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The Mag: Food: Eating Out: Haven is hot news; THE PLACE 2B, Sutton Coldfield.

Byline: BOB HAYWOOD

ASHLEY Blake is that elfin bloke who is a presenter on BBC Midlands Today. You know, the one with the irritating little handwave at the end of news bulletins.

Ashley also pops up on Watchdog and on the BBC Holiday Show.

But he has another persona -as the owner of a trendy restaurant, lounge and bar called (equally irritatingly) The Place 2B. What's wrong with 'The Place To Be', for goodness' sake? The restaurant -formerly Saints & Sinners -is on one of the busiest roads in the Midlands and getting in and out of the car park even in the middle of the day is a major achievement.

But inside it's a haven of peace and quiet.

In fact, so peaceful that on a recent Tuesday lunchtime my companion and I were the only ones there.

The sit-down menu was very inviting with such tempting offerings as stir-fried monkfish with noodles (pounds 16.50) and pan-fried duck breast marinated in orange and nutmeg (pounds 15.95).

But we were in a hurry so we sat down on the comfy sofas and I had a steak and mozzarella panini (pounds 5) while my pal went for the Cajun chicken and mayonnaise baguette (also pounds 5), helped down with large glasses of lemonade.

The service was brisk and friendly, the food tasty and the bill came to exactly pounds 14. Nice one, Ashley.

The Place 2B, Chester Road, Sutton Coldfield (0121 354 8228)
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Apr 11, 2004
Words:243
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