24 hours in Birmingham

If you’ve seen my ‘why I want to move to Leeds‘ or 24h in London posts then you’ll know that we like to check out cities in the UK that we don’t live in! I just think it’s great to know your way around as many cities as you can because, why not? You never know what opportunities will arise and it’s cool to get to know other places just in case! This weekend we headed to Birmingham for the Christmas market to kick off the festive season.

I’m wearing (of course) Vans Sk8 Hiblack skinny jeans and a super cosy navy knit from Warehouse last year, check out this one which is similar from ASOS here. Obviously I’ve been wearing my trusty black aviator jacket for the whole of November so far which is actually from Tesco but this Vero Moda one is really similar. This is seriously warm and actually still pretty stylish, I really like how they look anyway.

We joined the National Trust a few weeks ago and we’re absolutely loving checking out all of the gorgeous parks and interesting museums arounds the UK. We’ve already been to Southwell Workhouse, a local attraction close to Nottingham so when we knew we were going to head to Birmingham to check out the Christmas market we checked out if there were any National Trust properties or attractions to visit.

We discovered the National Trust Back To Backs which is located in the Chinese Quarter, super close to the back of the Bullring shopping centre. These are houses from as far back as the 1840s that have been recreated to show how the families lived there. It’s an hour and a half guided tour and it’s really interesting if you’re into a little bit of history.After a wander around the market and some drinks at The Botanist we headed to The Stable for some dinner. I’ve heard of these guys but they’re based a lot in the South so we’d not been before. The Birmingham branch is actually the most ‘north’ restaurant! I really enjoyed the atmosphere here, it was cool and industrial but comfy and had cool music. We kicked off with some beers and a tasty little garlic bread. The bases at The Stable are unbelievably light and thin so we were glad that we had a starter as well as the two pizzas for main.We went for the “James Brindley” which was topped with herb-roasted potato, Dorset Blue Vinney cheese, roasted Spanish onions, fresh spinach, tomato sauce and mozzarella. This was nice but it was a bit lacking on the blue cheese flavour so we wished that we’d gone for the four cheese instead! We also had “The Blazing Saddle” which is all about the slow-roasted pulled beef, dry-cured bacon, caramelised onions and roasted red peppers. We topped ours with sour cream and jalapeños and it was awesome! I really enjoyed the food here but it didn’t give me the pizza feels that you get when you’ve had a seriously naughty pizza. Because the bases are so thin it has to be all about the toppings so we loved the meaty one because the combination was great. Another thing that happens when bases are super, super thin is that your pizza goes cold so quickly which can be a bit disappointing. I’m not saying that this was bad at all, it’s literally how The Stable do things but I’m not sure it’s my favourite way to have pizza. I prefer a slightly thicker base, I must admit but they’ve definitely nailed their flavour combinations and the atmosphere was wicked.Before we headed home the next morning we needed a little re-fuel after a pretty awful night’s sleep in world’s noisiest Travelodge. I always feel that city centre hotels are ridiculously noisy and they should either provide every room with ear plugs or get them seriously soundproofed. Ugh, I actually hate hotels a lot of the time unless they’re really quiet. We had a great stay at a Q Hotel in Leeds, it was literally silent but I find a lot of city-centre hotels to be unbearably noisy!

We spotted the Cafe Rouge breakfast deal which was £9.95 for any breakfast, juice and a hot drink which was a pretty sweet deal. We both had pancakes, I went for the fresh fruit and creme fraiche with granola and it was so tasty. I’ve never eaten breakfast at a Cafe Rouge but I’d definitely go again, was pretty good value too! If anyone’s got any other breakfast recommendations in Birmingham, let me know for next time.

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