A UK Chain Supermarket
What to buy: I nipped into the local Morrisons, not far from my hotel, to buy some provisions to eat in the hotel room as I didn't fancy have a meal out. I bought a nice salad which I picked from the salad bar which offered a wide range of choices and also some bread from the store's bakery and a drink. The total cost came to 3.45 gbp (April 2013).
The Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham is the Biggest and Longest Christmas Market outside of Germany. Now (2012) in its twelfth year the market generates an incredible atmosphere and a unique shopping experience, creating the feel of a small, bustling village within the heart of the city centre. Since 2005 the Market has also incorporated the Craft Fair which gives visitors the chance to browse an entirely different selection of items crafted by local artisans, as well as goods imported from all over the world by local traders.
Annually, usually from around second week in November to end of December.
Sunday to Saturday: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
What to buy: The market has over 190 stalls including the Craft fair, selling traditional handmade toys, Christmas decorations, jewellery, and crafts, along with the delights of German mulled wine (Gluhwein), grilled sausages, vegetarian options, pretzels, German beer, and for those with a sweet tooth, gingerbread, crepes and marzipan sweets.
What to pay: Various
The New Birmingham Bull Ring Shopping Centre was built at a cost of £800 million and houses over 160 shops and more that 25 restaurants. The Bull Ring was the largest retail regeneration project in Europe.
The Bullring is open until 8pm, six nights a week, with some restaurants open until 11pm.
My wonderful wife (VT Member IrishMisty - but she never logs in) made me write this tip.
She claims the designs from this shop in Market Street, Stourbridge are just going to get bigger and bigger. Insales terms rather than the dangliness of the earings, I mean.
For what it's worth, here is the sales blurb from the website :
"Fulfil your hearts appreciation for unique handmade jewellery and breathtakingly beautiful glassware, visit Desire for those special stylish gifts this festive season.
Launched by acclaimed artist and former Stourbridge college art student Philip Webley, Desire is the place to visit to find something really special for your loved ones or to treat yourself to a really original adornment for the party season.
If you are a bloke : My advice is stick to the main High street, and you partner won't notice this place in front of the town hall.
As with every city centre - where there are two or more shopping malls - appearances and age dictate the retailers within the complex.
The centre was busy during my visit and there were quite a few shoppers - although many seemed to be passing through to the train stations at New Street and Moor Street.
Check out "Bookends" the discount book store.
Made in Birmingham - well almost.
One of the most beautiful and quintesentially english sports cars, the MGF has just had it's production resumed at Longbridge, just south of Birmingham. The old site produced thousands of cars every year - all of the Rover's group range. A combination of rubbish build quality and stroppy unions eventally led to bankrupcy in 2005, but a Chinese firm bought the site and production rights. Only about 300 people are employed there now to screw together what comes over in containers from mainland China; but it still counts as English in my book.
Despite the fact that Rover group produced a stream of complete dogs, this little car is a gem. It;s not the fastest, most reliable or newest car on the road (the MGF is a 12 year old car now), but it still gives you a great little buzz and smile on a face if you can find a gap between the showers to drive with the roof down. I know I've got one. Will sell to a good owner.
This shop is a 3-story building with kids clothes and home ware on the bottom floor, womens clothes on the 1st floor and womens underwear & mens clothes on the 2nd floor.
Primark is a good place to go if youwant something to just wear once, or for clothes that are just going to get wrecked, because u can so easily replace the items!
What to buy: You can buy clothes and home ware in Primark
What to pay: Primark is really cheap and u can get normal plain t-shirts from as little as £3 (thats the only 1 i can remember seeing!) and this shop is definatley cheaper than average!
Martineau Place is in Birmingham City Centre and is full of nice places to eat, with around 4/5 places to eat, clothing shops and is a nice place to sit down and relax when you need a break from looking round & shopping.
Birmingham's House of Fraser offers high quality brands in womanswear, menswear, childrenswear, beauty and everything you need for your home. With a personal shopping service, beauty consultation rooms, hair salons, e restaurant and bar, there is everything you need under one roof for a new look.
The clean, bright, well maintained facilities at The Mall Palasades offer a safe and clean shopping environment with a great choice of quality retailers. High street stores including Argos, Oswald Bailey, New Look, Woolworth's, Footlocker, Nickleby's and The Officers Club and many many more, if you don't find what you need here then you will definatly find it outside this small shopping area!
The Fort is a small shopping complex right next to the dunlop factorys, it has about 20 shops including;
- River Island
- New Look
- First Choice Hloiday Hypermarket
- Marks & Spencers
- BHS (British Homes Stores)
What to buy: When at the fort you can really buy a wide range of things from clothes/accessories to health/beauty to books/music to home accessories.
What to pay: The Fort has high street shops, so you will be expected to pay high street prices, so the items aren't to expensive.
The Pavilions is right next to the Bull Ring in Birmingham's city centre, it consists of 3 floors, it has a restaurant on the top floor and an internet cafe. The other shops included in the Pavilions include, Vigin megastores, Waterstones, The Body Shop, HMV, The Gadget Shop, The Disney Shop, it has not long been finished after having been refurbished.%v*
The market is home to over 350 stalls selling anything from bathroom goods to leather jackets. Prices are very good, although relative to quality. The Rag Market is open from 9am-5pm every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
What to buy:
HP sauce is a wonderfully think brown sauce that can be added to any British dish, in order to make it taste of something.
It is said that Harold Wilson, the British Prim Minister in the 1970's always covered his food in the stuff. His working class credentials were this assured.
Originally produced in 1903, it became called 'HP sauce' later, when it was discovered to be on sale in restaurants in the Houses of Parliment.
The Factory in Aston, just north of Birmingham City Centre, has been in the news recently as Heinz (now owners of the brand) wish to switch production to Holland. Marches and petitions may yet save this Birmingham institution.
UPDATE : MARCH 07 - a sad day, the last shift finished last night.
What to pay: Buy a bottle (only about a pound) and taste the delights.
A massive shopping centre only a few miles from the centre of Birmingham with hundred of stores - the usual high street suspects are all here.
As with many 'trendy' schemes the planners came up with a gimmick : a monorail to transport people from the car park.
It lasted less than a year ! Breakdowns and the worries of the Fire Brigade meant it ended up being sold to some place in Austraila (see photo)
One is of course reminded of the 'monorail song' from the simpsons :
Lyle Lanley: Well, sir, there's nothing on earth
Like a genuine,
What'd I say?
Ned Flanders: Monorail!
Lyle Lanley: What's it called?
Lyle Lanley: That's right! Monorail!
[crowd chants `Monorail' softly and rhythmically]
Miss Hoover: I hear those things are awfully loud...
Lyle Lanley: It glides as softly as a cloud.
Apu: Is there a chance the track could bend?
Lyle Lanley: Not on your life, my Hindu friend.
Barney: What about us brain-dead slobs?
Lyle Lanley: You'll be given cushy jobs.
Abe: Were you sent here by the devil?
Lyle Lanley: No, good sir, I'm on the level.
Wiggum: The ring came off my pudding can.
Lyle Lanley: Take my pen knife, my good man.
I swear it's Springfield's only choice...
Throw up your hands and raise your voice!
Lyle Lanley: What's it called?
Lyle Lanley: Once again...
Marge: But Main Street's still all cracked and broken...
Bart: Sorry, Mom, the mob has spoken!
Homer: Mono... D'oh!
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