At the end of July, the new Mailbox finally opened its doors including the arrival of the newly revamped Harvey Nichols. As well as a fancy new store, HN comprises of a fantastic bar and restaurant. Part of the brief given to Virgile + Partners, the design company that won the job of reimagining the interior, was to create an environment that would have something of the ambience of a five-star hotel and offer customers retail luxury as well as fine-dining. At the bottom of a stunning spiral staircase, you’ll find Harvey Nichols’ restaurant and bar.
I visited the restaurant on a Saturday evening and I was happy to write off one of my first concerns; you don’t feel like you’re dining in a clothes shop. However, it was surprisingly quiet for a Saturday evening. ‘Dead’ in fact and hence, there was little to no atmosphere. The bar however was far more lively with a DJ playing mellow tunes – if looking for a classy, intimate venue for drinks, look no further.
The restaurant has a seasonal menu and was originally curated by the Michelin star Chef, Glynn Purnell. The all day dining menu is on the expensive side; expect to order side dishes with mains. For vegetarians you’ll currently find classics such as the Roasted Butternut squash Risotto and the Wild Mushroom Pappardelle, which are far more reasonably priced. We opted for the Hampshire Pork Belly, which was exquisite might I add, and the Beef burger, chorizo jam, Applewood cheese and homemade slaw. The food was to die for, the ambience not so much. But perhaps this was a one-off.
Harvey Nichols, The Mailbox, 65 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RE – Tel: +44 (0)121 616 6028