Beth's 36 Hours in Birmingham

I'm fairly new to Birmingham - I've only been here 5 years and seem to have spent most of that hiding in the Great Western Arcade trying to get At One Day Spa up and running!  So in my 36 hours I would like to explore.  I'm not interested in shopping (unusual for a girlie I know) and my budget is low so exploring sounds like a good way to go.  I've got my daughter, Daisy (2), and partner, Stuart, with me - it's a rare treat for us to get 36 hours together!

First of all we would start with a nice relaxing hot chocolate and butterscotch pecan cookie from the fabulous Six Eight Kafe in Temple Row and a chat with the manager, Hannah.  OK, so not the healthiest breakfast, but it's my 36 hours of indulgence.

Then we are heading off in the direction of the ThinkTank at the Birmingham Science Park.  I've been wanting to go here for ages but never seem to get round to it.  Daisy's now old enough to enjoy the interactive exhibits so I'm expecting a couple of hours of her running round like a loon and cackling (she has the most evil laugh ever for a two year old).

Then we will, no doubt, need to find something to eat and drink, so I'd head back to Great Western Arcade and take Stuart and Daisy to the new Bistro 1847 vegetarian restaurant.  I had lunch there with some of the team from the Spa last week and it was brilliant.  Fabulous cocktails and inspired veggie food - a million miles from quiche and salad.  Stuart will love the smoky potatoes and cocktails that really do smoke.

Lunch over, we're heading to Victoria Square to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and then go and visit the new Library.  All of which I've walked past and heard great things about, and promised I'd visit, but just never seem to have the time.

I particularly want to see the Staffordshire Hoard in the Museum before it finishes, and if we visit now then Daisy can enjoy the Julia Donaldson exhibition too.  In the Library of Birmingham I want to seek out the archives so that I can do some research on Great Western Arcade as I've been waiting months to do that.  I suspect that Stuart and Daisy may disappear at this point and find something more entertaining to do in the Library!

We are going to head home for the night so that we can feed the cat, but we're taking Birmingham with us.  A bottle of wine as recommended by Phil from Loki who always recommends something I love, a big plate of meats, cheeses and olives from Anderson & Hill, a few lovely chocolates from Chou Choute and something from Mr Simms Sweet Shop.

Every Sunday when I walk into work from parking my car, I go past the most amazing singing coming from a church. I've not been able to work out which building it's coming from - but I'm going there!  Sounds like my kind of place.

And then I'm going to finish off my 36 hours by walking along the canal in the direction of Solihull.  I know that sounds weird, but I once walked along the canal from Solihull into Birmingham and went past the most amazing array of environments - from run-down industrial areas to upmarket developments.  l just really would like to do it again.  I don't get much time to just walk and be in my own space these days.  I might even leave my iPhone behind so I don't miss the views by constantly checking my email!  And I'd take along some water and a tomato and mozzarella ciabatta from the Bread Collection in Great Western Arcade.  Yum Yum!  Just need someone to collect me from Solihull and take me home now....

Beth is owner and masseuse at At One Day Spa and and can be contacted via @AtOneDaySpa. Read her blog here.