Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Birmingham Food Highlights

The Meat Shack
The Meat Shack Birmingham
If you like the finer things in life then you need to head over to the Meat Shack on Thorp Street close to the Birmingham Hippodrome. Gorgeous burgers such as Buffalo Blue, Hell Shack and Dutch Piggy will rock your world. All containing a '5oz  hefty hunk of well-aged grass-fed beef''.
Garnish with blue cheese, Dutch cheese, American cheese, green chilli relish, candy bacon crumb, hot sauce, buffalo sauce, chipayo and streaky bacon and you take burgers to another level.
These little beauties below are Frickles, deep-fried cider-battered pickles with blue cheese dressing and they are amazing!
The Shack is full of great artwork and a kwl place to hang out and grab a drink.

The Indian Streatery
Indian Streatery, Birmingham.
This family run restaurant is the new kid on the block or Bennett's Hill to be precise. Pop in for a grab and go lunch from 11:30 to 2:30 or go proper restaurant stylee from 5pm.
Credit: Indian Streatery
The Pani Puri spice bombs on the right caught me out a bit as I put too much spiced water in the puri and even my big mouth struggled with the spice explosion.
The highlight was the amazing butter chicken made with a lot of talent by head chef aka Mum in the kitchen. So creamy and tender it oozes flavour. Its only rival on the menu is the Methi chicken which I cannot wait to try.

The Canal House
The Canal House, Birmingham
It was a pleasure to pop into the Canal House a week before it's official launch. It's a beautifully designed restaurant in a perfect setting. A place to relax and slow down a little for a bite to eat before changing to party mood and working your way through the exotic cocktail menu.
If SIA was here she would swing from these quirky chandeliers. The mini office is above the entrance.
Take your drink outside and enjoy the large terrace by the Gas Street Basin.
I need a bit of spice in my food so I really enjoyed the jerk salmon kebab.
Quality chicken burger with avocado was tasty.
The cookie dough was fantastic. Warm flavoursome sponge with a rich sweetness. 
Afogato is my dessert of choice lately. Don't be a slob and pour all the espresso and amaretto in at once, add to taste instead dear boy.
Love the private dining room.

 Boston Tea Party Edgbaston
Boston Tea Party Cafe, Edgbaston, Birmingham
The newly opened Boston Tea Party in Edgbaston has pretty rooms such as the Orangery and Pineapple themed areas to choose from.
The former bank is now full of comfy seating, colourful details and those amazing cakes and milkshakes.
I liked the Orangery most. it's perfect for meet-ups or catching up on your laptop to do list.
Head here to beat the big queues at the Harborne branch.

Java Lounge
Finally, Starbucks do not make the best Frappucinos, Java Lounge does! The iced mango blend is also a pick-me-up from heaven.

Words and photos by Paul Clarke
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Monday, 11 September 2017

Birmingham August and September Highlights

Willard Wigan
The Tailor of Gloucester
You have until the 28th October to see the fantastic In The Eye of The Needle exhibition at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter.
Willard Wigan
Willard Wigan's art really is so small you need to look through a microscope to see the wonderful creations inside the eye of a needle. He even uses an eyelash to paint these miniature beauties.
Willard began doing miniature work as a child when he disturbed some ants in the ground and decided to make some furniture for them. If you are reading this on your phone zoom in on the photos below to get a better look.
Check out the Ascent of Man and remember that apes did not start this war but apes will finish it.
Christ The Redeemer.
Mammy from Gone With The Wind
The Pieta. Brought back a nice memory from the one in St Peter's in Rome.
What big teeth you have Granny!
To See or Not To See.
Willard spends 18 hours a day on his art and holds his breath whilst working to get the absolute stillness needed to work on the art. He is even visiting Oxford University who want to study his hand control whilst manipulating stem cells.

BMAG Thresholds
Busting makes me feel good
I headed to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery for their VR photography exhibition Thresholds as part of the Developed in Birmingham season. It featured VR replicas of some photo prints from 1839 originally displayed at King Edward's School.
You looked into the cabinets and then used your hands to magnify and move the photos. It was really kwl and I loved it. You could look out the windows to see a Chartist protest, there was a mouse running around on the floor and moths buzzing around the lights.

School of Code at Google Digital Garage
School of Code ran a beginners guide to coding inside Google's Digital Garage on New Street. School of Code has just started a coding boot camp that lasts for 16 weeks and is absolutely free to the lucky 20 participants who will go from beginners to fully-fledged programmers.
You should check out all the free classes being offered by the Digital Garage as they cover everything from social media to spreadsheets.
Below School of Code explained the difference between HTML, CSS and Javascipt by getting you to design and animate a little character. This was my Batgirl attempt.

Birmingham Social Media Cafe July 
Birmingham Social Media Cafe headed over to the classy Opus restaurant on Cornwall Street. It was great to catch up with social media whizzes such as My Jewellery Quarter Twitter account which does an amazing job, Gleeson Recruitment and Biddle and Webb Auctions who use Periscope to market forthcoming events.

Birmingham Social Media Cafe August
A lively meet-up at Tilt included LinkedIn guru Ian J Preston (below 2nd left) who runs the Coffee and Natter networking club giving everyone a pep talk on nailing marketing of yourself on LinkedIn. David Glenwright of JC Social Media was also nearby hosting a free social media clinic for small businesses. He is full of wonderful advice and expertise.

Brum Bloggers Co-working
Thanks to The Ting Thing and Laura Creaven  Brum Bloggers arranged a co-working evening at the AC Hotel to get everyone to stop procrastinating and catch up with their social media activities. Interesting bloggers included One Tech Traveller who is off to Hong Kong and the Far East for 6 months amazing travel blogging and Galina Thomas who has an incredible 19,000 Instagram followers.

Birmingham Heritage Week Lazarica

Finally I was one of the many people that swarmed over to the Lazarica Church on Griffin's Brook Lane for its Birmingham Heritage open day. The church is breathtaking and truly a hidden gem. The first purpose built Sebian Orthodox Church in the UK dedicated to the Holy Prince Lazar.
The stunning murals are all the work of one man completed over a 5 year period.
The middle doors of the altar are reserved for the priest and royal family only.
It is a glorious sight.

Words and photos by Paul Clarke
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