An Afternoon Picnic at The Balcony, Selfridges

Ever since I attended the opening party of The Balcony restaurant in Selfridges, Birmingham, last December, I have been itching to try out the Afternoon Picnic. The restaurant, part of the Searcy’s group, had shown guests their take on a traditional afternoon tea, but due to consumer copious amounts of food and scrummy cocktails on the night, I had not been able to sample any of the delights on offer. This was something I knew I had to put right.

So last Friday I took myself off the iconic Bullring Birmingham store with one of my favourite blogging ladies, the gorgeous Miss Emily Jayne, to sample the delights of an afternoon tea that promised to be a twist on the traditional. The Balcony’s afternoon Picnic certainly delivered on its promises.

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DSCN8197The Balcony offers a gorgeous modern fashion vibe for guests, with stylish table arrangements and a beautiful fashion mural which so suits the ethos of Selfridges as a modern, vibrant place to shop and dine. The dining experience began with a glass of Moet Champagne, the bubbles chilled and perfect for what was an exceptionally hot afternoon.

And then the tea was presented…on what is, quite possibly, the sweetest picnic table you will ever see. The benches were home to the sandwiches, which, in this case, were actually deep filled buns. There were three in total, Coronation Chicken, traditional cucumber with creme fraiche and smoked salmon. Each was flavoursome and delightful, with the Coronation Chicken my personal favourite – packed with flavour but not too spicy.

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DSCN8198With the buns finished it was time to turn to the cakes. This was also the perfect time for tea to be served. I opted for my usual English breakfast tea, which I love served very strong with just a dash of milk. Emily went for the fresh mint option which is very refreshing. We were both super impressed with the presentation – the fabulously rustic ironware teapots were so unusual and kept the tea piping hot. I enjoyed the tea so much I asked for a second pot, which was not a problem.

In terms of cakes/pastries, it has to be said that if you are a fan of macaroons, you are in for a treat. The thick chocolate inside the macaroons was rich and delicious. These were the best macaroons I have ever tasted, well worth the chocolate smears left all around my mouth. There was also a deliciously light lemon drizzle cake which was moist and had a real summery taste of citrus. And, of course, there were scones, with clotted cream and little pots of jam. I must admit I am not always a fan of jam served in the jar, but as this was part of a picnic, it fitted perfectly with the theme of the tea. The scones were large and so soft and fresh they crumbled when cut. They were so tasty they could’ve been eaten without any cream or jam, they were that good.

DSCN8204The whole picnic experience was a sheer delight from start to finish. The service was impeccable, and the staff professional; attentive, butnot to the point of being intrusive. The food was of a high standard and gelled well together as an afternoon tea. I loved this twist on the traditional and will certainly be paying another visit very soon.

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*With thanks to the staff of The Balcony, Birmingham and Alex Mansell of Waa agency for the review opportunity.


Selfridges Birmingham to welcome new ‘fashionably British’ brasserie ‘The Balcony’

The opening of a stylish new eaterie is always something to get excited about, and this Saturday (23rd November)  will see the launch of ‘The Balcony’ in Birmingham’s Iconic Selfridges. The Balcony is a new bar and brasserie that promises a gourmet treat in one of the 2nd cities most eye-catching locations.

The Balcony will be located on the fourth floor of Selfridges, and is making promises to be ‘fashionably British’, serving food and drinks with a playful twist in a stylish and contemporary environment to the fashionistas of Birmingham. The Balcony will be run by Searcys, the restaurant and bar operator famed for its Champagne Bars, St Pancras Grand Brasserie, and private members club at the top of the Gherkin.

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 The Brasserie will be open every day from 10am through to 10pm, visitors can expect traditional favourites such as fish and chips, as well as more unusual dishes including chorizo hash browns and chicken & waffles. The brasserie will also offer an extensive Champagne list, skinny cocktails, afternoon tea and quirky seasonal treats including plant pot cakes, edible flower cocktails, and brussel sprout tapas.(Can’t say I’m that sure about the last one if I’m being honest,but the flower cocktails sound divine!)

 

Vicki Cain, General Manager at Selfridges Birmingham, comments: “Searcys is very much synonymous with outstanding quality and service, so visitors can expect only the best from The Balcony. We’re very excited to open the restaurant’s doors and provide the city with a brand new dining experience.”

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I can’t wait to see what the latest gastronome delight has to offer the diners of Birmingham, and will be trying out some of the treats in early December, so keep your eyes open for a more full review then.