Despite Birmingham’s rapidly improving foodie credentials, Simpsons deservedly remains the touchstone for fine dining in the city. Set in a handsome listed building, with an airy conservatory-style dining room overlooking Greek-style landscaped gardens, it offers “clever modern food with real vision”, designed to showcase the considerable culinary talents of head chef Luke Tipping. A beautifully presented starter of scallop ravioli with vibrant watercress purée and caviar might precede an imaginative combo of turbot fillet and confit chicken thigh paired with curry cream, coriander and sweetcorn ravioli – all thoughtfully measured to create perfect balance. Elsewhere, a duo of Cornish lamb with French beans, artichokes, lovage and goats’ cheese shows technical finesse, but also allows immaculately sourced native ingredients to shine. A serious wine list adds gravitas to proceedings, although friendly staff will happily make well-judged recommendations – think Brummie charm with Michelin-starred polish.