Like many countries, it’s often the capital cities that have the spotlight shone on them in terms of the entertainment, culture, and culinary offerings, with England being no different. But that’s not to say there isn’t a whole host of award-winning restaurants, bars, cultural hot spots, festivals and activities galore happening all over the country that require some well-deserved attention.
Birmingham is one such city that impresses with its culinary and nightlife scene, on top of its great shopping and cultural experiences, from Michelin-starred restaurants to buzzing rooftop bars that cater to locals and visitors alike, ensuring a thoroughly enjoyable time for all.
Fine food to feast on
With no less than five restaurants that hold a Michelin Star in Birmingham and another 10 recommended by the fine food guide, it’s safe to say that gastronomes are well catered to. Purnell’s, not far from the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, is the product of popular chef Glynn Purnell (of Great British Menu fame) and serves up creative, modern cuisine, with playful dishes on the menu. Carters of Moseley offers up innovative dishes sourced with local produce in dark, moody interiors, while Simpsons, which is tucked away in a suburban Georgian mansion in the suburbs, offers elegance throughout.
Opheem is a super stylish restaurant, which dishes out modern Indian cuisine from chef-owner Aktar Islam – the tasting menu is certainly worth a try, and the last Michelin-starred eatery on the list is Adam’s, the chic restaurant with great wines and even greater food by Adam Stokes. Recommended restaurants to try while you’re in the city also include Harborne Kitchen; Peruvian dining, Chakana; Argentinian offering, Pulperia; Craft; About 8; and Asha’s.
Entertainment and nightlife
When you want to be entertained in Birmingham, the question really is, how much time do you have? From cultural venues like museums and art galleries to bars, theatres, shops and boutiques, and even virtual reality, axe-throwing, escape rooms and so much more to fill your time with, planning in a host of exciting events and experiences takes a bit of effort with all of the options available to you.
Top attractions to head to throughout the day include The Bullring for shopping, while museum enthusiasts will be kept busy with a range of attractions with the highly rated Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, the National Motorcycle Museum, and Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, while cricket fans should head to Edgbaston and football fans to Villa Park. Symphony Hall and Birmingham Hippodrome for the culture vultures, while Cadbury World will delight chocoholics, and the canal is a must-visit for the walks, tours, boat trips and pub lunches along the way.
In the evening, head up to some of city’s best rooftop bars to grab a cocktail in the sun or a bite to et with incredible lofty views of Birmingham. Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill resides at Hotel Indigo in The Cube and provides 360-degree views with sofa and seats scattered around with a roof for wetter days. Pitcher and Piano at the canal, The Button Factory in the Jewellery Quarter, and the luxurious Sky by the Water at Resorts World are all worth a visit for their service, views and victuals. For those in need of a dance, nightclubs Pryzm, Bambu and Mama Roux are worth seeking out.
Where to stay?
Visitors to the city and surrounding area will find an impressive selection of country house hotels that offer a luxurious stay to city centre hotel ensuring that they are always close to the action. Top rated hotels include the Hyatt Regency Birmingham, a high-rise hotel with an indoor pool, spa, comfortable rooms and bistro; The Grand Hotel Birmingham with its Victorian/Art Deco essence and famous previous guests; the modern and centrally located Radisson Blu Hotel Birmingham; the plush and buzzy Malmaison Birmingham; and Genting Hotel, which sits on the Resorts World complex on the outskirts of the city.
Of course, there are a great range of bed and breakfasts, holiday rentals, and other accommodation options to choose from if you’re staying in or around the city and making the most of the food, drink and entertainment that is in good supply here.