What To Eat and Drink
On the Friday evening, we arrived fairly late in the evening at our Travelodge and settled into our room. We wanted to eat somewhere close to our room so we chose the Handmade Burger Co, a short walk from the Central Newhall St Travelodge along the canals. The walk was such a lovely experience and so peaceful, contrary to my expectation of a city as big as Birmingham. Handmade Burger Co unfortunately hasn't made its way to Cambridge yet so although it was a chain, we didn’t feel like we were eating somewhere we could go to at home and it was a great start to the weekend.
The following day, I was determined to try some local Birmingham restaurants. For lunch, I would definitely recommend Purecraft Bar and Kitchen
. Their Scotch Eggs are known as being some of the best in Birmingham and they didn’t disappoint; the picture alone makes me hungry. Purecraft had an impressive array of beers and ciders, as well as their tasty tapas-style pub dishes. I was really impressed with both the presentation and quality of the food we chose, and we had a very enjoyable lunch.
Birmingham is famous for its Balti curry so we knew we wanted to spend the Saturday evening in one of their curry houses. I'd researched the Balti Triangle , so we jumped in a taxi to Ladypool Road, the main street in the area. I'd read some great reviews online about Al Frash
so we decided to give it a try. The reviews were right; the curry was brilliant. We had a selection of starters, including some tasty chicken pakoora and I opted for the simple chicken Balti as my main. It was fantastic; served in a red hot pot and bursting full of heat and flavour. My only negative was the location as it was far less touristy than we were expecting and we felt a little bit lost – and if you want to drink alcohol, don’t forget to bring your own as most curry houses are unlicensed.
Of course, I managed to find some time for gin and I was excited to discover The Jeykll and Hyde
bar, complete with a Victorian Gin Palace. This was one of my favourite bars I have visited in a long time, from the formal portraits of dogs in uniform, to the sign about gin and happiness. There was an extensive and fascinating cocktail menu, including sharers served in a gentleman’s bowler hat and cocktails in teacups. The sweet-flavoured cocktails were my favourite, and were extremely popular with everyone else in the bar too. You could choose from lemon bon bons, strawberry laces, chocolate éclair, pear drops and parma violets, all served in cute jam jars. I would definitely recommend taking the short walk from the centre of town for a few drinks in this curious and creative bar.