Food, Restaurants

Peaky Blinder – Forest of Arden Hotel

Forest of Arden

The other week I got a slightly unusual invite. The Forest of Arden Hotel and Country Club, part of the chain of Marriott hotels, have launched a new beer, the Peaky Blinder. They sent me a lovely email, asking if I’d like to go along to try it, and have a spot of lunch in their Zest restaurant. Despite not being a beer drinker, I said yes.

Forest of Arden hotel

The hotel itself is beautiful, surrounded by acres of parkland, with two top level golf courses. David and I were working on a cosplay photo shoot just up the road the same day, so it seemed only sensible to head over to Zest and refuel. There may have been a lot of gawking at the beautiful grounds out of the car window as we drove up to the entrance. It really is beautiful.

Peaky Blinder Gold

Zest is right by the ninth green, with huge windows and doors opening to a really nice terrace. It was a little cold to sit out, so we contented ourselves with a table by the window and happily stared out at the rolling parkland and the golf course. Or we did, until someone thoughtfully put the Rugby on. That was it then.

We started with the beer. Neither of us are really beer drinkers, so I admit I did wonder what I’d make of it, but we were both pleasantly surprised. Peaky Blinder is a golden craft beer. It was light, crisp and very drinkable. The original version of this beer was much heavier, whereas this new beer is a more contemporary drink, and more flavoursome.

Sausage and Mash

After working up an appetite at the shoot, we were both in need of some comfort food. David opted for the Sausage and Mash, which I momentarily had terrible food envy over, as it looked and smelt delicious. I attempted to get him to share a blogger style review, asking him what it tasted of. “Sausages, and potatoes. And onion.” Right. Thanks for that, David. He did, however, give it his seal of approval, which considering he’s Northern (they take Sausages and Mash seriously up there) is no small feat. I stole a cheeky sample, and had to agree. Excellent quality sausages.


My food envy quickly vanished when I tucked into my Gnocchi, which was cooked in a spinach, Stilton and white wine sauce. It was beautiful. Rich and creamy, and with just enough kick from the blue cheese without being over-powering. The portion sizes were good too. One course was just right for lunch, and our busy morning, without feeling like I was going to roll out.


I’ve always said the best way to tell you’ve enjoyed a meal is a clean plate afterwards. Safe to say, we enjoyed ours!

Contentedly full of good food and a beer, we went for a little explore of the grounds.

Forest of Arden

David was very impressed by the two golf courses (he knows about these things, but I confess, it was a little lost on me), and had a bit of a browse in the club shop, while I was more impressed with the beautiful grounds and beds of flowers. It really is a gorgeous setting here.

I even managed to persuade David to take a quick outfit shot for me. Isn’t he good?

Cardigan – Primark. Dress – H&M. Bag – Red Herring. Shoes – Marks & Spencer

All in all, we had a thoroughly good time. Zest’s staff are friendly and attentive without hovering over you the entire time, and you can’t beat that location. Good food, good drinks, good restaurant. I’d definitely recommend it, and Peaky Blinder, even if you’re a beer novice like me.

Disclosure: Marriott Hotels invited me down for a complimentary lunch and a pint of Peaky Blinder for two. All opinions are honest and entirely my own (and David’s). 


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30-something lifestyle blogger in Birmingham. Restaurants, nightlife, travel, child-free lifestyle. Caffeine fuelled, pet mum, secret geek. She/her.
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