Ana Rocha, 1000 Trades and the Button Factory: Evenings at the Jewellery Quarter

It’s been a while since I last wrote a blog post as I’ve been pretty busy over the past few weeks what with finishing uni, starting a new job and going to Milan but I’ve been to some pretty cool bars and restaurants in Birmingham lately and feel it’s only right I write about them.

As I mentioned in a few previous posts I was doing an internship in the Jewellery Quarter, which obviously meant I spent a fair few of my evenings eating at one of the lovely restaurants around there or drinking in one of the many trendy bars, well I guess this will continue as I have been offered a full time position there until I move to Singapore.

As well as wanting to celebrate my new job, one of my friends from uni has just got himself a flat in the Jewellery Quarter and as we are both big foodies we thought it was only best to go out for food, which was then of course followed by, ahem, plenty of drinks. It’s still taking me a while to get out of the student mentality of ‘it’s ok if you miss that 9am you can catch up’ and into ‘you need to be up at 6:30 tomorrow and be ready to do a 9-5 without a hangover’. With this in mind we headed to Ana Rocha Bar & Gallery and immediately ordered a bottle of white wine. If you haven’t heard of or been to Ana Rocha before it is a Spanish tapas restaurant bar/gallery – I know it sounds a bit of a strange concept but believe me it works and is one of the most intriguing and interesting places to go for food in Brum. As you walk in there are several pieces of art and collections of luxury watches and then the restaurant area itself is like an antique showroom with various art pieces and objects dotted around the place.

ana rocha inside

Although it seemed a bit strange I loved the quirky décor and it made this elegant and stylish restaurant even more appealing. Of course we went for tapas, ordering croquetes de jamón, croquetes de bacalao, calamares, and pulpo a la gallega. The croquetes were my favourite, plenty of flavour and deliciously crisp on the outside. The octopus was pretty good too (for being in Birmingham), I suppose after spending a month living in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, it’s always going to be difficult to find octopus that is as good as the region that has it as their staple dish. After our food we were given a complimentary shot of a rum punch style liquor that went down pretty well with both of us and got us in the mood to go and have more drinks.

pulpo ana rocha

After eating we decided to do what we do best and go for more drinks. First we headed over to 1000 trades, a wonderful little pub in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter. Known for its selection of craft beers and natural wines and for showcasing local music talent, this place has a real Birmingham buzz about it. I’m not really a beer drinker so I opted for one of their wines that is similar to a Pinot Grigio. Without a doubt, I will definitely be heading back to 1000 trades as I want to try out their food. They have this really cool concept where they have kind of ‘guest chefs’ taking up residence in the kitchen, serving up some really exciting food.

After a carafe of wine (probably should have just had a small glass but oh well), instead of heading home we headed up the road and popped into the Button Factory. The location of this so close to my offices has meant that it has become a favourite of mine for after work drinks and the rooftop terrace is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a busy day of work. Chilled out vibes, friendly staff and an industrial style backdrop, the Button Factory ticks all the boxes as being a great place to have a few drinks in Brum.

drinks button factory.jpg

Now I have a full time job in the Jewellery Quarter there is no doubt that I will be frequenting these places, and all the other bars and restaurants in this fantastic area of Birmingham, more and more often. In fact I think I’m going to try and try out every restaurant/bar/coffee shop before I head off to Singapore – wish me luck!


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