Resorts World: Part 1

Resorts World was one of the most hotly anticipated openings of 2015 in the West Midlands. A flagship for the company, the first Resorts World in the UK promised an unrivalled shopping and leisure destination, just minutes away from the NEC and the newly appointed Genting Arena.

I’ll admit that I had never been and, in all honesty, it had never occurred to me to visit unless already going to an event at the NEC. I was invited to give it a try over Christmas and New Year but was at home with the family in Kent, so I was invited there last week to get a taste of 4 Resorts World venues: World Bar, Robata, Bottega and Sky Bar.

World Bar

The World Bar

As a craft beer lover, World Bar was an ideal destination for me. It had a casual vibe, airy décor with lots of natural wood, and a well-stocked bar with a good variety of beers from literally, all over the World. The floor to ceiling windows overlooked Pendigo Lake and Genting Arena, so a great location and view.

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When I arrived, I was greeted by Adin, General Manager, Bars & Leisure at Resorts World, who quickly proceeded to furnish me with a drink and matching snacks.

The menu at World Bar is inspired by street food and they can suggest a beer to accompany each dish. I got to sample rosemary and pecorino popcorn, nachos, beef croquettas, 3 varieties of pizza plus fries, each with a beer taster to match. The beef croquettas were my favourite. The dishes are quick and easy to grab and go, so ideal to enjoy before a gig at the Arena with a beer or two to start off the night.

One of my favourite things at World Bar was their tasting crate – a crate of 6 craft beer bottles  to share with friends. Presented in a wooden crate, you can choose any 6 bottles from the current selection to try out. Our crate featured Tzara – a 4.8% Koln style beer from Thornbridge (my favourite brewery) – alongside some more unusual options including a Belgian blonde ale, a Japanese rice beer and a porter aged in whisky casks to give it a completely unique flavour. Our bar man for the night explained to us how the flavour profile of each beer complimented each menu option so we could enjoy everything together.

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I was impressed by World Bar, in particular the knowledge and service provided by the staff, so I’m keen to go back and try it again soon. It’s my kind of place!

Bottega Prosecco Bar

Bottega

From World beers to Italian wine, the next venue on my whistle-stop tour is Bottega Prosecco Bar. A completely different feeling to World Bar, Bottega is gilded all over, with spectacular light fittings and bottles of Prosecco encrusted with sparkling jewels. Specialising in, of course, Prosecco, and also light bites.

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I was seated with my fellow diners at a large, long table in front of the bar and as we were poured a glass of Bottega Prosecco in a rather unusual tubular glass (not a flute as I would normally serve it) we were given a potted history of the drink from the manager. From its roots in southern Italy and Croatia to its astronomical rise to popularity in recent years, it was insightful and interesting.

We were served a sharing platter of Italian cheeses with walnut chutney and balsamic vinegar to accompany our bubbles. It was a great pairing and ideal for people who want to enjoy a more luxurious light bite.

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We also got to sample some sweet offerings, including strawberries macerated in Fragoletta liqueur and a vanilla pannacotta with a glass of grappa. I really enjoyed the Fragoletta with its perfumed fruitiness and the pannacotta was silky smooth and delicately flavoured. The grappa on the other hand was harder to stomach! It was extremely strong and potent, not something I would choose to drink myself, but nonetheless was enjoyable attempting to drink it without coughing!

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Again I found the staff at Bottega knowledgable, friendly and polite. Despite feeling at first like the place could have been quite snobby, the staff soon overcame that misconception and made us all feel very welcome. I’d be keen to see if that’s the same at every occasion.

In part 2, I’ll take you through the experience at Robata and, my favourite of the night, Sky Bar. Check back next week for the next post!

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I was an invited guest of Resorts World, all my food and drinks were complimentary, many thanks to the team at World Bar, Bottega and Resorts World. All opinions are my own and I was in no way obliged to provide a positive review. Professional photographs used with permission from Resorts World.

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