By Rickie I’m fortunate to live in my favourite UK city as I get to at least one (or several) of my Birmingham Favourites every week. Here’s what I’d do with 36 hours in the city.
It’s Friday evening and I’m starting it old-school with a visit to, famously, the oldest working cinema in the UK, The Electric. See an indie flick, preferably kicking back on one of the 2-seater sofas with ice cream or maybe coffee served in cups & saucers served at the seat.
On the way out, try a drink at The Victoria, my favourite pub for live music.
Every Saturday should start with breakfast at Brewsmiths. This two-year-old down to earth café with old school service is a solar system away from the pretentious coffee shops that are now creeping out of London and into our friendly city. Dave and his team, however, will greet you warmly and then you can relax/play Connect 4/work while they make your drinks and the best value breakfast in town. All locally sourced too including the legendary To Bizzy 2 Bake cakes. Plus it's home of the bottomless coffee cup, a revelation in this country!
So now you’re ready for a visit to church i.e. the library, currently in transition with the new one opening on 3rd September, not that I’m counting the days for the largest lending library in Europe to come back to us. Nearby is the immense Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery that I can easily spend half a day in but even half an hour takes you to another place, namely the splendour of the Edwardian Tea Room for a restful cup of something.
Saturday doesn’t get as crazy as other cities when it comes to shopping and it’s perfectly relaxing to stroll through any one of the bountiful shopping districts in the mid-afternoon maybe, grabbing lunch from Wrap Chic on route and then a drink at Hotel Le Tour’s Aalto Bar, where the Wilson Espresso was invented especially for this man.
To round-off Saturday, there is food, drinks & maybe live music (every night during International Jazz Blues Week June/July) at The Lord Clifden, tucked into the bit of the Jewellery Quarter that is still called Hockley.
Sunday starts with a walk into the Jewellery Quarter, where 40% of the UK’s jewellery is made, for breakfast at Urban Coffee Co. There are Benedicts or all sorts of other egg concoctions to set you up for the day and if you plan it right, your view will be the brand new Library of Birmingham, which looks like a giant wedding cake.
Energised? Good! Take a walking tour with Midlands Discovery Tours and enjoy the city while hearing stories of Birmingham’s characters and heritage. This way, you can fit in a Sunday lunch at Loves who open cook on Sundays once a month or on another Sunday afternoon tea with silver service splendour is served at (presently) the city’s only five star hotel Hyatt Regency.
To close the weekend, what’s better than a matinee film or theatre showing at the Crescent Theatre, just around the corner at the right end (i.e. just outside) of Brindleyplace.
Look out for other city dwellers sharing their 36 Hours in Brum with us but in the meantime, have a think, what would you fill your precious 36 hours with?