Last weekend, I took a quick city break in beautiful Birmingham. We stayed one night in Jurys Inn on Broad Street which I would totally recommend as it’s slap bang in the city centre – all the action right on your doorstep. Another tip would be to catch the train to New Street from the airport – it only costs £3.40 as opposed to around £30 in a taxi. We arrived, checked in and headed out for lunch overlooking the canal – yep Birmingham is the Venice of the UK – who knew? We had lunch at Red Peppers in the stylish surrounding of the Mailbox.
Christmas came early to Birmingham and the Christmas Markets were in full flow – I don’t think I’ve experienced such vast markets anywhere else! In Centenary Square, there was a Christmas Wheel, an ice rink and the beginning of the Christmas markets. I did have a mini panic attack on the Christmas Wheel but it did feel rather christmassy! We recovered well and warmed up with some Baileys Hot Chocolate and Mulled Wine – well it would be rude not to! Walking through Paradise Circus [a thoroughfare of shops and restaurants rather than an actual circus] we entered Victoria Square where the larger Christmas markets can be found.
Later that evening we headed out to Water’s Edge at Brindleyplace which is the place to go on a Saturday night full of restaurants and bars. We ended up in All Bar One. The next morning, we had breakfast in a local pub before making a pit stop at the New Library. It was only opened in September this year and is truly awesome. It is ten storeys tall, they spent £189 million on it and it is a great community resource plus a tourist attraction, known as ‘the people’s palace’. It houses an art gallery, a children’s area, a multimedia centre, two cafés, a music library, a performance space, a theatre, a restaurant, and plenty of outdoor spaces. My favourites were the secret garden, Shakespeare memorial room with Shakespeare’s death mask and of course the funky pods in the children’s area. They also had an exhibition entitled ‘The Library of Lost Books‘ which was pretty cool. I love how the floors were named things like the discovery floor and the knowledge floor. It is fully equipped with free WiFi and is truly a library for the future. We also took a trip to the Bullring, a massive shopping centre.
Unfortunately our mini trip did not allow for a visit to Cadbury World [although I was thinking Willy Wonca so most likely to be disappointed that you cannot swim in a pool of chocolate] and The Jekyll and Hyde [where they serve cocktails in baths in the Gin Parlour and have an Alice in Wonderland-themed beer garden – am a sucker for novelty me]! Next time Birmingham, I’ll be back!