The second largest cricket ground in the country, Edgbaston, home of Warwickshire County cricket club, is also the one England players prefer to play at – the unique atmosphere of the south Birmingham ground is said to act as a 12th man for the team, and the atmosphere generated by fans has been compared to that of much bigger grounds, such as Calcutta’s Eden Gardens, by former England captain Alec Stewart.
Its surrounds are just as unique: The University of Birmingham is close by, as are many ethnic areas including the Balti Triangle meaning Indian, Lebanese and Moroccan restaurants happily sit side by side with traditional boozers. Sample these choices at the top of the batting order when you visit and you won’t go wrong.
1. Simpsons, Edgbaston
For top-class food in Birmingham, it’s hard to beat Simpsons. Set in a Grade-II listed building, it’s held a Michelin star for more than 20 years, thanks to the efforts of owner Andreas Antona, chef director Luke Tipping, and head chef Matt Cheal. The building is currently undergoing a refurbishment, but the restaurant remains open minus its terrace.
After a week of the restaurant being taken over by electricians ~ we are really looking forward to welcoming our customers back.To book for the weekend call reservations on 0121 454 3434.#businessopenasusual
2. Damascena Coffee House, Moseley
A mile from the ground, this Lebanese-influenced café has only been open for a year but has already picked up awards as winner of the Moseley in Bloom competition and the best coffee house in the city according to local paper The Birmingham Post. There’s a cute outside area decorated with lanterns, naturally great coffee and tasty homemade mezé-style dishes that are great for sharing.
3. The High Field, Edgbaston
Close to Five Ways train station and opposite Simpsons, this new gastropub opened just last September and has been pulling in an increasing number of more discerning punters since. Set in a converted villa as bright as cricket whites, it has a leafy garden, good beers and juicy Sunday lunches. Every Friday night, the garden plays host to a BBQ evening (weather permitting) and there are good breakfasts if you want to tuck in before the captains toss the coin.
Our new canopy is up in the terrace area, ready for the sunny days ahead! Join us in the sun for an after work beverage or quick treat off our new summer menu! #summerisfinallyhere
4. Sir Harry’s Chippy, Edgbaston
A Sir Viv Richards six hit from the ground, Sir Harry’s is much more than the chippy the name suggests. This cheap and cheerful takeaway also offers pizzas, fried chicken and halal dishes, as well as a vast range of kebabs, pasties and chip shop specials such as pickled eggs. You can even combine the different take-away styles into one with some dishes. Donner kebab pizza anyone?
5. Waters on The Square, Edgbaston
Michelin-starred Andy Waters returned to Birmingham with this relatively new restaurant that’s already picked up a Diners Choice award from Open Table for 2015. Wednesdays and Sundays are the best days to go thanks to a special ‘five courses for £29.50’ surprise menu that’s as exciting as a Ben Stokes century. Allow yourself a bit of time to get there if you go at the end of play, it’s at the other end of Edgbaston from the ground and post-play traffic can slow the journey down.
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6. The Prince of Wales, Moseley
Just last week the managers of this traditional boozer with a twist got to number one in the rankings after coming top in the UK Licensee of the Year awards, beating 49,999 other publicans to the title. A mile from the ground in the village of Moseley, it has a cosy, traditional front bar with a fireplace, a cocktail lounge, and a wine shed (or Shed du Vin) in the garden, as well as a cigar lounge offering a selection of Cuba’s best. From Thursday to Sunday, the garden also plays host to the excellent Chillidogdogs street food van. Local Lashford’s sausages in brioche buns are topped with a selection of sloppy sauces, so make sure to keep your guard if you want to stay clean.
7. Old Moseley Arms, Moseley
This backstreet boozer, known as ‘The Old Mo’ to locals is not far from the Balti Triangle and was rewarded as Birmingham’s Camra pub of the year last year thanks to its excellent ‘pint and curry’ deals. There are always five real ales on hand-pull, and a tandoori oven on the go seven days a week, as well as four large screens to catch up on action, a pool table and a darts board. Smokers are catered for too thanks to a smoking shelter that’s kept toasty warm by a log-burning stove.
8. Diwan Balti, Moseley
Another Moseley stalwart, Diwan Balti is famed as both one of the original three curry houses in Birmingham, but also as the place where David Cameron was bowled over by their spicy cuisine. The PM was taken to the Indian institution by wife Sam Cam as a 46th birthday treat during the 2012 Conservative Party Conference. It’s open only in the evenings though, so make sure you head there after the end of play.
9. Merry Maid Grill and Bar, Moseley
This Victorian pub that’s been converted to a great pub-cum-Indian restaurant is home to a real culture clash. Owned by a pair of Sikh brothers, one supports Birmingham and the other is an Aston Villa fan – when it comes to cricket though, they put their differences to one side to serve fabulous food to Warwickshire and England fans. They often offer tickets to matches, and there’s a great pool room – but don’t expect to hustle them for cash, the bar’s team are current Birmingham pub league champs.
Large Mix Grill, Naans, Salad And Sauces
10. Ashiana, Moseley
Persian cuisine meets Afghan at this cosy little Moseley restaurant with wooden floors and banquette seating. Dishes consist of a number of different mezes, spicy kebabs, Afghan curries and fish grills. Recently opened in the afternoons, it makes a great lunch spot … and tea is thrown in for free.