Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
This week I was in Birmingham for the first time. My first long term girlfriend was from Birmingham (well, Edgbaston) and was always going on about how cool and groovy Birmingham was but I had a mental image of grim seventies concrete blocks.
I was surprised, therefore by the city centre I found there, which was a mixture of old and modern although I did think it didn't look entirely English. Maybe a touch of northern Europe about it. I suppose it is in the north (it really annoyed my girlfriend when I said that Birmingham was in the north, but to me it is).
I did know that it had an exceptionally good art gallery and that is where I headed after my meeting finished unexpectedly early. They have the largest collection of Pre-Raphaelite art in the world, including some extremely famous paintings.
Due to my early start I had not had time for breakfast and so even though it was just about lunchtime I went straight to the Edwardian Tearooms in the gallery for brunch.
I ordered a pot of tea which arrived very quickly. This was proper loose leaf tea in an enamel tea pot which kept it really hot. I got a good four cups from this which is pretty good for £2.80. The tea is provided by Suki and their breakfast tea, which is what this was, is an award winner. It is a blend of teas from Assam and Tanzania and was quite the best pot of tea I have had for a very long time.
The cooked breakfast came, oddly, in a soup plate and looks rather small from this picture but that is because the plate was very large. For £7.95 you got two thick rashers of bacon, two (very good) Cumberland sausages, a large slice of black pudding, a flat mushroom, baked beans (or you could have a tomato) and a fried egg (cooked with a thick white). Bizarrely they then ruined all this by putting that most worthless of salad plants, watercress, all over it. Green food should never be included in a cooked breakfast. Also, I did not notice that if you wanted toast you had to pay £1 separately for it. So a full cooked breakfast with tea and toast would have been £12.70, which is pushing London prices. Quality was good though. 7/10 (tea was 10/10).