MY BIRMINGHAM: Robert Diaper, General Manager of the Three Church Road, Edgbaston

Set in the magnificent Georgian building of St George’s Place, Three Church Road restaurant and bistro is a contemporary local gem, full of quintessential English charm. Here Robert tells us why a move to Birmingham was the best decision he ever made.

How did your relationship with Birmingham begin?

I first arrived in Birmingham in 2011 after moving up from London working for Gordon Ramsay. I was worried at first that I would not find the same buzz as I did living and working in the capital but I soon felt that Birmingham had something special.

What was it about the city that caught your attention?

I was just amazed at the diversity in the city, and this is highlighted no clearer than in the food and drink on offer, from world-beating street food to the finest Michelin star restaurants.

What do you think makes Birmingham unique?

I feel that the people of Birmingham are always ready for something new, they really accept new and unique concepts, and Birmingham always feels like its moving forward.

What part of the city do you call home and why?

Although I live outside the city I must admit I feel completely at home in
Edgbaston, it has a real village feel to it with its tree-lined roads, incredible restaurants and green spaces.

What do you love most about Birmingham?

That’s easy…the people. Having worked in a city where people struggle to make eye contact, the people of Birmingham are by far the friendliest people I’ve ever met, true to their roots and proud of their city.

What frustrates you about it?

It’s got to be the traffic, with so many projects happening on the roads of
Birmingham, it certainly is short-term pain for a long-term gain.

What is it that makes you stay here?

Birmingham is such a fast-paced city with so much to offer, its growth is exciting, and I plan to be here to be a part of it.

How do you see the city growing culturally and socially?

With cultural areas such as the Symphony Hall, MAC Birmingham and Eastside Projects, there are so many reasons to visit the city. The city has been experiencing a bit of a renaissance with a number of exciting developments. The Commonwealth Games – that’s going to be a real game changer for the city.

What’s your favourite way to relax in the city?

Cold drinks, beer garden and good food. Simple but effective.

What’s your ambition for Birmingham?

To become the Food Capital of the country

What’s your favourite place to eat in the city?

I love El Borracho de Ora. They do great Spanish tapas.

What’s the best dish on the menu?

Conejo con tomate – Slow cooked Rabbit in garlic and tomato

What’s your favourite bar?

Bubble Lounge at Hotel du Vin. My first job when I moved to Birmingham was at HDV as Deputy GM. It’s a great place to get to know the city.

What’s your tipple of choice?

You can’t go wrong with an Old Fashioned.

In your time here, what has surprised you most about Birmingham?

The friendliness of the people, and the support we have received when opening our restaurant.

If you weren’t in Birmingham, where else would you be in the world?

It would have to Italy, great food and ingredients with a beautiful backdrop to match.
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