Girls weekend away – 48 hours in Brum with the girls – an itinerary for fun-loving ladies
If you’re looking for a girls weekend away, then you’re in the right place. Well, you will be once you set foot in the wonderful city of Birmingham. It’s big, it’s bold and there’s many beautiful sights and bright city lights that will make a lasting impression for whichever occasion you have come to celebrate.
New restaurants and bars are springing up as I write, and I can feel the excitement in the city building towards the major upcoming event – the 2022 Commonwealth Games! There are many cosy corners to chat in and luxurious spas to relax in. We have high street gems, sassy boutiques and vintage markets for splashing a little cash, and yes, it’s buzzing!
So, if you want to come and see what everyone is talking about before the hotels sell out, follow my itinerary below to book your weekend getaway now!
Friday afternoon in Birmingham
Checking into an apartment with your girls is fantastic fun. You can get your fizz in the fridge whilst comparing notes on dresses, shoes and should-dos. If you like a home from home, there are a few options, but I have chosen the Spire apartments. These highly rated apartments are located close to the Mailbox, some have two bedrooms, and they look stylish and fresh. Alternatives are the Newhall Square StayCity apartments which are central, comfortable and cater for a girls weekend away.
If you prefer an ultra-glam ‘Carrie Bradshaw-style’ girls’ weekend away, then book your rooms at the Grand Hotel in the city centre. You can have a good natter whilst sipping on a Negroni at the Madeleine bar. (They also serve world-class afternoon teas!) For other hotels, I would recommend staying at either the Malmaison or Hotel Indigo because if you are a spa-seeker like me, you won’t have to leave your hotel for the first weekend treat.
Finally, for an awesome hen-style hangout that puts you right at the heart of the shopping, be sure to stay cool at the Rotunda where the 2 bed, 2 bath maxi rooms will be the perfect place to rest your heads.
Fridays are all about the build-up. I love to get preened and pampered ready for the night ahead, so nothing else will do other than a pedicure and a prosecco. If you have chosen the StayCity apartments on the edge of the Jewellery Quarter or booked into the Grand, you could book into Bannatyne’s spa in Brindley Place. For something a bit different and some deep relaxation, try the Floating Spa on Hall Street.
Make sure you get treatments booked well in advance of your arrival. If you are staying at the Spire apartments, you’d be only a minutes walk from the sumptuous Malmaison Spa (60-minute inner calm body massage is sounding good) or the Hotel Indigo’s ultra-enticing pool.
Friday evening in Birmingham
Get that Friday feeling by feasting your eyes on the revolutionary cocktail menu at the Pineapple Club in the Great Western Arcade. Gaze at some eclectic window displays on the way to the bar as you stride down this long, high-end Victorian shopping hall.
Voted one of the top 50 new bars in the country, the Pineapple Club offers futuristic looking tipples – the ‘red light’ and the ‘green light’ to name just two! Its signature cocktails support different organisations, from local independents to worldwide charities such as the ‘Veri Perry’ supporting the Birmingham Royal ballet and the ‘Haiti Fizz’ which donates a portion of sales to the national disaster area of Haiti. (Non-alcoholic cocktails are also available).
After your aperitifs, make your way over to the Oyster Club for a light evening meal. I would recommend sharing a mix of the small plates, to include the Tempura King Prawns and the Dressed White Crab.
Next stop is the fabulous Albert Schloss, where Fridays are for Frohlicking! You’re certain to find a dazzling and rousing affair taking place. Sit back and enjoy the free live entertainment or put in your own musical requests! After the final ‘Baby Grand Slam’ performance, head back to your apartment for a debrief, and the obligatory tea & toast!
Saturday morning in Birmingham
I LOVE a sunny Saturday morning in town. If you can emerge early enough, (and haven’t planned it in for later) do a spot of shopping before heading to Dishoom for brunch. One of the most Instagrammable locations in the city, Dishoom is a restaurant built on passion and perseverance. The food is incredible and the views rival Rome. A gem in Birmingham’s crown, that is the newly refurbished Chamberlain square; it’s a stunning spot to start your day. Order a strong coffee and the sweet uttapam stack!
Saturday afternoon in Birmingham
From here you have a few options.
In my opinion these are currently the best things you can do with a group on weekend getaways in Birmingham.
An active start:
For a unique take on a tour of Birmingham’s canals I highly recommend one of the offerings from the fascinating Roundhouse. You can either Kayak or SUP as a group whilst learning some interesting facts about the city of a thousand trades!
Alternatively, why not spend a couple of hours messing about in an eco-boat? Captain your own Go Boat for up to 8 people, and don’t forget to BYOB and take your snacks and selfie sticks. If the sun is shining, you’ll definitely feel like you’re on holiday! (Who needs the beach?! ?)
Finally, fancy a bit of friendly rivalry? Burn off your breakfast whilst shooting each other in the butt with rubber tipped arrows. I’m not even joking. Trick shot archery is a new and fun-filled activity that will have you gasping for breath and crying with laughter.
I experienced a wonderful chocolate-filled morning at the Chocolate Quarter in the Jewellery Quarter quite recently, so a nice idea for a more relaxing pursuit on a girls weekend. Check my Instagram post for a video preview. Included in the two-hour workshop is information about chocolate making from bean to bar, plenty of tasting (dipping crushed cookies in chocolate – yes please!) and the chance to make your own luxury truffles to take home.
You can’t mention a girls weekend away in this city without suggesting a trip to Selfridges in the Bullring! I love the atmosphere, the smell and the lure of a free makeover. I highly recommend checking out the new products at the Bobbi Brown counter. Take the elevator to the fourth floor to marvel at the saucepan sculpture and slip your feet into some Jimmy Choos. Next, put them up at the Fumo bar whilst topping yourselves up with bubbles! Personal shopping experiences are available, so if you wish to make this one of your main activities then book the group in for fizz and fashion advice in one of the large and luxurious dressing rooms. A minimum spend applies.
Bake a cake:
In my opinion, the Big Bake is one of THE best concepts for a group activity in the city. Choose to spend a super fun couple of hours here and tick the creativity box for your girls weekend away. Taking place in a luxury marquee in the popular Digbeth area, wannabe bakers team up at the cooking stations to create the cake of the season! You will work against the 90 minute timer, following the instructions to make your cake which will be judged at the end for the chance to win a prize. All utensils and ingredients are provided and naturally you can take your cake away with you. A variety of delicious cocktails, nibbles and bubbles are available to purchase at the bar too!
Picture the scene of Frenchie and the other Grease girls gossiping and getting glammed up! This is your reality at Le Keux. This incredible vintage salon will transport you back to the fifties in style. They offer vintage makeovers with full hair and makeup, plus your pick from the fifties fashion. Star in a photoshoot in front of many authentic backdrops including a home kitchen, milkshake bar and cafe, and old school car. The salon also sells vintage clothing, makeup and accessories.
Saturday evening in Birmingham
I don’t subscribe to the concept ‘eating is cheating’ – in fact I see it as essential and the main part of my Saturday night out! I do like to find a nice private dining area when I’m with a bigger group so it’s easier to make yourself heard and get served. Find awesome rooms that also feel part of the action at Tattu, Gaucho or the Ivy.
If you are feeling a little more adventurous, you could take a taxi out to the vibrant suburb of Moseley, to dine at the Michelin recommended restaurant Chakhana, whose private dining room ‘Vault’ gives a glamorous nod to the bank that formerly stood on this lively corner plot.
Next stop is Digbeth – an exciting and must-see place on a girls weekend away. There are so many new places to experience, and again depending on how active you are feeling, there is something for all tastes from Ghetto golf to Chance and Counters.
My recommendation is to spend a nice hour or so at your pre-booked table at the classy Wine Freedom. Here you can sample some world-class wines whilst relaxing, chatting and taking some Insta-worthy group photos. Be sure to capture those memories of your girls weekend! Dance the rest of the night away to some soulful tunes at the Night Owl. If you don’t want the party to stop, you might find Dead Wax still with its lights on!
Sunday morning in Birmingham
A firm favourite of mine for a final brunch stop is JuJu’s cafe. As I mention in my 48 hours in Birmingham blog, the Porky Hash is the house special! Made of ‘Crushed potato and onion hash mixed with chopped bacon and sausage. Topped with hollandaise, and paprika dusted fried eggs’. The menu states ‘Legend has it that Ju Ju’s hashes cure all hangover ailments when combined with a Bloody Mary. Give it a try!’ (A vegan version is also available).
From here, it might also be nice to take a wander down the canal to blow the cobwebs away and reflect on your girly weekend! Perhaps sit out in Brindley place or a waterfront bar in the Mailbox to watch the world go by.
Alternative and irresistible brunch options are the Medicine Bakery in the Mailbox or York’s Cafe at the Ikon gallery.
Enjoying a girls’ weekend away in Birmingham is guaranteed ladies so get booking and don’t forget to tag me in your pics @girlaboutbirmingham #makingmemoriesinbirmingham