I'm pixiholly from Birmingham. I've been Qyping since 16-01-2009
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33 Warwick Road, Olton, Solihull, West Midlands B92 7HS
Situated opposite McDonald’s in Olton Hollow, Al Basha is a fabulous friendly takeaway offering an exciting and interesting menu. If you are now thinking “it’s a takeaway, ok”, I can promise you it’s way better than that.
Al Basha’s menu includes a variety of mediterranean dishes from moussaka and kebabs to beef and lamb. Kebabs are made of the quality of meat you would use at home (no nasty stringy or fatty stuff here), and come with griddled peppers and onions, a proper salad, pickled mild chili peppers and pickled turnips. You can add garlic mayo or chili sauce. Larger kebabs come on fine flatbreads rather than pittas. You can add a starter of houmous or the like if you think you can find room.
Meat dishes come with jewelled rice or chips and salad. Moussaka is substantial and delicate tasting.
Al Basha is run by a lovely and friendly family. I have eaten less well in expensive restaurants, and would highly recommend that you stop off here.
1608 High Street, Solihull, West Midlands B93 0JU
The Vaults is situated next to Loch Fyne and just off the High Street in Knowle. It is situated next to the two main shopping car parks, and it is easy to find a space there for an evening visit.
This is a small and friendly pub, offering some real ales, along with the standard pub fare. It stocks real ales from Adnams, Deuchars, Tetley’s and Ansells plus two guest beers from around the country.
The Vaults won CAMRA’s pub of the year award for Solihull in 2008 (having also won on four previous occasions).
1636a High Street, Solihull, West Midlands B93 0NA
Greedy Guts is situated on the High Street in Knowle and offers a range of takeout food from jacket potatoes and panini to sandwiches and wraps.
There is usually a daily special, and you can choose your own fillings as your order is freshly prepared for you. I can recommend the chicken tikka wrap. To offset the benefits of having a choice and the freshness of your order, you need to be prepared to wait while your lunch is made. Having said that, I have never been in when it is really busy, and so have never waited more than a few minutes for my order.
Pick up your lunch here, and head down to the Ford at Barston for some quality picnicking.
Greedy Guts also offers outside catering for business functions etc.
1690 High Street, Solihull, West Midlands B93 0LY
Knowle Travel is situated at the far end of the High Street past the Red Lion. The closest car park is at the rear of the One Stop/Natwest, or you can find on street parking across the road by the church.
Knowle Travel has a specialist discount cruise centre. The staff are knowledgeable and helpful, and spent a great deal of time helping us to find exactly what we wanted. In addition to cruises, the agency offers a variety of other holidays, from the exotic to the very affordable, and including stays in the UK.
We’ve been very impressed with the prices they have found for us, and would have no hesitation booking with them again.
670 Warwick Road, Birmingham, West Midlands B11 2HL
Otherwise known as Tyseley Railway Museum, this is a sprawling museum wedged between Tyseley station and Warwick Road. The Trust itself was established to preserve the steam trains which still ply the main line.
In summer you can catch the Shakespeare Express to Stratford-upon-Avon. From a distance you can hear the whistle and the delicate chuffing as the trains set off - guarenteed to make you wish you were on board. If you decide to treat yourself to the post sets, you can have breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea on the train.
There are also plenty of tours by steam train and there are open days every few months where you can get to see all the engines on display at close quarters. Great for a family day out.
Hatton House, Warwick, Warwickshire CV35 7LD
This is a pleasant waterside pub next to the big flight of locks at Hatton. It has a vast car park, and plenty of outside seating to enjoy the views of the canal and watch the boats going to and fro.
Immaculately clean, the pub has a menu of posh pub grub, with some nice-looking salads on the menu. Unfortunately the kitchen was closed when we visited.
Our drinks were reasonably priced, and this is clearly a place where you can loiter with a paper watching the world go by.
24-26 Mount Pleasant, Bilston, West Midlands WV14 7LJ
This is a great gig venue, located just off the High Street in Bilston. It is close to the Metro and the bus services, with a link to mainline rail services at Wolverhampton. There is a large car park at the rear, and some on-street parking nearby.
The Robin hosts a great range of music, from tribute bands to new group competitions and an opportunity to relive the 70s and 80s as old bands reform or just never went away. The audience encompasses all ages, so you won’t feel awkward as a 40- or 50-something here. Get in early if you will need to sit down for at least part of the gig!
There is a nice bar at the front, and some tables in the main venue itself. The atmosphere here has been great every time we’ve been, which says good things about the management and the choice of acts.
Balsall Street, Balsall Common, Coventry, West Midlands CV7 7AS
The Saracen’s Head has been through a number of owners over the past ten years, with varying degrees of success. It is now much more of a restaurant than a pub.
The building itself is lovely, with some very old features, and allegedly a resident ghost in the front parlour. Surprisingly for such an old building, the various rooms are bright and airy, and there has been some resistance to packing the tables in, meaning that you can dine in a degree of privacy. There are also a number of tables outside, with comfortable furniture.
The menu is fairly lengthy, with all that implies, but the restaurant is kept full by some significant 2for1 deals. We have been here a couple of times recently, and it has been busy on both occasions.
The service is pleasant and friendly. It was a little slow on one of our visits, but it was peak time and the place was packed.
This is a great option for a reasonably priced meal in nice surroundings. I would suggest you go early if you are short on time.
Mill Lane, Solihull, West Midlands B91 3RA
Touchwood is a welcome refuge if, like me, you really don’t like shopping centres but find it necessary to visit one occasionally. Firstly, it is logically organised, with John Lewis as the anchor store at one end, and with separate areas for the remaining shops and a cinema/restaurants area.
The staff team do a great job in keeping the shopping centre clean; in fact, I can’t remember having seen litter anywhere here. The architecture is a bit more interesting than many shopping centres, including a map with some very strange choices of UK towns on it; I keep thinking that I must find out the reason for this selection.
In addition to the usual suspects for a shopping centre, there is also a branch of East at the far end, Bravissimo, a Build a Bear Workshop and Lakeland.
The restaraunt selection includes Tasca, Nando’s, Homemade Burger Company, Wagamama, Bella Pasta and TGIs. This is next to the theatre complex and the cinema, so a piece of good planning for a night out.
1656 High Street, Knowle, Solihull, West Midlands B93 0NA
This store is a real asset to Knowle, as it really does do what it says over the door. There is a friendly and helpful Post Office counter at the back of the store. The staff are very efficient, as well as being friendly, and queues move fast.
There is a good selection of newspapers and magazines, cold drinks, ice creams, sweets and assorted grocery items. You could picnic from this shop alone, although I’d recommend a sandwich from the French bakery over the road topped up with drinks and snacks here.
In addition to the varied stock here, there are usually some bargains: 1.5 litre bottles of Diet Pepsi for 99p last time we visited.
Highly recommended. It says something about the range and diversity of goods here that the entire village seemed to be in the store when Tesco was closed for refurbishment.
- Solihull 38 reviews
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- Birmingham 18 reviews
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- Ludlow 8 reviews
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