Get your skates on, youve only got two weeks left to book your hotel room, register for Sunday nights nightclub and reserve your table at one of Birminghams swankiest restaurants. Dont worry, weve done all the legwork for you. Use this guide to do all of those last minute things you really ought to have sorted before Christmas but never got round to it because, hell, that was last century and you had bigger things on your mind.
Suppliers: if you want to impress your creme de la creme IBDs and are seeking to wine and dine them, here are the up-market eateries that will comfortably max out your company credit card.
Le Petit Blanc
9 Brindley Place
0121 633 7333
Top chef Raymond Blanc has gone Brummie and opened this upscale restaurant in the trendy Gas Street basin area of downtown Birmingham. Its stylish, its French. The portions may not fill the average IBD so, afterwards, head across to the burrito stand at Ronnie Scotts, the jazz venue.
0121 643 1234
Chef Roger Narbett has created a light, modern eatery for the well heeled. The food is traditional but surprises await.
0121 633 4466.
From the same folk who run the original in London. Classy.
0121 782 4242
This is the closest posh eatery to the NEC. In fact its spitting distance from the halls. The Metropole is the dead expensive hotel all the rich cycle trade execs stay at (of course, thats only Steven Walsh and the Stanforth brothers at the moment) and the restaurant is glitzy and upmarket in price. If you cant be arsed to drag yourself to Birmingham town centre this will be the nosher and watering hole of choice.
30 Mary Ann St, St Pauls Square
0121 643 1234.
Fish and game served in 17th century cellars.
0121 693 5084
Pot Noodles it aint. It may be cheap bu this new noodles bar oozes style.
Mongolian Bar restaurant
0121 236 3842
Mongolian warriors used to make salted cheese by storing lumps of rancid milk beneath the saddle of their horses. No such delicacy here,worse luck, but the you choose it, we cook it selection is extensive and cooked as you watch.
There are loads of curry houses which have jumped on the bandwagon and tagged balti to their list of specialities but for the real thing youve got to get yourself to Sparkbrook, three miles from the city centre (its on the way to Dawes and the Reynolds factory). Stoney Lane is where its at. The best Balti on the strip? Many say its the Royal Al-faisal Tandoori Restaurant, 130-140 Stoney Lane. 0121 449 5695.
Book your accomodation through Expotel and you get a special show deal. Their cheapest deal is £59.95 for the Holiday Inn Express, five minutes drive from the NEC.
Go to http://www2.expotel.co.uk/.../expotel_eventdisplay?event_id=CYCLE2000, or call 0207 372 2001.
0121 643 2514
and Visitor Bureau
0121 780 4321
NEC Rail travel