My natural disposition does not tend toward night-time gadding about. My ideal night out ends with me being tucked up in bed by 11pm, my three-cocktail maximum limit having being met but very rarely exceeded. Though a party animal by no means, I do always enjoy a celebratory occasion, particularly when I get a chance to try a new restaurant or bar as part of the festivities.
Such an opportunity arose last week when a friend invited a group of us to celebrate her birthday with lunch and a few drinks. Daytime carousing is perfect for a non night owl like me, so I was very excited and even bought a new top for the occasion (any excuse to buy a garment printed with multi-coloured tigers).
We started off in Birmingham’s Great Western Arcade, which is a beautiful arcade dating from 1876 and full of independent shops, bars, cafes and restaurants. The first port of call was the Miss Macaroon Macarons and Prosecco bar, a tiny little shop bursting with colour, prettiness and Macarons in lots of delicious flavours (rhubarb and custard, peanut butter, and salted caramel to name just a few)
For £8 you can get a glass of prosecco and two macarons. I am always charmed by bubbles served in a coupe, even though I am far more likely to spill whilst gesticulating wildly. The macarons – delicious by the way – were served on flattened wine bottles (see pic at top of post) and the whole thing was very fun and fizzy. It was the perfect place to start a celebratory afternoon and we spent a good hour or so talking ten to the dozen and taking photos for various social media accounts.
After, ahem, TWO glasses of prosecco we were all feeling slightly squiffy and in need of more food. Our very late lunch was booked for 4pm, so we decided to squeeze in a coffee and a piece of cake at Druckers first. I love how birthdays make cake obligatory.
Bizarrely, we were still hungry enough to be looking forward to our lunch at restaurant 1847, which offers a wholly vegetarian menu. Although I knew of it I had never been so I was really looking forward to trying it out. I was very impressed.
After the sugar bomb of cake, macarons and prosecco, it was really lovely to eat some delicious food that felt very wholesome and nourishing. The 1847 menu features nibbles, small plates and large plates, and it was really difficult to choose. I had chickpea flatbread with cavolo nero, mushroom, toasted quinoa, yoghurt and chilli. The whole dish was delicious and I really enjoyed the various textures. The toasted quinoa in particular was a revelation. The food was so delicious, in fact, that I forgot to take any photos until the plates had been cleared away.
Following that gorgeous lunch we decided to track down a few cocktails. After a couple of failed plans we decided on Ginger’s bar at Purnell’s bistro. This is my favourite place to go for cocktails in Birmingham. It is always classy and calm inside, the decor is beautiful, you can hold a conversation and, most importantly, the staff and service there is second to none.
We were in time for the half-price happy hour menu and enjoyed some delicious drinks, none of which tasted at all alcoholic. Once I dismounted my bar stool, however, I could confirm the presence of alcohol.
Once again, I forgot to take photos of the drinks, but here is a photo from a previous visit to Ginger’s. We arrived about ten minutes before the end of happy hour then, so ordered double …
After two glasses of prosecco and two cocktails over a 6-hour period, it was time for me to call it a day. I wended my way home on the bus, feeling ever-so-slightly tipsy, and was happily tucked up in bed with a book at 9.30pm. Just call me Lemmy.