In my quest to sample every brunch in Birmingham, I dragged Dave for a Sunday brunch at Marmalade. Based in the Rep, Marmalade is part of the Bitters N Twisted chain, offering bistro food, coffee and cocktails.
Marmalade is on the ground floor of the Rep theatre, next to the library. It’s just a few minutes walk from the city centre, but just far enough away that it’s not usually heaving (although right now, it has the German market right outside, so that’s not the case at the moment). With large windows, Marmalade is a great spot for watching the world go by, with plenty of bustle going on outside. Heavy curtains seperate the restaurant from the theatre, making it warm and intimate, but with the option to transform it to be an open, airy space.
Marmalade is very different to the rest of the Bitters N Twisted venues. It feels grown-up and chic, with literary quotes painted all over the walls and cosy leather booths. The theatre is given a nod too through some of the decor. Faux bookcases and sweeping curtains suggest a stage set, which is a nice touch, I think. Marmalade always feels relaxed to me. The staff are friendly and chatty, and the restaurant never seems to be too busy. The menu reflects the more grown up vibe, with cocktails inspired by whatever is on at the Rep.
Marmalade serves Union Coffee (and Teapigs tea!). Union is a small batch coffee company, who hand-roast. They stock a good range of syrups, and the coffee is always well made, with pretty foam in the top, if you like that sort of thing (I do!). Worth a mention is that during brunch, bottomless filter coffee is available for just £1.80 when you order a breakfast. Bargain.
Marmalade’s menu focuses on being ‘flexitarian’. This means they focus on creating high quality, tasty dishes be they meat, fish, vegetarian or vegan. I’ve reviewed their food before at a blogger event, which you can read about here. Dave and I have eaten brunch there too, which was very nice. Their brunch menu is well priced, with most dishes around £5 or £6. Last time we went, I ordered Eggs Royale, one of my favourite brunch dishes. The poached eggs were perfectly oozy, although I did find the hollandaise a little rich. It was delicious, but somewhat overpowering by the time I’d finished eating. Being in the Rep, they course offer a pre-theatre menu, as well a standard evening menu, offering a mix of creative and classic dishes. Also on offer is a Sunday lunch option, a sandwich menu, and a kids menu for the littles.
All in all, Marmalade is a great spot for some dinner before catching a show, a lazy weekend brunch, or a quick pitstop for coffee before heading to the shops.