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I went to luxurious foodhall just outside Birmingham and it’s like a posher Marks and Spencer

“There’s a really nice garden centre thing round here,” my pal Nick told me as we smashed our Sunday roasts at the Green Man pub in Middleton. I don’t know Tamworth all that well, aside from the hours and hours I spent queuing for jackets potatoes at Spudman that time, and so I was open to ideas of places to go once my dolcelatte and fig roast had gone down.

A garden centre ‘thing’ sounded interesting. It wasn’t just expensive gardening gloves, bags of compost and bird feeders at Forage, he explained, so it’s not your standard garden centre. There’s a pub, a gift shop and a really big food hall to explore at the Coppice Lane venue. I didn’t need to hear any more, I was all in.




It was sensible going with a belly full of roast potatoes, I learnt, once I got in the door. Otherwise I’d be bankrupt.

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The hall is huge and beautifully laid out. Giant wicker baskets, which I anticipated would be filled with bread rolls, were spilling over with huge pink and white meringues, vanilla and raspberry ‘Eton mess’ from the bakery.

Eton mess meringues(Image: Kirsty Bosley)

Wicker picnic baskets were filled with Forage-brand confectionery, including pretty boxes filled with shining dark chocolate coated coffee beans and sophisticated white packages of milk praline truffles. It all felt very curated and special.

The sweeties don’t come cheap, of course. Flat boxes of nine chocolates are £9.99, while the bigger boxes of 12 are £12.50 and 16s are £15.99. Pricey, but as a little treat for a loved one, they look giftworthy!

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