Carl Chinn, a dark discovery of the streets of Digbeth with ‘Peaky Tours’ and learning how J.R.R. Tolkien was inspired by Sarehole Mill. A full list of events is online here.
For train lovers, not only will the public be able to see ‘Flying Scotsman’ in steam in all its glory, but there will be a limited number of tickets available to climb onto the footplate to view the driver and fireman’s controls, then walk through the tender corridor and into the passenger carriage coupled behind.

Many of the Tyseley collection of locomotives will be in steam and on display, giving shuttle rides, turntable demonstrations and the locomotive cavalcade. Trade & society stalls and refreshment stands will be available.

Full Details of the three day event, admission prices and instructions for the purchase of tickets can be found at VintageTrains.co.uk/FlyingScotsman
For full details about Birmingham Heritage Week please visit birminghamheritageweek.co.uk or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @BHeritageWeek

‘Flying Scotsman’ at Tyseley Event Details:
Full Details of the three day event, admission prices and instructions for the purchase of tickets can be found at VintageTrains.co.uk/FlyingScotsman
Flying Scotsman Footplate Tour and Tender-Walk Experience
Scotsman-Corridor-NoelH-2-1024x768-768x576Climb onto Flying Scotsman’s footplate and walk THROUGH the Tender! No it’s not a class in wizardry, but you will get the rare opportunity to walk (or rather crouch) through the corridor that connects Flying Scotsman’s footplate with the passenger carriages coupled behind. After a tour and explanation of the footplate, you will get to experience the unique corridor that was reserved by traincrew whilst swapping shifts on the move at over 100mph! You will not be moving, however the loco will be in steam so do not wear your Sunday best – you WILL get dirty!
Tickets to view ‘Flying Scotsman’ and the other steam locomotives based at Tyseley MUST be purchased in advance online; there will be NO tickets for purchase at the gate either in advance or on the day. There are only a limited number of tickets available, so please book now to avoid disappointment.

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Pullman Dining Experience:
To complete your experience, why not book a meal in our Pullman Dining Coaches? On Friday afternoon, we are offering an Afternoon Tea, Saturday an all-day breakfast and Sunday our Traditional 3-Course Sunday Roast.
Friday Afternoon Tea for Two – £35
For two people, includes Sandwiches, Quiche, Selection of Cream Pastries and Scones with lashings of Strawberry Jam & Devon Clotted Cream. Tea and Coffee is also included. There is a choice of two seating times, 2pm or 4pm.
Saturday All Day Breakfast – £10 per person
Includes a Full English Breakfast or Smokes Salmon & Scrambles Eggs, serviced with Toast, Croissants, Orange Juice, Tea and Coffee. Seating is throughout the day.
Sunday Roast Luncheon for Two – £45
For two people, includes a choice of starter, Traditional British Roast Beef with all the trimmings followed by desert, tea and coffee. There is a choice of two seating times, 12noon or 2pm.
Booking Details:
Details of the three day event, admission prices and instructions for the purchase of tickets can be found at VintageTrains.co.uk/FlyingScotsman
General Admission tickets to view ‘Flying Scotsman’ and the other steam locomotives based at Tyseley MUST be purchased in advance online; there will be NO tickets for purchase at the gate either in advance or on the day.
There are only a limited number of tickets available, so please book now to avoid disappointment.
General Admission Tickets are £15 per Adult.
General Admission for Accompanied Children is FREE. (Unaccompanied Children will be charged at the Adult rate)
Admission to the ‘Scotsman Footplate & Tender-Walk Experience’ is £10 per person (Adults & Children alike) and must also be booked in advance. Note: A valid General Admission ticket is also required.
Dining aboard the Pullman Carriages also requires advance purchase. For meal choices and pricing please see the VintageTrains.co.uk/FlyingScotsman website. Note: A valid General Admission ticket is also required.
All tickets are sold online via ticketsource.co.uk/vintagetrains . A per-ticket booking fee and credit card charges will apply.
Telephone Bookings can also be made through TicketSource on: 0333 666 3366. An additional booking fee of £1.50 per booking will apply.
Tickets must be shown and scanned prior to entry of Tyseley Loco Works. It is the purchasers’ responsibility to ensure they have a valid and scanable electronic or paper ticket. Failure to provide a valid ticket will result in admission being refused.
‘Flying Scotsman’ in on loan courtesy of the National Railway Museum

‘Flying Scotsman’ Fun Facts

  • Flying Scotsman’ refers to the steam locomotive; there is also a train service that operates to this day between London and Edinburgh called ‘The Flying Scotsman’.
  • The locomotive was built by the LNER (London & North Eastern Railway) in 1923, designed by Sir Nigel Gresley to operate on the East Coast Mainline.
  • The locomotive was a flagship for the LNER and represented the company at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1924 & 1925.
  • The locomotive was retired by British Railways in 1963 are covering 2.08 million miles
  • The locomotive is the worlds most travelled, having visited USA & Canada from 1969 to 1973 and Australia in 1988 & 1989.
  • The locomotive has been owned by many famous people in preservation, notably Alan Pegler, Sir William McAlpine and Pete Waterman.
  • In 2004, the National Railway Museum bought Flying Scotsman for £2.3 million. The appeal to keep No.4472 in Britain was supported by a £1.8 million grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the generosity of the public AND Sir Richard Branson.
  • The £4.2m restoration has also been undertaken with the help of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £275,000. The aim of the purchase has always been to operate Flying Scotsman as a working museum exhibit.
  • The locomotive returned to mainline running on 6th February 2016 after its most extensive overhaul since British Rail taking nearly 10 years to complete.
  • The locomotive enjoyed a very public inaugural run from London Kings Cross to York on 25thFebruary, 2016. The locomotive has drawn record crowds ever since.
  • Flying Scotsman is currently painted in late British Railways livery. It has also run in LNER ‘apple green’ and wartime ‘BR black’.
  • Flying Scotsman has visited Tyseley on many occasions in the past. Most notably 1969, 1992 & 2005.
  • After leaving Tyseley Locomotive Works, the loco will travel to the Severn Valley Railway and will be joined by new-build steam locomotive ‘Tornado’.
  • ‘Flying Scotsman’ is on loan courtesy of the National Railway Museum.
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Peel & Stone Bakery, Bar, and Kitchen – Harborne

Out In Brum - Peel and Stone Harborne - ExteriorAs Harborne locals we are still mourning the loss of The Butchers Social (their decision on the missing apostrophe, not mine). In the middle of the week, when work was grinding and the weekend stubbornly refused to make an appearance, it was a great stop for a pint and a quick dinner with friends. Thank goodness then that about 500 metres from my front door, the wonderful Peel & Stone bakery, including basement bar and kitchen, has quietly opened. The bakery is open Tuesday to Saturday all day until 11, and the bar and kitchen is open 5 till 11 with food till 9.  That’s subject to change of course and you can check out the details on their website here. It’s located on the roundabout by the leisure centre, just three minutes walk from the High Street, so no excuses for buying substandard goods from supermarkets.

Out In Brum - Peel and Stone Harborne - Breakfast and CakeFirst, let’s talk about the bakery. This is not your average high street bakery knocking out cupcakes and sausage rolls. It’s baked goods qua artisan craft. Everything is baked either on site, or at their larger kitchen in the arches on Water Street in the Jewellery Quarter. The selection of breads and other produce varies from day to day. With the warm smell of baked rye and wheat in the air, and racks of breads, pastries, and viennoiserie, on entry I had to mentally remind myself of a quote from Mrs. Gloop: “Augustus, please don’t eat your fingers!”. The croissants were a triumph of butter and folding, with fine crisp layers; the ‘slice of the week’ – their sweet pie special was a fudgy nutty indulgent delight; and their crunchy crusted sourdough perfect for a Sunday brunch. There are of course a load of other variations of breads should you rather have a rye, partial rye, white tin etc. I think we’ve established there that I like a carb more than your average man.

Now to the food and bar. It feels like it’s a secret at the moment. Of an evening you canOut In Brum - Peel and Stone Harborne - Basement Bar take the stairs towards the back of the shop down to the smallish seating area and bar in the basement. I’m told that when it gets crazy popular, and I have no doubt that once it’s properly discovered it will get very busy, they will take reservations for food. The menu is perfect for grabbing a quick cheap dinner after work, or for sharing something with friends. The lamb meatballs (an £8 bargain) are filling and tasty, and are served with a tangy tomato and mint sauce. The garlic bread, a whole 400g loaf hedghogged, is perfect beer food with friends. The kimchi grilled cheese sandwich packed a spicy cheese punch (£6.50). We also tried the strawberry, goats cheese, and avocado side salad (£3) and the burnt cauliflower side salad (£3).Out In Brum - Peel and Stone Harborne - Meatballs

The drinks selection is good. I’m not a big ale fan, especially as there’s a trend at the moment for everything to be made like Brewdog beers, far too hoppy. I was convinced to try the Cloudwater – though hoppy, there’s a wonderfully balancing sweetness (9%! £4 for 1/2pt – you don’t need many, hic!). There’s lots of other interesting beers too, plus wine, fizz, spirits, and soft drinks of course.

Peel & Stone are a small independent bakers, and if you haven’t used them before I’d urge you to seek them out. Their team are excited about this new venture, and that comes across in their attentive service and the product.

Time for another croissant I think… #carbatosed

Out In Brum - Peel and Stone Harborne - Salad

Posted in Area: Edgbaston, Area: Harborne, Birmingham Restaurant, birmingham review, Price: Cheap as Chips - Inexpensive, Venue type: Bar, Venue type: Cafe, Venue type: Gourmet Shop | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pride 2016

Out In Brum - Birmingham Pride 2016 Logo

Pride 2016 went off seemingly without a hitch, as it has done over the previous few years.

Happy people danced and made merry in the streets to a background of artists that any music festival, let alone gay pride event, would be proud of!  We heard from Lucy Spraggan, Venga Boys, Fleur East, and headliners Andy Bell of Erasure, and Lisa Stanfield – plus many many more.  It’s one of the UK’s largest Pride events and saw a record 75,000 spectators at the parade and tens of thousands more revellers attending the festival in the gay village.

We enjoyed cabaret from Willam Belli, Lola Lasagne, Miss Penny, Lady Imelda, Tanya Hyde, Son of a Tutu, Baga Chipz and all the other drag and cabaret artists that you’ve heard of.  As usual Sandra had us in non-politically-correct stitches, and stole the show.

Post the tragedy and terror of the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shootings, I’ve worried about the timing of publishing these happy and love-filled pictures.  I’ve decided though that it’s exactly because those awful things can still happen, that society built that murderer and the people who have vocally supported him after the shooting, that we need to continue celebrating our diversity and warmth publicly.  As I find it hard to be eloquent on such a difficult topic I refer you to a wonderful article in The Guardian by Alexis Petridis, here.

Many people had gone all out on the costume front, as you’ll see from the photos.  One or two are NSFW – you can’t say I didn’t warn you!

We had a great time, and hope you enjoy the photos, see you there next year?

 

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