No rest for the wicked eh? Last weekend I had the utmost privilege of visiting Birmingham in association with Travelodge and Talented Talkers. Now I’ve been to Birmingham a couple of time for conventions but I’ve always stayed around the NEC area and haven’t ever ventured in to the city itself. I didn’t know what there was to see and do (except Cadbury’s World of course) so didn’t really know what to expect when I hopped on the train Friday after work.
It was quite late before I made it in but thankfully the Birmingham Central Travelodge which would be home for the next two nights was just a quick fifteen minute walk from New Street station. Check in was a breeze and I was soon settled in to my room on the top floor which has some pretty great views.
Saturday morning I sadly woke up with the start of a cold but I wasn’t going to let that deter me from my trip to Cadbury World. Travelodge very kindly included a breakfast box which I took with me and ate on the train. With cereal and milk, a nutrigrain, mini muffin and a bottle of orange juice full of vitamin c it was just the right way to start off the day.
Once at Cadbury World I opted to pay an extra pound for their audio guide which turned out to be a very good decision as it told me so much about the company that I wouldn’t have found out otherwise. It’s not a factory tour for health and safety reasons but instead a mix of interactive exhibits , videos and demonstrations. It’s a really fun day out and I ended up staying there for a total of four hours!
I returned to the hotel pretty tired thanks to the combination of my cold and my fun morning so I decided to chill out in the room for a while before grabbing some dinner. Now it’s a well-known bugbear of mine when posh hotels charge for wi-fi but I fully expect it from a budget chain like Travelodge. Impressively they give you 30 minutes free of charge and then you can pay for more if needed. I paid £3 for 24 hours but they also have longer options available. The wi-fi was fast and more than capable of streaming from YouTube so I was very happy snuggled up in bed watching old episodes of Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
Now the Travelodge I was staying at was located on Broad Street the main nightspot in Birmingham so it was actually pretty hard to find somewhere to eat but I was able to grab dinner at a pub called The Brasshouse at the end of the road where I had the most incredible king prawn, smoked bacon and asparagus risotto before calling it a night. I did discover that Birmingham has its own Walk of Fame with these paving slabs along the street.
After a great nights sleep (Travelodge beds are some of the comfiest I’ve ever slept in) it was time to check out and explore a little bit of Birmingham with the time I had left. Luckily the sun was shining which made my meandering all that more pleasant. One thing that I found really interesting about Birmingham is that is has more miles of canals in the city than Venice!
It was incredibly picturesque. I also came across this lovely little church in the jewellery quarter before heading towards Victoria Square, where the town hall and museum are, via Birmingham Cathedral.
What I really loved about the architecture in Birmingham was the juxtaposition of old and new buildings. It reminded me of London in a way.
I was due to meet a friend who lives near to Birmingham for lunch so headed towards the Mailbox, a luxury shopping and office development where I had an incredible roast chicken dinner at Penny Blacks and several hours of catchup chit-chat to round off my trip.
Despite being sick I had a really fun weekend and I can’t thank Talented Talkers and Travelodge enough for the opportunity!
How was your weekend? Any exciting plans for this one?