We live all of 20 minutes (traffic permitting) outside of Birmingham, the clue is in the name, Tammymum, i.e. we live in Tamworth. Anywho for people who are a stones throw from the second city we haven’t always made the most of this, especially pre kids. Now we lament our inability to head into the city on a whim and bitch about the fact we didn’t ‘make the most of it’ before the games changers arrived.
That said nowadays when we can we do, we ditch the dizzy heights of Tamworth and head toward the concrete jungle that is Birmingham. I must admit it has taken me nearly 6 years but I can finally say I like Birmingham. It has great shops, brilliant bars, wonderful restaurants, arenas, and a lovely canal side. It is busy and vibrant and has a lot to offer.
So as we were blessed with a child free day we decided to milk it and spoil ourselves in Brum for the afternoon. Our first port of call was afternoon tea at Hotel Du Vin. First off I don’t really like afternoon tea, I am not sure I see the point. There is never enough sandwiches and yes, too many cakes. I know how that sounds but I always find I am full afterward but not satisfied. However, I am a big fan of Hotel of Wine (as translated) especially one that has a bubble bar – there is literally champagne bottles everywhere in that room, including on my table so I was all good.
The afternoon tea was nice in all fairness. I liked all the sandwhiches, including the egg mayo, which is normally gross. The Sweet tray was also good, but then any tray that includes and Gin and Tonic sorbet is going to be a winner in my book. The rhubarb and custard doughnut was a bit hit or miss but you can’t have it all. The piece de resistance however was the pink fluffy balls of candy floss that accompanied the sweets. A novel and different addition to afternoon tea.
Whilst we enjoyed afternoon tea it occurred to me that we had zero tea. Literally no tea passed my lips. Just bubbles, but then I was in the BUBBLE bar in Hotel DU VIN! It would be actually wrong not to, in fact I think it is a prerequisite of your visit. On a side note though, if afternoon tea is your thing I would certainly recommend giving it a go at your local Hotel Du Vin, if you have one. If was very well made, very tasty and only £20pp.
Two bottles and too much cake later, we headed off to a cocktail bar, The Botanist, which we have been wanting to sample for an age, after a pit stop at Louis Vuitton, we were literally passing by and I didn’t come out with anything. Sigh.
The Botanist was brilliant, a really bright, stylish and tasteful bar that can pull off pretentious cocktails. The staff were those amazing type who fling glasses in the air and free pour your drinks, blind. The really know their stuff. I channelled my inner Carrie Bradshaw with a Manhattan followed by some swanky mojito made with cherries and plum. Sounds a bit weird but it went down pretty well. Obvs. The main requirements were alcoholic and wet so it was always going to fare well.
After spending more than our afternoon tea costs on 4 cocktails and mixing too many drinks we thought it best to vacate. We also realised we had no battery, despite hardly using our photo and two children in the care of others. We therefore got robbed in the country’s swankiest Apple store for an emergency charger.
Given the impeding flattening of our lithium batteries we thought it only right we stop somewhere to charge up said phones. Selfridges bar seemed a sensible choice. It also meant I had to drag Mr Tammy through two floors of the eye popping department store, via Mac and Mulberry, naturally. No trip to Birmingham is complete without a quick tour of Selfridges after all.
So a new lippy and another glass of bubbles later the sugar rush from all the cake had worn off and we realised we were actually hungry again. I knew exactly where we were heading, Pho. I have wanted to eat there since Grand Central opened. Grand Central being the new shiny spaceship looking train station that replaces Birmingham New Street. Pho is a Vietnamese street food restaurant that always has a queue out the door and everybody raves about.
Boy it did not disappoint, I had the best meal I have had in ages in. I had the most wonderful and tasty Vietnamese curry I think I have ever had. The nicest curry I have ever had. It was light, fresh and full of flavour. If you have a Pho near you, it is definitely worth a visit.
SO as child free date days go, this one was pretty special. I would do it again in a heartbeat and would recommend everywhere we went – that doesn’t usually happen.
What about you? Have you been anywhere to rave about lately? Have you had a date day? Or have you been to any of the above places? I’d love to hear from you.