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Birmingham

Fun with Tanita

overcast 15 °C
View World trip 2019 on mslaurajade's travel map.

Back catching up with my Cuban BFF Tanita! I'm staying the weekend in Birmingham before heading down to London in a few days!
Of course, it's raining when I arrive off the bus! Once again the bag gets dumped and we head off on the train to the town of Bournville to the Cadbury Factory!! John Cadbury was a tea merchant in the 1820s who began to branch out making drinking chocolate and then from their eating chocolate. His sons Richard and George really got things going in the 1860s by introducing higher quality cocoa by importing a press from The Netherlands to extract some of the unpalatable cocoa butter. In the late 1880s, they made easter eggs and by 1897 chocolate bars. Cadbury today is one of the richest and most recognisable brands all over the world. Not to mention 100's of delicious products over the years. I really enjoyed seeing some of the old advertising slogans and campaigns at the factory and who can forget the famous Phill Collins gorilla!

The tour was fun! They had a ride similar to it's a small world at Disneyland! Very creepy and the cows looked like they were smashed!
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We even got to write with some liquid chocolate, all I wanted to do was eat it!!
A good trip down memory lane and some delicious chocolate tastings! My favourite is definitely the Wispa bar although it not common at home anymore!
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After that, we heading back into Birmingham to grab some food and check out some of the backstreets. A very funky area with lots of street art on walls and buildings, so talented!
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We ate at a place similar to the FAC (arty nightclub in Cuba), called Digbeth Dining Club with music rooms and food vendors!
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Then heading back into the city center to the BullRing, a large shopping center with cafes, bars, and restaurants. We have a drink at the beach bar overlooking St Martin's Church, a lovely afternoon sesh!
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It's Sunday so we head out locally in the Jelwery Quater for brunch, of course, another bacon and sausage butty!
A much-needed chilled afternoon on the couch before heading out to dinner at Hen and Chickens for a mixed grill, super tasty!!!
Here's me having a casual vino with Tom Hanks!
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Today the intention was to explore more of the city of Birmingham, the heart of the UK Midlands. Brummies, as the locals are known to have a very distinct twangy accent and even for me it's hard to understand at times! Mainly a market town in the 12-15th centuries, today it's known as the service sector (consulting, health, financial, etc as opposed to production) with many large corporations based here.
I meet Tanita for lunch and we head to a gorgeous little arcade old fashioned tea rooms for a sandwich, reminds me of my Nanna.
After that, I headed to Primark and never really left... It's a large department store which also has a cafe and a beauty bar. I spent a few hours getting myself preened and of course a few new purchases! The whole afternoon slipped by! Jumped on the tram heading back to Tanita's so refreshing to have the conductors on trams here! Only a 1 pound trip! A true home-cooked delicious Indian meal tonight cooked by Tanita, spice bomb with bags of flavour!

Ok, so today I'm really off to explore and see some of the sights! I walk into town to visit the library. A nice contrast to most other places of interest, it's very new opening in 2003. It has a rooftop garden which has a great view overlooking the city.
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Just outside the library is the Hall of Memory, erected to remember the 12,000 lost in WWI from Birmingham. What I liked most is the four statues around the exterior, which represent the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and Women's Services.
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The Council House is another striking building in the middle of the city, completed in 1879. So much detail and sculpture work on the front but the archway connecting the art gallery is lovely. It was added later in an extensive period of renovations between 1911-1919.
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Well, that's another one down and it was so nice to spend time with Tanita.
I'm sure we'll catch up again before I head and can squeeze in a Pimms or few!

London I'm coming!! Get out the teapot Lizzy!
Much love,
L xx

Posted by mslaurajade 13:02 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged buildings skylines chocolate england history travel friends heritage tour tourist adventures uk war drinks blog birmingham cadbury bournville

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