The Met Bar, Solihull

After a morning of intense Christmas shopping and a spot of ice skating, we were in need of a pit stop to regroup and dry off. The Met Bar had just been revamped, so we thought why the hell not?

The prosecco at £14.95 a bottle was tempting, but we feared bagging some inappropriate presents post lunch, so we enjoyed a glass of pinot grigio instead which hit the spot. The place was pretty busy with a nice buzz about it. Thankfully the cosy blue velour seating survived the revamp, so we nestled in. The menu was a comforting affair with lots of choice along with some interesting specials like pan fried hake with poached egg and parmesan mash. I tucked into grilled halloumi and shaved root vegetables with a chilli, mint and lime dressing to start. It looked gorgeous and tasted zingy, and while the portion seemed large I polished off the whole lively lot. Partner in crime (not literally) opted for aromatic duck with oriental vegetables, honey, ginger and soy. There was so much of the sauce that it was more of a soup, but tasted fantastic, so who cared?

Tasty thyme roasted chicken was served on top of a bubble and squeak that boasted satisfyingly crunchy edges – a great way to pack in a few of your five a day in our book. A delicious morel and white wine sauce topped off what was a really good dish. Slow roast belly pork with lemon, garlic and sage was moist and delicious although not so much of your five a day going on here, so we’d recommend ordering the buttered greens. It was served with a savoury bread pudding that we didn’t really understand. It sort of did the job of a Yorkshire pudding, but not as well. What was supposed to be a pit stop turned into a three-course lunch as the desserts winked in our direction. Chocolate mousse did what it said on the tin. Sweet and moreish served with a white chocolate gel and fresh raspberries. The star though was the steamed orange and poppy seed sponge with clementine syrup and mascarpone ice cream. The sponge was light and fluffy and really lovely next to the sharp fruit and sweet syrup. Clean plates all round. After our unexpected feast, we continued the shopping trip with renewed vigour and perhaps just one more whirl on the ice.

THE MET BAR 680-684 Warwick Road, Solihull B91 3DX. Tel: 0121 705 9495 www.themetbar.com