Friday, December 24, 2004

A day in Birmingham

Our day out before Christmas included tickets to the CBSO's Christmas Concert at Birmingham's Symphony Hall. This was our first visit to what is generally considered to be one of the finest concert halls in the world and it certainly lived up to our expectations, though with a few disappointments in the program. All in all, though, a very worthwhile experience.

Before the evening concert we walked along the canals to the Mailbox, where we had lunch at Café Paxton. This is a new venture by the cheesesellers, Paxton & Whitfield. Their fourth store includes a café with a menu that is unusual and exceptional - we both thoroughly enjoyed our selections, and will include a review in a the next few days.

We then went to the BMAG (Birmingham Musueum and Art Gallery) primarily to see the social exhibits about the development of Birmingham in the nineteenth century. Some excellent if rather musty exhibits (but remember BMAG is free!) Next door is the Birmingham Main Library, a montrous concrete structure designed about 40 years ago (say no more!) which contains an impressive genealogy section that seems to be very heavily subscribed. We had about two hours to spend so we researched directories and found some useful information for the Ashton side of the family! Paul may yet get interested in genealogy.

Highlight of the day? Perhaps looking out of the glass wall at the Symphony Hall and noticing that the adjacent Birmingham Wheel was perfectly framed. Would have needed the ultra wide angle lens, so no picture this time!