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Head to this UK city for your next staycation

PICTURED: Birmingham Town Hall

STAYCATIONS IS a relatively new term for taking a little well-earned break away from home but not venturing too far away. It's become an increasingly attractive option for travellers who want to get away without the hassle of airports and to discover more of their home turf on a budget.

While it’s unlikely you’ll encounter sweltering temperatures (unless British weather suddenly permits it), staycations can be equally thrilling with a variety of things to do, visit, eat and enjoy.

One staycation I recently embarked on was a two-night stay to Birmingham - a trip which brought endless fun and adventure, complete with good food and brilliant weather to boot.

Below, I rundown my ‘go-to’ list for a mini-break in Brum:

Travel with…WEST MIDLANDS TRAINS

No delays? Check. Pleasant train staff? Check. A swift, easy journey? Triple check. West Midlands Trains provided a simple and effective journey to and from Birmingham New Street station, complete with onboard WIFI. The journey from London Euston to Birmingham totaled at just under 1 hour and 30 minutes, making it a swift and enjoyable journey.
https://www.westmidlandsrailway.co.uk

Stay with....BLOC HOTEL BIRMINGHAM

For a three star hotel, BLOC Hotel Birmingham oozes style, service and comfort. The ultramodern hotel, located in Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter, is complete with modern architectural design that starts at the lobby, right through to their darkly lit but oh so chic hallways and their clean and comfy rooms.

I was lucky enough to stay in one of their Bloc Apartments - a three-room suite perfect for short breaks. If you want to stay somewhere affordable but still feel like you're lounging in luxury, Bloc Birmingham is definitely the way to go, complete with a selection of local shops, cafés and bars in the perimeter.
https://www.blochotels.com/birmingham

Have breakfast at… URBAN CAFE

Located five minutes away from Bloc Hotel Birmingham, Urban Cafe oozes cool and solidifies itself as the local spot to get a good breakfast to set you up for the day. I kept it simple with a selection of American pancakes, scrambled eggs and berry compote which went down a treat alongside a vanilla iced latte. The spacious cafe, decked out with plywood tables and kitsch artwork definitely has a nice vibe to it, and is a good local destination to get your breakfast fix.
https://urbanemporiums.com

SAINT KITCHEN

It’s not difficult to find a good breakfast spot in Birmingham - in fact, there are some great options in the Jewellery Quarter alone, including Saint Kitchen. The popular cafe, complete with its wooden interior and busy atmosphere, made for a great option for breakfast lovers and is well located as you look over leafy St Paul’s Square.

Whether you’re a granola fanatic or pancake connoisseur, the options are endless and they're all pretty tasty!
http://www.saintkitchen.com

Enjoy...ESCAPE LIVE

I’ve never taken part in an escape room before, and I have to say, I’m now a fan! For those who don’t know, Escape Live provide a variety of exciting group games which allow you and your teammates to search for clues to escape the room you’re locked in.

The games can vary, and I partook in The Lab escape room which had lots of amazing puzzles to solve, with a mathematical and scientific twist. As my first escape room experience, I did need a fair bit of assistance (thank God for our games master who provided clues!), but it was a lot of fun and requires communication and teamwork - something which is often amiss in a time where we are glued to our phones.
https://www.escapelive.co.uk/locations/birmingham/the-lab/

Visit...WARWICK CASTLE

There are so many beautiful towns to visit in the UK, and Warwick should definitely be on everyone’s list. I targeted Warwick Castle specifically, which provided various activities for children and adults to enjoy.

From the Warwick Horrible History Maze to an expansive tour of the castle, to scaling the heights and taking in the stunning views - there’s so much to do making this perfect for a fun-filled day out.
https://www.warwick-castle.com

Dine at… PICCOLINO

For a vibrant and luxurious dining experience, Piccolino is definitely a spot worth checking out. During my visit, I tried out their crispy fried calamari with roasted garlic mayonnaise and lemon, rump steak with house cut chips and peppercorn sauce and their delicious tiramisu.

While the calamari and rump steak were a decent starter and main meal, their devilishly delicious tiramisu is what really hit the spot. Complete with a vibrant atmosphere and attentive staff, a night out at Piccolino is sure to be a good time with good food to boot.
https://individualrestaurants.com/piccolino/

OPUS

Now if you want to splurge on a luxury meal, then Opus is the place to do it. I can’t say enough good things about this contemporary fine dining restaurant, which blends stylish interior with quality mouth-watering food that is sure to make you come back more and more.

Try their Jimmy Butler pork fillet wrapped in parma ham with burnt apple puree, dauphinoise potatoes and pork crisps for a light yet filling meal. Top that off with a phenomenal white chocolate Crème Brûlée - it’s absolute perfection!
https://www.opusrestaurant.co.uk

FAZENDA

Who doesn’t like an all-you-can-eat buffet? And it’s made even better when it's an endless supply of meat from signature rump and ribeye to chicken thighs and gammon with pineapple. Fazenda offers Brazilian cuisine with a twist, with a buffet service which feels equally luxurious but still friendly and approachable.

Their gourmet sides bar included extensive salad options which also included breads and cured meats to accompany their meat selection.

The staff provided a great service, offering recommendations from their best cocktails to delectable Brazilian desserts which made me feel especially welcomed.
https://fazenda.co.uk

TOPOKKI

Embrace the Korean dining experience at Topokki in Chinatown. Their authentic take to the cuisine makes for quite an experience, as you get to grill your own food, from prawns to squid (pretty slimy I must say!) and try a selection of their Korean beverages to round out the experience. I had the pork cutlet curry served with rice and radish pickles salad which went down a treat.
https://topokki.has.restaurant

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