5 Goooold pubs! (and a tea room)
Love or hate the Frankfurt Christmas Market, though, there’s no denying what an amazing visual feast it is. There’s a thousand things to eat and drink, and the economic benefit it brings in to the second city via the estimated five million visitors, is very much needed.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that Birmingham’s a one-trick pony when it comes to Christmas enjoyment though. You don’t need to venture very far from the German Market to find some amazing alternatives. If you’re looking for great food, cake, afternoon tea, Gin, cocktails or real ale then it’s all there, minutes from the market, without any of this queueing malarkey or problems getting change out of a twenty pound note either!
Whether you’re in the city every day of your life, or you’re just visiting, take a look at our guide to some alternatives in the centre. You won’t be disappointed.
This grand old boozer just behind the Alex theatre has plenty to keep you warm this winter. Not only are they serving warmed winter cider and their own recipe mulled wine, but there is a whole page of the drinks menu dedicated to Boiler Makers – a bottle of lager with a shot of whiskey – that’ll keep the chill off your chest! The staff can guide you as to which shot goes best with your preferred beer. Each week 5 different cask ales are available on a rotation, from pale ales to dark wintery stouts. Feeling fancy? Try one of them many cocktails available – all of the classics plus a line-up of homemade creations.
Each week the calendar of entertainment is full of events such as quiz nights, comedy and spoken word. The Jim Beam Rocks Room plays host to all manner of live events from DJ nights to bands, both local and touring.
Fresh from Vicky’s Kitchen is a range of homemade sourdough pizzas (the butternut squash and goats cheese pizza is amazing) and gourmet burgers, made fresh on site and served in a cosy pub environment with a choice of tempting side orders.
We love it because: Cosy, quirky, great food, great staff, great drinks…..it’s just great
A 7 minute walk from the German Market
48 John Bright Street, Birmingham, B1 1BN
The Jekyll & Hyde
Join the mixed up world of The Jekyll & Hyde. The main bar is the place to find sweetie jar cocktails, cask ales, warm cider, mulled wine (made to a secret recipe) and their cheeky festive shots. Cocktails, especially ones made with gin, are the order of the day here – from classic creations to the creative drinks made up by the team there is sure to be a drink for you, and if there isn’t just tell the guys what you like and let them mix and shake it for you!
Keep your belly happy with a range of classic pub dishes – pies, burgers, and gourmet sandwiches, all homemade of course. Each Friday and Saturday night a different DJ takes to the decks to welcome the weekend in with a host of funk, soul and rock n’ roll tunes, from 8pm till late. Every Tuesday The Jekyll pays homage to the classic TV quiz night with their take on Family Fortunes – it’s not to be missed!
The upstairs Victoria Gin Parlour is open Thursday – Saturday serving the Eat Me, Drink Me gin and food fusion menu alongside a range of over 90 gins. Table bookings are recommend but walk-ins can often be accommodated.
We love it because: A little piece of Gin paradise in the city centre, Dr Jekyll’s Gin Parlour upstairs Mr Hyde’s emporium downstairs – perfection!
An 8 minute walk from the German Market
28 Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham, B4 6BJ
The Edwardian Tearooms
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery announced the reopening of their Edwardian Tearooms during July 2014. This popular refreshment stop for arts enthusiasts, museum visitors and city centre workers underwent a sympathetic renovation and now offers visitors a wide range of delicious food and beverages within an exquisite Edwardian setting.
Locally sourced produce, opulent furniture, period graphics and new selection of wines and beer have transformed this incredible space into one of the most desirable lunch hot-spots in the city.
Robert Hayes, Commercial and Trading Manager at Birmingham Museums comments; “Since first opening over a century ago, the Tearooms at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery have been a fundamental element of our visitor experience. The sumptuous environment and beautiful architecture, give visitors a truly exceptional dining experience. We are sure that our new menu and new surroundings will prove a real hit with museum visitors and others visiting the city”
As well as the wider selection of beverages and snacks, the Tearooms at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery now offer; speciality cheese and wine platters; afternoon tea which can be booked in advance; boulangerie & patisserie table; and satisfying meals including slow cooked lamb shank and home-made soup.
The Edwardian Tearooms are available for hire for private functions, including corporate events, celebrations and wedding receptions.
We love it because: It’s warm, inviting, relaxing, comfortable..zzzzzzzz and what finer setting than BMAG to have afternoon tea.
Right in the heart of the German Market
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham B3 3DH
The Craven Arms
A visit to The Craven Arms with its distinctive blue tiled exterior, cosy interior and exciting range of ales, is a ‘must do’ for all beer lovers. Having re-opened in February 2013, The Craven’s reputation is growing fast and the Pub is a finalist in the CAMRA Pub of the Year competition for the second year running. Located close to The Mailbox and approximately a five minute walk from New Street Station, The Craven is nicely tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the German Market. As a Black Country Ales pub, The Craven consistently serves all three beers from the Black Country portfolio (BFG, Fireside and Pig on the Wall). In addition, eight ever changing guest cask beers are available accompanied by tasting notes written by the Licensee, Chris Sherratt. Guest beers are sourced from breweries rarely seen in the Birmingham area, such as Brodie’s, Magic Rock and Siren Craft. One off brews and unusual brewery collaborations are often found on the bar. A choice of five craft keg beers is also offered including such treats as The Kernel and Evil Twin, the latter of which is hugely sought after outside the USA. The cask and keg range is complimented by an eclectic range of bottled beers ensuring that all tastes are catered for. ‘Beer snacks’ are available at all times, namely in the form of cheese or ham rolls and customers are welcome to bring their own food. The Pub is open all day every day from noon.
We love it because: It’s a proper pub, friendly staff, a great atmosphere and you’ll be in real ale heaven
An 11 minute walk from the German Market
Upper Gough Street, Birmingham, B1 1JG
The Wellington, Specialist Real Ale Pub is situated on Bennett’s Hill in the centre of Birmingham, a two minute walk from the Frankfurt Christmas Market. The Welly, as it is commonly known, opened in December 2004 to fill what was perceived to be a gap in the market in Birmingham, at that time, for a city centre pub selling a good range of interesting ales. On opening day there was a queue on the doorstep to try what was on offer on the 10 handpulls. From that day the pub was an instant success and has gone from strength to strength over the last ten years.
Last year the Welly underwent a major refurbishment which included taking over the two floors above the pub. A second bar and a roof terrace were installed on the first floor and a function room on the second floor. The number of handpulls is now 27!
Regular ales are Wye Valley HPA, Purity Mad Goose, Oakham Citra and Titanic Plum Porter along with BFG, Pig on the Wall and Fireside from Black Country Ales. In addition there are 10 ever changing guest beers and three traditional ciders. No food is served but you are welcome to bring your own, plates and cutlery are provided. Enjoy your visit to the German market then warm up and enjoy a pint of British ale in the comfort of Brum’s premier ale pub.
We love it because: It’s everying a pub should be – a great selection of real ales, great staff a dart board and a cat!
A 2 minute walk from the German Market
37 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham, B2 5SN
The Rose Villa Tavern
Situated right next to the famous Jewellery Quarter clock tower is The Rose Villa Tavern – a Grade 2 listed building given a very quirky make over! The food menu is inspired by the classic American diner – hot dogs, gourmet burgers, chicken wings and nachos, not what you’d expect from a grand old pub!
Behind the bar quench your thirst with one of our 5 cask ales, on rotation to keep the offering interesting, but always with a pale ale and a dark stout or indulge in one of the USA style floats. Choose your own ingredients to make this ice cream topped delight. The cocktail menu covers all bases with classics, in house creations and a Candy Shop inspired section – the Mint Aero Martini is a winning combination of old meets new!
For entertainment, take part in the weekly quiz, all general knowledge questions with prizes to be won, or sit back and relax in the Film Club – big screen action in the function room. Each Saturday night a different DJ takes to the decks to play a mixture of funk, soul, Hip Hop and 90’s gems to keep everyone dancing till the early hours.
We love it because: You can enjoy diner style food in an old pub serving craft ales – different, but it works
A 15 minute walk from the German Market (or a two minute taxi!)
172 Warstone Lane, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, B18 6JW