Welcome to Birmingham - Resort World

It was a chef that first changed my mind. Possibly like you, I supposed here's another Americanism popping into our culture right here on our city's doorstep. But as I've heard more about Resort World, I've grown markedly more excited. Of course it's bringing jobs and many £££s into the region but more than that, when people think they've been in Birmingham because they've departed from the airport or been to the national exhibition centre which as we well know is in lovely Solihull, they now actually will get to experience some of that famous, warm Brummie hospitality. And spend loadsa money in the region.

What solidified my interest is hearing that one of my favourite local chefs, Andy Waters (Waters on the Square, ex- Edmunds) is opening a new place. That's worth a visit on its own.

Also, there's a purpose-built 11-screen Cineworld. Perhaps, as they're in an international setting, they may show the art house and world cinema films that our local indie cinema's lack.

Resort World have gone to some length to attract 51 outlet shops including H&M, Next and Gap and many more lesser-non brands offering up to 60% off regular prices as well as a luxury spa.

Alongside the Andy Waters restaurant, you have the choice of 18 bars and restaurants including the Sky Bar, Highline New York Bar and The World Bar.

For further entertainment, we have a Genting International Casino (the whole resort is bought to us by Malaysian-based Genting Group, their first in Europe) and you have the opportunity stay in the Genting Hotel, another 4 star hotel, when visiting the already re-branded Genting Arena.

And if cinema, casino, shops, restaurants, spa and bars just doesn't fill your day, there are events including the Style Insider Weekend (5/6 Dec) and before that the festive season launch (18 Nov).

The Resort by Day  part will open on Wednesday 21st October, followed by Cineworld (23rd) and the Casino (26th) to coincide with the James Bond film release.

And it's all just 10 minutes by train from the shiny new New Street Station.

You can find out more here.

By Rickie J, founded and editor of Brum Faves  who, when not following around favourite chefs can be found on @RickieWrites.




Colleen's 36 Hours in Birmingham

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!

36 hours Colleen Collage

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.

Colleen Campbell runs a Nutrition and Personal Image Styling Consultancy and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.