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Cure Leukaemia

Cure Leukaemia photo

Glynn Purnell, Birmingham’s Michelin starred chef has become a Patron of Cure Leukaemia, the local blood cancer charity based at the Queen Elizabeth (QE) Hospital. 

Talking about his history with the charity, Glynn said: “I have been supporting Cure Leukaemia for a number of years now. It’s a charity very close to my heart and it was important to me to work with a cause I had a personal connection with.

“Cure Leukaemia is one of Birmingham’s best kept secrets. The Centre for Clinical Haematology at the QE, where the charity is based, is a world renowned centre for research and treatment of blood cancers. Its work is genuinely saving lives and making a difference to thousands of leukaemia sufferers and their families throughout the region. Becoming a Patron means a lot to me and I’m already working closely with the Cure Leukaemia team to help their vital fundraising work.”

Cure Leukaemia raises money to fund research nurses and works with leading pharmaceutical companies to bring pioneering treatments to blood cancer patients – treatments that are not currently available through the National Health Service (NHS). Cure Leukaemia General Manager Jackie Kelly explains: “To date we have brought more than £17m worth of potentially life-saving drugs to local blood cancer patients through clinical trials. We have been able to do this by funding the critical research nurses needed to run these trials. These talented nurses really are at the heart of what we do – it is their expertise that enables us to bring these drugs to patients and save lives.”

According to Jackie, Glynn becoming a Patron of the charity will have a great impact on fundraising and further boost awareness of blood cancers. She continues: “We are delighted to welcome Glynn as our Patron – he has already helped the charity tremendously over the years and we’re really excited about what we can achieve together. He is of course renowned nationally and lending his name to our charity will really help us raise more awareness. Glynn is so enthusiastic and full of ideas of how he can support us further – it’s just fantastic to have him on board.”

Glynn’s first fundraising event as Patron is already in the diary. Glynn will host an exclusive evening of Michelin star quality food at Warwickshire County Cricket Club’s brand new Jaguar Club on 5th March 2012. Demonstrating his culinary skills in a live cooking event, Glynn will be joined by fellow Cure Leukaemia Patron Ashley Giles - Warwickshire’s Director of Cricket and former England spinner, Warwickshire Captain Jim Troughton and ably assisted by Warwickshire’s Head Chef Dave Hill. 

BBC WM’s Phil Upton will host the evening, which will include a question and answer session after each course, giving guests a chance to learn from Glynn’s expertise. 

Glynn added: “I’m really looking forward to this event – not least to be cooking with Ashley and Jim, which I’m sure will be an experience in itself! Perhaps if I teach them a thing or two about cooking, they might spare the time to help me improve my bowling!”

For more information and to book tickets for the Glynn Purnell Experience at Edgbaston, please contact Ruth Saunders on 0121 371 4367 or email info@cureleukaemia.co.uk.

To find out more about Cure Leukaemia and get involved in future fundraising initiatives, visit www.cureleukaemia.co.uk  

About Cure Leukaemia

Cure Leukaemia is helping to bring pioneering drug and transplant treatments to blood cancer patients in the Midlands. The charity part-finances the world class Centre for Clinical Haematology at University Hospital Birmingham, among other centres across the Midlands, to fund life-saving clinical trials to treat terminally ill leukaemia patients.  To date Cure Leukaemia has helped to treat more than 400 patients through securing £17m worth of revolutionary drugs and funding crucial research nurses to administer these trials.  

Without expert research nurses to ensure patients are constantly monitored and cared for, these trials cannot run. The aim of Cure Leukaemia is to raise money to fund more research nurses at centres across the Midlands. Only by funding more nurses in more hospitals, can more leukaemia patients get access to potentially life-saving treatment. If you’d like to help us raise money to save lives visit www.cureleukaemia.co.uk to learn how you or your business can get involved.

23 November 2011


Birmingham’s finest Michelin star chef, Glynn Purnell, has set a Movember challenge for his workforce by signing up teams to compete against each other. 

Glynn is leading the Purnell’s team and Chris Hoy, General Manager at his second business venture, is heading up Ginger’s Bar and The Asquith Restaurant team.

During the month of November, Movember gives men the opportunity to grow facial hair in wild styles, with the aim to raise money and more importantly the awareness for men’s health, highlighting male related illnesses such as prostate cancer.

Glynn said: “The challenge has been set, the Movember growth is in full swing. Team Purnell’s is definitely ahead in the facial hair stakes. 

“I work amongst a lot of testosterone in the kitchen and it is vital that we support such a worthy charity. This campaign causes a few funny looks as the weeks go on which creates a talking point amongst people. It is vital that we raise awareness of male related cancers such as prostate, and where better to start than in the workplace. 

“Movember is about defining the men from the boys - the men are at Purnell’s and the boys down at Ginger’s Bar and The Asquith Restaurant. On a serious note though, prostate cancer affected my family and it quickly made me realise that awareness and early detection is extremely important.”

To help further promote the campaign and raise money, Ginger’s Bar is selling a special cask ale called Moustache Beer, priced at £3.50, with 50p from every pint of this sale donated to Movember. 

Chris Hoy, General Manager and award winning mixologist has also created a specialist cocktail. Designed with a twist on the original Martinez, this pre Martini cocktail was originally invented by Jerry Thomas and served at the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco back in the early 1860’s. 

The Occidential Twist cocktail consists of Bols Genèver, Lillet Rouge, Lapsang Souchong Smoked Tea Syrup, Chocolate Bitters and Maraschino Liqueur and is priced at £7.50, with £1.50 being donated to the Movember fund.

To sponsor Glynn Purnell and his team visit http://mobro.co/ChefPurnell

About Movember?

November 1st is the start of a month of Movember across the UK and around the world. Men register at Movember.com with a clean-shaven face and for the rest of the month the men, known as Mo Bros, groom, trim and wax their way into developing fine moustachery. Women can also pledge their support by registering as Mo Sistas to support the men in their lives, raising funds by seeking sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts.

All men taking part in Movember pledge to become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November and through their actions and words raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health.

1 November 2011

The Asquith & Ginger's Bar open

One of the Midland’s finest Michelin star chefs, Glynn Purnell has fulfilled one of his many ambitions by opening his second business venture in Birmingham.

Ginger’s Bar and The Asquith Restaurant, which is located at 11 Newhall Street has been welcoming guests since opening in October. 

After The Asquith closed its doors at the beginning of 2011, Glynn promised to re-open his second restaurant with the original team, setting his sights on a project that would open as a joint venture. 

The massive 6,500ft site on Newhall Street, formerly occupied by Must dim sum bar and restaurant has been given a £150,000 refurbishment. The theme adapted from the Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire era injects a touch of elegance and flamboyance into Birmingham’s bar and restaurant scene. 

Glynn Purnell: “The concept of Ginger’s Bar complements The Asquith Restaurant perfectly. After identifying a gap in the marketplace, I explored opportunities within Colmore Business District and stumbled across this site. It was most definitely a momentous moment to finally see both ventures working alongside each other.

“The Asquith menu remains classically French, using the best produce and seasonal ingredients. The beauty of The Asquith is that if you choose to dine with us, you are not restricted to a set menu. Guests will be able to order a main course, or simply enjoy a dessert in the bar area if they wish.” 

The original team at The Asquith Restaurant remains. Head Chef Jason Eaves has worked closely with Glynn Purnell to create the classically French inspired menu for the 35 -40 cover restaurant, using the very best ingredients and locally sourced produce. Julie Tonsgaard continues as Restaurant Manager at The Asquith Restaurant.

Jason has trained alongside some of the UK’s best Michelin star chefs at restaurants which include Simpsons, Midsummer House and L’Autre Pied. Working with Glynn for many years has given him the confidence and knowledge to progress to head chef at The Asquith where he works tirelessly to create the gastronomic menu. Speciality dishes include the Ballotine of Quail Egg and Ox Cheek Rossini, which are firm favourites since the restaurant opened.  

Ginger’s Bar and The Asquith Restaurant is a welcome addition to Birmingham’s thriving business district and bar culture. Award winning mixologist Chris Hoy is at the helm, with the vision to create an atmospheric buzz throughout the venue. 

Chris originally from Sutton Coldfield has travelled extensively to perfect his art and boasts an impressive portfolio of accolades, which includes Chase Vodka’s National Bartender of the Year 2011.

Chris Hoy, General Manager: “Ginger’s Bar adopts the modern day “Design for Drinking” theory and is influenced by the golden age of the classic American cocktail bar. 

“We want people to enjoy the experience, offering a taste of Manhattan in Birmingham’s Square Mile.  Customers can relax in the heavily influenced 1930’s surroundings, while sipping on re-mastered timeless classic cocktails or more outlandish drinks, to include vodka based autumnal tipples or a lamb and mint flavoured Sunday roast in a glass.”

He adds: “As well as classic cocktails, we offer ‘forward thinking’ creations such as the ‘Smoked Bacon & Maple Old Fashioned’ pioneered by New York bartender Eben Freeman. We also champion innovative techniques such as ‘grilling’ for the ‘Scorched Lemon & Vanilla Margarita’ which I highly recommend.” 

Ginger’s Bar offers an extensive spirits list, a variety of local ciders, bohemian lagers and award winning cask ales. A fine wine list has been meticulously selected by Julie Tonsgaard, Restaurant Manager at The Asquith and Jean-Benoit Burloux, Maître D’ at Purnell’s. 

Glynn Purnell adds: “It is fantastic to have Chris involved to head up Ginger’s Bar, his experience and enthusiasm is mind blowing.  My faith in the original team at The Asquith has never been in doubt, so it is a pleasure to welcome back both Jason and Julie to create such an explosive formula, whilst working in partnership with Chris and his new bar team.”

7 October 2011

Exciting times at Purnell's

We are experiencing some seriously exciting times at Purnell’s restaurant. Everything is happening. So, where to start?

The Asquith Restaurant is finally re-opening after a short absence at Number 11 Newhall Street. We have been awaiting this with great anticipation. Julie Tonsgaard, a long term devoted member of staff at Purnell’s prior to becoming Restaurant Manageress at the Asquith, will finally hold the reins once again. Naturally she is very excited about the new project. Jason Eaves will be back in control of the kitchen and both cannot wait to get stuck in.

A new addition is General Manager Chris Hoy who will be in charge of “Ginger’s Bar” as well as overseeing the restaurant which is situated at the back of the establishment. This cocktail doctor or mixologist has the fine art of creating the upmost original cocktails ever seen or heard of. He is currently creating exclusive cocktails that are infused with bacon and a good old Bourbon and even a” Sunday roast cocktail” with lamb infused Rum…You will be astonished by all this I have no doubt.…just a couple more weeks to wait.

But of course, this is all about what is happening at Purnell’s. We have been chosen and nominated by LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) to become their flagship iconic restaurant in showcasing some of the finest Krug on the market within the Midlands. We have become the Ambassadors of Krug. How exciting! After numerous meetings with our soon to become “partnership”, I wanted to take the opportunity to implement Krug in all aspects possible on the wine list. We have the NV or the “Multi-Vintage wines” Krug Grande Cuvée (their proudest most difficult challenge Cuvée) by the glass, by the half and full bottle. We also have the 1990, 1995, 1996 and the 1998 Vintage Cuvée including their beautiful peppery Rosé and the excellent Clos du Mesnil Blanc de Blanc. I believe this is only the start.

I want everybody to know about this and shout it to the world as it is such a wonderful “heritage” and piece of Terroir in a glass. Their most proud Krug (the Grande Cuvée) all begins with fine elegant bubbles that gently tease your palate then to transform into a rather masculine, abundant funfair ride of Indian spices. The richness and complexity then transforms into a rich coating of creaminess on the palate due to the fully oaked fermentation and also the extended aging of the lees. Bitter almonds are present on the finish. It finishes very cleanly and lingers for eternity, should you allow it.

 This Champagne is from German origin would you believe. Joseph Johann Krug was the founder of this historical marvel in 1843 having started work for Jacquesson where he learnt everything about Champagne. Although partnering themselves with LVMH, the Krug family still holds the unique practice of their own wine making without a single interference. Henry Krug since 1962 still remains largely responsible for the wine making.

What to serve? Ah, good question…

For me, there is only one dish. The infamous poached egg yolk with smoked haddock milk foam, cornflakes and curry oil. The dish also has a croquette of smoked haddock on the side. I have had the pleasure of serving this dish for over 6 years now and it never fails to amaze me. It’s serious yet fun. Like life should be…Oh and of course, with a glass of Krug, no matter what life throws at you, you will get lost in the moment.

Pictures taken by Sonal Clare (pictured), my Assistant Manager, right hand man and Sommelier at Purnell’s Restaurant. 

Sonal was flown to Champagne and had the pleasure of meeting Olivier Krug (he possibly has the best job in the world in running the eponymous Champagne house) and visiting the Clos d’Ambonnay and Clos du Mesnil (pictured). As one might assume, Monsieur Clare had a fantastic time!  After going to Dom Perignon last year with a good friend of mine, I thought it would be a great opportunity for Sonal to experience this trip. After Krug in abundance, my assistant came back with a grin on his face, small eyes and a stomach still filled with bubbles…. 

Please take a look at our Purnell’s Tour that includes our wine flight below:

8 course – The Purnell’s Tour

Amuse Bouche

Poached egg yolk – smoked haddock milk foam – cornflakes – curry oil

Krug NV

Emotions of cheese & pineapple on sticks “Soixante-dix”

Macon Villages Quintaine

Guillemot-Michel 2009

Salad of Devonshire crab – apple & celeriac purée – smoked paprika honeycomb

Marsanne/Rousanne, Pemberton, Lillian, John Brocksopp 2008

Carpaccio of beef – red wine octopus – home corned beef – salt beef – sour cream -sweet & sour onions 

Pinot Noir, Martinborough, Ma Maison 2010

Monkfish Masala – Indian red lentils – pickled carrots – coconut – coriander

Gewürztraminer, Spätlese Trocken, Illmitz, Willi Opitz 2009

Breast of duck rolled in Liquorice charcoal – butternut squash terrine- tamarind

orange glazed squash

Coyam, Colchuagua Valley, Viñedos Emiliano 2004


Recioto, Le Viole Classico Superiore, 

Accordini Igino 2001

Burnt English custard egg surprise – Autumn fruits

Blenheim Orange Apple Cider, Simon Day, Hereford 2008

Coffee & Petit Fours included

17 September 2011

Purnell's in the top 50 best restaurant outside London

The Hit List UK - The Top 50 restaurants outside London

Square Meal has trawled the length and breadth of the land in search of Britain’s 50 top regional restaurants – and here is our pick, kicking off with the winner of our award for the best out-of-London eatery.

Prices are based on a two-course dinner (starter and main) for one, including half a bottle of
house wine, coffee, cover charge, service and vegetables. The aim is to give an indication of the amount you can expect to pay if you are choosing from the à la carte dinner menu.


2 July 2011

Reservations are taken up to 60 days in advance.

You can book online for Restaurant reservations of up to 6 people and Living Room reservations of up to 8 people. Please be aware that you will need to provide a card number for all bookings.

Reception is open for all bookings and enquiries on 0121 212 9799 option 1 from 10am to 6pm Tuesday to Friday and from 4pm to 6.30pm on Saturdays. A voicemail facility is available if your call cannot be answered or you are calling out of hours. Please note, if you leave a message on a Sunday or Monday, your call will be returned on Tuesday.