Visit: Birmingham city centre 

I recently went to Birmingham for a spa mini break and had a little time for a quick bit of sightseeing. I’d never visited Birmingham before, so was keen to explore a new city. 


There’s a wonderful mix of historic and modern architecture and art and everything is within walking distance of Birmingham New Street station. 


My favourite place was the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, which I spent a wonderful few hours wandering around. I didn’t have time to stop for food, but there’s a gorgeous cafe in the building. It’s also a very child-friendly museum. 

Advertisements

Spa Visit: Hotel du Vin, Birmingham 

A few weeks ago, I treated myself to some proper alone time and a little spa weekend in Birmingham. Perhaps not the most obvious choice, but I had found return tickets on the Trainline sale for £8, so it was a no-brainer. 

I stayed at the lovely Hotel du Vin, which was conveniently situated to get around the town centre, but was a little haven of tranquillity once inside. 

I purchased the spa treatment plus two course lunch deal and had a heavenly aromatherapy massage. 


Lunch was fine, nothing amazing, but it did the job! 


I wouldn’t go back for the food, but I’d definitely return for the peaceful hotel and the spa treatments.

Eat and Drink: The Melody, London W6

 
I recently had a wonderful date night at The Melody in Hammersmith, which I’ve been dying to try for a while now. It’s set in an historic building and the hotel is so quiet and serene that, once esconsed by the (fake) fire with a glass of red, you’d never guess it was on a busy London road.    

Our food was delicious and ranged from starters of such pretty sushi and flavoursome burrata on smoked aubergine, to filling mains of lamb rump and Spring greens pasta, to decadent desserts of lemon sorbet and mango panacotta. Yum! Highly recommended!    


   

Eat and Drink: Fork Deli, London WC1

Hector (our puppy and the newest member of the Hungry Head family) and I went to meet a friend for lunch today and visited a cute, independent cafe in Bloomsbury. Fork Deli is a quiet, but busy, haven in an historic area of central London with lovely herbal teas, artisan coffee and healthy food, such as homemade quiches, salads and sandwiches. They also have a nice range of cakes!   Hector was made very welcome in this dog-friendly deli and got lots of attention and cuddles from the kind staff. He had just one bone to pick (excuse the pun) and that was that there weren’t any doggy bowls of water or treats available for him, but we always travel with our own so he was just fine. However, he did get the best seat in the house and spent a happy hour looking out the window and keeping an eye on comings and goings in the deli.     

Eat and Drink: Salmontini, London SW1

This weekend, L and I went for an early Valentine’s lunch treat at Salmontini, which serves sushi and modern European cuisine. I overheard the maitre d’ telling another customer that there are two parts to the kitchen and one side makes all the sushi and the other is run by an Italian chef, which seemed like a fascinating way to run a restaurant kitchen to my inexperienced ears!   The menu was mixed up in a slightly strange way with the sushi and the European cuisine, but I actually think that meant it catered nicely for everyone. We both had avocado maki with caviar to start with and it was, without a doubt, some of the tastiest sushi I’ve ever had! I loved the presentation, too – so pretty!   For mains, we had mushroom gnocchi and poached salmon with sautéed green beans. The gnocchi may not have looked as pretty, but it was certainly the star of the table, with a heavenly creamy sauce.   Naturally, we had to make room for desserts and we had a melting hot chocolate bomb and a berry mille feuille. Both were delicious and there were two plates scraped very clean!    

 The restaurant, though very chilly (most of the ladies had to keep their coats or scarves on and I think there was something wrong with the AC), had a relaxed, yet elegant, atmosphere and I loved the jazz playing softly in the background. The service was wonderful and attentive in the best possible way. Definitely somewhere to revisit asap! 

Eat and Drink: Sexy Fish, London W1

A friend suggested we catch up at Sexy Fish after work last week and so I duly toddled off to Green Park, arrived at the restaurant and asked for a table at the bar. According to my friend, it can take a few months to get a proper table here, which I found quite astonishing!   However, there are a few bar tables that you can turn up and ask to be put on the waiting list for, so that’s what we did. As we arrived at 6pm, we were the first on the list and soon seated near the bar, with great views of the busy restaurant.   The bar is lovely. There are fish sculptures above it and at either end there are beautiful, blue mermaid sculptures. I could’ve happily whiled away my time with a glass of wine, watching the smartly-dressed bar staff mixing cocktails for the restaurant’s glamorous patrons.  I’m afraid the food was so heavenly that we gobbled it all up without taking any photos – oops! However, I really enjoyed spicy tofu noodles, bbq pork belly, salt and pepper squid, and a variety of maki rolls and gyoza – yummy! I definitely want to go back and next time I vow to eat slowly and take more photos…