Grand Central Birmingham - It's not just a station

Tuesday, 6 September 2016
Birmingham has always been a really local location to us, when I was younger its somewhere we would visit for special occasions to buy gifts, such as Christmas. However as I've got older it's somewhere I've ventured to more. Just recently visiting has been a weekly occurrence and made simple with the transport options we have available since moving house. 

Last September saw the opening of the much anticipated Grand Central which is a rather impressive building, especially from the outside. The location of the building is ideal situated just above Birmingham New Street Station, and local to other locations within the town. 

I'll be honest, I always thought Grand Central was simply an extension of the station. However I was, along with many others I'm sure incredibly wrong. Last week I was invited along to meet some of the team from Grand Central, and chat over afternoon tea, what better way. During the time spent with the team I learnt a lot more about Grand Central and definitely had a different outlook upon leaving. 

So Birmingham New Street Station and Grand Central couldn't be more different. Yes they are in the same building with Grand Central located above the station however they are separate. The station sees many commuters come and go, rushing around where as Grand Central is a relaxing and calming shopping complex. There is a wide choice with 67 outlets located within the shopping area many of which provide a sensory experience. Having everything you need located within the one place and getting to experience many different things it should definitely be somewhere you visit. 

Sensory experiences, what do we mean by this? Well I wasn't sure of this either but I feel its a real selling point for enjoying your time at Grand Central. They are new concept stores offering many benefits to the customers without the need to have to purchase products. 
Kiehls for example offer complimentary facials and offer products which suit your individual skin type. They operate a no quibble guarantee so if you don't get on with a product, simply take it back for a refund. The Kiehls store along with many others, are not for the big sell, they are ensuring you have the right products for your individual skin type. 
Whilst we are on skin, there is a Neal's Yard there who provide organic and natural products. Neal's Yard don't force any products to grow so if a product is out, its simply a wait until the plant grows again to ensure its full natural ingredients are there. However Neal's Yard don't just do skin products, they do food and smoothies too, along with beauty products you can eat. If you head into the Grand Central store the staff member can show you how to make smoothies and face masks which are edible along with other things too. 
Then there is Jo Malone, they offer many different events and will show you how to layer fragrances to suit your skin type. Each fragrance they sell is unisex which benefits everyone as not everyone likes the same. Another lovely thing they do is wedding consultations where you can go along and get a lovely scent for your wedding day to suit you. 
Whittards are well known for the tea in which they make, however its not just teas they make, yes I didn't know that either. Within the store at Grand Central they have a tea bar, here you are welcome to go along have a tea and a sit down try different flavors too.

Within Grand Central there are many restaurants in which you can go too. We have been on several occasions to have food there as we don't have to go outside and there is plenty of choice in what to have. One of the many restaurants however is Carluccio's who do delicious sounding meals, although I've not tried there. Alongside the restaurant there is also a deli at the front of the store to purchase products which are fresh daily. They also offer a take-away service too so you can ring up or wait whilst there. I discovered many of the restaurants within Grand Central are happy to offer take-away service if you ring first and many are now on Deliveroo too. 

Another highlight is Caffe Concerto, which is where we met the team for afternoon tea. The afternoon tea was absolutely delicious. Caffe Concerto is always one of those places I've looked at but never stopped at now I'm wishing I had. The cakes in the display always look tremendous and so tasty, and upon trying the afternoon tea I can confirm their food is delicious. The treatment you get within there is like something you would expect from somewhere really high end, everything was luxurious. 

I had an amazing time at Grand Central and learning more about whats on offer, and of course enjoyed my afternoon tea. I haven't been asked to write about my experience, however I was provided the afternoon tea but everything I discovered I never knew and would love for you all to have an amazing time and experience there too. 

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