#McDeliveryDay – A tale in being cautious about hype.

McDonalds and UberEats have been shouting a lot about their partnership, even coining the 26th July Global #McDeliveryDay. A celebration of how you can order your MaccyD’s online via their McDelivery service.

There are now 150 locations across the UK where you can get your food delivered for £2.50, and you could even win some natty merchandise too on this special day too! From a cursory search, a lot of local and national press picked up the story, a few examples:

From this level of press, you’d expect it to be a national campaign across all 150 locations? I certainly did today, when I ordered lunch for Wifey and I.

The food finally arrived (after the delivery driver went to the wrong entrance and in lukewarm fashion). I was a little bit miffed there was no freebies included but ho hum, it’s a lottery and not everyone’s a winner. That’s when I went online to check the number of participating restaurants that were participating?



Yup, that’s right FIVE:

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For a population of 65 million, with more than 1200 restaurants and 150 that offer delivery, 5 were participating in the giveaway!

My day job involves lots of statistics so I thought I’d have a bash to see how this compares with some of the other countries featured in #McDeliveryDay

This is in comparison to:

UK unsurprisingly does the worst with 1.3m per store, whereas Amsterdam comes out best with 102,500 population per store.

The delivery radius is 1.5 miles so with a bit of old math (remember πr squared?), I worked that out to be roughly 35 sq miles of the UK covered by this global event, out of 94,060 sq miles out of our glorious isle (or 0.04% of the country covered).

That’s being a little bit unfair though, they only have 150 stores that deliver remember? But that’s still just 3.3% of the UK stores who could participate who did.

But maybe that’s still unfair,  these are dense urban areas so surely that’s weighted in these 5 stores favour? Going from the nomis website (2011 census) the population density of the five locations is:

  • London W2 – 48,372
  • London SE1 – 67,037
  • Basford, Nottingham NG7 – 58,012
  • Nottingham NG1 – 12,897
  • Leeds LS2 – 10,120

Now postcode area is probably disingenuous as some delivery areas will not cover the whole area but some will cover more.  It’s a fairly good guess and gives us about 200,000 people close enough to qualify for the free #McDeliveryDay swag.  Now 200,000 divided by 65 million is… 0.3%

Hmmmm….but again that’s unfair, there’s only 150 shops with delivery. So, I was sad enough to calculate the total population reach of these 150 stores (excluding commuters too, this is just residents) is 4.05 million. So out of the reachable population, that’s 5%.

This is just a bit of fun remember and I make no claims to any kind of accuracy. I just feel it’s a bit unfair for a ‘Global day of Celebration’, covered in the UK national press, to be only accessible to a small part of the population, and the number of locations kept hush hush until 24 hours before launch.

There’s been a bit of  a backlash on Twitter under the #McDeliveryDay hashtag feed, as the list of restaurants only went live yesterday (25th July). To be fair to McDonalds, they’ve also given some away on Facebook (15 or so by the picture they put up), who were outside the delivery areas.

Now, this is not meant to be sour grapes; just a bit of a tale to make sure you read everything fully before buying into the hype of two global brands, perhaps not expecting those to check beforehand.

Anyway, back soon with an actual food review. Toodles!






Haig Club Skybar – Lowland Whisky with a Sky High view

I do love The Cube  Architecturally, the building is stunning and it has a great mix of living, dining, drinking, spa treatments and even a bowling alley on the way apparently…

Its newest resident is Haig Club‘s new Bar, next to Marco Pierre White Steakhouse on level 25 of The Cube. I was invited to see the new bar, try the cocktails being whipped up by head bartender, Jack Spencer and sample some of their small plates!


If you haven’t heard of the brand, you’ll recognise their partners in the shape of David Beckham, who is even present at the bar in the shape of an autographed poster, and Simon Fuller of Spice Girls & Pop Idol fame.


The whole ethos of Haig Club is to bring it up to date and give whisky a modern, easy drinking feel. Their main product is the single grain Haig Club (obvs), in its distinctive squat cobalt blue and copper bottle, echoed in the bar design. Their more recent addition is Haig Clubman made in ex bourbon casks to be a much sweeter whisky.

The 25th floor gives some stunning views and there are some great landmarks to spot out of the corner of the building like the Peace Gardens and Beetham Tower. It looks even prettier at night (as Birmingham does!).


Whilst we did the usual blogger mingle and catching up with friends old and new, we tried a whisky and Coke, always refreshing combination, before taking our seats ready for a quick talk from Jack


Jack went over the difference between the Club and the Clubman giving us neat samples of both. I prefer the slightly more ‘robust’ of the two Club whilst the majority of the rest of the group went for the Clubman.

Both had been designed as easy ‘blending’ whiskys for cocktail making and pairing. They are what I’d call a neutral whisky so if you’re not a big whisky drinker, this may be worth you trying to start out.

All the cocktails for the evening were showcasing the Haig Clubman and Jack has created over 20 cocktails, using both Haig Club and Clubman to tempt your taste-buds if you want to vary away from the menu.


Our second cocktail (or first if you don’t count whisky and Coke as a cocktail) was Pears in Paradise, a combination of Haig Clubman, Pear Liqueur, Cloudy Apple Juice, Cinnamon and Lime with a slice of pear too! These reminded me of the pear drop sweets every grandparent seemed to carry in their pocket when I was growing up. It was a shade too sweet for my liking but still nice and refreshing.

Time for food!

Our first round of dishes was Smoked Duck & Sesame Skewers, rolled in HoneyChicken Satay SkewersBlack Pudding Bon Bons with homemade brown sauce and Patatas Bravas. All quite rich and powerful savoury and sweet flavours to punch with the Pears in Paradise.



The next beverage on the list was Clubman Apple Mule, Haig Clubman, Apple Juice, Ginger Beer and a slice of dried apple for those who worry about my fruit and veg intake. One of my faves of the night, a really nice refreshing summer cocktail with a spicy lilt to the end from the ginger beer.

The next round of food was Moules Mariniere (the first time I’ve seen it as a small plate) in a nice rich white wine & cream sauce. There was also some Aromatic King Prawns which lived up to their name, being huge and a nice spicy aroma. The Iberico Ham & Dijon Crocquettes were also huge with a reach, creamy, chive sauce wrapped around chunks of ham, topped off with a panko breadcrumb outer. The final dish of this round was their Chorizo & Black Pudding Sausage Rolls in puff pastry.  The sweetness and spice of the chorizo and black pudding combined well, though the puff pastry was a bit too ‘shrapnel heavy’ for me.


The next cocktail was a Ginger Julep, Haig Clubman, Ginger Liqueur, Mint and Lime. The sharpest out of the three and yet the sweetest at the same time, with the lime juice having fisticuffs against the spicy and sugary ginger liqueur, which made for an interesting sip.


Our final trio of dishes was their Scotch Eggs, soft boiled eggs rolled in Cumberland sausage meat and panko breadcrumbs, Chorizo Frito al Vino, chorizo glazed with sweet red wine, and more Patatas Bravas.

The Chorizo was my favourite dish of the evening and was also nosily appreciated by the whole table; the scotch egg was lovely too.

The final cocktail and treat was to watch Jack show off his skills with a Berry Beauty, Haig Clubman, Chambord, Grand Marinier, Sugar Syrup, Raspberries and Burnt Rosemary.  All poured in a glass pyramid.


I finished my fruity cocktail whilst looking at that beautiful view. If you fancy something a little bit different in a cocktail bar and those stunning views, you should check it out.

When: 06/07/2017

Where: Haig Club Bar,  Level 25, The Cube, Birmingham

Who: Haig Club Bar, The Cube

Disclaimer: For this visit, I was a guest of the wonderful team at Rewired PR and Haig Club Bar. This blog is my own personal opinion and strives to provide an independent view, promoting, enjoying and reviewing the range of exciting food and venues in and around Birmingham.

Colmore Food Festival 2017

It seems to be coming around quicker every year.

The Colmore Food Festival is one of the highlights of Wifey and I’s year. Bringing the cream of the Colmore BID‘s bars, restaurants and cafes in a showcase over a Friday and Saturday.

You can read previous years’ posts herehere and here.

My photography skills seem to have forgotten about anything but food and drink this year but it was a similar set up to last year, with the stage next to the Town Hall and a central seating area with the stalls looping around it.

Wifey and I went both days (of course!) and we tried a fairly decent selection, photos below:

Day 1


My first dish of the day (prior to Wifey’s arrival) was the Slow Cooked Ox Cheeks from Purnell’s Restaurant accompanied with watercress puree, pickled shallots and wasabi crumble.

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Chicken Katsu Curry, breaded chicken, mild katsu curry sauce and sticky rice from the lovely chaps at Chung Ying Central.

We tried both dishes from Nosh & Quaff , usually found on their starters list, The Rib Tips (a very popular dish for the festival), deep fried lumps of pork belly tossed in their house BBQ sauce, and their Buffalo Wings, Free-Range Cotswold Chicken Wings with a smoked butter and Habanero sauce.

After that much food, it was time for a beverage so we popped over to the cocktail maestro from Purnell’s Bistro, Gary Anderson (on what we learnt was our last time getting a cocktail from him, prior to his move to The Meat Shack as their new GM). We had a Strawberry Feels, Bombay Sapphire Gin, Elderflower, Lemon, Apple & Mint, and Pineapple & Sage Daiquiri, Bacardi Rum, Lime, Pineapple, Sage & Pink Peppercorn.

And that was the end of Day 1

Day 2

After a fun day in the radio studio (for Geeky Brummie, it’s worth a listen, I promise!), it was time for more food and booze!


First stop of the day was Opus  / Bar Opus Wifey had the Pork Belly with spiced cherries and I had a Parma Violet with gin, creme de violette, lemonade and parma crystals.


Next it was time for our now traditional Colmore Food Festival must-have from Jojolapa, the Momo’s (chicken dumplings).


My next stop was Gaucho and their Beef Empanada and (not pictured) Vacio (bavette) steak which came accompanied with Humita Saltena (creamed sweetcorn).


Then it was a return to Purnell’s Bistro, and another Strawberry Feels, Bombay Sapphire Gin, Elderflower, Lemon, Apple & Mint, the third variety of cocktail we had was their Summer Lovin with Grey Goose Vodka Peach, cranberry, Orange and Lime.


Wifey also popped to Purnell’s Restaurant, with the Ox Cheek swapped out for Beef Blade accompanied by watercress puree, pickled shallots and wasabi crumble.


There was also time for a bit of Dim Sum, from Chung Ying Central.


The final dish of the day was Black Forest Cake from The Bureau, and some Tom Collins from The Jekyll & Hyde (not pictured) we were pretty much done for the year. and with that, it’s on until waiting for 2018’s Food Festival!

When: 30/06/2017 – 01/07/2017

Where: Victoria Square, Birmingham City Centre

Who: Colmore Business DistrictPurnell’s Bistro / Ginger’s BarChung Ying CentralNosh & Quaff, OpusBar OpusJojolapaGauchoThe Bureau and The Jekyll & Hyde