Yes, you read the title correctly, we said Birmingham! The capital of the Midlands gets a fairly bad rap sometimes but if you dig a little deeper there are some incredible experiences to be found in the land of Brum. Check out our guide to 5 awesome things just waiting to be discovered.
1. There are 5 places to see what a Michelin star tastes like
After London, Birmingham has the most Michelin starred restaurants of any city in the UK and the fare on offer is pretty amazing, by anybody’s standards. A great experience for those with a discerning palate, Carters of Moseley provide a sensational 8 course dining experience at quite a reasonable £85 per person - showcasing the skills that made them the UK’s top Restaurant in 2015. For more Michelin starred dining experiences try Adam’s, Purnell’s, Simpsons or Turners.
2. You can visit the UK’s oldest working cinema
The Electric Cinema can be found in the Southside district of the city and is indeed the oldest working cinema in the whole of the UK – a fact that is inescapably noticeable when you clap eyes on the copious amounts of red velvet covering the walls. Still, it has comfy sofas, drinks service and has been operating for more than 100 years, so who’s really complaining about the decor?
3. Expand your horizons at the Ikon
Situated in a dramatically gothic Victorian building on Oozells Square (yes, we love the name too) the Ikon gallery houses installations and intriguing works of contemporary art from all around the world. Entry is free and works on show in 2017 include Roger Hiorns and Olivia Beer. They even have a ‘singing lift’ designed by Turner Prize winner Martin Creed! What does that entail you may ask? You’ll just have to visit and see for yourself…
4. Visit Loki and sample their extensive range of wines
With their laid back modern approach Loki break the mould when it comes to the sometimes stuffy and up-tight world of wine-tasting. Like their Norse namesake, you might be feeling the mischief after sampling their range of 40 wines available by the glass – a selection that is regularly updated so there’s always something new. With 11 major national awards in the past three years this is an absolute must for wine-lovers, especially when you could come away with one of the 600 fine wines and spirits that they offer.
5. They have Cadbury world… *Drops mic*
Seriously, no visit to Brum would be complete without stopping off at this Cathedral of chocolate. Catch the train at New Street and in just 15 minutes hop off at Bournville where you will emerge to the fabled purple gates of the hallowed halls of Cadbury World. Take the tour around this real-life version of Willy Wonka’s factory (well not quite, but it’s pretty close!) and discover the origins of the cocoa bean, how your favourite chocolate bars are made and visit the 4D Chocolate adventure zone (which is every bit as cool as it sounds!)