Especially when they involve a snazzy journey on a snazzy train on a Friday evening, whizzing me out of London and straight to the curry capital of the UK – hello Birmingham.
Last Friday evening, LM and I hopped on a Virgin Train at Euston station and immediately felt ourselves unwind in the comfort of the First Class seats. Travelling First Class on a train is always a treat, but Virgin Trains really do take it to a whole new level, with its lovely soft lighting, plentiful plug sockets, fast wifi, oodles of free food and drink… and proper cutlery.
I can’t explain what a difference this makes to me. I appreciate real cutlery. And tea in a proper mug. These are the little things that make an enormous difference to my whole travelling experience. We also both downloaded the Virgin Trains on-board entertainment app, BEAM, so we could lose ourselves in movies on the journey…
So we didn’t have to wait until we arrived in Birmingham for our lovely mini break to begin – it started the moment we set foot on the train itself… very special.
We were off to Birmingham to explore some of the favourite local foodie spots, and we had a few on our list, including the Digbeth Dining Club – Birmingham’s original street food event and the Winner of Best Street Food Event in the UK 2013 & 2014… clever them!
After we’d unpacked at our hotel, we hopped into a taxi and a few minutes later we were there, in the pouring rain but undetered!
The market was absolutely packed, full of hungry food-lovin folk, queuing up for everything you can imagine, including pork belly burgers, Caribbean scallops, Indian fish and chips, pheasant toasties, gigantic Mexican burritos, ENORMOUS hot dogs and oozy chocolatey crepes…
We worked our way slowly around the stalls and sampled as many different dishes as we could. The food was really excellent quality and the DJ & bar added some festival spirit to the already merry throng.
The next day we had a light breakfast as we were heading to Mosley Farmer’s Market, who have won the award for the best farmer’s market in the UK no less than three times… so we were expecting greatness! And greatness, we got.
Moseley Farmers’ Market is on the last Saturday of the month in the centre of Moseley Village – you can’t miss it. There are over 60 stalls selling a huge range of produce, including fruit and veg, cheese and wine, pies and beer… Everything available is local and the produce is reared, grown or processed by the people selling – amaze.
We couldn’t go to Birmingham and not pay a visit to the Balti Triangle – an area of Balti houses clustered along Ladypool Road, Stoney Lane and Stratford Road… The beginnings of this scene really began in the 1970s, due to the city’s large Pakistani and Kashmiri communities… and it has been growing ever since.
We had booked a table at one of Birmingham’s best Indian restaurants, Itihaas, for dinner, so we had to stay strong and not dive into one of the many wonderful looking restaurants we passed… and there are many! Here’s a handy guide (link) for you do download when you visit – but do go hungry!
Perched on the edge of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, sits Itihaas – a bit of a famous spot in Birmingham, and a restaurant the locals are proud of. It’s a mixture of very ornate traditional Indian artwork and furniture, and very simple tables and place settings… but most importantly, the food was absolutely lovely.
On our final day, we popped into Yorks Bakery for brunch before heading back, again on First Class (it’s much more affordable to upgrade to First Class on the weekend than you might think – have a look at this First Class Upgrade Offer) to London town.
Again, we stretched out, sipped tea, watched the world whizz by and enjoyed our little slice of luxury as we were transported safely home.
I love the whole stress free nature of travelling by train city to city, and Birmingham is the perfect destination for a quick foodie trip out of London. It took less than 90 minutes to get there, and we could leave London after work and arrive in time for supper.
We loved exploring the city and especially discovering such wonderful culinary treats.
The train travel bug has bitten me now and I can’t wait to whizz off to foodie pastures new very soon indeed…
This post was shot on my LEICA D-LUX – dinky but dynamic ;)
This post is sponsored by Virgin Trains and all thoughts and opinions are my own.