Fabric buying can be such a tactile experience and I know that many of you travel far and wide to come to my shop here in Birmingham as well as other fabric shops around the country, well rest of the world really!
So for those of you who are thinking about making a special trip to the shop, or have been before and fancy a few more tips on the area, here is my low down on visiting the areas of Kings Heath and Moseley. It’s such a lovely leafy area to live in with lots of other independent businesses that also have the same passion for what they do as me.
Disclaimer - All of the businesses featured here are ones that I personally visit regularly and genuinely love. They haven't paid me or given me anything for free to be featured in this post - I just really like them and I think you will too!
Check them out in my latest Youtube video or read on for more info and address details.
Where to shop?
We are really lucky to have some amazing independent shops in this area. I’ve picked out my favourites and I’m sure if you like g&g you’ll enjoy visiting these places too.
The places in Moseley are within 5 minutes walking distance. The places in Kings Heath are about 1 – 1.5 miles from g&g so about 20 min walk or another few more stops on the number 50 bus.
This gorgeous shop offers a range of hand-picked home accessories, art, gifts, cards and furniture hand-painted by owner Gabe. They also sell a whole range of Annie Sloan paints and accessories and offer painting workshops.
I've done a few workshops now and always left feeling really inspired.
They also offer a framing service and I've had lots of things framed there before and have been delighted with the finish.
I love this local health food shop and get lots of things there from local honey, vitamins to cereal bars and dried beans and pulses. On farmers market days (the last Saturday of each month) you can get a discount too!
They have fresh produce, lots of vitamins and supplements, teas and the chocolate and cereal bar selection is phenomenal!
This antique shop has been around for years and have 3 floors of lovely furniture, mirrors and other trinkets.
The ideal place to pick up a chair for a new re-upholstery project!
This gorgeous shop smells like heaven! I always feel relaxed as soon as I go in there and breathe in the gorgeous scents of all the handmade skincare products, candles and soaps!
Everything is handmade with 100% pure ingredients and is lovely crafted right here in Birmingham. My favourite things are the sleep mist and the lemongrass and green tea soap.
They have a hand-washing station too where you can try out some of the lovely hand soaps and creams - what a treat!
This lovely shop owned by Allison and Christian Sadler is full of beautiful things for your home as well as their own collection of womens wear all designed and made right in their shop!
It's great for gifts too and is always so beautifully styled by Allison.
This cute little shop sells lots of things including beads and other jewellery making supplies, crafty things, yarn and lots of gifts and home interior items.
I've got some little trinkets for Sophia before like a bamboo cup and money bank. A lot of there things are fair trade or ethically sourced too, which is lovely.
Frank's shop is my go to place for anything sewing machine related - that's where we get the Brother sewing machines that we use in the studio from!
The large showroom means that so many different brands and models can be on display and are available for demonstration and so you can have a test run!
They also stock lots of machine accessories and parts as well as threads, zips and some other haberdashery items.
This place saved the day for me recently when I needed to get all the scissors we have in the shop and studio (over 30 pairs!) sharpened! The lovely owner John can sharpen your dressmaking scissors giving them a new lease of life!
And if you need any plants or other garden/hardware items at the same time - I'm sure you would find it there, they seem to have just about everything!
This little shop is literally cramped to the ceiling full of any haberdashery you can think of! I especially like their double sided wall of buttons - it's helped me out on a few occasions!
It's a bit of a squeeze and probably easier if you have something specific in mind you need rather than browsing, but the lady in there is really friendly and would always be happy to help you find something.
Where to eat?
We are also really lucky to have some really lovely cafes, pubs and restaurants around here so you can re fuel after a fabric shopping session at g&g. The choice is pretty big, especially around Moseley as its more of a cafe/bar/restaurant area so I've picked my very favourites and listed a few other options too.
This is my top recommendation for a delicious breakfast/brunch.
The seasonal menu will completely tantalise your taste buds and if you love coffee you’ll really appreciate the expertise and attention to detail they bring to every cup of coffee they serve.
If you have got space for lunch then don’t miss out on this place. This family run Syrian café/coffee shop/bistro serves the most delicious food.
My top recommendations are the falafel and baba ghanuuj and vine leaves. Or if its a chiller day, the lentil soup.
The juices are also lovely and to top things off a nice coffee and bakalva! So delicious!
There are lots of pubs and bars, especially around Moseley including The Village Pub, which is just 2 doors away from the shop and also has its own car park. It's really spacious inside so great if you have kids or a push chair.
The Dark Horse also serves food from its smoke house and makes fresh pizza in their pizza oven - yum!
If you are travelling a distance or bringing your family with you and need to keep them occupied while you shop then there are a few other attractions nearby.
Cannon Hill Park is a huge park with lots of different things going on. It's lovely to just walk around, it has play areas for kids, tennis courts, paddle boats on the lake and train rides in summer and crazy golf (its a really good fun one!). It's also where the Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) is located. They have lots of things going on from exhibitions, theatre productions, niche film viewings in their cinema and they have a cafe too which serves lunch and coffee/cake and a good kids menu.
The local soft play area is called Hickory Dickroys and is just a short (about 5 min) drive away.
For any Lord of the Rings fans out there then a visit Moseley Bog and Sarehole Mill is a must. JRR Tolkien lived across the road from the mill and later in life he stated how the mill and rural surroundings inspired his writings of Middle-earth.
Travel – How to get here
Driving - Moseley/Kings Heath is in the south of Birmingham about 3 miles from the city centre and about 6 miles to the nearest exit off the M42. Depending on what direction you are coming from it might be easier to avoid the city centre and come round the M42. The postcode to use in your satnav or Google maps is B13 8JR and the street address is 169 Alcester Road.
Parking – Despite being on a major bus route, you can still park on the road, right outside the shop between 10am and 4.45pm Monday to Friday for up to 1 hour and all day Saturday and Sunday. Please do check the signs in case of any changes since writing this post.
Alternatively you can park for free with no restrictions on the nearby roads – Tudor Road, Farquar Road and Reddings Road (this is a bit more of a walk).
If you would prefer to use a designated car park, ‘The Village’ pub which is next door but one, have a pay and display car park. There is also a Birmingham City council car park next on the opposite side of the road and down towards the main traffic light junction. Look for the bus stop and ‘Select and Save’ store and it is just to the right of that.
Trains/public transport – The nearest major train station is Birmingham New Street Station. This is very well connected with the rest of the country and about 1 hour 25minutes on a virgin train from London Euston. Moor Street station is also in the city centre.
Once you get to the city centre the easiest way to continue of public transport is by bus. The Number 50 bus is very regular and one of the major routes in the city. You can catch it right outside the bullring shopping centre at the Selfridges end, which is also directly opposite Moor Street Train station. You’ll need change for the bus. Currently a single is £2.40 and a day saver is £4.60.
The bus typically takes 15-20 mins and you’ll get off the bus just after the cross roads in Moseley village. Look out for the co-op supermarket on the left, which is the stop before. Then after the big traffic lights junction is the next stop and it is outside a ‘Select and Save’ convenience store and opposite a pub called ‘The Dark Horse’. Walk about 50m up the road in the same direction you have been travelling and the shop is on the right hand side, directly opposite a music shop called ‘Shades Music’.
Or if you'd rather get a taxi, it's really easy to get a black cab from the station, you can call a local company (0121 444 1111) or use Uber. It can cost between £6-£12 depending on traffic and the time of day and it can take about 20 minutes - again depending on traffic.
Airport – If you are visiting from somewhere further afield, the closet airport is Birmingham International. From there you can take a train quickly and easily to Birmingham New Street Station and then follow the directions above. Or a taxi will take between 30-45 minutes depending on the traffic and could cost approx £25-£30.