‘Find a job you love and never work a day in your life’. That’s the saying right? We think it should be something like ‘find a job that you love and never really have a true work-life balance’ - but it hardly rolls off the tongue does it?
The pandemic was the catalyst for people realising that you don’t need to be sat behind a desk to work, and that work can exist flexibly and comfortably around your life too. That’s why we get so excited to see new spaces like Mailbox Birmingham wising up to the idea of having living, sleeping, eating, playing and working all under one roof. What was especially exciting for me on a personal note was that I used to run a shop in this exact building more than ten years ago. Wow, how things have changed.
The key to our success is making sure we are well fed, watered and rested at all times, so our first two stops were obvious. There are so many dining options from wine and tapas to a classic cheeky Nando’s. A real hotspot though is Indico Street Kitchen which served up truly authentic North Indian food. Their menu is great for Punjabi delicacies known as chaats which is like an hors d’oeuvre or street food snack. They come hot or cold and you should probably order a few each. You should definitely order the Punjabi samosa chaat. You’ll thank us later.
There are two strong hotel contenders at Mailbox Birmingham - Malmaison and AC by Marriott. By chance we ended up checking in at the Mal, which we know never disappoints. We’re probably on track to have stayed in them all by now but are always pleasantly surprised. Comfort levels reign supreme, but with pops of glamour lurking around every corner.
Once you’re satisfied with your food and rest, it’s time to work, pitching up at the new flexible co-working spot - Spaces. Co-work floors are bright and airy for when you need to get your creativity flowing, with enclosed pods for when it’s time to focus. If you find yourself lacking inspiration, take yourself out to the winter garden. We’ve always found that where you work really has an effect on how you work. That’s why most of the time you’ll find us with our laptops by a pool somewhere.
Spaces has everything you’d expect from a slick, cool, co-work. High speed Wi-Fi (duh), breakout areas, meeting rooms, admin support, coffee bar, stylish vibes.
But it’s not all work and no play, of course. Having no divide between life and work means you have to try extra hard at not burning out.
Aluna Canalside is one of Mailbox’s many restaurant and bars. Asian fusion menus and creative cocktails in a great atmosphere with incredible views overlooking the canal. Not a bad way to finish the work day.
If you’re feeling adventurous, each cocktail is expertly crafted offering unique twists on old classics. Some of them change colour, some come with their own pyrotechnic show. One of them even looks like a lava lamp. There’s also one called the ‘Cauldron of Death’ which sounds deadly, but we’re in our 30s now and we don’t bounce back as quick as we used to.
While we’re on the subject of playing I’d also like to mention the importance of pampering. I’m sure everyone can relate to keeping hair and nails in check sometimes can feel like a full time job, am I right? Thank goodness for Harvey Nics. In particular, one of their concessions - Naild it, with a special shoutout to Bea who I could recommend to look after anyone. All of the ‘nail gang’ (we love) come with the best training and experience and are armed with the best products from leading brands. The treatment menu has been carefully curated to cater for the needs of the modern customer.
We’ve been flying the digital nomad flag for a long time now and for me, any boundaries I used to have between life and work have long since checked out - girl, bye. It’s all part of the territory. While I don’t have the luxury of mentally checking out for the weekend at 5pm on a Friday, at least I know I’ll be in a spa somewhere come 9am on Monday, and I’m definitely not mad about that.