Having temporarily relocated far, far further north than I ever envisaged myself living a while back (look, Birmingham is north to Londoners, ok?) one of the first questions I had about my new surroundings was where the best bars are.
London has everything. Gin in teacups served in a lingerie shop. Secret speakeasies only accessed through dark, unmarked doors. Bars that have proper Germans serving proper German beer in proper German lederhosen.
In fact, anything you want, London has. Even THOSE bars. You know the ones I mean. Weirdo. Anyway, this was a genuine concern, because as much I love staying in for a cool glass of wine on hot summer nights, nothing beast the buzz of a good bar. Even my hometown of Brentwood is packed to the rafters with swanky drinking courtyards and oh-so-much bling.
So here are five of the finest bars and drinkeries the Midlands has to offer. Have I got it right?
33 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham, B2 5SN
Ok, so it hasn’t arrived just yet. But based on their other venues in Bath, Stamford and Cardiff, we know it’s definitely worth adding to the list. The Cosy Club takes an eccentric look at cricket club/gentleman’s parlours of old, and mixes them together for a country-kitch vibe; think frilly lampshades, stag heads, and imposing artwork dotted about the vast venue. And its food is just as eccentric as the decor, taking inspiration from Italian, Greek, French and British cuisines. The cocktails follow the same pattern. Cherry Bakewell martini, anyone?
28 Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham, B4 6BJ
With the world’s best bars and restaurants seeing a grand mixology takeover these past few years, Birmingham wasn’t going to be left behind. At the forefront of cool and quirky cocktails in Birmingham, The Jekyll and Hyde in Birmingham’s Colmore District not only boasts their own Victorian gin parlour, but also a selection of some of the most weird and wonderful drinks in the city. From cocktails made of rum flavoured toothpaste, to sharers served in mini porcelain baths, The Jekyll and Hyde doesn’t just have a split personality, it has a tasty one too.
Le Truc – Closed
Ladywell Walk The Arcadian, Birmingham, B5 4ST
Sadly, this quirky bar has confirmed closure after months of assurances there were no issues with the venue. We’re still not sure why they’ve closed, it remains a mystery. If you have any news on what might have happened do let us know.
Burlington Arcade, Birmingham, B2 4JH
Hidden under the rows of Birmingham’s most popular shopping streets is a weird and wonderful drinking hole that will leave you with a hankering for days gone by. Brimming with stunning stone masonry, rich elegant woodwork and vintage flecks, Bacchus is something of a Medieval themed bar in the city centre that nods to ‘ye olde’ traditions and classic British grub (with a great selection of cask ales if you’re interested, too).
22 Great Hampton Street, Birmingham, B18 6AQ
When Deep South dining arrived with a bang in Birmingham, thanks to Soul Food Society’s Carl Finn, the city knew he wouldn’t stop there. Now boasting his own bar in the shape of the Jewellery Quarter’s The Church Inn, Carl Finn has given Birmingham a slice of everything from speakeasy charm and rooftop cinema screenings, to tailor made bespoke cocktails. At incredibly affordable prices with main meals at no more than £9 a pop, this Deep South adventure is a true foodie’s mecca.
What about you? Do you know a quirky Brummie bar that I should visit? Let me know below or on Twitter!