The regeneration of England’s second city is gathering speed with stylish restaurants, spas and shopping districts joining dazzling new architecture and lovely canalside cafes to generate a Saturday and Sunday to remember… Make certain you also check out Skip Hire Birmingham (Skips Birmingham) when you have any waste requirements or needs!
Live like a Local in Birmingham
In the past few years Birmingham has changed almost beyond recognition. New buildings just like the Cube and also the lace-clad wedding cake-lookalike Library of Birmingham (due to open September 2013) are adding glamour towards the skyline, sufficient reason for canalside bars and floating cafes around Brindleyplace adding a little bit of pretty towards the city, it is from stuck within the industrial past. The silver smartie-clad Bullring is still an iconic building offering great shopping and Selfridges (Upper Mall East; tel: 0800 123400), while the city’s fantastic dining scene has seen it mentioned within the New York Times among the top 20 places to see in the world. Add compared to that the upmarket Mailbox shopping centre (Wharfside Street; tel: 0121 632 1000) within the Royal Mail’s old sorting centre, additionally the Jewellery Quarter, which produces significantly more than 40% for the UK’s jewellery, plus numerous quirky arts delights, and you also’ve got plenty to help keep you busy during a lengthy weekend when you look at the city.
Shopping in Birmingham
The centre of Birmingham can be quite hectic, particularly at the weekend. Dodge the weekend shoppers and commence your trip by going to St Paul’s Square plus the Jewellery Quarter. This charming Victorian square is just 10 minutes’ walk from New Street it is calm personified, with a church at its centre and roads resulting in the many small shops getting back together the Jewellery Quarter. Stop for a glass or two during the quirky Rose Villa Tavern (172 Warstone Lane; tel: 0121 236 7910), with deer print wallpaper, stained glass windows and an old red phone box setting it besides the classic neighbourhood pub as well as fantastic burgers. Then head into the shopping district for many serious cash-splashing action.
The centre of Birmingham is dominated because of the voluptuously-shaped Bullring, with Selfridges at its centre (Upper Mall East; tel: 0800 123400) and New Street is packed with the greatest high street shops. For super upmarket shopping while the odd pop-up shop The Mailbox (61 Wharfside Street; tel: 0121 632 1000) has Hugo Boss and Harvey Nichols, although the best independent shopping is usually to be found at the Great Western Arcade (Off Colmore Row; tel: 0121 236 5417). Inside the old Victorian arcade there are patisseries, cafes, Parchment for fabulous stationery and Chouchoute Chocolaterie, the city’s best-known chocolatiers. At the conclusion of the arcade, The Bread Collection is the greatest bakery in Birmingham, with speciality breads including a romantic date, pecan and Mediterranean loaf.
Art & Culture in Birmingham
Culture-wise, the town’s Museum and Art Gallery (Chamberlain Square; tel: 0121 236 9885) is an actual draw, with all the largest number of Pre-Raphaelite paintings in Europe. Keep an eye out particularly when it comes to sketches by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the gallery’s genteel Edwardian tea room. If you want something more edgy, don’t miss the Ikon Gallery in Brindleyplace (1 Oozells Square; tel: 0121 248 0708). It hosts touring exhibitions, has a good tapas café and specialist arts bookshop, and also its lift contains an installation. And make certain to check out the city’s most unexpected treasures its canals. Head for Brindleyplace and walk along them to the Mailbox, past brightly painted barges, floating cafes and a Victorian tea room. Being close to the water is sufficient to cause you to forget you are in one of great britain’s major cities.
Pampering in Birmingham
The Spa in the Cube (196 Wharfside Street; tel: 0121 654 9400) won best newcomer of the year this current year, and it’s a well-deserved accolade. Step through its cheerful plum and lemon-toned café and down its relaxing stairs to find hanging cocoons when it comes to ultimate in relaxation, a pool, saunas and a salt room plus a Champagne nail bar. Spa days begin with £35, just including utilization of the facilities, and run up to £140 for an exfoliation and dry floatation treatment, massage and mani-pedi. If you love dearly your wine, drop into Loki (Great Western Arcade; tel: 0121 212 9440) for a bespoke wine-tasting session with exclusive wines from around the world. It’s a great way to while away a day.
Best Places to consume in Birmingham
Foodies are spoilt for choice and curry fans particularly. It really is worth making the trip to Aktar Islam’s curryhouse Lasan (3-4 Dakota Buildings; tel: 0121 212 3664) which won Gordon Ramsayis the F Word this year. Birmingham has won world-wide acclaim for the foodie scene, and celebrity chefs come in evidence all around the city, with Glyn Purnell’s Michelin-starred Purnells (55 Cornwall Street; tel: 0121 212 9799), and Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse (tel: 0121 634 3433) on the 25th floor for the Cube in the lead. Book early though, if you want to dine on a Friday or Saturday night his joint is booked as much as half a year in advance. In terms of drinking, the choice of cocktail bars overlooking the canals is only a little overwhelming. Try the Champagne bar at Malmaison Birmingham if you should be feeling flush, or you want something only a little different, Jekyll and Hyde (28 Steelhouse Lane; tel: 0121 236 0345) is a pub modelled on Alice in Wonderland with a specialist gin parlour upstairs where cocktails are served in watering cans, glass slippers and all manner of mad (hatter) receptacles.
At night, take in a few culture, Birmingham-style. Jools Holland owns The Jam House on St Paul’s Square, a well-known venue for live music, while The Electric Cinema (47 Station Street; tel: 0121 643 7879), a retro-style cinema with sofas from which you can text waiters to deliver your drinks throughout the film, was the very best range of Katy Perry last time she visited the town.
Cool Places to Stay in Birmingham
Dodge the major business hotels to see something much more unusual. Staying Cool Birmingham, along with the 1960s Rotunda building at the heart for the city, has studios and one and two-bedroom apartments, all with a 1960s/space age vibe. Hotel du Vin (Church Street; tel: 0121 200 0600) is the chicest boutique hotel option, found in the city’s former Victorian eye hospital with the original semi-open air courtyard in the centre (and a spa when you look at the old morgue downstairs). Bloc is a boutique budget option into the Jewelry Quarter designed to ape Japanese pod hotels.
Virgin trains operate from destinations all over the UK to Birmingham New Street, the city’s central station. If you’re arriving by plane, Birmingham Airport is 10 miles from the city centre.