Comfort Inn Birmingham
Birmingham, EN B5 4DY
Phone: (44) 121 6431134
Fax: (44) 121 6433209
Originally only found in London, High and Mighty is a clothier for a larger gent section, and it now has 34 stores across the country. It markets itself as the best-fit clothier for big or tall men, and anyone over 6' 2" or with a chest size 40"-60" will be catered for. The range is reasonably mainstream and there's little for the younger trendy type, but you do buy quality.
The shop has been established since 1978 and sells new comics, toys and movie memorabilia (including Austin Powers, Star Wars and Star Trek), as well as ever-popular trading cards. They have a good stock of popular American comics such as Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and Image, plus editions by smaller independent publishers. Although they do stock a few collectibles, they say that most people tend to hang on to their valuable items until the spring fairs. This is the place for mostly brand new items.
Saturday mornings are not complete for many locals without a trip to the indoor market, and it is a great experience for visitors. There are over 150 stalls trading in a variety of goods and it provides some excellent entertainment. You can buy fresh fish and seafood, fruit and vegetables, herbs, pulses and nuts, ribbons, material and children's toys. Fast food, notably fish and chips, is also available.
This shop takes its name from Kendal, where the company had its first store in 1842, a measure of its enduring popularity. Traditional ladies footwear and handbags are what you'll find, though there is a limited men's shoe section. Black is the predominant color, but brown and burgundy are other options. Not the most fashionable of shoe shops, admittedly, but there should be something to suit most price ranges.
A shopping centre that promises “stress free and convenient” shopping may seem too good to be true, but that is the proud boast of the Pallasades. It's fairly large, with a healthy smattering of well-known stores like Peacocks, Blue Banana, Holland & Barrett, as well as numerous cheapish clothes shops. There's a good selection of cafes and fast food outlets, and all is clean and well maintained generally.
Holland and Barrett is a health food store that sells pulses, nuts, tofu, organic food, snack bars and drinks as well as imaginative vegetarian patés and Thai curry crackers. This is also the place to buy soya milk and non-dairy goods. There is a chilled food section where you will find soya sausage rolls and Linda McCartney products amongst other vegetarian offerings. Holland and Barrett also sells toiletries and a wide selection of vitamins.
A long-established supplier of tents, camp beds and furniture, the reliable Oswald Bailey's store is proud of its products and service. This is the place to choose everything for your outdoor adventures from hiking boots, fleece and walking stick to that Victorinox Swiss Army knife. A catalog is available listing all you need to keep dry both under and out of canvas. Gift vouchers are available too, if you can't trust yourself to buy the right present.
Andromeda has been established since 1971, making it the world's longest established science fiction, fantasy and horror specialist bookshop. On top of that, it is probably one of the world's largest science fiction bookshops with 2,500 square feet of space devoted to books, with a few videos, SF magazines and book signings thrown in for good measure. If you are not fortunate enough to be able to visit the store, then a mail order service is also available.
This shop is an FGA member and sells antique, modern and second-hand jewelery and watches. It is a little treasure trove, which both, buys and sells gold and silver. Items range from diamond rings to Victorian shirt studs and a collection of old pocket watches. Enameled boxes are just one of the interesting lines amongst the collectibles. Free quotations are offered on watch repairs.
Cruise has been open since long and sells a diverse range of expensive menswear for blokes of all ages. It stocks clothes from the designer partnership Severin Riach, cool threads by Edwin Jeans, made from original Japanese denim, as well as PS jeans. There are items by Henri Lloyd for the older man and the trendy Paul Smith label. This shop has an off-the-wall concept: you might find combats and one-offs by Maharishi placed lovingly next to a city suit by Hugo Boss. It's a veritable treasure trove of casual and smart wear.
Look out for the smart but funky skirts and trousers and also some great bags and accessories. Oasis is a fashionable enough place to shop, without being offensively trendy. Typical clientele tend to be in the 18-35 age range. Whether you're looking for something for work or play, prices in this high street shop fall into the mid-range bracket.
Hoping to cash in on the fact that hundreds of high rollers and big spenders are ensconced in the expensive hotel rooms of the Burlington Hotel above, this is a very high quality watch shop. Rolex, Gucci, Tag Heuer; all the big names are here, but of course all of them come at a price. The interior is reserved and serious, and floorwalkers give every impression of being able to spot timewasters.