As the UK’s second city, there are many exciting things happening in Birmingham right now, from HS2 and Midland Metro tram extensions, preparations for the Commonwealth Games in 2020 and more Londoners moving out of the capital to Birmingham than ever before, Birmingham is definitely the place to be.
At Big Cat, we couldn’t be more excited for the developments within the city, but as experts in the industry and also greedy cats who love to socialise, we’re always chatting over our desks or sending each other links about where to go out, where’s new, where we haven’t been in a while and which restaurant openings we’re most excited about. Rather than selfishly keeping this information to ourselves, we thought we’d share it with you and invite you to share your favourite places with us too…
Christie Buet, Communications Director
I don’t solely have one favourite place in the entire city, I mean, how can you when there is so much choice?!! I have different places I love dependant on the type of occasion, the mood I’m in and who I am dining with. However, when I think back to that one place which really made me think ‘wow’ it always comes back to the afternoon tea I once shared with my best friends at The Edgbaston. There is a real buzz about the place as you sip on pink champagne captivated by the theatrical presentation of the dainty sandwiches and savoury bites which arrive in swirls of dry ice vapour – perfect food-porn moments! The cakes and selection of desserts are amazing too, really beautifully presented and glorious flavours. As someone with a sweet tooth – I didn’t want it to end, ever!
In way of what I’m looking forward to arriving, I’d have to say Asha’s restaurant in Touchwood, Solihull. Asha’s in Birmingham has got to be one of the best and tastiest Indian meals I have ever tried, so to have it on my doorstep in my hometown fills me with excitement. Although, I am slightly nervous that it may encourage me to indulge in Indian food far too frequently.
Gemma Greaves, Digital Account Executive
As Sutton Coldfield is my home town, it’s always nice to take advantage of the ten minute stroll to The Boathouse in of the one of the largest urban parks in Europe. Despite there also being two delicious Toby Carveries and a Miller and Carter on the lake at Boldmere Gate, The Boathouse is the winner for me. I love it in the summer as you can enjoy a really oldy-worldy pub vibe in what seems to feel like the middle of nowhere but with a beautiful view of the lake. The atmosphere there is just where you want to be, either with a nice glass of chilled white wine in hand while sunbathing on the bank or enjoying a top notch burger with a very nice cold beer!
Oliver Arnold-Richards, Junior Account Director
With the overwhelming amount of fantastic food and drink on offer in Brum, it’s hard to nail down a ‘favourite’ but my local ‘The Midland’ has got to be up there for me! It’s a proper boozer, in the heart of Bearwood, with a grand interior (restored from its former glory as a branch of the Midland Bank). As a Black Country Ales pub there’s plenty of good beer on offer, with 13 constantly changing taps and no try-hard gastro-food in sight – just the perfect selection of cheese cobs, pork pies and crisps!
I can’t wait for Andy’s Low’n’Slow to open! He’s been on the street food circuit for a while now and is a true stalwart of Digbeth Dining Club. After a successful crowdfund for his own restaurant, I’ll be looking forward to indulging in his famous slow cooked dishes, especially the beef Brisket. BBQ at its finest!
Sophie Haigh, Communications Account Manager
My favourite place to hang out in Brum is Gas Street Social. I love going there with my friends, chilling out, watching the world go by, sipping on a Nuclear Hurricane and tucking in to a plate of slow cooked sweet and sticky ribs – they’re to die for!
I’m also really looking forward to Andy’s Low ‘N’ Slow opening. I’ve followed his story since his early days at Digbeth Dining Club as a self-made chef, through to his Kickstarter project, and I’m really pleased he’s finally achieved his dream of opening up his own restaurant. I will literally be waiting outside the doors on the day of opening to get my hands on some delicious beef brisket!
Gareth Burns, Junior Designer (and man of few words)
My favourite place is York’s Ikon Gallery. The food there is amazing, even better coffee, the staff are very kind and the interior is right up my street.
I’m looking forward to… Franco Manca because you can never have too many good pizza places to go to.
Tabby Ives, Marcomms Assistant
I love restaurants with cool décor that offer both a great experience and great food, which is why Turtle Bay is one of my favourite restaurants in Birmingham. I’d never had Caribbean food before I first went there about four years ago, so the menu was so exciting and new to me, and the jerk salmon was AMAZING. Plus, the Happy Hour Caribbean cocktails were a real life-saver as a student. There’s such a great atmosphere in the bar on a Saturday night that I’ve been there a lot over the last few years.
I also can’t wait for Franco Manca to open in Birmingham – I’ve been to the London restaurants a few times before and have loved it each time. Their delicious pizza dough is made fresh on site each day and they change their specials every day, whilst the restaurant has a great, casual atmosphere. It will be great to have such amazing pizza closer to home!
Eliza Topham, Intern
I’ve only been in Birmingham a month so I haven’t visited many places, however I have been made aware by my colleagues of a gorgeous sandwich shop in the Jewellery Quarter. Every Friday lunch I like to treat myself to something from Salcooks, where you can get amazing salads, sandwiches, tarts and the best of them all, the puddings! This tiny little sandwich shop may be pretty hidden and discreet, but you don’t want to be missing it.
I’m looking forward to visiting Tattu which has newly opened. The décor looks amazing and it will definitely be somewhere new and interesting to try as there’s not much else like it out there!