Modern European·
Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of Purnell's

Silver Award

As one of the original stars of Birmingham’s resurgent foodie scene, local boy Glyn Purnell’s flagship restaurant knows exactly how to satisfy its customers by offering a series of light-hearted menus full of kooky but highly convincing ideas. The version entitled ‘Purnell’s journey’ might take you from ‘faux’ Black Canary potatoes with chorizo via monkfish masala with pickled carrots to white chocolate délice with Yorkshire rhubarb and meringue, while ’10 years in the making’ features the likes of ‘1,2,3,4,5... once I caught a fish alive!’ (tuna sashimi, Orkney scallop, black garlic, dashi, seaweed etc) or rump of Wiltshire lamb with smoked aubergine, capers and basil. Diners who fancy some fun can also book for ‘Brummie tapas’ in Purnell’s ‘living room’, where the line-up runs from carpaccio of Herefordshire beef with braised octopus, bresaola, crème fraîche and sweet ‘n’ sour onions to a dessert involving blood orange, white chocolate and dried viola flowers. Well-spaced tables and smart, neutral decor suit the business crowd as well as courting couples, while polished staff rarely fluff their lines. “A brilliant and unusual dining experience”, concludes one fan – and we concur.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Modern European
Fine dining, Fun
One Michelin star
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celebrations, Dates, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


Self-proclaimed ‘chic’ Purnell’s is one of Birmingham’s most well thought of restaurants. It’s headed up by chef Glynn Purnell, whose CV boasts time working with big-time names like Gordon Ramsay, Gary Rhodes, and Claude Bosi. You might recognise him, in fact, from his time on the Great British Menu – a competition that he won twice and then later returned to as a mentor.

His flagship solo venture, Purnell’s opened in 2007 and has somehow managed to maintain its allure over more than a decade. It’s firmly in the fine-dining camp, but that doesn’t mean it’s stuffy. The overall ethos of Purnell’s is innovation, a theme that Glynn weaves throughout his menus. While there is a tasting menu, there are also quick lunch and traditional a la carte billings too. This freedom allows diners to enjoy the team’s cookery in a style that suits them.

At one end the tasting menu is set around the £100 mark, while the lunch menu gives guests a much more affordable in, offering three courses for £55. As is customary with many of the UK’s best restaurants, the dishes change regularly at Purnell’s, but starters might include fish du jour with kohlrabi, mussels and parsley or butter roasted cauliflower with capers, raisins, and sesame. Come mains, think chicken with asparagus, morels, wild garlic and potatoes or beetroot cured salmon with salted beets and horseradish cream. Both sweets and cheese plates are on offer too, with cheeses chosen from select artisan farms and desserts made by the in-house pastry team.

The restaurant itself is found within a handsome redbrick corner building with large windows which flood the space with light. The main dining room can seat up to 45 guests while the private dining room is available for parties of up to 12 diners. For those looking for larger numbers, entire hire of the restaurant is an option.


Does the restaurant have a Michelin star?

Yes, it has one Michelin star.

Helpful? 0

Who owns the restaurant?

Glynn Purnell is the chef proprietor.

Helpful? 0

How do you book?

Dates are released up to 90 days in advance. You have to call to book, and the reception team will then let you know the availability.

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Purnell's is featured in


55 Cornwall Street, Birmingham, West Midlands, B3 2DH

0121 212 9799 0121 212 9799


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 12:00-13:30
Thu 12:00-13:30
Fri 12:00-13:30
Sat 12:00-13:30
Sun Closed
Mon Closed
Tue 19:00-21:00
Wed 19:00-21:00
Thu 19:00-21:00
Fri 18:30-21:00
Sat 18:30-21:00
Sun Closed


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4 Reviews 


22 February 2016  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
If you get the chance to eat here, don’t hesitate!
We had the Brummie tapas at Purnell’s on Saturday night, and had a really fun evening. The staff are all very friendly and helpful, the sommelier didn’t make his way to the Lounge where we were seated but the very able and sociable restaurant manager, Sonal recommended 3 wines to accompany and follow our meal that were fabulous (we started with champagne). The way that the tapas menu works is that people working in the kitchen get to come out and present each course, explain the dish and have a quick chat and then head back to the kitchen, which makes this a really interesting dining experience. My stand-out dishes were the Lime and potato croquettes with mayo, Monkfish tikka with coriander sauce and spicy lentil dhal and the 10/10/10 custard egg, but everything we ate was superb. I had informed the restaurant in advance that this was my sisters’ birthday meal, and pre-ordered a signed copy of Glynn Purnell’s “Cracking Yolks and Pig Tales”, which they presented along with a delicious pastry dessert and birthday message. Would love to come back but it’s a 5 hour round trip, but never say never……

Sarah L

20 September 2011  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Ate at Purnells for a friends 40th. We were a group of six. We were all thrilled with the service and the food. We had the 8 course tour with the degustation of wine and Krug supplement, and it was worth every penny. Even foods that I wouldn't normally eat, ie goats cheese was transformed into a melt in the mouth dish. The service was second to none and a signed menu had been left for the birthday girl as Glynn was at the Ludlow food festival. The waiters could not have been more charming. If there are foods you dont like they will substitute it with a different dish. I cannot reccomend this restaurant highly enough. You will not be dissappointed. I fully intend to return.

maria S

23 November 2009  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
My husband and I travelled 120 miles to visit this restaurant and it was worth every mile. The food was absolutely fantastic. we had the 8 course tour which I can strongly recommend. Every course was a delight and an adventure of flavour, textures and smells. The staff were absolutely brilliant and made it my best birthday ever. The front of house staff were amazing, professional, on the ball and very friendly. The chef is an absolute genius, we loved every course, he manages to combine ingredients in a way I have never experienced before, from the poached egg yolk with cornflakes, haddock foam and curry oil to the melt in your mouth chocolate mousse with mango sorbet every mouthful was amazing.

Katharine G

17 November 2008  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
This is my favourite restaurant ever. I love the layout, where you're intimate, but never too close to another table. We like to eat here on special occasions. The food is always well presented and it is unusual with its Brummie sense of humour and mix of ingredients, especially some of the amuse bouches. The homemade bread is delicious. The staff are excellent, knowlegeable and attentive. Decent wine list. I hope Glyn Purnell gets back his Michelin star. He thoroughly deserves it. Highly recommended.
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0121 212 9799 0121 212 9799

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