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Posted on Wed 15 Dec 2021
Birmingham’s £700million Paradise development is the home of brand-new Bavarian ‘party palace’ Albert’s Schloss. But you probably already know that, given that it was one of the city’s most highly anticipated openings in 2021.
Named after Anglo-Bavarian royal and husband of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, the popular brand has been brought to the Midlands by award-winning hospitality group Mission Mars, following the success of Albert’s Schloss Manchester, which has been open since 2015.
Influenced by travels across Alpine Europe, the venue offers roaring fires, raucous performances, tankards of Europe’s finest beer and endless naughtiness. Sounds good, right?
Set across two floors and with three bars, its Cook Haus serves up a rich and indulgent Alpine-inspired menu. Star dishes include fondue (melted gruyère, emmental and fontina cheese, Franz and Friends white wine, kirsch, garlic slivers, haus pickles, sourdough and charlotte potatoes) and Schweinshaxe (crispy roasted pork knuckle seasoned with juniper, caraway, fennel and black pepper, served with rich gravy, red cabbage and apple sauce). Why my partner and I ordered neither of these dishes when we visited, I’m really not sure?! Next time.
Albert’s Schloss’s in-house bakery produces artisan bread, pretzels (try one, you won’t be disappointed!), pastries and puddings paired with fresh, daily roasted coffee.
Upstairs sits Ludwig’s Tavern, named after the controversial King Ludwig II, who ruled Bavaria from 1864 to ’86 and was affectionately known as the Fairytale King. The drinks menu features Bavarian Bier, Vermouths and Amaros and Alpine Schnapps, which are made fresh on-site every week in the distillery. The Tavern also boasts a shuffleboard table and ski lodge board games. There’s an outdoor terrace too, finished off with a restored Citroen Van bier bar.
It’s no secret that the Germans love a good party - and they do it oh so well! Albert’s Schloss has recruited 110 entertainers, musicians and dancers to provide seven days of showtime, filled to the brim with cabaret performances, immersive live entertainment, DJs, bands and plenty more.
Introduction over. On to the food. To start, we shared the ham & cheese ‘krokettes’ and the French onion soup served in a haus baked sourdough. The combination of bread, intense vegetable stock, Schwarzbier, roscoff parmesan cream, herb crumb, onion and melted gruyère made for the ultimate comfort food; the perfect way to warm up after braving Birmingham’s Baltic temperatures.
The same can be said for the croquettes. Crisp on the outside, creamy and soft on the inside, they too were wolfed down without hesitation.
We shared the aptly named Sausage Fest platter for our main course. The platter featured a Bratwurst, the delicious Kaiserwurst (a sausage filled with chunks of melted cheddar cheese!) and a chilli beef frankfurter, which boasted a nice kick and was a welcome variation on the more classic choices. Enough for two, they were served with a side of creamy German potato salad, sauerkraut and pickles (which helped to cut through the meat), haus mustard and a tasty Berliner curry sauce.
I have nothing but praise for the platter, but the showstopper here is the dessert - the Baked Alaska Flambé, to be precise. Again, best shared between two, the sharp orange parfait and blackberry compote, buttery shortbread, sweet vanilla ice cream and Italian meringue worked in harmony to create the most memorable dessert I’ve had in a long while. ‘Lit’ at the table with flaming Grand Marnier, every mouthful was pure joy, and I urge you to order it if you visit.
The Spiced Apple Strudel cocktail (Żubrówka Bison Grass vodka, Pedro Ximénez sherry, apple, lemon, cinnamon) and the Rhubarb & Raspberry Sour cocktail (Slingsby Rhubarb gin, Absolut Raspberri vodka, Aperol, lemon, aquafaba) were both fantastic, as were the trusty Espresso Martinis. So much so, in fact, that we had two of each during our visit, along with multiple steins of both Pilsner Urquell and one of our favourite weiss beers, Erdinger. We may well have sampled more of the cocktail menu too, but our memories are a little hazy. If we did, I think it’s safe to assume that they would’ve been thoroughly enjoyed!
Albert’s Schloss is outrageous, flamboyant and a lot of fun. Combine that with good, hearty food, even better drinks and engaging performances (dancing on the tables included) and you’ve got yourself a night to remember. Or to fail to remember if, like us, you indulge in one too many tipples - something which, at the ‘party palace’, is very easily done. Wunderbar!
Reviewed by Lauren Foster, December 2022.
Albert’s Schloss, Paradise Forum, One Chamberlain Sq, Birmingham, B3 3AX. Tel: 0121 314 8858
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