If you follow me on social media, you’ll have seen that I spent the weekend in Rugby and Birmingham. David and I were given UK break vouchers as a gift, so I chose to go to Rugby as I drove through the town last year and thought it looked nice. It turns out however, that there aren’t actually many things to do in Rugby, so we took a 40 minute train to Birmingham for the day.
When I say that there aren’t many things to do in Rugby, what I really mean is that there is NOTHING to do. There are no nice places to eat, no interesting shops and no visitor attractions except a rugby sport museum. We stayed in the nicest hotel in the area – Brownsover Hall. It’s a nice hotel that’s had a recent overall and styling update; but it does have a few issues.
The hotel looks really nice and the building has a very interesting history. There is also a very smart dining room, but a very peculiar-looking bar. They offer cocktails, but the bar staff don’t know how to make them properly. They aren’t a very busy hotel, so I think some of the staff were a bit startled that guests were actually ordering things. The menu in the restaurant is varied and offers something for everyone. The food is average, but the desserts are amazing. I had the best chocolate brownie that I’ve ever had! It’s a comfortable, smart hotel; but it’s not somewhere you would go for a special occasion – it’s somewhere to stay on a work trip when you can be treated to more than the Travelodge down the road.
We had dinner at the hotel on the Friday night, as it was part of our package. It was nothing to write home about, except from that chocolate brownie that I’m still dreaming of! However, on the Saturday, we headed into Birmingham for some shopping, wandering and a delicious lunch*.
The first place we hit up was the Hema store at Birmingham New Street train station. I love some of the stuff that this bargain Sweedish brand make, and the only other physical store i’ve seen is at London Euston. I bought some confetti for blog post photos. We then headed to Selfridges in the Bullring shopping centre. Their food hall is amazing, and if you love cake like me, it’s heaven.
Selfridges have their own cake counters, with everything from mini cheesecakes and huge celebration cakes, to pretty flavoured meringues. There is also a Lola’s Cupcakes counter. We knew their stuff is yummy, so we got a box of 8 mini cupcakes so that we could try a good range of flavours. It was a bit overpriced at nearly £15 for one-bite cakes, so I wish we’d just got a box of four normal sized cupcakes instead. They were nice though!
David and I then went to have some cocktails in a bar before lunch. We chose The Cosy Club, which is a stylish but chilled and cosy bar. I had one of the best cocktails that i’ve ever had – their Blood Orange Mojito. It was so refreshing and fruity.
We then headed a few doors along to Bar + Block for lunch*. They are a steak restaurant, with lots of other yummy options too. Steak is their speciality and is what they are most proud of though. The staff here are so friendly and are really passionate about the menu and about recomending what’s good.
We started off our meal with three of their grazing plates to share as a starter – we went for Mac ‘n’ Cheese Bites (£3.75), Mini Beef Tacos (£4.95) and the amazing, stand-out Asian Crispy Beef (£5.50) . I need to know how they make the Asian Crispy Beef as it was incredible and so full of flavour. Our waiter also chose a bottle of red wine for us that would go well with what we ordered, and he picked very well.
For our main courses, I went with the Bar + Block signature The Mighty Block Burger (£13.50) – Our signature beef burger. 8oz hand-ground beef patty with oozy cheese sauce, crispy onions, pulled beef brisket, pickled cucumber spear, shredded lettuce, tomato and our fiery black sauce.
However, i’m quite picky with salad, sauces and condiments, so I asked for it without the pickles, lettuce, tomato and fiery black sauce. The burger was so thick and made with such great quality beef, but the burger patty and the pulled beef was quite dry because I had got rid of the sauce. So, I think this is one to order as it’s supposed to come, as I found it too dry and meaty to finish.
David went for the Mixed Grill (£19.95) – 4oz rump steak, half a pork chop, half a grilled chicken breast and a giant pork sausage, served with a grilled flat mushroom, tomato, apple slaw and French fries.
He really enjoyed this and thought that all of the meats were of such a high quality and cooked to perfection. We also got a side of onion rings, which were crispy and perfect.
Even although we were stuffed, we couldn’t leave without trying their desserts. I went for a warming and sweet Sticky Toffee Apple Crumble (£5.95) and David had the Triple Chocolate Brownie (£5.95). Both were amazing. We were so happy and well-fed after our meal at Bar + Block in Birmingham, and we were so well looked after by the amazing staff.
Afterwards we had a walk around Birmingham to walk off some of that food! I was surprised by how much some of Birmingham looks like London. Lots of the city was just a building site unfortunately, as they are hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
It was great just to spend time away with David without any distractions. He makes me laugh constantly and I love him so much. Even though we didn’t do very much on this trip, it was very relaxing and was just the boost I needed.
The meal at Bar + Block was complimentary for review, but all opinions are my own.
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