A luxury retreat to recover from camping

Last weekend I was coerced into going camping. OK, when I say coerced I may be exaggerating, but after spending two nights in a tent with the dogs I was very grateful knowing that I had booking a luxury Birmingham hotel to recover in before heading home. The dogs were packed off with my mum, while me and hubby headed North from our campsite in Dorset to pay a visit to the Park Regis Hotel in Birmingham.

Location: Broad Street

Birmingham is a busy city and so I was relieved when I found out the hotel had it’s own car park, and even better that the car park was just inside the ring road – so not too much Birmingham traffic to deal with. In fact the hotel is perfectly located for visiting the city as you aren’t right in the thick of the traffic, but you’re right on Broad Street where the majority of the pubs and restaurants are located, as well as easy access to the canals.

We found that for 2 days the location was ideal. One of the days was easy to head out of the city to Cadbury World and the other day we left the car in the car park and walked into the city centre. It was about a 20 minute walk to the Bull Ring Shopping Centre so not too far to carry your shopping haul home. Although it is uphill at some points so if you’ve really stretched the credit card I’d recommend a taxi!

Parking is £10 per day in the hotel car park. Ignore the signs about paying at the meter and head in and ask them to add it to your bill as they charge £16 per day at the meter for non-residents.

Hotel

First impressions count in my book. As you enter on the ground floor you are greeted by the most spectacular chandelier.

The concierge are located on this floor, we managed to grab Peter on our way out to ask directions to Cadbury World. Wish we’d asked him more questions during our stay but I’m very independent and decided I already knew where to go! There are lifts here that take you straight up to the 4th floor – this is where you’ll find the grand reception to check in. Starr checked us in, a very lovely friendly girl who appeared interested in our stay, asking us if we were celebrating (which we were – a late anniversary), what we had planned, and giving us all the information we needed for our stay. As our room wasn’t quite ready (even though we were early) they moved some rooms around so we could check in. Finally Starr pointed us in the direction of the lifts to head upstairs, gave us instructions on the key cards and wished us a lovely stay.

Bedroom: Executive Double

We were very lucky to have been booked into an Executive Double bedroom. Not only was the bedroom spacious, light, and beautifully decorated, we also got access as Executive Guests to their Executive Suite on the 11th floor. A quick swipe of our key card on the entrance gave us access to the lounge area with TV, music and plenty of comfortable seating where we could relax away from the hustle of the bar. During the day the lounge was topped us with soft drinks and snacks and between 6pm and 9pm we were also served free alcohol – so you can easily justify the extra money spending on the upgrade. On one evening we were served by Remisa in the lounge, again like Starr she was chatty and genuinely seemed interested in talking to us – the customer service couldn’t be faulted during our stay.

Back to the bedroom, it had everything we needed for a break in Birmingham. The bathroom had a large rain shower and was incredible. The room also has plenty of extras like an alarm clock, safe and dressing gown and slippers. We were really impressed to see that even though they’d switched our room over at check in we’d still arrived to a little welcome message and happy anniversary card – great little touches made our stay one to remember.

Food

The hotel has 2 restaurants, 1565 and Rofuto. Unfortunately the sushi restaurant Rofuto was closed during our visit but it’s up on the 16th floor with fantastic floor to ceiling windows with views over the city, it looked truly incredible. We did get a chance to eat at 1565 though for afternoon tea and also for dinner. The afternoon tea was amazing. The royal afternoon tea comes with a glass of Prosecco, amuse bouche, and the full afternoon tea.

oxtail-ball
Breaded Oxtail ball with lemon snow and horseradish sauce – at least that’s what I roughly remember her calling it!

Starting from the bottom, sandwiches were made with thick fresh bread, there were light salmon herb wraps, and brioche buns with beef filling. Next, freshly cooked, warm fruit and cheese scones (even wrapped in a napkin to keep warm) served with herb butter, strawberry jam, lemon curd, and lashings of clotted cream; and the top and final tier a selection of five cakes each, a fruit tart with gold leaf, a chocolate mousse, salted caramel eclair, a macaroon and a sponge with ‘hat’. Obviously all washed down with a pot of tea of your choice and a glass of Prosecco.

afternoon-tea

For dinner we opted for a three course delight! We started by being offered a selection of bread, from seeded, olive or walnut, and with choices of butter of herb, unsalted or red pesto – she also said normally there’s more but they were quiet, I was already stunned by the choice of 3 butters!

For starters I had a pea veloute, hubby had a rabbit terrine both amazing. For mains hubby had an incredible Rib Eye Steak served with chips, while I opted for ‘My Fish and Chips’ the fish was cooked like any other fillet of fish would be (not battered) and served with the indescribable chips below.

ribeye steak
Rib Eye Steak and chips
chips
the indescribable chips, with curry sauce

My favourite part of the meal came next, dessert. Hubby saw cheese on the menu and decision was made – complete with a glass of port. I opted for a strawberries and cream panacotta – and I’m so glad I did!

cheese
the ridiculous cheese board – it was all eaten!
pannacotta
the panacotta is served in a chocolate ball, with strawberry jelly, caramel popcorn and fruit compote.

All in all we couldn’t fault our stay. Everything was perfect from start to finish and at the next possible opportunity I will be going back. Nothing says luxury in Birmingham like the Park Regis!

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