Review: The Vaults, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham

The other evening, on the way home from dinner I was walking past The Vaults, spotted the bright red door, and thought a little Martini to finish the night off would be a good plan.

Negroni & Martini - VaultsIt may have been this moment, in retrospect where it all went wrong, but wrong in a good way as I’ll explain. The Vaults has been open for a while, but it had been a long time since my last visit where we had spotted that some of the staff were good at making cocktails.

So, wandering down the stairs, into the vaulted rooms, and onto the bar on a Thursday evening I settled for one Martini. Now, I was expecting the place to be quiet, but there was a little crowd mingling around enjoying their evening.

The place has class, no doubt about it, but of late I’ve always heard that it has got a bit too popular for its own good and on a Friday/Saturday it’s a tad too busy.

Anyway, I digress, the drinks. The first Martini, came out overshaken, with a layer of ice crystals at the top, luckily the attentive Korro spotted me looking at the drink and offered me a replacement. I do like attentive service, and he even admitted that it probably had been overshaken. (That said, I did think I had asked for a stirred Martini, but I didn’t comment)


The evening continued in an array of drinks including Negronis, Aviations, a Martinez and some others. What was interesting for me, is that the place is trying hard on it’s cocktails, the menu has Classics, Contempary, Signature and a dedicated Martini section. Of course, don’t feel scared to order ‘off the menu’, they do say ‘you name it we can make it’. Pricewise, most fall in at £6.50, with a couple using premium spirits towards the £7-8 mark.

The fact that the service is good, the staff will really try to make the best drink they can (including asking comments on the drink, in the case of the Aviation as the bartender had never made one before. . .shows that the staff care about improving their skills). The quote of the evening was “I’ll keep making you an aviation until it’s perfect”, this had some consequences for my sobriety.

I’d certainly add this to a place to visit for a drink, and I hear that the restaurant does some good food too.

Atmosphere: 8/10
Staff: 9/10
Price: 8/10
Drinks: 8/10
Overall 8.25/10

Cocktail Menu: 2010 Booklet
Location: Newhall Place, Birmingham

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Note: I didn’t pay full price for the drinks that evening, some were on the house.


  1. Andy says:

    I visited the Vaults over Christmas, and although it was quite enjoyable, it’s definitely a place full of people full of their own self-importance. The place itself was lovely, the drinks were good – but due to far too many people in the bar area, and the silly vaulted sections being curtained off for ‘private use’ – the only place left to congregate was in the corridor. That, coupled with a friend getting ‘thrown out’ for breaking a picture frame (that was already broken when we arrived) left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth.

    I hope that was a one off, but it’s done enough to prevent me from heading there over the past few months.

  2. Neil says:


    I agree it’s too busy on some nights, and indeed the booths have now become an ‘exclusive’ feature. That said, on a weeknight it’s still well worth a visit.

  3. John says:

    Had dinner at the Vaults the other night. 3 courses for 2 people £30. Good food really fresh and perfectly cooked. Monthly menu means you can go back knowing its not going to be the same old same old. Choice of wine was good from the wine list and not over priced and the service was attentive without being in your face. Highlight of the evening was the pianist who started playing in the bar towards the end of our meal which rounded off the evening perfectly!


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