SPENDING A WEEKEND IN STYLE AT EDGBASTON VILLAGE
Mention Edgbaston to most people and the first thing they tend to think of is cricket. Yet there is so much more to this hidden gem than the sound of leather on willow, as we discovered when we packed up our workbags and experienced a relaxing staycation exploring what Edgbaston Village has to offer…
Over the past two years, the attractive suburb situated less than a mile from Birmingham city centre has been transformed into a must-visit destination, with a vibrant mix of award-winning bars and restaurants, inspirational home and lifestyle stores and some of the country’s top health and beauty providers.
We started our trip at one of the most tranquil spots in the area – Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Stepping into this little patch of paradise instantly relaxed us as we took in the beautiful plants and flowers within the glasshouses and grounds; marvelled at the variety of birds in the Avery (including a very talkative parrot!); were surrounded by fluttery wings in the Butterfly House, and thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of not knowing what was around the next corner. The Gardens are a great place to visit throughout the year, with a regular events schedule providing something for all the family – from the open air cinema and Teddy Bears Picnics, to guided tours and photography courses.
Later in the day, we also had the opportunity to explore a little more by choosing one of the recently launched Blue Plaque Walks. Easy to download maps are available via the Edgbaston Village website and we chose the shortest of the four routes, which took us on a 1.5 mile stroll around Central Edgbaston, learning about the historical figures who have previously lived or stayed in the area.
Fact fans will be interested to know that JRR Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Trilogy, lived here for a number of years.
SHOPPING & BEAUTY
Those looking to indulge in a spot of retail therapy or a pampering treat have plenty to choose from in Edgbaston Village. OKA and Neptune provide stylish interiors inspiration across several floors – we dare you not to come out of either venue dreaming of re-styling your entire house!
Edgbaston is fast becoming known as the Harley Street of Birmingham, with many eschewing the capital for ease of the Midlands.
The team at JYG Hair Salon can revive your locks with a cut and colour, or a blow-dry to ensure you look suitably chic for a night out in Edgbaston Village!
We were lucky enough to try some of the tastiest dishes on offer across three different locations in Edgbaston Village, starting at The Edgbaston for afternoon tea. The multi award-winning venue has a renowned and recommended ‘Best Afternoon Tea outside of London’ status and it absolutely didn’t disappoint! We started with a glass of bubbles and a gin cocktail, choosing from a variety of teas to sip later. The team then proceeded to bring out a selection of delicious savouries, a scrumptious variety of seasonal sweet treats and a pile of traditional scones served with strawberry jam and Cornish clotted cream. Everything was beautifully presented and perfectly in-keeping with the elegant surroundings.
El Borracho de Oro was next on our list – an independently owned and authentically Spanish restaurant with an impressive décor and relaxed atmosphere. Considered ‘Birmingham’s Best’, we decided on a few tapas dishes to enable us to try a variety of flavours and were hugely impressed by the selection on offer. Everything was delicious and we washed it all down with a very generously sized glass of Sangria (well, it would be rude not to, wouldn’t it?!)
Our last culinary stop of the day took us to the Michelin starred Simpsons Restaurant. The service from start to finish was exemplary and we felt truly spoilt, starting with pre-dinner drinks in the garden before we were seated at our table. We decided to go straight for the mains, but had a few delicious bitesize tasters to sample beforehand. Everything was beautifully presented and scrumptious, to the point where we couldn’t resist a dessert too and I’m very glad we made that decision as they were both amazing!
After a busy day of exploration, indulgent treats and a cocktail or two, having somewhere to stay close by is a huge bonus and there are plenty of gorgeous hotels within Edgbaston Village. Both The Edgbaston and The High Field Townhouse offer beautifully designed, boutique bedrooms that are stylish and unique. There’s also the option to stay at Simpsons, which offers three large en-suite guest rooms that are traditional and elegant.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time exploring Edgbaston Village – whether you’re looking for the perfect place to treat a loved one to an exceptional meal; a boutique hotel; some tranquillity away from the hustle and bustle of the city; or simply somewhere different to explore, it can all be found here.