74 Vivian Road, Birmingham, B17 0DJ
Just tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Harborne High Street, New Inn pub in Harborne is one of Birmingham’s hidden gems. Pulling up outside I felt a heart warming ‘ahhhhh’ as I saw the cosy beer garden and traditional building; safe to say I was keen to head inside.
Greeted straight away by the large wooden bar area, the first thing that struck me was the space. Still retaining a traditional feel, New Inn is fairly open plan with ample seating and room between tables. Despite the cosy feel, New Inn isn’t without its quirks, kitsch wallpaper and kooky artefacts give this pub some edge without being garish.
Making the most of a touch of sunshine, we opted for an outside table. With a patio area complete with chunky wooden tables and chairs, this large outdoor space also has a raised garden area. For those who love nothing more than a picnic you can take a pew on the picnic tables or even grab yourself a blanket and get cosy on the lawn. Sitting on a fairly quiet street, the beer garden was a nice retreat from the busy High Street.
The Food and Drink
Whilst being designated driver prohibited me from dabbling in any cocktails, there was ample choice of quality soft drinks. I couldn’t resist having a peek at the selection of spirits behind the bar and the drinks menu made me think I would probably brave public transport on another visit. Being somewhat of a gin lover the 'Jubilation' cocktail was particularly tempting. I’m no ale drinker but serving a selection of different special ales, it was obvious that New Inn know a thing or two about hops.
When it came to the food, we were spoilt for choice, coming to the conclusion that sharing is most definitely caring. Opting for lamb with a mustard, cashew crust served with mash and a red onion gravy and a cod loin wrapped in parma ham with crushed potatoes and olive tapenade; we uncovered how both were exceptional, cooked beautifully and packed full of flavour.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
Visiting on a Thursday afternoon, it wasn’t too busy but there was still a healthy dose of atmosphere. The crowd was a real mixed bunch from families and businessmen to young and trendy to ladies that lunch (us included of course); you name it, everyone is clearly welcome here! The staff were super attentive and chatty which further added to the friendly and laid back charm, which is always nice when you’re out for dinner. If this was the feel on a Thursday afternoon, I would be keen to head back of an evening or weekend to see how New Inn livens up, with their Tuesday Wings night set to be a real seller.
Having previously visited four out of the six Bitters ‘n’ Twisted venues in Birmingham, I had fairly high expectations of New Inn and I was not disappointed. Striking the balance between a homely pub and a quirky kitsch venture, New Inn is well worth a trip out of the city centre to try something a little different in Birmingham.