Edgbaston Cricket Ground, which hosts the third match in the series from July 29 to August 2, held its first Ashes Test in 1902 when a new stand was built for spectators and 90 members of the media. This year, a crowd of more than 100,000 is expected through the gates if the match lasts the full five days.

Birmingham was at the heart of the 19th-century Industrial Revolution and remains Britain’s biggest city outside of London.

STAY

Beyoncé once rented the penthouse suite of Malmaison – a stylish four-star establishment in the heart of the city. Spot other celebrities in the ultra-swanky Chez Mal Bar.

hotel.qantas.com.au | 1 Wharfside Street

Bloc is a 73-room, ultra-modern, four-star hotel in the Jewellery Quarter. Its construction is based on the Japanese concept of room capsules, with guests trading floor and wardrobe space for compact luxury and great prices.

blochotels.com | Caroline Street

EAT

The 24 Carat Bistro, in a back alleyway of the Jewellery Quarter, is celebrated for its melting pot of Caribbean and English dishes – from spicy jerk chicken and goat curry to traditional cottage pie and Yorkshire pudding.

24caratbistro.co.uk | 27 Warstone Lane

Purnell’s is a Michelin-starred restaurant owned and managed by celebrity chef Glynn Purnell. It boasts both fine dining and a “living room” lounge area serving “Brummie” tapas, cocktails and after-dinner coffee.

purnellsrestaurant.com | 55 Cornwall Street

PLAY

For live jazz and cocktails after stumps, head to The Jam House. A jive-funky venue in a converted Georgian townhouse, this is a popular city nightspot.

thejamhouse.com | 3-5 St Paul’s Square

Located on one of Birmingham’s oldest streets, the basement Bacchus Bar is a medieval retreat in the middle of the city. Its entrance is dark, the stonework broody and the bar made of iron lace. Don’t miss the excellent local cask ales.

nicholsonspubs.co.uk | Burlington Arcade, New Street

EXPLORE

Take a tour in a canal boat with Away2Canal. Bustling with trade during the 18th century but neglected for decades, the city’s man-made waterways are alive again thanks to the leisure and tourism industries.

away2canal.co.uk | The Waters Edge, Brindleyplace

Five hundred years old and still producing about 40 per cent of all jewellery made in the UK, the Jewellery Quarter bustles with silversmiths and jewellers.

jewelleryquarter.net

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