I'm fruity_tart from Birmingham. I've been Qyping since 15-11-2008
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12 The Kingstanding Centre, Birmingham, West Midlands B44 9HH
Whenever we’re on the Circle in Kingstanding my daughters will always ask for a sausage roll from Greggs, and today was no exception!
Greggs is on the corner of a long row of shops which means two whole walls are taken up by large windows, this makes the shop very bright and light inside which is a good atmosphere I think for serving food.
The food is arranged under typical glass counters which are always kept spotlessly clean, I’ve seen staff in here wipe away marks as soon as they have made or spotted them.
There is a good selection of both hot and cold food in this branch and usually most items are available, if not then you’ll be advised how long (in minutes) it will be. The sausage rolls are very popular so sometimes there is a short delay while more are cooked, this means they’re fresh but can cause a problem if you’re giving them straight to the kids as they are scalding hot!
I love the mini quiches and also the tuna mayo baguette, my daughter loves the thai chicken wraps but always takes the salad off because she says it’s soggy.
Everything I’ve ever eaten from here has been fresh and at the perfect temperature, of course the hot food varies depending on how long since it’s been cooked but the food is always delicious whether it’s piping hot or luke warm.
Prices are the same as Greggs anywhere, which is slightly more expensive than Firkins Bakery but the quality and flavours of the food are of better quality so I’m not bothered about paying a bit extra.
Pershore Road South, Birmingham, West Midlands B30 3EU
This is what a real library should feel like, it’s barely changed since I last visited as a kid some 20 years ago as a child - even the leaflets rack is in the same place and looks suspiciously like the same one!
I love the large entrance as you walk in because it makes visiting the library feel like a proper special occasion, the check in/out counter is in keeping with the decor of the building and so is everything in the place.
This has a lovely peaceful air inside, the acoustics of the building means it has a very hushed quality which takes me back to the days of the librarian who really would tell you to 'shhhhhhh!’.
The selection of books is excellent, this library is bigger inside than it looks from the road and is literally crammed with bookshelves and racks. If I’m looking for a particular book I can usually find it, or if it’s not available then reserving a copy is an easy process and they rarely take long to become available.
I like the childrens area because it’s fairly enclosed so I can safely leave my older girls’ in there while I browse the adults books. Sometimes I’ll let them watch the baby in there and show her some books, but she’s a mummys girl and soon gets rid of the hushed atmosphere I was telling you about earlier when she notices I’m gone!
The non fiction section is fantastic and I often find something to pique my interest; everything from books about American literature, a biography of Charles Darwin, introductions to knitting and cookery books are available. I find it a fascinating area of the library and if I happen to be in there without the kids then I’ll pick something interesting and sit down to have a read - if it interests me then I’ll book it out, if not it’s five minutes wasted in a lovely environment.
442 Kingstanding Road, Birmingham, West Midlands B44 9SA
I had never been into a bookies before, but when we started doing the Irish Lottery I knew I’d have to venture in when my fella couldn’t get there.
I was pleasantly surprised with how nice it is inside, it smells much fresher than I thought it would (thanks to the smoking ban I presume) and it is a nice bright and open environment.
There are rows of TVs on one wall, in front of which men stand mouths agape as they watch their horse race around the track.
The forms are all arranged in racks along the wall and they are all clearly labelled so I wasn’t bumbling around the shop looking for my Irish Lottery form. The first few times I had to ask one of the staff members to fill my form in as I had no idea how to do it. They were very obliging and in the end remembered me each week and laughed at my problem with grasping the (very simple) form!
Once I’d 'got it’ I found it a fast and straightforward business to mark off my numbers, pay my £6 and leave with my lottery ticket. I won £54 a few days before Christmas which came in very handy, and William Hill paid out with no problems at all.
51-52 One Stop Shopping Centre, Walsall Road Perry Barr, Birmingham, West Midlands B42 1AA
I’m not a fan of Argos because I can stand the queues, but this one at the One Stop is better than most as it seems a lot more organised than other branches I’ve visited.
For a start, unlike other Argos stores this one actually fills its checkouts as busy times. If there is a queue then most times they will make sure all tills are manned, the branch in Northfield had three empty tills on Christmas Eve and it meant such horrendous queues that I ended up giving up and leaving!
If you’ve reserved your item you can use one of the machines to pay for it and avoid the tills completely.
Once you’ve paid you go over to the collection point and wait for your number to be announced. Again, it seems very organised and items are coming down the conveyor belt continuously. I have never waited above 10 minutes in this branch, whereas I’ve waited almost half an hour in other branches in busy periods.
Customer services is very good, by Argos standards, and I’ve never had a problem with returning products and obtaining an exchange or refund.
The only problem with this branch is that it’s on the very front of the One Stop while the car park is at the back, down an escalator and quite a walk away. The road in front is double yellow lined and only available for taxi pick ups, so buying a particularly bulky or heavy item is almost impossible from this store unless you want to risk a parking ticket!
156 Coombes Lane, Birmingham, West Midlands B31 4QT
When we moved into our new house late last year we realised we needed to buy something to brighten the front garden up.
We looked everywhere but either we didn’t quite like what was on offer, or if we did see something then it was too expensive.
It was my daughter who noticed Budz & Woodz on her way to school one day, she’d heard me say I wanted a wooden wishing well and had spotted one outside this shop which is literally a 2 minute walk from our house.
Budz & Woodz is a lovely little shop which is much more impressive than it looks from the outside. It is a florist and a shop which sells anything relating to wood, be it wooden garden objects to sheets of wood to wooden benches.
The flower side of the business is excellent. They sell brilliant quality flowers at reasonable prices, I have started buying a bunch now and then to brighten up the living room which is something I’ve never done before.
I bought the wishing well and it looks fantastic in the garden, it’s beautifully crafted and looks very rustic and charming.
The couple who run Budz & Woodz are lovely, they are always ready to give advice about anything and will recommend only products that are right for you. They will ask lots of questions to make sure you get the right item and this is great considering most shops of this type will try to sell you the most expensive thing in there!
They also provide a delivery service for bulkier items which proved to be very handy when my fella bought a fence panel which ended up being too wide for his van!
1139-1141 Aldridge Road, Birmingham, West Midlands B44 8PD
When my fella built a breakfast bar in the kitchen recently we went to Great Barr Sawmills for the wood as he’s used this place before and has been very impressed with it.
Now, I know very little about wood once it’s off the tree (ha!) but even from my perspective I could see that this huge warehouse holds a lot of different types of wood in all different styles and shapes.
We wanted something similar to the wood of our worksurface in the kitchen, but it didn’t have to be too exact as the breakfast bar is on the othe side of the room. This left us with plenty of scope to wander around and see what we fancied.
There was loads to choose from, as well as wood for any occasion I can imagine! Planks of wood, 4-by-4’s, plywood sheets, blocks of wood - you name it and Great Barr Sawmills will have it. If it’s not exact then you can use their free cutting service next door, just show them the receipt and they’ll cut your wood down to any size and dimension you request.
My fella reckons they are reasonable on prices, I have no idea of the price of wood generally so can’t comment on this!
The blokes working in there are approachable and friendly, they don’t bother you as you’re looking around but are available if you need any help or advice.
This is obviously a dusty environment so don’t wear your best clothes, I was wearing a pair of white trousers and managed to drag them across some planks of wood which made them filthy - a real nuisance as I then had to go to Asda looking like I hadn’t washed my clothes for a week!
1 One Stop Retail Park, Birmingham, West Midlands B42 1AA
I’ve used a lot of different branches of Peacocks in the past but think this shop in the One Stop in Perry Barr is the worst of the lot and would rather travel the extra few miles to visit another branch.
The thing that makes it so bad in my eyes is it’s level of stock. Sometimes they will have rails and rails of the same item in different colours and sizes, then another time there will be loads of different styles on offer but they’re all a size 10 or 12.
The styles of clothes are reasonable, I don’t like their trousers at all because they never seem to hang right - and I’m not a strange size at all as other (skinnier!) friends have said the same about Peacocks trousers. They have a good selection of vests and summer clothes in the warmer weather, although at this time of year all the branch seems to stock is frumpy jumpers and horrible coats!
Prices have really gone up in this branch, I’m not sure if this is true across the whole chain but items which were fairly cheap can now be found much cheaper in other clothes shops.
If you’re pregnant it’s worth looking at some of their larger sizes as they are usually elasticated past a size 14 in here so will act as decent maternity wear!
The staff in this branch couldn’t be bothered whether you buy anything or not, and it shows in their attitude. They’re not rude or ignorant at all, it’s just that I don’t think they want to be there! And neither do I!
32 Northfield Shopping Centre, Northfield, Birmingham, West Midlands B31 2JU
Partners has been in the Grosvenor Shopping Centre for years, I’ve shopped there more or less ever since it first opened and I still think it’s brilliant.
It specialises in stationery of all kinds and has moved with the times now selling a good range of computer stationery such as photo paper, ink and plain printing paper.
There is a wide range of products available, and plenty of choice within the ranges. To name a few items you can expect to find pencil cases and everything to fill them, notebooks, folders, paper of every size imaginable, filing cases and oh, lots and lots of other things related to all things scribbling.
I took my daughters there during the Christmas holidays and they bought everything they needed for their new term at school, now any other year we’d have popped into Woolies for a lot of this stuff but they obviously weren’t available this year and I’m so glad I had this chance to requaint myself with Partners. My girls’ are the bees knees in school with only the trendiest pens and pencils; Partners keep their finger on the pulse and this year have Hannah Montana and HSM goodies for my American loving nine year old and a very cool skull and crossbones range for the gothy twelve year old.
Sometimes this branch of Partners will have child sized stools or desks for sale, this seems to be as and when they can get them and they’re nice enough but personally I think you could find them cheaper elsewhere.
Prices overall aren’t too bad, some people find them expensive but I think they’re fine. There are some items which can be found cheaper in other shops but the majority of stuff is very reasonably priced. This one of those shops that I don’t mind a mark up of prices on some things because the convenience of doing all my stationery shopping in one place AND having such a lovely choice makes up for an extra few pence on the bill.
One Stop Shopping Centre, Walsall Road Perry Barr, Birmingham, West Midlands B42 1TY
Poundstretcher in the One Stop at Perry Barr is excellent both in terms of the quality of the items it sells and the price of everything.
It’s a large store located next door to Poundland, not to be confused as prices are not a standard £1 in Poundstretcher although you will find lots and lots of items at this low price.
The general quality of the goods is much higher than in Poundland and other shops like that and the store is laid out in a much more logical manner meaning I can find and buy pretty much everything I went in for with no messing around or having to ask inane questions of the staff.
What can you expect to find in this branch? Well, what can you NOT find in this branch! It always amazes me how much they can pack into the shop, not least because some of the items they stock are bulky household items.
I have bought canvas prints for my wall, vases, mop and buckets, kitchenware and my favourite a Union Jack doormat last month which only cost £3.99.
This branch is always spotlessly clean and the staff are knowledgeable about their products, whenever I have had a question it has been answered accurately and with a minimum of fuss. I love the plants in here and often have to ask whether they are for indoors or out in the garden, most members of staff will automatically know the answer and if they don’t then they’ll go and find someone who does.
51 Meadowsweet Avenue, Birmingham, West Midlands B38 9QW
Possibly the worst shop in the whole of Birmingham, S.A.S. Meadowsweet is an appallingly understocked newsagents/convenience store just around the corner from my mother in laws house.
I first encountered this shop when my mother in law ran out of milk, I offered to pop along to S.A.S. as it’s only a 2 minute walk from her house. I quickly realised I’d made a mistake when the guy behind the counter told me they’d run out of milk - run out! This was at 10am!
Subsequent visits have resulted in me leaving empty handed, often the products are not in stock and even more often the guy who owns it has never heard of the item I want. And I’m not talking Foie Gras or stem ginger here, I mean the basics such as Oxo cubes and margarine!
Funnily enough the chocolates are always very well stocked, as is the cigarette counter.
And when I do find something I want to buy it’s extremely overpriced. Considering there is a large supermarket just down the road, S.A.S. do not give an inch when it comes to their prices and it’s one of the most expensive shops of this type that I’ve ever had the misfortune to go in.
It’s not clean either, the floor is often filthy and in wet weather they simply place a load of opened cardboard boxes on the floor to soak up the damp. It’s a really badly looked after shop and not one that I’d want to buy fresh foods in - always assuming that they ever had some fresh food in stock that is!
At the moment S.A.S. is closed for a refurb, who knows when it re-opens I might be able to come back and update this review with how wonderful the shop is - I doubt it though.
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