Birmingham · food and drink · UK

Out and About in Birmingham: March 2017

For the February edition of Out and About in Birmingham, click here!

We started March by leaving Brum behind for the slightly more picturesque North Wales, and Snowdonia National Park in particular. In a totally non-Birmingham related post, you can find out more about what happens when A Brummie Home and Abroad attempted to climb Snowdon here…

Mountain Climbing for beginners...that time we decided to climb Mount Snowdon...

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On 5th March The Botanist Birmingham and Front Row Events Birmingham University hosted A Creative Night on behalf of St Basils, a local charity which works tirelessly to help prevent and combat youth homelessness , and we popped along to support. It was wonderful to see some of Mr Fletche’s Birmingham photographs being sold for a great cause!

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A gig at the O2 Institute always means an excuse to pop in to see our old friends Digbeth Dining Club. It was kebabs all round from Kebab Cartel, who make the most wonderfully fresh chicken shawarma on flatbread, oozing with homemade sauce. I also ventured up to the first floor in Mama Roux’s for the first time to check out the Gin Bar. £5 cocktails with a generous shot of gin makes me happy. Gin and kebab. A perfect Friday night combination.

We walk the short distance to the O2 Institute to see Glass Animals. These guys are great, although I have a bit of a shock when I realise I am old enough to be the mother of not only the band but of most of the audience too. Still, it means I can admire the decor and in particular the glitter ball pineapple hanging at the back of the stage. It turns out to be one of the best gigs I’ve been to in ages, partly due to our vantage point on the balcony where we can watch the (young) fans dance, bounce and sing along to every word of every song from the Oxford quartet. I also like a band that really seem humbled by playing in front of an adoring crowd. Big thumbs up to Glass Animals; check them out on Spotify and YouTube 🙂

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The problem with being a Brum Blogger is that people ask you for your recommendations all the time. Where should we eat? Where should we drink? But like most people, my choice of restaurant or bar is mostly down to where I read that someone else enjoyed last. Which is why after a recent blogger event at Bardolinos, my Facebook feed was full of pizza and Marco Pierre White’s face – and why it was my first suggestion for a “ladies that lunch” lunch.

It’s a recent addition to MPW’s now quite significant presence in Birmingham, and is the perfect venue for a elegant but casual lunch. It’s primarily a pizzeria, with a decent line in pasta too – but there’s not much else if you’re one of those freaky peeps who don’t like either. It’s nice and bright, with canalside floor to ceiling windows letting in lots of light. Any worries about us being underdressed are soon addressed by the stream of be-robed diners coming up from the Cube’s Club and Spa for their lunch.

Pizza at Bardolinos, The Cube, Birmingham
Pic from Bardolinos website

Our server was wonderfully patient whilst we got into a good gossip before even looking at the menu, and she provided us with excellent service all throughout our visit. I opted for the classic Pollo e Funghi pizza, whilst my fellow diners went for the Zingara and the Cannelloni. We also went for a selection of sides to share, including skinny fries, salad and garlic ciabatta. Whilst my pizza was tasty, with plenty of chicken, I struggled to eat much over half, and in hindsight I should have gone for the pizzetta “half pizza half salad” option. I’ll remember that next time. All in all, a great setting with excellent service and a simple but good quality menu.

We followed up our lunch with cocktails and mocktails at Gas Street Social. I’m a big fan of this place, although the cocktails are a bit pricey and take an age to make…try and go when they’re not too busy. Whilst The Botanist and The Alchemist go for fancy gimmicks, I like that Gas Street Social keep it quite simple. It was a couple of Old-Fashioneds for A, an Aperol Spritz and some Floozy-titled lemon combo for me, and the non-alcoholic (but still exciting) option for C, who was foolishly running a 10k the day after a girlie afternoon out in Brum…

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It was a good job we drove past the New Alex Theatre on Saturday as it had completely slipped my mind that I’d booked tickets post-Christmas to go see The Commitments.  Mr Fletche and I had a quick pre-theatre dinner at Cherry Reds before hopping over to watch the show.  I even blogged about it here.

The Commitments on Tours comes to Birmingham's New Alex Theatre

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March also saw the first Brum Bloggers event of the year; in conjunction with Delicious PR we were invited to sample new Indian restaurant 1580 in North Birmingham. You can read my thoughts on the evening here

1580

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Mr Fletche went off on another IgersBirmingham instameet, this time in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. You can read the IgersBirmingham blog here and check out the #igb_meet_ilovejq on Instagram. Below are a few of the pics taken by Mr Fletche on the day! For more of Mr Fletche’s Birmingham pics, you can follow his Brum Instagram account here.

We finished up March with an amazing 5 day trip to Germany, exploring the towns on the “Romantic Road” route.  Blogs coming soon!  

April sees a tapas treat for Mr Fletche’s birthday, street food events at Kings Heath and in Digbeth, and our first ever Northern Soul night when the Night Owl takes over Birmingham’s Town Hall!

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