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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Beautiful Birmingham

Happy Wednesday peeps we have made it to the halfway point so to celebrate I am today talking about my city that's right Birmingham!

Birmingham has been my home for quite some time and I even have a brummie twang (although some words still come out in Somerset style). I am quite proud to say I come from Birmingham as over the years many a harsh word has been said about my city some of it deserved but most of it not!

Its fair to say that Birmingham has been the victim of bad town planning especially during the 1960's when the ring roads were constructed and historic buildings were torn down to make way for the concrete mess that we still see today in some parts of the city.  Growing up I saw Birmingham as a dirty smelly city but that started to change when I reached my teenage years and began to appreciate the awesome shops we had and still have, The Oasis anyone where I used to get my doc marten boots and of course the Rag Market for amazing vintage finds both of which are still going strong.

I have very fond memories of Birmingham as the way it was in my youth with the old 1960's bullring where I used to spend ages wandering around the massive Mark One which had the smelliest changing rooms known to man, and which I suppose would have been the 80's equivalent of Primark!

During the last 10 years Birmingham has undergone a radical transformation most of which has been centered around the complete change of the Bull Ring. Gone are the dingy subways and cheapo shops that we loved to be replaced by Selfridges, Apple and a brand new bull!

The side of the Bull Ring as it looks now

Whilst alot has changed there are still some familiar landmarks which thankfully have been left to stay!

The Pagoda in the middle of what is known as Pagoda Island

The Rotunda
If you look around there is still signs of the amazing old architecture that was once more prominent throughout the city.

Moor Street Station

St Philips Cathedral and pigeon park
Now if you have never been to Birmingham- firstly shame on you!! Secondly there are lots of hidden gems which you may miss so here is my list of what to see and do in Brum

  1. Have a balti- Birmingham is the home of the Balti and the famous Balti Triangle you will need to venture outside of the city centre but most decent taxi drivers would know where to take you!
  2. Shopping- yes we have the Bullring home to the likes of Selfridges and lots of other shops but there is more to see. Check out the Great Western Arcade near to St Philips Square where you will find small boutiques and a shoe shop that sells Irregular Choice heels amongst other brands!
  3. The Jewellery Quarter- as London has Hatton Garden we have the Jewellery Quarter filled with the best independent Jewellers you can hope for, and it also has great bars and can be find via a pleasant stroll though St Pauls Square
  4. The Mailbox- home to Harvey Nichols! This isn't the only reason to venture over you can also see the BBC as they are based here and find loads of amazing eating places and the Cube home to Marco Pierre Whites restuarant and Hotel Indigo.
  5. Canals its no secret that Birmingham has a lot of canals and if you fancy a walk they are the perfect setting
  6. Museum and Art Gallery. We are lucky to have an amazing collection of Pre-Raphalite paintings, and also the Staffordshire Hoard. Its free to visit and well worth a wander round.
  7. The Arcadian- this is a collection of bars situated in the heart of China Town (also good for a wander round the Chinese Supermarkets) and is often overlooked in favour of Broad Street where there is a mass of bars and clubs as well.
The Cube

Birmingham's New Library opens September this year

Hubby with the Cube and the Mailbox in the background

 So there you have it my quick guide to Birmingham, I think that no matter where we live we should always be proud and take a moment to appreciate the things that make a place special or unique.

If you do come and visit Brum I hope you have a fabulous time.


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