When I was growing up, I hated this city. All I ever wanted to do was to escape. There was always somewhere better on the horizon. When I was 18, I found my exit through a University education, moving south to Oxford. I think the independence and a change was what I craved most, rather than hatred towards my hometown. Yet, I never missed it.
I missed the curves of my mother’s cheeks as she smiled, and I missed the glares of our gluttonous family dog every time I ate a meal; people was what I missed, not the city. Finding myself back here, I have a longing to get out again, and somehow I don’t think that will ever change, but I’ve grown to love parts of Birmingham. It might not be the place for me, but it has a lot of character, more than I fully appreciated, and I’m constantly discovering new things and places about this city that make me realise, actually, it’s pretty great.
One such place is right in the heart of my neighbourhood growing up, Kings Heath; tucked away just off the high street is The Kitchen Garden Café. The café sits at the end of a whimsical path, lit with fairy lights and bordered with plants and pots for sale, with a garden shop to purchase healthier food options as well as locally produced items.
The café is just as you’d expect given the quaint entrance; brick walls are adorned with paintings by local artists and posters of upcoming performances, as the café turns into a music venue at night. Everything is calm and relaxing, making it the perfect place to stop off for a spot of lunch or to bring a book and drink coffee. An outdoor seating area makes the perfect opportunity to catch up with friends while basking in the sun and enjoying the surrounding greenery.
The Kitchen Garden Café knows how to do good food. Everything is freshly made using local and fairly-traded produce; eating here literally makes you feel wholesome and healthy and just plain good. Of course, if you want a sweet treat too, they have a delicious selection of freshly baked goodies.
To me, it’s places like this that make me appreciate my city. It’s so vast and forever changing, who knows what else is hiding beneath the cracks?! There’s more to Birmingham than I ever knew, and there’s still so much left to discover.