Birmingham Break

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Birmingham Break with Vintage Cinema & Coffin Museum – Bostin!

The Professional Traveller • Jul 04, 2020

Birmingham Break Trip Review

While travelling down to the Midlands to catch up with friends I decided to have a little Birmingham Break and fit in a couple of visits and activities while I was in the area, as there was so much on the doorstep.

I travelled down from the Scottish Highlands where the nearest cinema is 30 miles away from my house. Going to the cinema when I am travelling is one of my favourite activities too.

I also love finding new restaurants and places to eat so deliberately chose a hotel near the Chinese Quarter in Birmingham.

Getting to Birmingham

I flew from Inverness to Birmingham. There used to be a regular service operated by Flybe. There is a service between Inverness and Birmingham which is now operated by Loganair.

Check my article on getting to the Highlands if you are interested in travelling the other way.

Birmingham Airport

Birmingham Airport is a nice sized airport. I took the train from Birmingham International to Birmingham New Street Station and then walked to the hotel I was staying at. It was an easy walk and took about 15 minutes once I had found my way out of New Street!

I stayed at the Ibis Birmingham city centre. It was a reasonably priced city centre hotel (£55 for the night).

What I Did and Where I Ate in Birmingham Centre

Chung Ying Chinese Restaurant

While I was at the Ibis I ate at Chung Ying Chinese restaurant which is just across the road.

I chose this restaurant because it had an extensive vegetarian menu.

I ate bean curd dim sum for start, which were like trying to eat molten lava. They were very nice once they had cooled down!

The main course of fried rice and vegetables in a birds nest was very nice but I couldn’t eat the birds nest (made from noodles) because I only had a spoon and chopsticks. I wasn’t able to get the attention of anyone to request any more cutlery. The restaurant was very busy and there were lots of groups and couples in. I was something of an oddity as the only solo diner I think.

With two soft drinks the meal cost £21.00

Electric Cinema

I also visited the Electric Cinema while I was in Birmingham.

This is a quirky independent cinema that is beside New Street Station. The lobby area is tiny and because it was cold and there were two films starting close together it was jammed in the lobby area while waiting to get into the cinema. I loved the little bar, although I couldn’t reach it to get a drink or a homemade cake/cookie.

The seating was comfy and there were also sofas as well.

I saw the film Parasite and it was a great experience with members of the audience laughing etc throughout – it felt almost like a communal cinema experience. The film was amazing, something quite different, and actually a South Korean film that went on to win several awards. It was nice to hear the reaction of others in the audience to various parts of the films, which is well worth a watch if you haven’t seen it.

This quirky independent cinema experience was the highlight of my Birmingham break.

It was a short walk back to the hotel, which was fortunate because by the time I came out of the cinema there were lots of groups milling about the streets of Birmingham city centre.

Coffin Works Museum

I had actually booked a ticket to take a tour of the Coffin Museum in Birmingham. This sounded really quite interesting but my plans changed at the last minute and I wasn’t able to go. It’s definitely on the list for next time.

The museum is in the Jewellery Quarter and it tells the history of the Newman Brothers business which was at its heyday in the 1960’s.

Here is a little clip when the museum was on the Antiques Roadshow for a flavour of what it is like and about.

Hotel Reviewer Articles

If you are interested in how to find the cheapest hotel deals then check out my guide to cheap hotels booking

You might also like my guide to travelling cheaper which includes articles on finding cheap flights to anywere, the cheapest way to gain airport lounge access and much more!

birmingham break the professional traveller