Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Digbeth Arts Market Exhibtion 2017

Digbeth Arts Market launched their first ever exhibition on Nov 17th at the Zellig building in Digbeth and it showcased a stunning range of talent, art and design. Founder Kay Fisher curated the 30 artists on show including illustrators, portrait artists, interior designers, vintage card specialists and some tremendously gifted craft specialists. It runs until Saturday 16th December.
Photo by MnM Lamps
Above is the amazing MnM Lamps with some brilliant original designs and below is Famous When Dead's striking cheese lady.
Famous When Dead
The astonishing range of inventions by Mostly Curious Games was so impressive.
Rose Fraser's portraits had so much personality and character. This one is of Jimmy a Big Issue seller in Lancashire.
The Periscope King artist Amrit Singh created a special bespoke piece of art for the show which attracted bids from New York no less.
The range of vintage cards from the 1950s and more by Mrs Flower's Fabulous Card Company was glorious and sweet.
That Bloke Wilson is an illustration legend for good reason.
I am huge fan of ROOTS 0121 and her work. Prints to make your walls very cool indeed.
Koo Arts do an incredible range of decorated skulls and have an exciting exhibition lined up in London early next year.
Left Luggage do gorgeous furniture such as these wonderful pieces.

Here's a few highlights of the launch.

Digbeth Arts Market Twitter 

Words by Paul Clarke

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Independent Birmingham Festival 2017 Aston Hall

Independent Birmingham Festival Aston Hall
 What a blessing the Independent Birmingham Festival was on a rare sunny Sunday in September. We were so excited to go that we were amongst the first people there when the entrances opened at noon. This coming together of Birmingham's best independents is thrilling as you find so many new places to try and they quickly become your new favourite places to go, eat and drink.
We headed straight for the halloumi fries and they were a big hit. I'd recommend sharing a plate as they are very filling and you need to leave room for other goodies. Lovely texture.
The Indian Brewery Company were soon very busy for both their craft beers and tasty street food.
Indian Brewery Company
The sun was shining on Faculty Coffee and Sixteen Bakery. I love their coffee and cakes in the Piccadilly Arcade.
Faculty Coffee
 I could not resist the vegan snickers brownie and the raspberry and white chocolate blondie. Both amazing.
Sixteen Bakery 
 Next we headed to Buddha Belly and their exceptional curries and stir fries created by Sai Deethwa of Masterchef fame. I had the Thai chicken curry and it was one of the dishes of the day, everyone loved it.
Buddha Belly
 I think I'll try the marinated crispy chicken next, it looks lush.
 Bar Opus blew us away with their cocktails. I had the whisky smash and it puts you in the mood for some serious drinking. The whisky does not dominate the flavours with lemon juice, mint and angostura bitters combining beautifully.
Bar Opus
Clink Beer had quite a display going on. The craft beer wizards have a new bar opening in Harborne on Saturday 30th September called the Paper Duck
 The art of drinking.
Clink Beer
 An incredible range of flavours on offer including chocolate, passion fruit, grapefruit and guava.
 Wonderful Lebanese flavours were dished up the Middle Feast in their kebabs and mezze. Next time I catch them I'm going to try the triple mixed kebab with Lebanese chicken, harissa glazed lamb and halloumi.
The Middle Feast
 Independent Birmingham founder Joe Schuppler has a crazy obsession with G&T slushies created by 40 St Paul's in the Jewellery Quarter. I too now have a crazy obsession with these slushies! You must check out 40 St Pauls as they have over 120 gins to choose from and a flavour chart you can use to find your perfect drink.
 It was time a well-earned break to give the stomach a chance to make space for the next round of feasting.
Independent Birmingham Festival Aston Hall

Cocktail legend Rob Wood was delivering incredible drinks made from ingredients that we normally throw away such as apple cores and mint stalks. 
Rob Wood Smultronstalle
 I chatted to Rob about his forthcoming collaboration with meet maestro Andy's Low 'N' Slow. It will be unmissable and for one night only.
 Mint stalk mojito was one of the drinks of the day.
Mint Stalk Mojito Smultronstalle
 2nd Brew Pina Colada was super tasty and peppy.
Pina Colada Smultronstalle

The Two Cats team were happy to unveil their next project Salt & Earth which will popping up on selected evenings at the new Kanteen cafe in the Custard Factory. Looks a fab place. Seabass ceviche with sweet potato, corn, lime, red onion and chilli sounds gorgeous

Salt & Earth
 You can't beat a classic such as The Bureau's smoked pork hot dog and toppings such as beef chilli, applewood smoked cheese and habas fritas. Hot diggety dog!
It's my favourite restaurant El Borracho de Oro wowing everyone with pork, paprika and garlic burgers, juicy stews and delicious churros.
El Borracho De Oro
 They have just launched their Autumn menu. What would you try first?
El Boracho De Oro Instagram
 They also do fun nights such as learning to paint which looks a lot of fun judging by these wannabe Picassos.
El Boracho De Oro Instagram
It has been quite the year for the multi-award winning team at Loki and they go from strength to strength with plans just announced to open a third store in Edgbaston in October.
Loki Wine
Quality selection as always.
 I regret not having a fragola bellini. I'm a fool!

 Just one of the cool pooches supporting Brum's independents. Hope he got to try the amazing food.
 The Bournville Waffle Company surprised me! I'm not a big waffle fan normally. My family normally buys those awful soft ones from the supermarket which are so meh. 
Bournville Waffle Company
 These babies are as far from meh as you can get. The waffle has a nice crisp texture which is yum with the cream, strawberries and chocolate sauce.
Bournville Waffle Company
 Or how about some honeycomb, vanilla cheesecake and caramel sauce. Omdddddddddsssss.
Bournville Waffle Company
 You got to be tempted by at least 3 of these.
We next headed inside to the craft market upstairs and the Chocolate Quarter's goodies had brought all the boys and the girls in from the yard.
Chocolate Quarter
 See this sushi candy hiding at the back of the display. You must be able to sniff these things out if you want to considered a true gourmand.
Chocolate Quarter
 Mississippi for me please.
Chocolate Quarter
 JamVsCustard you rock man! Look how plump these doughnuts look. I had the raspberry pavlova and it was 10 out of 10 greatness.
Jam Vs Custard
 Sweet satisfaction.
Jam Vs Custard
 A blurry photo forgive me but you need to know that there are jaffa cake doughnuts around that you need to hunt down ASAP.
The fudge store went all out to impress with an incredible range of flavours.

 These doughnuts have been officiallly 'pimped'.
 I'm very proud of my free festival tote bag :) 

Cheers Joe and everyone involved in the festival. A fantastic day and one to remember with a beaming smile when you replay all the highlights.

You can sign up to Independent Birmingham card here and enjoy discounts all year round at these fantastic places.

Words and photos by Paul Clarke Twitter @lovenarzipan
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