Birmingham welcomes more than 34 million visitors each year and this figure is rising! The selection of souvenirs from Brummie is increasing too. If time isn’t on your side, two good places for buying gifts to take home is the Library of Birmingham in Centenary Square and Ikon Gallery in Oozells Square, Brindley Place. If you are looking for some small and very stylish gifts, the University of Birmingham has business card holders, cufflinks, keyrings and bookmarks in its online store. Anyways, here are the top 10 souvenirs to buy in Birmingham. Get set go!
1. Enjoy a bar or two- of Cadbury’s chocolate
This has to be on the top of the souvenir list! Cadbury chocolate has been made in Bourneville, Birmingham since 1910 and is much-loved all over the world. A tour of Cadbury World tells the story of this iconic chocolate with plenty of samples to try. There is a really good gift shop with all types of chocolate gifts including personalized chocolate plaques, footballs, shoes, and chocolate teapots!
2. A tea towel to hang on your wall
It is true that the primary use of tea towels is to dry the washing up but the ones made at Dot Moth Studio are far too interesting for that! The studio is run by two friends – one of them a painter and illustrator. There is a really fun selection of tea towels showing local buildings and sayings – there is even one celebrating the famous ‘Spaghetti Junction’! Needless to say, many of the tea towels bought are used for wall decorations! As well as tea towels, the ladies produce some really witty and stylish postcards to decorate your office and home with.
3. A tin of Bird’s custard powder to enjoy
Delicious Bird’s custard powder was first created in the city by the chemist Alfred Bird. He wanted to develop an alternative to traditional egg custard as his wife was allergic to eggs! He tried out his recipe on friends and it was so successful that he went into production. Interestingly, if you are talking with someone who is British or Australian and you mention ‘custard’ they will automatically think of Bird’s custard! In India, it is just as popular as it is ideal for vegetarians! Alfred Bird also invented baking powder for his wife to use in her baking!
4. Some true Brummie jewelry!
Working Clasp is a really fun jewelry making company in the heart of the city. The pieces are stylish and modern and a number of them have Brummie phrases on them! There are scores of local words and phrases for everyday words and certainly wearing a necklace or bracelet proclaiming ‘alright bab’ – a term of endearment or ‘tara-a-bit‘ (which means goodbye) will certainly prove a conversation piece wherever you go and you will definitely know by the squeal when you have met a Brummie! The Working Clasp range also includes rings, brooches, and earrings and can be found in the Library of Birmingham gift shop and Ikon Gallery.
5. Treat yourself to a piece of Blueware
The Burton Centre in the city’s library has some really good gift ideas including this rather lovely range of china. The pieces depict the city’s skyline in blue on a white background and this makes an unusual and smart souvenir. There is a great selection to choose from including thimbles, mugs, and teapots.
6. Proclaim I ♥ Birmingham!
This distinctive range with its big red heart on the front proclaiming the user’s love for the city is both fun and practical as the range includes, mugs, caps, tee-shirts, and sweatshirts either with a black or white background.
7. Select a stylish magic city print
If you would like a stylish reminder of your days in Birmingham, Grand Union produces a really good risograph print depicting the city’s skyline. Copies are available in several sizes from their shop in Fazeley Street.
8. An original gift – Photographic images on textiles
Several of the city’s photographers are using their great shots of well-known buildings and other landmarks to decorate some really good looking and highly original items such as pillowcases, bags, laptop covers, and smartphone covers. Two names to watch out for are Verity Milligan and Tim Cornbill.
9. A bottle of Langley’s No 8 Gin
Since its launch in 2013, Langley’s No 8 has become a favorite of the locals as artisan gin became an increasingly popular drink in the UK – particularly with younger people. With a distinctive black and silver label and instantly recognizable aroma of juniper, No 8 is classically made at the city’s only distillery which is in the heart of the city. Langley’s No 8 is served in the city’s independent bars and is available direct from the distillery or from Loki in Western Arcade.
10. The distinctive style of Brumhaus Art
Local artist Alexander Edward has painted all the well-known landmarks in the city in his distinctive style, which is based on the German modernist movement. His work is instantly recognizable and he perfectly captures the city’s different architecture. Whilst one of his paintings could be a little large for your suitcase, his work also appears on a range of smaller items.