Four places where you should eat if you visit Birmingham

Digbeth Dining Club
This was a suggestion from Iain on Instagram and I'm so glad we managed to fit it in. If you've ever been to one of the Street Feast locations in London then this is very similar. Digbeth remindS me a bit of Shoreditch. It's pretty gritty and full of street art but lots of hipster bars and restaurants. Boasting numerous bars and street food stalls, Digbeth Dining Club is a great place to hang out for a few hours eating some good food and enjoying some ice cold beer. My friend Jay went for some steamed buns which I can confirm were absolutely delicious. I had some sriracha smothered fried chicken strips which were delightfully mouth-tingling and very addictive. We decided to share a trio of deep fried cookie dough desserts which were just as sickly and delicious as they sound! Keep in mind there is a £2 cash charge to get in but the stall do accept card.

Wayland's Yard
This was a cracking suggestion from Emma via Twitter. Gotta love social media! Located just footsteps from the Bull Ring it's a great shout if you're staying nearby. Emma recommended the eggy crumpets which I definitely had to try as soon as I knew they existed. I loved the cool vibe of the cafe and service was so friendly. I highly recommend grabbing a cronut for the road as they were delicious!

Original Patty Men
This was a suggestion by Roisin who told me I would love it and she was 100% right! Located not too far from the Bull Ring in Digbeth under some railway arches, this burger joint offers five different types of burgers alongside some specials. I opted for the spicy Korean inspired patty with lashings of gochujang sauce. Perfect! Jay and I shared chicken chunks which were more or less giant thighs and a portion of O.D.B fries. A delicious concoction of triple cooked skin on fries topped with an addictive nice mix, house slaw, coriander, lime, sriracha mayo, crispy fried onions and chopped spring onion. They were one of the best fries I have ever had. Such a dreamy combination.

Indian Brewery Co
I read about this place on Time out and it piqued my interest because it reminded me a bit of Dishoom in London. Whilst not as good as Dishoon it was a pretty solid shout. We opted for around four dishes to share between us so we could try a bit of everything. Stand out dishes for me included the paneer roti roll and crispy chicken Bombay bites. Sadly they were in the process of moving their brewery so we couldn't try some of their special beers.

Postcards from Birmingham

Earlier this year my best friend Jay and I decided we needed a weekend away together bonding. Actually it was probably me that needed it the most as I have a tendency to become a bit needy at times... A weekend full of too many cocktails, endless eating and the chance to put the world to rights. The August bank holiday was the perfect situation. We wasn't bothered on where we went, we just wanted somewhere within two hours drive from home. I got on the case with the Travelodge website and stumbled across a hotel in Birmingham which was offering a two night stay for under £25 each. Sorted!

I had never been to Birmingham before but as a keen, obsessive Peaky Blinder's fan it was going to crop up on my radar eventually. We just so happened to be in the city the weekend the first episode of the fifth series aired. What a twist of fate!

We got up early and left Essex fuelled with a Macdonald's breakfast with the mission to finally tick off a trip to Cadbury's World at the grand age of 30. We were the only two adults visiting who didn't have an army of kids with them so it was a bit chaotic. But it was really good and worth a visit, not least because they kept handing out free bars of chocolate as you made your way round.

After we'd arrived in Birmingham we checked in and heading straight out for some burgers which pretty much set the precedent for the rest of the weekend. We didn't stop eating. Who knew Birmingham had such a great food scene? We headed to the main strip of Broad Street which reminded us far too much of our nights out in Magaluf. We wasn't drunk enough for that so we headed back to the canal which was much more civilised and found a cracking pub offering tune after tune on the dance floor.

I'm not sure I'll head back to Birmingham any time soon. It seemed pretty empty and whilst some parts were buzzing, others were completely dead which was a weird experience considering it's a city. But it's a great place to visit for a weekend if you're a keen foodie, Digbeth especially was pretty cool and reminded me as a scuffier version of Shoreditch. Kinda how Shoreditch used to be before the bankers started zoning in on it...


Restaurant review: Gunpowder, Tower Bridge, London

I am so out of the loop with restaurants in London at the moment. I seem to have really cut down on going into town at the weekends to try out all the new places. But I'm keen to rectify this and start eating out a bit more! A good few weeks ago I finally did try someone new with Hannah and Sarah before we saw the incredible Midsummer Night's Dream at the Bridge Theatre.

Labelling themselves as a home-style Indian kitchen, the branch overlooking Tower Bridge is Gunpowder's second location after Spitalfields in east London. We decided to opt for the weekend brunch menu and what a great shout on our part. Brunch is my favourite meals and Indian food is my favourite cuisine so I had high hopes for it. Those high hopes were thankfully met. I'm a sucker for any type of baked eggs dish so went for the South Indian style eggs served with sourdough toast and salli. They were delightedly spicy, enough to put hairs on your chest and give you a runny nose! The portion was a great size and went down a treat.  We also opted for a portion of okra fries which were extremely addictive and bhuna aubergine and roast cheese salad which was the star of the show. So much more delicious that I ever expected. The aubergine was A*. I stole a couple of slices of Hannah's chutney cheese sandwich which was so nostalgic, updated with a spicy kick. Made with what tasted like Hovis' basic white bread from my childhood years and endless cheese oozing out, it was amazing and I could have eaten another portion immediately after.

I'm looking forward to going back and trying the evening menu. It isn't a cheap place to eat and prices will add up if you start getting eyes bigger than you belly with the ordering of small plates. But the food was delicious that I have a feeling it will be 100% worth it. Set out over two floors with some swoon-worthy interiors, it's a great option if you find yourself in the area.


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