Issue 133
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Picture a fête, but with gin as its theme—gin hoopla, gin-soaked food, even the pick & mix would be gin-based. Now imagine it taking place in the grand surrounds of the Municipal Bank. Introducing: A World of Gin's first event outside London. Lasting three beautiful days, it's kind of a biggie.
From Oz to Africa via Iceland and the U.S., when this team holds itself out as presenting a world of gin, they mean it. Try a drop that's been produced in Malawi since 1965—the only gin to come out of Africa for 40 years. Or head north for Shetland Reel, the most northerly distillery in the UK, and producer of Ocean Sent. Incepted when a distiller spotted a diver emerging from the sea clutching seaweed, the gin features the green stuff in all its native bladderwrack glory.
Be among a minute group of this great population to get access to a new menu designed by Andy Low'N'Slow. There'll be as much meat as you'd expect but there'll also be a rare insight into the hella good things Andy can do with salmon. First rubbing the fish with a combination of crushed juniper, salt and brown sugar, the salmon will be cured in Langley's No. 8 for four, beautiful, thirsty days. The end result will be served with a salad of heritage tomatoes. Phwoar.
Picture the scene: rows of gins, tonics and a veritable panoply of garnishes. You hold the power but how will you use it? For £5, select any gin, mixer and accoutrement, including spices, seeds, strawberry laces, berries and bark. Depending on the strength of your gin game, you could be picking a combo worth £19. We'll be plumping for Pedrino—the alcoholic, Champagne of tonics—which utilises sherry in ways we didn't know possible.
Never ones for the conventional when it comes to locale, A World of Gin has secured civic history in the form of Brum's Municipal Bank, at the good end of Broad Street. There'll be bars both large and small, as well as tasting stations manned by master distillers and brand owners, including the royal family of gin, Hayman's, who have kept their business in the bloodline, whilst making their London Dry since 1863. Imagine how good Christmas would be at their house.
With a turfed interior, the whole weekend will have something of a village fête feel. And while we're not convinced a tombola would end well for the event organisers, expect games like hoopla, with gin forming the subject of your hooping. There'll also be masterclasses, including how to make your own gin, plus plenty of competitions—with something a little bit special in the bank's vaults and prizes unsurprisingly including gin, distillery tours and drinks at the event itself. That's a lot of gin.
Choose from four sessions across the weekend. Starting at £15, tickets include entry, an arrival G&T, plus a one-in-five chance of winning something juniper-related.


From a self-built summer house measuring four metres squared in her mum's Moseley garden, Emma Hardicker has formed an enviable career on the official (entirely unofficial) ace-career-o-meter. An artist, designer and silk screen printer, now based in a floor-to-ceiling studio of beautiful in the Custard Factory, Emma's work has already found its way to the V&A, Liberty and the London Underground, as part of a design festival. So how about getting some affordable lovely on that expanse of off-white you've been meaning to fill for far too long? A smattering of Emma's original oil paintings, and limited editions which have now sold out (including Moseley - pictured), are available as reproduction Giclée prints. From £42, choose from The Chocolate Factory, Cannon Hill Park or a cityscape including 14 Brum landmarks. Or if you're in the market for something special, commission Emma to create an original piece. Catch her at the mac's contemporary craft market on Sunday 5 June from 11am until 5pm, where she'll have a new piece for the viewing.
Venue: Wagamama, 98 New Street, B2 4HS; website
Choice: Banana katsu (£4.95) Chooser: Lina, Waitress

You know that irritating faction of the population who claim not to be dessert people before vehemently recommending a pud? We walked into Wagamama's newest New Street edition convinced that a ramen or soba dish would come out on top in the You Choose stakes. We left in reverence to our waitress, Lina, who convinced us of the merits of sampling the banana katsu. Served hot in crispy panko breadcrumbs, it's the sprinkle of salt atop the caramel ice cream that makes this banana-based dish stand out. And for all you regular Wagamamarians, the team's New Street digs is one of but five across the UK which get to trial new dishes, pre-nationwide release. When we visited, the grilled duck donburi was the most popular of the test dishes, with the short rib ramen coming in an attractive second. Menu


As long as we're talking Michelin, Ben Tesh knows his stars. Having trained and developed his skills including in Denmark under Rene Redzepi (yes of Noma)—closer to home at Turners—and in a number of restaurants in London and Yorkshire, Tesh is offering six-courses at Urban's Church Street HQ. While Tesh is always driven by the best available produce on the day, expect dishes like the mackerel tartare, oyster emulsion and iced wood sorrel pictured, langoustines, green strawberries and elderflower, as well as crab satay. From 7pm on May 28, the tasting menu is £39.50 with an optional wine pairing for an additional £20. The pop-up kicks off a summer residency for Tesh. Email to secure a seat. More


The X-Men series has gone on for so long, it’s possible the next entry will be X-Men Take Manhattan. It’s been a patchy franchise, and while this entry doesn’t match its heights, it’s a respectable non-fumble of the property in an era when seemingly only Marvel can get its super-movies right. The rebooted team of McAvoy, Fassbender et al must this time face-off against an ancient mutant hailing from Ancient Egypt who plans to cause the catastrophe of the title. It’s at times overstuffed, introducing a brace of new characters, and a tad humourless, especially given the zip of a few previous instalments, but there’s a comfort factor to seeing this talented ensemble again, and it’s a hard film to dislike. Times & trailer
  • Get your roller disco on at Boxxed on May 28. From 8pm 'til very, very late, book a skate session and get entry to the venue all night. £10.50 (plus BF) right here
  • Three nights, six pubs, twelve talks by local researchers. Pint of Science is back from May 23 to 25. Tickets
  • Nozomi's got digs in Knightsbridge and now it can also call the JQ home. Here's what you need to know
  • Art, opera and vinyl collide at Stirchley Baths, this Saturday at 7.30pm. Entry to Advance With Feathers is £5 and includes a 7" containing the new sonic creation
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"Don't worry, I learned how to make plenty of drinks at bartending school." [reading off an old recipe list] "Gin and... tonic? Do they mix!?" - Moe, The Simpsons
WORDS: Katy Drohan, Andrew Lowry, Tom Cullen
IMAGES: Tom Bird (Municipal Bank), Amy Hugget (Ben Tesh)

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