August 2016, I was approaching the end of an intensely, exhausting Summer. I’m not going to go into detail about why it was intensely, exhausting; but what I will say is the Summer of 2016 taught me a lot about life. The events of that Summer really opened my eyes to the fact that life is short and that the world can be a big dark place sometimes, full of twists and turns and people often have a habit of blinking and missing the moment; so it is up to us to be crazy, be silly, be stupid. It is our duty to be whatever makes us happy and appreciate it whilst we still can because one day it’s all going to come to an end.
So with all that clichéd spiritual nonsense in mind, me and my good friend Phil went out for a couple of beers. Now when I say a couple of beers, I really mean: several beers, multiple craft ciders, washed down with a couple of mixers and shots. Anyhow after a few hours of deep conversation about this big wide world that we’ve all been hurled into, we decided it was time for us to come face to face with the fact that we’re getting a little older and cling onto the scrapes of youthfulness we had left. We figured it was time to book something up and escape Telford for a couple of nights. Now when I say book something up, we couldn’t just go to one place, could we? No… surely that’s too straightforwards, right? In a bold move we booked up several hotels in different cities across the Northwest of England. The plan was we’d start in Birmingham, spend the night there, then hop on a train to the next city and so on, and so on. Brave huh? Well not really, but luckily for me it all ran pretty darn smoothly and luckily for you, I’m here to tell you all about it… so grab those Speedos and lets dive right in!
Saturday afternoon, after having a couple of Old Mount Ciders on the train it was time to attempt at finding our hotel, which was conveniently located besides the canal by the cocktail bar strip! Twenty minutes of dragging suitcases through the city later, we were all checked in and ready to snooze. But no, we can’t snooze… we’re men. We need to go check out the Disney store and eat Five Guys! And when I say ‘eat Five Guys’ I mean the burger joint!
So after a nice afternoon walk back from the Bullring, passing through Regency Wharf; the home of all the canal bars where we would later spend the evening. We headed back to the hotel for a shower and freshen up, before hitting the bars.
Being cider drinkers we began the evening in Pennyblacks which is a lively bar just outside The Mailbox. As you can see Phil became friends with the chief ambassador of the ‘Help for Gingers’ association.
We then headed up the strip to Aluna. Now Aluna is potentially one of the quirkiest cocktails bars I’ve entered, it’s got a really cool vibe and feels somewhat unique in comparison to the other cocktail bars in the district. Sure it was a little expensive, but when in Brum. (Yes I did actually just type ‘when in Brum’ – mental note; Never type that again!).
We then went to meet my friend Liam in The Gin Vault. Liam works in the city, so agreed to meet us for a couple once his shift ended! I accidentally stumbled across The Gin Vault during the day with Liam a few months prior to this evening, and what a wonderful little accidental turn that was. The Gin Vault is a really eccentric little bar that’s tucked away inside the wall besides the Canal and if you’re ever in the area, make sure you check it out! It’s now approaching midnight and me and Phil have somehow managed to stagger into The Gin Vault and order a round whilst waiting for Liam. Whilst on my mission finding the toilet, I detected chocolate cake on the table. Now those of you who know me well, will know that when I’m a little tipsy there is nothing I appreciate more than sweet food! So I decided to introduce myself to this lovely American couple who were in Birmingham celebrating the guys 50th birthday and as you can see he was delighted to offer me a piece of his birthday cake!
So after that little cake incident Liam turned up and two became three. As you can see he was looking half asleep. After a brief catch up in The Gin Vault, the three of us headed across town to Walkabout where we stayed for the next couple of hours. Now as you probably already know, Walkabout is a nightclub… which can only mean one thing, Dad dancing and lots of it! It is fair to say that Birmingham was a good evening, crammed full of laughs, cocktails and making new experiences with old friends. Next stop… Liverpool, I’ll see you there!