Like most Brummies I’m guilty of often overlooking some of the best parts of our city, especially some of the touristy locations like Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
Whenever I bring anyone new to our fair city they usual ask to see the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery – mainly because it’s bloody enormous and it has actual real-life mummies. There’s not much cooler than mummies is there? I digress..
Keen to get some culture one day last week I popped in to the museum, and was reminded of the Edwardian Tearoom nestled at the back. Before I left I vowed to go back and have a quick mooch at the apparently very grand cafe. Grand is an understatement by the way – believe me.
The cafe itself is at the back of the ground floor, through the gift shop and a (pretty swish) marble doorway. Far from being the mini tearoom I expected, the cafe is seriously spacious – as in it’s probably the biggest in the city centre. Colourful and airy, the decor combines new with old (a lot like the museum itself) and has so much to look at you sort of just end up staring around like a lost toddler.
Above you’re given the delightful carved ceiling to enjoy which also provides some fabulous natural light through the glass pane roof, and below a bold and beautiful tiled floor. Maroon leather sofas and booths are combined with plush velveteen covered chairs in a variety of autumnal shades, and the entire room is filled with fabulous light fittings made of pipes.
The large ET logo is emblazoned on several walls, alongside some Edwardian inspired artwork. Most notably I realise that it’s 3pm and remarkably busy considering the school holidays are now over.
I may not have heard of this hidden gem but it seems a zillion other folk have.
Approaching the counter I’m greeted by a friendly member of staff and a mouthwatering selection of cakes. To the right is a fridge packed with sandwiches, alongside a specials board. I’m then given a food menu and it seems this is far from your average tea room, as two pages of hot and cold snacks and meals stare back at me.
I order a large Americano which costs less than two quid (blimey!) and stare longingly at some Red Velvet Cake and Banana and Walnut Loaf before deciding to just stick to the caffeine for now. In hindsight I now hate myself and wish I’d ordered both because.. well, CAKE.
Grabbing a sofa to enjoy my coffee from, I’m able to fully take in how utterly beautiful this place is. It manages to strike a balance between being decadent and inviting, and I love that so many people seem to use it as a social setting regardless of the museum’s contents elsewhere in the building. The coffee is not as large as one would hope but it’s freshly made to order as I wait and tastes fabulous.
With daily offers available, including 10% off afternoon tea on a Monday and 10% off brunch on Saturdays it’s easy to see why the Edwardian Tearoom is proving so popular. I’ll definitely be back to eat all the cake soon, anyone want to come with me?
Edwardian Tearoom, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, B3 3DH
Disclaimer: This post is not affiliated with any brand/company mentioned within. All views are my own