Looking for culture in Birmingham? How about shopping, great food and unique places to see?
Nothing beats local knowledge.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.