One of my favourite spots in the city let alone the JQ, Arch 13 offers a relaxed and intimate space to enjoy handpicked wines from across the world, locally brewed beers and the best cheese and charcuterieboards you’ll find in Brum. From the hospitality to the eclectic playlist twinkling in the background, it’s a lovely spot to enjoy a catch up with friends. It’s family run, totally independent and if you ask nicely they’ll let you borrow their Connect 4 set.
Must try: go all out with the mixed 10 board. Owner Abigail knows her stuff – let her pick your selection.
Pig & Tail
Hidden away just out of view from the heart of JQ, this pretty bar has a bright dining space inside and a freshly revamped secret garden out the back. One for the locals and less for those just passing through, Pig & Tail has recently teamed up with Lisa and Pann’s Kitchen to bring you authentic Malaysian food this spring and summer. Two hidden gems for the price of one – we love to see it.
Must try: nasi goreng kampong (Malaysian style fried rice with a fried egg) is probably the perfect lunch
One for any upcoming special occasions, Folium is an absolute triumph. Offering modern British food via a carefully considered tasting menu, its approach to fine dining is relaxed but thoughtful, and it’s a beautiful Scandi-stylespace to enjoy your meal. You’ll find this restaurant in the Michelin Guide 2021, not only because the food is beautiful but also because the service is exemplary.
Must try: choose the complete tasting menu with wine pairings to get the full Folium experience
The Button Factory
If you like a boozy brunch with plenty of fizz and a lively atmosphere you won’t go far wrong with The Button Factory at the weekend. Taking over the entire roof terrace, this suntrap is the perfect spot for a fun brunch with friends. You’ll get a choice of meal and your glass will remain topped up with bubbles – if you can name a better way to spend a Saturday I’d love to hear it!
Must try: they do a mean Bloody Mary here – ask for it extra spicy
40 St Paul’s
Did someone say boujee date night? Voted the best gin bar in world (before the world went bonkers anyway) 40s – as the regulars know it – is a tiny but mighty addition to the JQ. The cocktails are strong, the lighting is low and it’s a sexy bar ideal for date nights. There are only 24 seats and booking in advance is not only encouraged but also sensible, because come the weekend you won’t get a look in without a reservation. If you fancy something special pre-book one of the expert led gin tastings.
Must try: Aman’s negronis are legendary but if you fancy a martini with a twist ask for a Gibson.