After more than 7 years (the longest I’ve lived anywhere in my life), I moved out of Birmingham this week. When people ask where I’m from and I say ‘Birmingham’, it’s always met with the response: ‘but you don’t sound like a Brummy’. And yes, whilst that is true, it doesn’t and won’t ever stop this great city from being my hometown.
It’s the city I know better than any other – from the 8 years I spent at boarding school in nearby Bromsgrove, coming in on the train to go shopping, to the cinema or to hangout with friends, to the 7 years I’ve spent back here in my adult life (living in Moseley, Acocks Green and then the city centre), it has always felt so familiar and felt like my home. These are the 3 things I love most about Birmingham:
1. It’s no secret that I love food and I love going out to eat and experience great food and drink. Birmingham has no shortage of world-class restaurants, cafes and bars. I still have a list as long as my arm of places I didn’t get to try because there are always new venues opening or existing ones changing and updating what they do. A few places I would always recommend are:
- Cherry Reds – I’ve written about them before but it’s a place of such great quality and reasonably-priced, delicious food in a comfortable, relaxed environment.
- Urban Coffee – they make excellent coffee, their brunch (and other food) is great and they’ve been in Birmingham for years leading the charge for independent coffee shops.
- Simpsons – one of four Michelin-star restaurants in Birmingham and really worth a visit for its exceptional food.
- The Lost and Found – I loved Bennetts before it closed and this appeared in its place and I love Lost and Found too. My favourite place for cocktails and the food’s pretty decent too.
- Prince of Wales, Moseley – it’s an institution and will always be one of my favourite places to go. What could be better than a wine shed, a cocktail bar, a food truck, a giant marquee with live sport shown and live music and it plays host to Moseley Book Club (which I’m going to miss so much).
2. There is always something to do in Birmingham and not everything costs a ton of money. Yes, there are the bigger attractions such as Cadbury’s World and all the wonderful shows at the numerous theatres, but there are also parks and fairs and markets and free activities happening every week too. For something fun to do at the moment, go on a bear hunt and check out the glorious painted bears that have appeared around the city as part of the Big Sleuth.
(Photo credit: Laura @ Bite Your Brum because every time I tried to take photos of the bears, there were loads of kids in the way!) (Photo credit: Thank you to Laura @ Bite Your Brum)
3. Every day I would find something to put a smile on my face. Birmingham never ceases to amaze and there are always new things to see. I love the days when the floozy in the jacuzzi would suddenly be dressed in a bright pink bra to show support for breast cancer, or when the Bullring bull is in fancy dress relating to something happening that date or in the city, or the pop-up, promotional vans/trucks/exhibits in Victoria Square, along New Street or outside the Bullring. Birmingham always has something new to show you, something fun to do, somewhere new to eat or drink and so much to surprise you with. It’s such a wonderful city and I’ll miss it dearly.