This summer sees the REP, Birmingham relaunching its Marmalade at the Rep bar and restaurant after an extensive refurbishment that includes a new outside terrace overlooking the newly created fountains of Centenary Square. It is the only food and drink offering on Centenary Square, so it is really well placed for those who want to soak up the atmosphere and indulge in a little people watching.
Marmalade team have been very working closely with local businesses and artisan suppliers to provide customers with an all new dining experience, that is firmly rooted in the local area. Suppliers local to Birmingham have been used wherever possible, especially those who source their products in a similar way. The menus are environmentally conscious with their local sourcing cutting down on food miles, plus there are vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options readily available. But those ethical principals haven’t been at the expense of taste: there’s plenty to choose from if you want to indulge including Chicken & Pork Jambonette, Glazed Baby Carrots & Gooseberry Jam; or maybe Sweet Potato Thai Curry, Mange Tout, Bok Choi, Shitake Mushrooms, Coconut Crisp & Fragrant Rice. If you are looking for great dessert options, there’s the Blueberry Frangipani with Vanilla Crème Fraiche; or Chocolate & Coffee Mousse with Chantilly Cream & Pecan Praline. My favourite dish was the unusual take on Apple Crumble with an oaty topping which was truly delicious.
One of the ways that Marmalade at the Rep is standing out from the pack is its supplier team ups. New partnerships include a working with local award-winning Purity Brewery in a symbiotic relationship, and together they have created a one-off cask ale for the Marmalade bar that has been flavoured with a jar of home-made marmalade. I was a bit dubious about how this would taste (my first time to try marmalade flavoured beer), but it was surprisingly good, with a subtle hint of marmalade, and the resulting beer is of a caliber with Purity’s other fine beers which include a number of IPAs. There’s a great collaboration too with local eco coffee provider, Iron & Fire, and global brand Martini, to bring some interesting twists to the drinks menu. I attended a preview event that meant that I got to try out some of the range of supplied produce and hear from the committed and dedicated suppliers who have a genuine enthusiasm for the work they do.
Marmalade have completely refurbished the interior and the new stylish decor at Marmalade sets the tone for diners. The new terrace which can hold up to 200 people, so it’s the perfect spot to grab an al fresco bite to eat with a long refreshing drink, maybe try out that special Purity ale.
Marmalade at the Rep is an independent business which is both owned and run by the Birmingham Repertory Theatre so its profits go towards the artistic and charitable aims of the theatre. It’s great to be able to eat and drink in style and support the arts while you do it.