Posted on 03/07/2019
The Worcester & Birmingham Canal connected the industrious Black Country to the sea by providing a link to the River Severn, opening trade routes to the world. One company that benefited hugely from its prominent spot on the canal was Cadbury in Bournville, where boats laden with chocolate crumb would be unloaded at the factory, ready to be made into the magical sweet stuff.
Today you can learn all about the history of the factory and watch chocolate being made at Cadbury World, before taking a stroll along the canal deeper into Birmingham. After passing the University of Birmingham railway station you’ll enter Edgbaston, a leafy suburb home to Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens where you can wander among its native, tropical and Mediterranean greenery. If all that walking has worked up an appetite, satisfy it in style at Simpsons – a Michelin-starred restaurant just around the corner from the gardens.
Housed in an elegant Georgian townhouse, the restaurant’s interior has undergone refurbishment in recent years, and now boasts an airy, Scandi-chic vibe complete with conservatory and garden terrace. It earned its Michelin star in 2000, retaining it ever since with chef director Luke Tipping creating gastronomic delights such as Norfolk quail, salt-baked celeriac and mango with curry ice-cream and crispy rice. The restaurant also runs a cookery school, called the Eureka Kitchen, where you can don chef whites and learn culinary wizardry from the masters.