2016 has definitely been the year of discovering my home city more and more, and with the abundance of brand new bars and restaurants opening this year it’s been hard to pick a weekend when Mr Fletche and I haven’t been out and about. Which is why I started doing monthly updates on what we’ve been up to locally, where we’ve been drinking and where we’ve been eating. You can catch up with these posts here
I’m not a food blogger by any stretch of the imagination (I forget to take photos until I’m halfway through, I don’t get much more descriptive than “tasty” or “bland”) but I’ve enjoyed expanding my horizons this year. I have even ate pizza BY CHOICE on more than one occasion. I also had my first ramen at Tonkotsu, and looked for contenders for my favourite Sunday roast (Spoiler…it’s all about the Jewellery Quarter for a Sunday roast)
For somewhere a bit different, Tilt is a new favourite – what’s not to love when there’s coffee, cake, beer and pinball? And in Digbeth, Mr Fletche goes all googly-eyed whenever he steps inside Clink. Bottles and cans and taps, oh my!
The discovery of other Birmingham Bloggers out there has been a revelation, and that’s largely in part to the fab Ting (The Ting Thing) and Laura (Full to the Brum) breathing life into the BrumBloggers group on Facebook. There’s the chance to share blog posts, get advice, take up blogger opportunities and to attend social events. Just knowing there are others out there that share my love for the city, and want to shout about it loud makes me feel a little bit warm and fuzzy. And the beauty of it is that although there are so many Brum Bloggers, no two are the same, and even those that blog about the same events give their own personal spin. And there’s food bloggers, and beauty bloggers, and mummy bloggers, and health bloggers, and doggy bloggers, and lifestyle bloggers… all writing about or in Brum. I look forward to attending a lot more events in 2017! Here’s what I wrote about our BrumBlogger events at The Gin Vault and Ana Rocha
They say a picture tells a thousand words, and whereas us bloggers can rave about Brum in descriptive terms, it’s down to the talented photographers of Birmingham to show everyone how beautiful the city can be. Mr Fletche tentatively posted first on Instagram just over a year ago, and now he has circa 1750 followers, and a lot of that is due to the fab support he – and other local photographers – has received from IgersBirmingham (and because he’s brilliant and super talented). Follow them on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter – and have a peek at their brand new website too to have a look at some of the incredible photos posted to the hashtag every day. They’re also a thoroughly lovely bunch of people too – and they’ve always been very welcoming to this non-photographer when I’ve gate-crashed their events!
There’s always stuff going on, and it’s hard to keep up with all the events – so much so that I now use a different coloured pen in my diary to note events I might want to pop along to! If there’s street food though, that’s where you’ll usually find me… whether that’s at Digbeth Dining Club, Seasonal Markets at the Bond or any of the local markets. Haven’t managed to get to the Hawker Yard yet so that’s one New Year’s Resolution sorted! And aside from the copious amounts of free stuff, there are loads of other ticketed or small admission events.
As always, we try to support independents where we can – not always achievable and downright impossible in some places, so don’t forget to check out Independent Birmingham for the latest news on local Brum businesses. And pick up an IB Card while you’re at it… it might save you a few pennies in the long run and it looks snazzy in your wallet.
A few fun awards to finish off with… what are your Birmingham favourites?
Best Street Food Vendor: Buddha Belly (closely followed by The English Indian)
Best Street Food event: Digbeth Dining Club at the Hare and Hounds/Kings Heath street closure
Most disappointing restaurant experience: Pasta di Piazza
Best Cocktails: Ana Rocha
Best Sunday Roast: 1000 Trades (Me); The Red Lion (Mr Fletche)
Best new drinking establishment: 1000 Trades
Best new restaurant: Gusto
Favourite free Brum event: Jewellery Quarter Festival 2016
Favourite paid-for event: Moseley Folk Festival
Best old favourite drinking establishment: The Old Joint Stock/The Wellington
Best for random dancing on a girlie night out: Sun on the Hill
Who would win in your best of Brum awards?
I’m Emmalene, a 40 something with a passion for travel, theatre, food, drink and the occasional accidental hike! I’m a born-and-bred Birmingham native so expect lots of Brum content on here too…