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In the city: what’s new in Birmingham

For your visitors, handpicked by the Conferences & events team.

Looking for culture in Birmingham? How about shopping, great food and unique places to see?

Nothing beats local knowledge.

Dining out

You’re never going to have trouble finding a fantastic meal at any budget here.

Keen to treat yourself? Aktar Islam’s Opheem was awarded a Michelin star this month, and this Bangledeshi Brummie couldn’t deserve it more.

Aktar Islam Opheem

Dishes range from Persian and Bengali to the southern flavours of Kerala, Bengaluru and Tamil Nadu. Five or seven-course tasting menus start at £50, with three courses from the main menu at £40 on weekdays.

Just make sure you book.


Birmingham’s rich chocolate heritage is well known. You’ll find it celebrated at Cadbury World, and all around Bournville, the suburb created by George Cadbury for chocolate factory workers and other members of the community.

Now locals can enjoy a contemporary alternative. KitKat aficionados will already know of the many flavours available in Japan. This autumn, selected UK John Lewis stores – including Birmingham’s Grand Central – will be selling handcrafted bars in special gift boxes until 24 December.

Kitkat chocolatory


Flavours include Gin and Tonic, Whiskey and Ginger, and Jewels of the East – with dark chocolate, rose petals and pistachio filling.


The Jewellery Quarter is well worth a visit. The city was once a hub of silversmithing, stained glass and pen-making, and is still the go-to destination for jewellery shopping.

The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter offers a unique insight into workshop life. Now, a new exhibition reveals even more, with personal photographs and oral histories from those who made their living here.

jewellery quarter

Find Still: Stories from the Jewellery Quarter at the Iron Works Gallery from 25 October to 10 November. Entry is free.


If you’re serious about coffee, you’ll be spoilt for choice among Birmingham’s many in-house roasters and indie coffee shops.

We’ve always been big fans of Damascena‘s sweet, potent Turkish coffee. If you’re looking for a huge range of classic coffees, all hand-roasted, 200 Degrees will be right up your street.

Their Colmore Row staple has been joined by a second shop, on Lower Temple Street below the Midland Hotel. It’s got the same rustic-elegant charm, and a great menu from chunky baguettes and fresh salads to warming soup and impeccable Pastel de Nata.

200 degrees autumn syrup

Make your trip now and you can enjoy their alternative to the ubiquitous Pumpkin Spice. Their spiced orange ‘autumn syrup’ is like conkers, crunchy leaves and cosy jumpers in a cup.


No, you haven’t stepped back in time: that really is a new HMV on High Street.

HMV Vaut Birmingham

This flagship HMV Vault store opened in October, with former One Directioner Liam Payne showcasing its live performance space.

If you’re a vinyl collector or just prefer to have a real copy of your music on the shelf, you’ll be spoilt for choice. The store houses 25,000 records and 80,000 CDs, making it one of the biggest record stores in the world.

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