Birmingham is such a big city, with many wonderful places to visit and fabulous things to experience. And so, deciding how I would choose to spend 36 hours was certainly a challenge. However, after some thought, here’s my guide to 36 hours in Birmingham.
Friday early evening...Great Hampton Street may not appear to be the obvious choice in which to embark upon 36 hours of adventure in Birmingham, yet you’d perhaps be surprised at the gems that it holds. My first stop would be The Lord Clifden for a nice relaxing drink, and perhaps a yummy hand-made burger (the Lamb and Mint is my personal favourite). If I were feeling particularly adventurous though, I would probably nip next door to Blue Nile Restaurant, to partake of a delicious Ethiopian meal, where their traditional flat bread becomes your knife and fork, and a mixed platter leaves a multitude of tantalising tastes for you to ponder.
With my belly full and the night still young, I would slip over the road for an evening of great value entertainment at one of Birmingham’s best kept secrets – Blue Orange Theatre. If you enjoy fabulous live theatre, and want great value for money, then this delightful little place (which, true to its name is both blue and orange inside) offers just that. At just £10 a ticket, it’s well worth a visit.
Saturday morning arrives with a healthy appetite, which I would personally quench with a visit to Brewsmiths Coffee & Tea, where you can enjoy good coffee, proper tea (not a bag in sight, unless you want a take out of one of their scrummy cakes) and anything from a hearty Full English through to fruit, granola and yogurt. With its cheerful decor and excellent soundtrack, it’s a great place to relax and build up energy for the day ahead.
Now it’s time to stretch your legs on a cultural tour. First up, there is the wonderful Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. Here, I would definitely spend some time gazing upon the glorious statue of Lucifer, a beautiful sight to behold, prior to exploring the latest exhibitions, stunning Pre-Raphaelite art and concluding with a sweeping global tour of history.
With that done, it’s time to take a stroll up onto Broad Street and tuck into a delicious lunch at Cafe Opus, before enjoying the latest exhibition at the glorious Ikon Gallery above. Despite wanting to walk off lunch, I’d be sure to ride in the singing lift, a surreal treat indeed.
As afternoon gives way to evening, I’d head out of the main buzz of the city in search of live entertainment with a side order of tasty food. For this, I would head south into Kings Heath and explore Kitchen Garden Cafe where they offer a variety of live entertainment, including music, storytelling and poetry, throughout the week. The ambiance is warm and welcoming and the food, a delightful conclusion to a busy weekend.
Photos: Blue Orange and Blue Nile courtesy Debra Jane. Coffee courtesy Brewsmiths. Ikon photo from Brum Faves archive