Saturday 28 July 2018

A day out with my daughter in Birmingham.

If you know me, you'll know I'm a workaholic. 

Even when I'm not writing my next novel or screenplay for film, I'm thinking about it, storing ideas up in my head, and filing them carefully away for later use. 

But with the sheer volume of work I have on at the moment, I thought that conversely, I should take a day off, to unwind and recharge my batteries. And it is the summer after all. 

For this reason I have decided to take my daughter on a 'cultural' visit to Birmingham. 

We plan to visit Birmingham Art Gallery and Museum and coo over the wonderful Renaissance paintings, twist our heads in wonder at the modern art on display and wonder at the skill of the long-dead people who made all the delicate pottery and artefacts on display. 

Then as a final flourish, we will take a stroll along the impressive canal area and head to my favourite place in Birmingham, Del Villaggio, situated at the top of Broad Street. 

Fully authentic, with a menu which makes your mouth water as you read it, it's a favourite haunt of mine. 

The staff are so welcoming that every time I visit, I feel like I've come home. And the food is seriously good - the best Italian food I've ever had, in fact. And coming from a half-Italian woman, born and raised in Glasgow which is teeming with Italian eateries, that's no small accolade. 

But what fascinates me most about the place, is that it's kind-of a hidden gem. It's not rushed, and when I sit down to peruse the menu, I won't feel that I have to be out of my seat as soon as the final forkful leaves my mouth, as you do in some places. 

I will have as much time as I want to order, to savour my food and to enjoy a sneaky mid-day glass of wine, or even a cocktail [we will be travelling in on the train after all].

My daughter, will of course have her favourite dish - lasagne. I am undecided between the  Tagliolini Missoni Al Marinara - tagliolini in a garlicy sauce with prawns, mussels, squid and smoked salmon or the Penne with king prawn and chicken. There again, I might join my daughter and order lasagne... there's so much choice and since they're currently doing a special deal of buy one pasta or pizza and get another for £1, it won't break the bank.

If museums and art galleries aren't your thing, there are a million and one other places in Birmingham to take your children during the summer holidays. You could take a trip on a canal boat and sightsee, or visit the Thinktank or the library. You could hit the shops and even have a stroll through the busy market area which has remained unchanged since I first came to the area, over 30 years ago! 

You could visit the Cathedral which stands at the centre of town or the Jewellery Quarter which sits towards the back of the area, where diamond rings out the reach of my pocket, glitter enticingly under bright lights.   

Whatever you decide to do, I'm sure you'll have a great time. And who knows, maybe I'll see you at Del Villaggio's for a coffee or a spot of lunch. 

Happy Reading. 

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