Reviews & Features

Our reviews and ‘best of’ articles relating to music, food, art, shopping and more in and around Birmingham.

An Ode To The Tower Ballroom by Jim Simpson

The news that The Tower Ballroom in Edgbaston is about to be demolished must have provoked many a memory of Brum’s most popular 1960s dance hall. Here… Read more »

The Ultimate Brummie Gift Guide!

Birmingham: It’s Not Shit: 50 Things That Delight About Brum In this funny, revelatory and occasionally even nostalgic collection, the team behind Paradise Circus explore the places,… Read more »

Jersey Boys Review at The Alex Theatre

I love the theatre, and a great musical really is an exhilarating and magical experience from start to finish, Jersey Boys was absolutely electric & uplifted the… Read more »

A Christmas Tale – Birmingham’s first Ska Band, Trojan Records and Walt Disney!

The story of Rudi The Red-Nosed Reindeer began 53 years ago, in Birmingham with the first ska recording to hit in the UK. The band were The… Read more »

Final Fundraising Push Underway As Warwickshire’s National Prayer Landmark Raises £400,000 In Four Weeks

Brits from across the country have so far contributed £400,000 in just four weeks towards the much anticipated new national landmark being built in Warwickshire, the Eternal… Read more »

Grand Hotel Brum named Central regional winner in Sunday Times Best Places To Stay

The Sunday Times Best Places To Stay guide is a definitive list of the 100 Best Places to Stay across the UK and the 2021 interactive edition… Read more »

The Oyster Club review October 2021

The Oyster Club review October 2021

I had been meaning to try out The Oyster Club in Birmingham city centre for some time. I had heard mixed reports, my brother and also a… Read more »

Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage

Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage

To my shame, I never watched the mega hit movie ‘Dirty Dancing’. This is probably because I was always told the film is a chick flick. I… Read more »

West Midlands Winners revealed in tech entrepreneur competition

Seven early-stage entrepreneurs have been given the chance to develop their business ideas thanks to SuperTech, the West Midlands based professional services technology (ProfTech) supercluster. The SuperTech… Read more »

Rosa’s Thai Cafe review September 2021

Rosa’s Thai Cafe review September 2021

A few months ago, I was invited to review Rosa’s Thai Cafe, however life was pretty manic with work and some big DIY projects, so I had… Read more »

Bloc Hotel Review Sept 2021

Bloc Hotel Review Sept 2021

The last 18 months has been a pretty terrible time for travel enthusiasts, with so many lockdowns world-wide, the knock-on effect to hospitality has been unprecedented, and… Read more »

Beluga Martini Matchmaker Experience at The Grand Hotel Birmingham

Team Grapevine were invited to try out Beluga Vodka Martini Matchmaker experience ‘The Golden Hour’ cocktails with a brioche toast, to accompany the cocktail, at Madeleine Bar… Read more »

New memorial announced for Southside, The Birmingham AIDS & HIV Memorial

New memorial announced for Southside, The Birmingham AIDS & HIV Memorial

A brand new memorial has been announced for Birmingham’s Southside, as the city celebrated the start of its largest Pride celebrations to date. The Birmingham AIDS &… Read more »

Amazon Studios’ Lord of the Rings production should be filmed in Birmingham UK, Tolkien’s spiritual home

Amazon Studios’ £336m production of Lord of the Rings should be filmed in Birmingham, UK  owing to the city’s close association with Tolkien, a film expert at… Read more »

The Mug House Inn & Restaurant Review

The Mug House Inn & Restaurant Review

This evening we took a stroll through Bewdley, Worcestershire’s most picturesque small town, past Georgian terraced houses and along the verdant banks of the River Severn, until… Read more »

83 year old abseils Custard Factory for Parkinson’s UK

83 year old abseils Custard Factory for Parkinson’s UK

Daring fundraisers in Birmingham abseiled down the city’s iconic Custard Factory on 5 June, raising an incredible £11,000 for Parkinson’s UK.  Among the 26 people who took… Read more »

Bodega Cantina Review 2021

Bodega Cantina Review 2021

Bodega Cantina was one of the first independent bars and restaurants to open in Birmingham city centre during the city’s cuisine renaissance. The owners, Bitters N Twisted… Read more »

MeetspaceVR Gaming Arena Review

MeetspaceVR Gaming Arena Review

As a home computer gamer of the 1980s, i’ve seen a lot of change over the years, i was an avid C64 gamer and wasted way too… Read more »

Local school gets behind six-year-old with childhood dementia for MPS Society’s Wear it Blue Day

Penny Mills, 6, from Stafford, suffers from rare genetic disease Sanfilippo syndrome which has already caused her to forget the words she used to know and will… Read more »

Trio of Award Wins for Round Midnight Ltd.

Trio of Award Wins for Round Midnight Ltd.

Round Midnight Ltd, the Birmingham based theatre group, has won a trio of awards, and been shortlisted for a further award for its virtual reality (VR) offering…. Read more »

Midlands lads smash 5K a day to fight homelessness

Midlands lads smash 5K a day to fight homelessness

Could you run 5k?  But could you run 5k, every day for the entire month of April?  Well, I certainly couldn’t but that is what two lads… Read more »

meetspaceVR Birmingham Arena returns 17th May 2021!

meetspaceVR Birmingham Arena returns 17th May 2021!

meetspaceVR Birmingham Arena is now the biggest VR Park in Europe at over 15,000 sq ft. Having opened two weeks before lock down the team are ready to… Read more »

Online Scratch Cards in the UK

Traditionally, scratchcards or instant lottery cards are small paper cards with plastic coatings to protect pins, numbers, images or prizes. The plastic is scratched off to reveal… Read more »

The Best Burgers in Birmingham – And a Short History of The Hamburger

Birmingham’s culinary finesse has traveled a long way since Cliff Richard’s Brumburger Duet with Debbie Watling in 1973 on Take Me High – click here to watch)…. Read more »

Best Places To Go For Food and Drink in The Jewellery Quarter!

The Jewellery Quarter is home to over 700 jewellers and independent retailers, with a thriving food and drink scene the district has an incredible history, from the… Read more »

The Best Street Food Places in Birmingham

Birmingham’s street food has come a long way since Alex’s Pie Stand of the city’s 60s Brumbeat era. Let’s not forget that infamous Indian street food cuisine… Read more »

The Best Indian Restaurants and Balti Houses in Birmingham

Birmingham has its fair share of Indian Restaurants, Desi Pubs and Baltis. In fact, it’s claimed the humble Balti was invented here, or at least made popular… Read more »

The Delights of Digbeth – a Big Brummie Night Out!

The delights of Digbeth have been covered in just about every national news paper around the globe – however, it’s hard to keep up with all the… Read more »

The Best Beer Gardens in Birmingham

British summers can be unpredictable at the best of times but all the more reason to know the best sun traps and where to dart when the… Read more »

West Midlands reaction to HM Treasury FinTech review

West Midlands reaction to HM Treasury FinTech review

An independent review has set out a plan for the UK to retain its global leadership in fintech by helping the country’s financial technology firms to scale… Read more »

2 new HE colleges to open in Birmingham this year

The BIMM group is opening two new colleges in Birmingham this year to meet the spectacular demand for industry-ready graduates in the creative sector. Screen and Film… Read more »

Accelerating the West Midlands’ tech revolution in professional services

Generating £27.8 billion gross value added annually, and employing more than 360,000 people, the West Midlands is the UK’s largest centre for business, professional and financial services… Read more »

New year, new hires at Pearl Comms

Midlands PR firm Pearl Comms has kicked off 2021 with the appointment of two new hires to its growing team. The B2B corporate comms specialist has welcomed… Read more »

Locked Up In Lockdown by Adam (kjw) Kyron

“Locked up in lock down” is a journey we will go on and look into the effects of the quarantine / lockdown from a different perspective. The… Read more »

Outdoors at The Kingsway – Q & A with Eddie OCallaghan

As a Christmas Special, we decided to catch up with local groover and shaker Eddie OCallaghan for a quick interview on his recent hotspot creation down at… Read more »

24-hour walk challenge to raise funds for disabled seven-year-old’s trike

A Cardiff woman completed a 26-hour walking challenge to help raise funds for her friend’s seven-year-old son this weekend – the equivalent of walking from Everest base… Read more »

Christmas Gift Ideas from Ikon Gallery

Please support Ikon this Christmas and choose from our wide range of books, prints, stationery and gifts. Ikon is a charity and all purchases help fund the… Read more »

Latest industry data on how UK music can recover from Covid and Brexit

A leading music industry academic has welcomed the findings of UK Music’s Music By Numbers report and calls for UK Government and industry to work together to… Read more »

Get in the festive spirit with a virtual Christmas concert featuring West Midlands musicians for Parkinson’s UK

A virtual Christmas concert featuring a host of festive performances will raise vital funds for Parkinson’s UK.  ‘An Evening of Christmas Melodies’, will take place on Zoom… Read more »

100 mile run to honour 11-year-old Alfie Baugh who raised £6,000 for a stranger

100 mile run to honour 11-year-old Alfie Baugh who raised £6,000 for a stranger

Leon Thompson, aged 7 from Codsall, lives with cerebral palsy, global development delay and sensory processing issues as well as being non-verbal. He lives with his mum… Read more »

Midlands Dad and Colleagues take on Movember for three-year- son

Midlands Dad and Colleagues take on Movember for three-year- son

A Codsall Dad and his colleagues are growing moustaches this month to help raise £50,000 for surgery and aftercare for his three-year-old son. Nick England, 41, and… Read more »

The Cure frontman Robert Smith donates piece of original art to Heart Research UK auction

Iconic rock frontman Robert Smith has donated a piece of original artwork to Heart Research UK’s anonymous heART project, raising money for vital medical research. The Cure… Read more »

Louise Woodley of The Actress & Bishop Wing Walk for Charity Interview

Louise Woodley of The Actress & Bishop Wing Walk for Charity Interview

Hello Louise, I understand you have recently completed a wing walk for charity which involved being tossed around attached to the outside of a light aircraft hundreds… Read more »

10 of The Best New Restaurants in Birmingham

It’s been a difficult year for the hospitality industry, with many businesses closing their doors so it’s especially exciting to hear of new restaurants opening and doing… Read more »

Flamin’ Patties Ladypool Rd Review Sept 2020

Flamin’ Patties Ladypool Rd Review Sept 2020

Brum is home to some of the best burgers in the UK, that is a fact no one can argue with. From Original Patty Men to Indico‘s… Read more »

Dishoom Birmingham full review

Dishoom Birmingham full review

Dishoom arrived in Birmingham with terrible timing, just as lockdown was taking place, the grand launch had to be postponed. In fact, some were questioning whether the… Read more »

Digbeth Dining Club Take-Over Digbeth Arena August Bank Holiday 2020 review

Digbeth Dining Club Take-Over Digbeth Arena August Bank Holiday 2020 review

Last August Bank Holiday, myself and three guests made a bee-line for the Digbeth Dining Club take-over of Digbeth Arena. Digbeth Dining Club started out life in… Read more »

Rule of six could sound death knell for many in live music sector – academic and industry experts

Further restrictions around social gatherings alongside new requirements for night-time economy businesses could sound the death knell for an already under threat live music venues, clubs and… Read more »

The Floodgate Digbeth Review

The Floodgate Digbeth Review

I’d been looking forward to checking out The Floodgate in Digbeth for quite some time, so the August Bank Holiday seemed a perfect opportunity to do just… Read more »

Friendly Neighbourhood Cinema – Details and September screenings

Friendly Neighbourhood Cinema – Details and September screenings

Friendly Neighbourhood Cinema brings cinema back to Kings Heath’s historic The Kingsway for the first time since its  closure in 1979. Hosted by new event space Kings… Read more »