Last weekend, I had the joy of a trip to Birmingham…. Two reasons for my trip: to catch up with my friend from university and for our first Chic Tribe UK meet up.
Having only spent a few hours there in October and having heard lots of mixed opinions on the city, I didn’t know what to expect, but I think I love it a little… it kinda reminded me of Glasgow in some ways.I got to spend Friday exploring the city (apparently walking 18.5 miles according to my Fitbit app)… I caught an early flight, so when I arrived, I of course hit up Starbucks to grab some caffeine to refuel and charge my phone, a quick visit to the Apple Store was next on the agenda to replace some faulty ear pods and as always, excellent customer service! Then it was off to explore what Brum had to offer, I took a wander up New Street to Victoria Square and was greeted by the incredible architecture of the museum and art gallery… it was too hot and sunny so I wasn’t about to miss the sunshine and spend it inside (I’ll save that for my next visit).
I wandered further up the road and they are doing a lot of regeneration work in advance of the Commonwealth Games so there’s lots of construction underway around the city and areas blocked off with colourful Paradise Birmingham signs… very instagram-able!
Next stop, I inadvertently found myself at Birmingham Central Library which is definitely not what I expected, it’s so modern and fancy looking. My friend was there working on her PHd so I went up in and met her. The entrance is fairly standard… but when you go up to Level 2 and above… wow! It’s oh so pretty, twinkly lights, books organised by colour (in a circle), it made my heart happy.
Lunchtime… Joy had been working hard all day, so by 2:30pm it was time for lunch, we wandered down to the canal to catch some sunshine and went to All Bar One for a long overdue catch up… then she headed back to the library and I wandered along the canal and by the market, then found a seat at the canal and read my friend Steve’s new book (yet to be released).
When Joy had enough of working for the day (well half an hour before the library closed), I went back to meet her, still blown away by how pretty it was… but that’s not even the best part… there was outdoor spaces. Two levels of the library have roof gardens, so Joy and I went to one of them… great views across the city, just what you need as a study break.
Prosecco time… this is where being in England is better than Scotland… you can drink outside (not at a bar) and not get arrested for it! So being the classy Scottish girls that we are, we went to Tesco and picked up some Prosecco and smoked salmon (yes we remembered plastic cups) and sat on a bench at the canal and put the worlds to rights before wandering some more and getting the bus back to Harborne.
I loved this statue… urban art at its best.
When there’s pretty flowers, there’s always a photo op!
On Saturday, I got to meet some of my #chictribeUK friends at The Distillery for an amazing Bottomless Brunch with prosecco.
The food was incredible, I had hummus and flatbread to start (clearly I was too distracted chatting to take a photo), then Shakshuka baked eggs and sourdough bread followed by a chocolate orange pot for dessert (only because they didn’t have any meringues left and meringue is my favourite pudding), but the chocolate orange pot was the best!
I connected with Prue and Anna on Instagram/Facebook because of Rachel Hollis, founder of Chic Site and author of Girl Wash Your Face (just putting it out there, if you haven’t read it yet… go do that… it’s totally worth it!) You can read my previous post about it here. If you’re in the UK and part of the Chic Tribe use #chictribeuk on social media or request to join our Chic Tribe UK facebook group we’d love you to join us.Prue the amazing Aussie lady who runs House of Skirt and several businesses including the Cool Calm Collection very kindly gifted us this incredible #chictribeUK personalised tan leather pouch.
If you would like to order your own, shop the Laney Pouch (can be personalised with whatever you would like on it).
It was great spending time with Anna and Prue, finding out how they first connected with Rachel and the Chic Tribe/Chic Tribe UK and hearing their stories of how they got to be where they are today. Both these women are strong, passionate, creative and resilient. I loved getting a glimpse of their lives throughout the day.
After our fab brunch, we decided to see what the city had to offer, so we wandered along the canal and ended up at the library, I was so impressed by it on Friday that I had to show the girls. They were as impressed as I was, particularly with the roof gardens… it was hot but I should have tied my hair back for the photo, instead here I am looking somewhat windswept and interesting!
There was one place in the library I never got the chance to see on Friday (who would have thought a library could be so cool?!)… the Shakespeare room so of course we had a look and took an obligatory selfie with the man himself!
Photo Cred to Prue for the Shakespeare Selfies.After the library, it was on to Starbucks to charge the phones, have more chat and make the most of our limited time together.
We then went to the Mailbox (shopping centre, not to post letters) and wandered around Made.com and talked of all the things we wished we could have in our houses. So many pretty things!
Then it was time to say goodbye to Anna so we went back to the train station, then there were two… Prue and I had a wander round the station and the Bullring then finished up with a chat over a Diet Coke in Pret before her train.
All in all, a great couple of days in a great city!
Hope you have a fab weekend!