By Colleen Campbell I’ve lived in Birmingham all my life – bar a few years when I was studying in London - and love all that the city has to offer; it has some of the best shops and restaurants and is renowned for its great heritage, so here’s what I would do with 36 hours in the city. I’m a Registered Nutritionist and Personal Image Stylist, so most of my time would be spent shopping for fashion and eating good food!
I live about 20 minutes from the city centre, but have always liked the idea of living in a swanky contemporary city centre apartment, so I would rent a short stay Staying Cool apartment for the weekend in the uber-cool Rotunda.
On Friday, once I’d got my glad-rags on, the gals and I would go to the prestigious Mailbox, which houses a great selection of high end shops like Harvey Nichols and restaurants offering a variety of cuisine. I’d line my stomach with a glass of champagne from the chic Bar Epernay before taking a few steps next door to the Italian restaurant, Zizzi’s. With our bellies full we’d make our way to the Champagne Bar situated on the 25th floor of the imposing Cube building and enjoy stunning 360 degree views of the city.
It’s Saturday morning, so it’s time for a good breakfast at the Boston Tea Party café, which has a really relaxed feel about the place. The pancakes are delicious!
Right…….now it’s time for some shopping. It’s got to be the iconic Bullring – Top Shop, Zara, and Selfridges, here I come! After all that shopping I’m feeling peckish so it’s a trip to Browns’ for a late lunch; I order the tasty duck salad. This is also a great time for a photo opportunity outside the beautiful St Martins church. After lunch I take a 10 minute stroll to the Custard Factory to browse all the new indie boutiques.
I take my bags back to the apartment and get ready for dinner at Thai restaurant, The Thai Edge in Brindley Place - arguably the best Thai restaurant in Birmingham - before we cop a squat by the BrindleyPlace canal-side to do some people watching.
After Sunday breakfast, we head off to the recently refurbished Leisure Box to do some ice skating (or you could have a go at bowling if you value your limbs too much). It costs £9 to go skating, £7 if you have your own skates which I do. All that skating has got me ready for Sunday lunch, so off I trot to the brasserie-style Aalto restaurant in Hotel LA Tour.
I’d close the weekend with a pamper session – massage and facial – at the intimate and aptly named spa At One Day Spa. I was really surprised and pleased to hear that they were open on a Sunday; Sunday is my usual day of relaxation and this is the perfect little place to unwind after a busy weekend and in preparation for a busy week ahead.