n.b. This post discusses an event that I was invited to and did not have to pay for. However, a blog post was not required and all opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links.
If you follow me on social media, then you’ll know that last Tuesday I was lucky enough, with my fiancé Nick and my brother David, to be invited to a preview night at The Canal House in Birmingham’s Gas Street Basin, which opens officially tonight. The pub and eatery, many years ago, used to be The James Brindley, but has stood empty ever since that closed. So it’s lovely to see such a lovely, large building being reused, especially since it is in such a great location, on the canalside, only a few minutes walk from the busy Broad Street and Brindley Place. The Canal House is owned by the New World Trading Company, a chain of pubs and bars specialising in cocktails, including The Botanist, located in Birmingham city centre.
The Canal House as we approached it from the canal.
To start the evening, we were treated to a short canal-boat cruise, where we got to sample a few of the beers on offer. Then, on arrival, we got to explore the newly restored building and sample some of the cocktails on offer, before being seated upstairs. We also got to try our pick of the full menu, as well as further drinks, and get a feel for the whole place, from the industrial downstairs bar, full of nods to the canal-side location’s heritage, to the light, beautiful, and quirky upstairs.
The downstairs bar had loads of cabinets full of canal curios. The outside*
was clad to look like an old warehouse and made mention of the local canal
The upstairs bar had huge windows and high ceilings, as well as wonderful,
over the top chandeliers. There was also a beautiful private dining room,
and a little balcony area with views over Gas Street Basin
The cocktails were definitely a showstopper, all served with different little twists and touches of theatricality. The Bygone Porn Star, my first choice, was accompanied by a shot of prosecco and was topped with half a passion fruit, caramelised by a blow torch. Others came in cocoa-frosted glasses with bourbon biscuits, or served in a flask full of smoke, ready to be poured over ice and dried orange. One cocktail, evocatively named Smoking Daisies, was brought to our table under a cloche filled with wood smoke before being revealed in a true moment of theatre!
A Bygone Porn Star cocktail, and the makings of some other tasty drinks
My brother’s video of the Smoking Daisies cocktail
For dinner I had a starter of whitebait, which were very tasty and much larger than the tiny tasteless things you usually get served, and a halloumi flatbread, which was very tasty, although I would have preferred less salad on the wrap (and maybe a touch more of the halloumi and sauce, because yum…), but all together it made a very tasty meal. Nick also had the halloumi wrap, and before that he had hummus with bread and crudités, whilst my brother David had olives followed by the lamb skewer, which was very theatrical-looking and apparently very tasty. I was a bit of a naughty blogger and completely forgot to take photos of our food, but thankfully my brother managed to get a quick snap of my his dessert (affogato with a shot of amaretto). I was too full to manage dessert, which is such a shame as they all looked delicious as they were carried past us from the kitchen.
David’s rather tasty affogato*, a very adult twist on the dessert
All round we were very impressed with our evening – the food was lovely, the drinks were fantastic and the staff were wonderfully friendly, not to mention very knowledgeable. I will certainly be going back there in the future!
I had to take advantage of some of the industrial touches inside for an arty photo*
Dress – Evans (several years old so no longer available)
Shoes – Simply Be (no longer available)
Bag – Amazon
*denotes a photo kindly taken by the lovely David Rose (yes, I know he’s my brother, but I’m still allowed to call him lovely sometimes).