Discovering DigbethView map
The heart and soul of Birmingham
hat do Bird’s custard, Brylcreem and Typhoo Tea have in common? They were all, at one time, made right here in Digbeth, the heart of Birmingham city.
Granted, these might not be the coolest brands in the world, but the buildings they left behind certainly are – and this area of the city definitely is.
The Custard Factory, just a stone’s throw from the famous Bullring shopping centre, is a classic example – painted yellow and pink like some pudding your gran served up when you were a kid. Inside, it’s buzzing with creativity, courtesy of the multimedia agencies, galleries and nightlclub (Air) that live here these days.
A lot of (hip) locals regard Digbeth as the edgy heart and soul of the city, which generic high street stores have yet to infiltrate. New bands and DJs come here to air their creative talents, and no frills pubs host spontaneous folk sessions – especially if you happen to be in The Spotted Dog on Warwick St at the right time.
There are festivals too, like the annual Supersonic (three days of cutting edge guitar music, DJ sets and stalls selling vinyl) – and Flatpack (six days of film screenings, held here annually).
If you’re feeling peckish after all that lot, take a side-step away from Digbeth and head to Water’s Edge, for lunch at the Handmade Burger Company – where you can polish off a ‘hot chilli’ burger while soaking up the waterfront view.