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 a manicured garden edged with lavender bushes, it offers accomplished modern French dishes designed to showcase the considerable culinary talents of executive chef Luke Tipping. A beautifully presented starter of delicate scallop ravioli with vibrant watercress purée & caviar might set the scene for an imaginative combo of turbot fillet & confit chicken thigh paired with curry cream, coriander & sweetcorn ravioli – all thoughtfully measured to create perfect balance. Elsewhere, a duo of Cornish lamb with French beans, artichokes, lovage & 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 polish.