When Birmingham, as England’s second biggest city, is in full flow – it’s busy. Really busy. Add in extra factors such as the German Frankfurt Market attraction and Christmas shoppers from the wider region and beyond, and you have a city that is bustling at the seams.
As great as this is, when you’re in the heart of it all, sometimes you just need an oasis to recharge the batteries before continuing with your day.
Such an oasis comes in the form of new Cafe Ezra which is on the ground floor of Birmingham’s latest 4* luxury hotel which is open to hotel residents and the public alike. http://hotel-latour.co.uk/coffee-shop/
I recently had the pleasure of being invited to brunch at Cafe Ezra where I experienced a refreshing new approach to casual cafe culture as well as an array of delicious food including plenty of options for vegetarians.
One of the philosophies of the cafe is that they endeavour to source and use local/Midlands produce where possible. As such, I was able to sample gorgeous bridge rolls filled with seasoned goat’s curd (from Shropshire’s Brock Hall Farm) with apricot & ginger chutney which was absolutely stunning and so refreshing to have a sandwich filling (especially a vegetarian one) that puts a new spin on tradition.
If wishing to add condiments, whether you have a veggie or a meat filled sandwich /snack, Cafe Ezra’s home-made ketchup made on-site from fresh tomatoes and bottled with handwritten labels, makes a perfect accompaniment.
Another theme that Cafe Ezra promote is the delight of sharing. Particularly, by way of their Grazing Platters. Whilst meat-eaters have the cured meats platter to choose from, vegetarians (and of course anyone wanting a meat-free option), can choose the enticing cheese based platter. It has a centrepiece of olive studded breadsticks, marinated artichokes, peppers, Queen Green Olives and home-made caramelised onion houmous. Dotted around these mini-mezes are cheeses, many of which are locally/Midlands sourced which include Cromwell Bishop and Cotswold Brie.
If sharing isn’t your thing, (once you see the cake selection you’ll agree), head over to the dessert counter where you can choose from a variety of goodies made by the cafe team and also via local suppliers Cherry Blossom Bakery. Ranging from traditional gateaux, to rich Bitter Chocolate Tart, to mini loaf tin cakes such as Lemon & Lime Drizzle, there is something to suit everyone’s sweet tooth. All of these are complemented by an extensive range of teas, coffees and artisan soft drinks.
Wanting to provide a different offering for the city, Alex from Cafe Ezra describes its concept to me: “We want the cafe to engage in simple pleasure and to provide a cottage industry feel for Birmingham. There are a lot of chain organisations in the city and not enough independent home-feeling eateries.” Alex continued: “We are trying to bring an informal feel and to bring something ‘new’ to the city. We want to offer an enjoyable social experience that makes you feel at home via a sharing-menu approach. We want to get people to talk about what they’re eating and to make time for lunch or afternoon tea.”
Bearing this in mind, Cafe Ezra is located only a minute’s walk from Moor Street station and only a few minute’s walk from New Street station making it an ideal place to relax with a coffee before catching the train for your onward journey. In addition, the cafe’s layout suits those that just want a tête-à-tête for two and the large tables with comfy cushioned poufs make it a perfect venue for meeting up with an entourage of friends to enjoy the grazing menu. With free Wi-Fi available, the cafe also provides an environment suitable for working lunches or for those just wanting to catch up with emails or social networking in a relaxed ambience.
Disclosure: This post was written following a kind invitation from Hotel La Tour to experience brunch at Cafe Ezra. I was not required to produce a positive review.