A Day in Birmingham…

 

Birmingham is in the heart of England. A city easily reached from just about anywhere in the country. In collaboration with Hotels.com for Hotels in Birmingham, we set out to find the hidden gems of Birmingham. Throughout this article there are ideas on how to spend the perfect day in the city.

Where to Eat…..

Birmingham is home to Michelin starred restaurants such as Purnell’s and Adams but if fine dining isn’t your thing, there are alternatives..


Digbeth Dining Club

Set in the hub for street art in Birmingham, Digbeth, sits a not-so-secret dining club with street food vendors and small bars set up underneath a large viaduct.

digbeth dining club

Vendors change every few weeks offering the chance to try various cuisines from around the world. During our visit we caught sight of Thai Curries, Pizza and Jerk Chicken but what really swayed us was the stall ‘Urban Cheesecake’.

digbeth dining club cheesecake

This place offers huge wedges of creamy vanilla cheesecake customised by your choice of topping. We opted for Reese’s butter cups and salted caramel sauce. The ultimate indulgence and perfect for sharing at £5 per slice. Card payment is also accepted.

digbeth dining club
street art, Birmingham

Digbeth Dining Club does get busy late into the evening as revellers stop by for a warm up session before a night on the town. Entry is £1 per person.

Opening Times: Thursday, Friday 1600-2300

                         Saturday 1300-2300

                         Sunday 1200-2000

Website: http://www.digbethdiningclub.com

Nearest Train Station: Bordesley

1580 Contemporary Indian Dining

Birmingham is famed for its Indian Cuisine. The Balti Triangle is legendary in the Sparkbrook area of the city but a little further north sits a restaurant with a reputation for superlative Punjabi food served with style.

1580 contemporary indian dining

1580 can be found in Erdington, a short hop from the city centre. Parking is also available at the front of the restaurant completely free of charge. Reservations are also easy to secure online through the restaurant website.

1580 contemporary indian dining

The restaurant has a modern feel to it and the smells coming from the kitchen catch your senses the moment that you walk through the door. The staff were welcoming and friendly with the restaurant nicely busy early in the week.

Prices on the menu are slightly higher than most Indian restaurants but the ingredients and dishes more than justify them. We were instantly hooked by the Kesar Paneer Tikka – marinated pieces of paneer cheese cooked in a tandoor oven.

1580 contemporary indian dining

Also highly recommended is the Kochi Kekraa – soft shell crab deep fried and tossed in curry leaves, ginger, chilli and spices. A spectacular presentation on both dishes and the flavours were unique to any other Indian restaurant that we have ever visited. Subtly spiced and big on flavour.

1580 contemporary indian dining

Once you have tried the Quail Railway Curry, you will want to book a plane ticket to The Punjab. This probably ranks as the best curry that I have ever tasted. The quails are tricky birds to get the meat off but that meat is delicious. The curry is offered spicy or medium and I couldn’t fault it. Creamy, smokey from the tandoori quail and rich – excellent.

1580 contemporary indian dining

Across the table the Murgh Makhani is equally rich and delicious. To go with our curries we ordered Garlic and Peshwari Naans, both were thin, crispy and amazing in flavour. Full marks to this place on every level.

 

1580 contemporary indian dining

After sipping a well made Mango Lassi each and a couple of lemonades, we grabbed the bill. For £48.03, this is money well spent for this level of cooking. Outstanding Indian food and well worth a short journey from central Birmingham.

Opening Times: Tuesday – Saturday 1700-2300

                         Sunday 1700-2130

Website: http://www.1580.co.uk

Nearest Train Station: Chester Road

Where to Shop…..

The Bullring is the epicentre of retail therapy in Birmingham. Parking can be found easily around The Bullring with access also by train from Birmingham New Street and Moor Street. The bus station at Digbeth is around a 10 minute walk from the shopping centre.

bullring Birmingham
Bulling, Birmingham

Over 200 shops can be found at The Bullring and many more in the offshoot mall, Grand Central. The centre gets packed on weekends particularly after midday so a good tactic is to try and get around the shops in the morning and use the lunchtime period to eat, drink and take a well earned break.

Bulling, Birmingham

However, the most popular aspect of The Bullring isn’t the stores or the restaurants – it’s the statue of a bull outside the centre. On our visit, the bronze bull was getting into the spirit of Chinese New Year. Many people stop here for a photo opportunity.

grand central Birmingham

Opening Times: Monday – Friday 1000-2000

                         Saturday 0900-2000

                         Sunday 1100-1700

Website: http://www.bullring.co.uk

Nearest Train Station: Birmingham New Street/ Moor Street

Something different….

The Electric, Birmingham

Did you know that the oldest working cinema in the UK is actually right here in Birmingham? Well, you do now! The Electric Cinema on Station Street first opened its doors back in 1909 and after falling into a state of disrepair, the cinema was fully restored to its former glory.

the electric cinema Birmingham

The cinema, just like any other, shows mainstream films. The cinema also shows foreign films and classic movies also so there really is something for everyone. We chose to go and see the film ‘Can you ever forgive me?’ starring Melissa McCarthy and Richard E Grant as a double act selling counterfeit letters from famous authors.

the electric cinema Birmingham

Walking into the cinema was strange. It reminded me of a cinema back in Loughborough that I used to go to all the time, it was the place also that I did work experience back in school. Getting to watch films all day was a great gig, no doubt, and this cinema really took me back to those times.

the electric cinema Birmingham

The foyer is quite tight for space when people are waiting to get their tickets and drinks from the small bar set up next to the box office. The staff here are really nice and reservations for tickets can easily be made online. Our seats came to £12.50 each for the front row sofa seats – yes you read that right. Sofa seats.

the electric cinema Birmingham

Sofas in a cinema, what a great idea! This is my idea of comfort while watching a film. Sofa seating is also available at the back complete with tables for your food and drinks. You can even text the bar to bring you food and drinks directly to your sofa. An amazing idea.

the electric cinema Birmingham

The regular seating is just how I remember it in years gone by. Red fold down seats that match the wall decor. This was so eerie, like winding the clock back 15 years. It was a great feeling to experience something from the past that I remember fondly.

the electric cinema Birmingham

Both McCarthy and Grant gave tremendous performances in the film. If you haven’t seen it yet, go and see it. This is a humorous and interesting watch with great interplay between the characters. We really enjoyed it.

the electric cinema Birmingham

This has to be Birmingham’s best kept secret. Near enough every seat was taken and everyone left with a smile on their face. A step back in time such as this is a pleasure when it comes along. We really couldn’t fault the experience.

Website: https://www.theelectric.co.uk

Nearest Train Station: Birmingham New Street

Collaboration: The spending money was gifted by Hotels.com but all views are my own.

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16 Comments

  1. February 19, 2019 / 9:38 pm

    Great post! Your photos are amazing—the food looks absolutely delicious, and all of the attractions sound exciting and fun! Thank you for sharing.

    • Chris
      Author
      February 20, 2019 / 5:30 pm

      Thank you Savannah, we really appreciate the positive feedback! The attractions certainly are different but well worth seeking out!

  2. Kirstin
    February 21, 2019 / 9:26 am

    Some really great info about Birmingham! I never popped it on my list before but judging by the food alone.. i need to go! 🤤

    Kirstin

    • Chris
      Author
      February 21, 2019 / 5:28 pm

      Thanks Kirstin! Birmingham’s food scene is diverse and covers all tastes and budgets, also the bar scene is very good too – highly recommended!

  3. February 22, 2019 / 8:34 pm

    I’ve only been once for work but managed to squeeze an hour for shopping. I love the bullring

    • Chris
      Author
      February 22, 2019 / 8:37 pm

      Hi Gemma! The Bullring is superb for shopping but it was rammed when we went, serves us right for going at 3pm on a Saturday!

  4. February 22, 2019 / 10:15 pm

    The cheesecake looks divine. I really want to try some Kochi Kekraa, this one sounds superb. I would love to spend a day in Birmingham like this.

    • Chris
      Author
      February 23, 2019 / 4:06 pm

      Cheers Andrew! Make sure you try The Railway Curry too – an epic dish!

  5. February 23, 2019 / 8:16 am

    Wow, I never would have thought of visiting Birmingham but I must after seeing your food photos.
    I’m adding it to my list!

    • Chris
      Author
      February 23, 2019 / 4:01 pm

      Hi Nelly – That’s fantastic! I really hope that you enjoy your time in Birmingham.

  6. February 23, 2019 / 8:59 am

    Oh, absolutely everything in this post looks delicious! That Kochi Kekraa though, I need to give it a go.
    Super nice post, thank you very much for the post!

    • Chris
      Author
      February 23, 2019 / 4:03 pm

      Hi Allegra – The Kochi Kekraa was indeed very nice but the Quail topped it for me, an awesome choice when in Birmingham. Thanks for your kind words!

  7. February 24, 2019 / 7:34 pm

    That cheesecake looks divine! How cool that the UK’s oldest working movie theatre is in Birmingham. Never would have guessed! Thanks for the tips!

    • Chris
      Author
      February 25, 2019 / 7:27 pm

      Anytime Andrea! The cinema is a real trip down memory lane and the cheesecake is pure heaven – enjoy Birmingham!

  8. March 4, 2019 / 11:10 am

    Im going to Birmingham for a shopping trip soon so this blog post is super handy! x

    • Chris
      Author
      March 4, 2019 / 5:06 pm

      Fantastic! I hope that you have a great time and maybe round off your trip with a film at The Electric.

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