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Calling Birmingham Mumsnetters, your help please

(21 Posts)
LoonyRationalist Thu 20-Oct-11 14:44:42

DH & I are going on our first child free weekend away in over 5 years this weekend with friends. Our (central) hotel is booked but I am looking for bar/restaurant/other suggestions for things we can do.

I grew up near to Birmingham so have a reasonable sense of the geography but places to go is a bit beyond me. Also I can't walk too far at present so having a set place to head for rather than milling around aimlessly is a must!

Please help & tell me your best suggestions grin

LoveInAColdGrave Thu 20-Oct-11 14:49:21

Hotel du Vin is nice for drinks. A new place called Asquith has opened on Newhall Street which looks nice (food and bar) but which I haven't been to yet (think it's another Purnell restaurant). Lots of Birmingham is a bit "chainy" to be honest, it's not great for independent places although they do exist. San Carlo (can't remember street name) is nice for Italian. There's a nice, cheap Mexican place called Bodega - again can't remember street name but assume would come up on google, which also does nice cocktails. Weirdly, the bar on the top floor of selfridges is also a nice chilled refuge from the city.

ThatsNotMyBabyBelly Thu 20-Oct-11 14:50:31

Brindley Place is nice, with Bank, Edmund's, Thai Edge restaurants round there. You can get a drink at the piano and pitcher, all bar one, etc there too.

Arcadian nice, if a bit trendier I think, by the chinese quarter so plenty of places to eat.

Or Purnells is up by Colmore Row - his eating experience is supposed to be to die for, and you can get drinks at the Old Joint Stock.

If you fancy a curry, then Lasan's won Gordon Ramsey's restaurant of the year, but you do need to book early. That is in around St Paul's Square. The Jamhouse is a live band venue close by that also does food, or there is a carribean restaurant whose name escapes me.

I'd go for the St Pauls Square option myself. Bit pricey but lots to do all within easy walking distance. And I love the Jamhouse.

LoonyRationalist Thu 20-Oct-11 14:55:07

You are so nice to help me, thankyou smile
Bar in Selfridges sounds like a fab idea. I'm going to sit & look at all the fab suggestions now. I know St Paul's square well so that is a good option too.

Keep the ideas coming - I'm going to look super organised with all these suggestions!

LoveInAColdGrave Thu 20-Oct-11 14:55:12

Oh yes, also lots of good suggestions from TNMBB. Purnells and Opus are both nice for food (but on the more expensive side, although both do a very good value lunch menu - I had three very nice courses in Opus yesterday for £25 or so - but pricy in the evening or on a la carte menu).

The Arcadian might be a bit "full on" on a weekend night (it gets very busy), Brindley Place will be quieter.

LoveInAColdGrave Thu 20-Oct-11 14:55:51

Oh, not sure if the lunch menus mentioned above are on at the weekends, but worth checking.

LoonyRationalist Thu 20-Oct-11 18:22:31

LoveInAColdGrave and ThatsNotMyBabyBelly I have been googling madly & there are some great suggestions here thank-you so much we're going to have a fab time.

I'd forgotten about St Paul's square, I used to have a jacket potato with cheese & beans from the stall there every lunch time when I had a summer job nearby!

ThatsNotMyBabyBelly Thu 20-Oct-11 18:42:07

Mailbox nice as well, Miller & Carter just opened which is a lovely steak house, there is also Bar Estilo which is Tapas, Red Pepper, Strada etc. Bar Epernay does lovely champagne and cocktails.

There is also a sushi restaurant that does good lunch deals.

Round the corner is Pad Thai, which is a karoke bar and thai restaurant, good for a knees up.

LoveInAColdGrave is right about the Arcadian - I wouldn't go there, too busy and I am too old (33)

Am going to try that Mexican - I love mexican!

Oh and Chez Jules off New Street also does a good lunch menu, and there is a French/Italian by the law courts called Annexe. Haven't been there though since it was Michelle's.

C4ro Thu 20-Oct-11 18:57:36

Does Brum still have that really nice Japanese restaurant in Chinatown? Teppanyaki. Really loved that.
It's only a short plod from there to... Mr Egg! if you really want the high life- of course it's probably fully booked so close to you going. (Have just googled, can't believe it's shutting down!) shock

ThatsNotMyBabyBelly Thu 20-Oct-11 19:00:45

There is a Shogun Teppanyaki in Brindley Place?

Mr Egg?!! WTF? Although the last time I went in there hammered the quality had lowered quite considerably there were fewer chips

I think I eat out way too much...

MrsCog Thu 20-Oct-11 19:06:52

Yes, the Teppanyaki is still in the Arcadian (yes there is one in Brindley Place too). I wasn't very impressed with the bar in Selfridges when I went - the lighting and furniture made it feel a bit like a playgroup! Bar Epernay is lovely though. Also the walk along the canal to the mailbox is really nice (not long though). We also like Cote in the Mailbox - it is a chain, but a small one - excellent if you like French bistrot style food. There's also the museum and art gallery if you want a bit of culture (disclaimer - it's in a lovely building on Victoria Sq, however I've never actually been so can't recommend any further but I have always fancied going!).

LoveInAColdGrave Thu 20-Oct-11 19:22:45

The museum and art gallery are both good but not brilliant, IYKWIM, and obviously just in my opinion. Worth visiting, though. The Ikon Gallery in Brindley Place sometimes has some interesting modern stuff and sometimes some godawful crap. Nice cafe either way!

C4ro Thu 20-Oct-11 19:36:05

Mr Egg wasn't meant seriously, it's just a bit of a landmark (greasy spoon cafe for the baffled). It's 6 years + since I lived in Birmingham though so I probably shouldn't even attempt to give tips.

ThatsNotMyBabyBelly Thu 20-Oct-11 20:12:54

Sorry blush I meant "how dare they close Mr Egg!" not "why are you suggesting it!"

Sorry if I sounded rude C4ro

babyicebean Thu 20-Oct-11 21:42:19

Lat time I went into Birmningham Mr Egg was no longer there - it ws called chicken cottage or similar.Mr Egg was THE place to go to after a hard night clubbing........

Blackduck Thu 20-Oct-11 21:44:31

Food wise check out suggestions people have given here

LoonyRationalist Thu 20-Oct-11 21:53:35

Super thanks to everyone for the great ideas, I'm thinking of either the Mailbox or Brindley Place in the evening & a choice of the other great places you've suggested for lunch on Sunday. Teppanyaki sounds lovely (although from the sound of it I am too old for the Arcadian!) - I'm not sure I could convince my friends I might try to tempt DH to take me there for my birthday if leaving the girls with granddad goes well this time.

Bad news on Mr Egg too - classy as we are my mum & I used to eat there before going to the ballet at the hippodrome!

Thank-you all for the brilliant advice, I'll let you know how I get on.

lemonbonbons Fri 21-Oct-11 18:12:34

Can I second Bodega ( Mexican) for lunch - it is right in the shopping centre and is my favourite place to eat in Birmingham. They do lovely sharing things if you pop in for lunch & VERY good cocktail s . Not too £££ either x

LoonyRationalist Mon 24-Oct-11 21:36:47

Just wanted to thank-you all again, we had a brilliant weekend & your advice really really helped. Thank-you all thanks

LoveInAColdGrave Tue 25-Oct-11 07:14:01

Brilliant! Glad to hear it. Where did you go in the end?

LoonyRationalist Tue 25-Oct-11 08:42:25

We went to the bar at selfridges, and ended up with a sandwich there too. In the evening we went to the mailbox and walked down the canal to brindley place. Tried a few bars including the pitcher & piano. Dinner was a compromise due to different tastes so we had a curry at blue mango which was really really good. My friend has gone home raving about how good Birmingham is for a weekend to all and sundry :-)

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