Birmingham Staycation Ideas

Sunday 17 February 2019

After 24 hours in the air on our way home from Australia, Jonny and I landed back in London for a brief evening before our annual family trip to Birmingham commenced. My brothers both go to university there so it's been a road trip that I look forward to every year for a while now - plus this time, we had Molly with us.

My post about our recent visit seemed like the perfect opportunity to collaborate with Lease Car and their BMW contract hire! They created this infographic which discusses some of the best places to drive in the UK and hence, this blog post, about one of my favourite UK road trips, was born!

 We went just before Christmas so our first stop was the Christmas market for some lunch but since I'm a bit late getting this post up, I'm just going to share the things that you can do year round!

Checking In

Over the past few years, we've stayed in different hotels around the city but since there were a few more of us this year, we decided to try something different and went for an apartment.

Saco are a brand I've stayed with before in London so I knew the one my mum picked was going to be nice. With two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a kitchen, living area and a huge balcony looking over Birmingham, it was just what we wanted.

Brindley Place

Our apartment block was just down the road from Brindley place which is one of our favourite parts of the city. It's an area of bars and restaurants lining the canal and such a lovely place to spend the evening so of course it was our first choice when deciding where to spend my dads birthday.

We started with a round of cocktails at Pitcher and Piano then went further down to a restaurant called The Canal House for dinner.

Warwick Castle

The castle is about 30 minutes drive from Birmingham city and a fun way to spend a few hours if you have a car. We wandered around the grounds, watched the birds of prey show which was pretty cool and finished our visit with a guided tour of the rooms inside the castle.

Thomas Oken Tea Room

Just outside the castle is the cafe in a cute, little, crooked cottage and the perfect place for lunch! The owners told us that the place is haunted and the room that we were in once caught fire with no other explanation than paranormal activity; but that didn't put us off, it was super cute and very cosy after a cold morning.

With a whole shelf of board games and the table soon filling up with teapots, finger sandwiches and sweet treats, we had a lovely afternoon stuffing our faces and playing taboo.

Coming back in time for Christmas meant getting used to the weather and as per usual, I was freezing. Luckily, my feet weren't a problem because I took part in a Secret Santa with Jake Shoes and arrived home to the ultimate winter pair of Converse.

I love Converse and had been travelling in the same pair since I left in January; they were literally falling apart by the time I got back to England so Roxii (aka my secret Santa) did well with this pair! Black all over and perfectly amped up for winter with a leather outer, cleated soles and fur lining. I haven't taken them off since I've been back!

Escape Live 

My brother works at Escape Live in Birmingham and he wanted us to see their new room so we went along and spent the morning trying to escape from a time travel disaster. We managed it with 3 seconds to spare.. much more successful (and actually a much more enjoyable experience) than my last escape room experience!

 Cadbury World

Our last stop of the weekend was Cadbury World! We were actually a little bit disappointing with their service - they kinda rushed us through - but anything involving lots of chocolate is still lots of fun! Having gone a little bit mad in the shop at the end, we left with bags and bags of discount chocolate just before Christmas so it wasn't all bad.

And after that, our trip came to and end! Stopping to pick Molly up from my other brothers house, we made our way back home ready for our next adventure a few days later; December was a busy month!

A Happy, Healthy, Solo Day in Soho

Sunday 3 February 2019

Before I left to go traveling, Soho was where I spent all of my time. I worked there, I went out after work there and I went back at the weekends too, so when an email came through asking me how I'd choose to spend a day in the area, it was the perfect opportunity for me to reconnect with my favourite part of town.

Getting There

Soho covers the area between Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road and Picadilly Circus stations meaning it's is easily accessed from the Central, Northern and Picadilly lines.

If you're not a local, I'd recommend staying in one of the many hotels in Soho; you'll be able to walk out of your front door, right in on the action.


I started my day with a trip to the gym as it's something I've really been enjoying lately. I never know what part of London I'm going to be in so instead of signing up, I just pick up a day pass as and when. Fitness First have well equipped gyms all over London and it was super easy to just purchase a day pass. Their Kingly Street one was in a great location just behind Kingly court and very close to Oxford Street station.

Healthy Lunch: Detox Kitchen

The Carnaby Street and Kingly Court area is a must visit if you're in Soho and that's where I spent most of my day. Just outside of the gym was a very well placed, healthy restaurant: The Detox Kitchen.

I grabbed a baked salmon and lentil and kale salad for lunch. 


I don't think there's been a day when I have gone into town and not looked in a few shops before I came home. With Oxford Street being one of London's most famous shopping areas, I hit up the shoe shops in search of a new pair of Converse.

Mission Accomplished.

If you are heading home on a train, don't forget about rush hour! I decided to head home at about 3pm to ensure a nice calm journey because I know from prior experience just how crazy it gets after 5.30pm. Beware, they often close Oxford Street station due to overcrowding. If you don't fancy heading home that early, then stay out until a bit later on; it's the perfect excuse for a couple of happy hour cocktails!

The spending money was gifted by, but all views are my own.
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