by Mehreen Khan
Americans are being told to choose Birmingham over London as their holiday destination by one of the most fashionable and influential publications in the US.
The New York Magazine article, written by Julie Earle-Levine, sees the city win top marks for food, music and arts, architecture – and a lack of tourists.
“Londoners tend to look down their noses at Birmingham, much as New Yorkers dismiss Boston or Philadelphia” she writes in the Winter 2013 travel section.
‘‘But thanks in large part to its burgeoning food scene (as of this fall, the city has more Michelin stars than any other English city outside London), not to mention its famed Balti Triangle, packed with over 50 South Asian restaurants, Londoners, as well as the rest of the world, are starting to reconsider the Brums.
This 30 second video was produced by Visit Birmingham. Can you spot all the locations?
‘‘Its cultural offerings can keep pace with the capital’s (there’s the world-renowned Birmingham Royal Ballet, Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, plus a rock scene that launched Ozzy Osbourne and Duran Duran), and September saw the opening of a much-anticipated $300 million public library (it looks like a stack of Legos wrapped in mesh and houses a Shakespeare Memorial Room, with an impressive collection of Shakespeareana).’’
One ‘must-destination’ highlighted in the article is the Custard Factory, which is bizarrely described as an “amalgam of East London and Dumbo.’’
Vintage clothing shop Urban Village, live-art gallery Eastside Projects, and Digbeth Dining Club also get a mention in the article.
It adds: ‘‘Birmingham also lays claim to one of the UK’s biggest and oldest jewellery quarters, the famed Cadbury chocolate factory, and something else London definitely doesn’t have: very few tourists.’’
Additional words are provided by Lucan Gray, of the Custard Factory, while the city's newest Michelin star chef Adam Stokes suggests five places to eat traditional British food.
Emma Gray, director of marketing services for Visit Birmingham, welcomed the coverage.
She said: “Birmingham’s popularity as a leisure tourism destination continues to grow, with an 11% increase in visitors over the last six years.
“We have seen a surge in international media interest in Birmingham’s food and cultural scene in recent months, hosting journalists from key countries including the US, India and China.
“Exciting new developments such as Grand Central and Resorts World, along with the recently-opened Library of Birmingham, promise to further strengthen the city’s offer to a global audience.”