Last week, I headed into Birmingham for the day with Lia to take her to the Sea Life Centre to meet Santa. While we were there, I thought I’d take the opportunity to get some Christmas shopping done in the fabulous Grand Central shopping centre. They even provided me with a convenient gift card that is valid in all their shops to help me out.
The convenient place to shop
Despite being about an hour away on the train, Grand Central is my first choice for Christmas shopping. It’s festively decorated and it’s so convenient having such a huge number of shops, cafes and restaurants all in one place. It’s also in the same building as the Birmingham New Street train station, so as soon as I finish shopping I only have to walk downstairs to get on the train home.
A few weeks ago, I went tea tasting at Whittard in Grand Central. At the time, I made a mental note that this was the perfect place to buy some Christmas presents. So on my shopping trip, this was my first stop. There were lots of fabulous tea hampers, including this one that’s available for somebody to win. But I wasn’t there for tea, I’d decided to buy a gift of coffee. As there wasn’t a ready made coffee hamper, the staff helped me to make one up. If you spend over £25 they will put it into a gift box for you. I only wanted just under £25 in value, so they allowed me to make up the £25 with something that wasn’t going in the hamper. So I admit I did end up buying one thing for me during my Christmas shopping trip – the Whittard Earl Grey biscuits are just fabulous! The next thing I needed was a marble run for Libby. I thought this might be a bit difficult to find, but I was forgetting that there’s a John Lewis in Grand Central. I’ve always found that John Lewis sell pretty much everything and this was no exception. I headed for their huge toy department and found the perfect marble run. There will be one happy little girl here on Christmas day!
A special visitor (no, not that one)
When we’d finished our shopping, Lia and I had some time to kill before we caught the train, so we headed to Carluccio’s for a coffee and a juice. Remarkably, Antonio Carluccio himself was there doing a book signing. I’ve always been impressed with the events and experiences that happen in Grand Central and this was no exception!