I know Birmingham so well having lived here all my life, but recently I was challenged to seek out some places to share with you. I was happy to put on my thinking cap and come up with something a little bit different. If you are visiting Birmingham, there’s a lot to see here in the city and surrounding area. I’d suggest booking into a hotel either in the city centre or you could look at a Birmingham airport hotel as there is a frequent and fast train service into the city centre from the airport.
They do say that Birmingham has more canals than Venice and certainly the canals make a great focus for a day out in the city. We started our day with a boat trip run by Sherborne Wharf Heritage Narrow Boats. They took us on a trip which had us cruising along the Icknield Port Loop which is a part of the canal system that you can only visit by boat because there are no tow paths. This makes it a great way to see wildlife and we spotted a heron, ducks and some coots. We also saw part of the new redevelopment of this part of the city as they are currently building on a site that faces onto the waterfront along Icknield Port Loop.
For lunch we decided to visit Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse Bar and Grill which is situated in the Cube, an eye-catching building accessed from the canal near the Mailbox complex. The restaurant is on the top floor so views over the city are breathtaking too and as Birmingham is a very green city it’s sometimes difficult to believe that you are looking out over the second biggest city in the country. We could see planes coming into land at the airport in the distance and it’s fun to pick out the various landmarks of the city while you eat.
The food was great too: really tasty and freshly prepared. There are good deals to be had if you opt for the limited menu rather than choosing from the full A La Carte menu. You still get a choice of four or five dishes per course and we didn’t have any trouble picking out something that we would like. We loved the succulent Chicken Kiev served with fries and char grilled tomatoes. My Whitebait starter is also well worth a mention.
Afterwards we stopped off to enjoy the atmosphere and do a little people watching at one of the bars lining the canal at Gas Street Basin. One of the bars had a live band on playing popular cover versions and the music carried nicely over the water so everyone could enjoy the sound. As you’d expect on a sunny day, lots of people like to be near the water so it’s a very relaxed and popular place to be. Seats can be at a premium, but you can usually get one before too long.
The spending money was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own.