Set in the redeveloped Eastgate area of Birmingham city centre, this ultra-modern hotel tries terribly hard to impress. Chef Alex Penhaligon has worked with Marcus Wareing, and it shows in a seasonal menu of classics with a twist; his use of locally sourced Midlands produce is laudable, though his dishes tend to play it safe. That said, silky textured leek and potato soup with a herby hit of chive crème fraîche and rich confit lamb belly with sweet minted peas are perfectly pleasant platefuls, delivered by charming staff. To conclude, retro desserts such as knickerbocker glory and the signature Jaffa Cake pudding with a melting chocolate and orange centre should raise a smile. An iPad wine list offers quirky choices alongside well-known bottles, while the adjoining Alvar Bar boasts original cocktails named after notable events in Brummie history.