Monday to Friday I spend a lot of my time in the business district of the City at Urban Coffee Co where I work. And, don’t get me wrong, I love it. Fantastic architecture, LOADS to see and eat. There’s that real city buzz. Often though by Friday night I’m ready for something else, something smaller and I love those ‘village’ areas of cities which nuzzle just outside the centre.
Friday evening. Work’s done, and 15 minutes on – what is often claimed is Europe’s most regular bus service - the 50 later I’m in Moseley. If there’s a whiff of sunshine I make my way up to Lewis’s Deli, pick up something fabulous, and head over to Moseley Park and Pool for a picnic. It’s one of those places where I’ll normally bump in to people I know, it’s quiet, relaxing and really quite wonderful*. It’s such a change in pace and one of those magic places where you really can forget you’re in the country’s second city! Then it’s a drink in the Fighting Cocks before heading home…
I am not a retail therapy kind of guy in the normal sense of the word. I can take or leave clothes and shoes, but food, well, that’s another story! Saturday morning it’s off to do the weekly shop. This isn’t the weekly boring- lug-around-the-supermarket-shop for me! It’s a walk down Ladypool Road to pick up spices and daals, grabbing a samosa from Milan’s on Stoney lane. Then on to Chinatown and maybe lunch in Café Soya. After that, it’s the markets. They may not be the prettiest markets in the world but they are great. Wonderful fresh fish, great meat, fruit and veg from the UK, as well as exotic produce too! You name it, it’s there! And it seems as if the whole city meets here on a Saturday! I walk around wondering HOW I’m going to get all this stuff in the fridge and, with a smug feeling, try to work out how much it would have cost me if I ‘d got it from a supermarket.
Saturday night has to be the Prince of Wales in Moseley. I don’t think there’s anywhere else in Birmingham that is a proper old local but with the bonus of a Cocktail Bar, Wine Hut and Tiki Lounge all in one Pub filled with people from every walk of life! So it’s a cocktail (or two) and a pint (or two) of Old Rosie Cider….
Sunday morning…. (Meat in the oven on slow) Time for a walk to clear the cobwebs,
A walk to the MAC to see what’s on, and on through Cannon Hill Park. You can walk through Cannon Hill and all the way through to Highbury Park, a great river of green space through the city, and a fantastic way to spend a groggy morning. Once I arrive in Kings Heath, it’s off to Cherry Reds with lovely staff who know your name, great drinks, (I’m normally ready for a Bloody Mary by now) and the Newspapers.
I could, and often do, sit there all day. Before walking home to cook some of that market fresh veg, carve the slow cooked meat for Sunday dinner with friends. Still miles away from the men and women in suits, and buildings of glass which I’ll be surrounded by bright and early tomorrow morning.
*If you don’t have a yearly subscription to the park you can always get a daily pass!
If you can’t see Peter in any of the above places you can contact him via Twitter.
All photos by Peter.