A visit to Birmingham and it's German Market
14th January 2015
I travel to Birmingham regularly to visit our operation on Commercial Street but this is often a day trip or an overnight stay with little time to take in the sights. So when my wife suggested spending the start of our Christmas holiday in Birmingham to see the market and do some last minute shopping I agreed. She neglected to inform me until booking flights that she had invited her mother along but with a 2 bedroom apartment at The Spires we had plenty of room and privacy during our trip.
The Christmas Market: Although a lot smaller in comparison to the German Markets themselves, if you stand in the middle of New Street and close your eyes you are quickly transported to the heart of Frankfurt at Christmas. The smells of Bratwurst and Apfelwein fill your nostrils and the constant hum of chatter fills your ears. There is a great selection of stalls that run from the square outside the central library, which is home to a Ferris wheel and outdoor ice-rink, right down to the Bullring at the bottom of New Street.
A walk round the market in the evening once the sun goes down is a must as this is when it really comes into its own. Stalls decorated in Christmas lights twinkle away and the smells seem stronger in the night air!
The shopping: Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, House of Fraser, The Bullring, The Mailbox, The Jewellery quarter, need I go on? You are spoiled for choice and my wife and her mother took full advantage of the shopping, stuffing as much into our suitcases and hand luggage as they could.
Dining: Having our little boy with us, when it came to eating out we dined at The Mailbox (which is across the road from our apartments) having a trip to Gourmet Burger on the first night and for tapas at Barestilo on the second night. Both restaurants were very accommodating to our wee one with suitable choices offered on their children’s menus. On our 3rd night the mother-in-law came in handy by babysitting and my wife and I went out for an Indian meal. Now there is no shortage of Indian restaurants in Birmingham but I took her to my local on Broad Street- The Barajee or as its better known to The Spires Management the Arg y Bargy (Eastenders reference)!
No night out is complete without a quick pint of craft ale in The Craven Arms which is handily located round the corner from our apartments. They always have a huge selection of ales available and the welcome is always friendly.
We also shoehorned in a trip to the sea life centre in Brindley square, a 10 minute walk along the canal from the Spires, and the entry fee was worth it to see the look on our wee man’s face when he saw the penguins. Well worth a visit.
By Kevin. Operations Manager