Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games reveals Queen's Baton Relay route through England – Breaking Travel News

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games reveals Queen’s Baton Relay route through England  Breaking Travel News

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Passengers complain of ‘chaos’ at Manchester and Birmingham airports today | Travel News | Travel

Passengers at Manchester airport said they were facing a two-hour wait at security check-in. At Birmingham, queues were described as “ridiculous”.

At least 10 flights were delayed at Manchester while four had been delayed at Birmingham by 8am.

Fiona Miller tweeted: “Utterly ridiculous. Everyone will miss their flight.”

AmiA127v1 posted: “Chaos at Manchester airport this morning. Queue for security is outside in the drop off area.

“Then snaking inside before you are even near the gate for security.”

READ MORE: Britons will need Covid certificate for at least another six months

Rajesh said: “Queueing since 4:30 this morning for getting through Manchester airport security.

“Manchester airport what a nightmare.”

Another passenger ‘Tim’ tweeted a photo of a lengthy queue outside and said: “What the hell?”

Ernesto Tripodi tweeted: “And the worst airport award goes to Stansted airport. Two and a half hours to go through passport control, terribly long queues and I wonder if this is safe at all other than unbearable.”


Birmingham Airport said the queues were due to staffing issues with almost half of its staff made redundant during Covid.

The airport has reportedly launched a recruitment drive and is aiming to recruit more security officers.

Manchester Airport has also launched a recruitment campaign to attract new staff to aid the airport.

Staffing issues have hit the UK travel industry widely with many facing huge problems ahead of the summer season.

Britons have also been urged to check their passports as today is the last day to make the ten-week deadline for renewal.

British tourists will need to get their applications in today if they want to make trips in the first week of school holidays.

Since Brexit, a British tourist must have three months left on their passport after the end date of their holiday in the EU.

It is illegal to travel without the correct documentation and experts fear as many as four million Britons could be affected.

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Noles Travel to Birmingham for NCAA Indoor Championships

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State track and field team is looking for a historic weekend at the NCAA Indoor Championships this Friday and Saturday at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Ala. Action will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday and 5:10 p.m. on Saturday with coverage on ESPN3. ESPNU will re-air the championships on Sunday night beginning at 9:30 p.m. The Noles will be sending seven athletes to Birmingham. Trey Cunningham (60m Hurdles), Isaac Grimes (Long Jump), Ahmed Muhumed (5000m Run), Don’dre Swint (60m Dash), Adriaan Wildschutt (5000m Run), Edidiong Odiong (60m Dash) and Lauren Ryan (3000m Run) all qualified for the championships.

The Noles will be looking for their first indoor national champion since 2014 when Dentarius Locke and James Harris took home the titles. The Noles have a great chance at breaking the streak this weekend with three Noles holding the top time in the NCAA in their events. On the men’s side, four out of the five men going are in the top eight in their events. Cunningham and Wildschutt each lead the NCAA in their event while Swint sits in fourth on the 60m dash list. Isaac Grimes sits in eighth in the long jump but he has the top personal best among the 16-qualifier field. In the 5000m run, Wildschutt and Muhumed will look to become the first distance duo in school history to each earn All-America honors.

The Best of the Best
Trey Cunningham, Adriaan Wildschutt and Lauren Ryan each have had record-breaking seasons for the Noles. Cunningham (60m hurdles), Wildschutt (5000m run) and Ryan (3000m run) each lead the nation in their respective events.

Cunningham continued his stellar season at ACC Indoor Championships, breaking his own school record and ACC record in the 60m hurdles (7.40). Cunningham’s time was the second-fastest time in NCAA history, and he is the only athlete in NCAA history to run 7.42 or faster three separate times.

Wildschutt broke his second school record of the season at the David Hemery Valentine Invite in Boston, Mass. Wildschutt ran the second-fast time in NCAA history in the 5000m run and bested many professionals and Olympians. Wildschutt ran a personal best 13:09.30. Wildschutt also ran a personal best in the 3000m run (7:52.38) which is the second-fastest time in school history right behind teammate Ahmed Muhumed.

Ryan had a phenomenal performance at the David Hemery Valentine Invite in Boston as well, as she broke the school record and the ACC record in the 3000m run by clocking in at 8:47.88. Ryan also holds the school record in the 5000m run (15:40.40) which she also set in Boston at the Sharon-Colyear Season Opener on Dec. 4.

Coming Home
Trey Cunningham has raced in plenty of races with stakes on the line, but the upcoming NCAA Indoor Championships will be special in its own way. Cunningham grew up in Winfield, Ala., just an hour drive from the Birmingham CrossPlex. Cunningham expects to have more than 50 friends and family watch him chase his first national title and Grant Holloway’s 60m hurdle collegiate record time of 7.35. Cunningham is familiar with the track and has already had a special moment at the Birmingham CrossPlex in his career. Cunningham broke the junior world record in 2017 on the same track he will be competing at this Friday and Saturday.

A Standard of Success
The Florida State men have continued to be one of the most successful programs in the ACC and the nation. The men finished second at the ACC Indoor Championships marking the 19th time the Noles have finished in the top two at the ACC Indoor Championships. The Noles also were ranked 10th in this week’s USTFCCCA rankings. This marks the 32nd-straight week the Noles have been ranked inside the top 25 of the USTFCCCA indoor rankings.

For updates and exclusive content, follow the Noles on Twitter (FSU_Track), Instagram (fsu_track) and Facebook (Florida State Track and Field).


Friday Schedule (All Time Eastern)

5 p.m.  Isaac Grimes – Long Jump (Finals)

5:15 p.m. Don’dre Swint – 60m Dash (Prelims)

5:55 p.m. Trey Cunningham – 60m Hurdles (Prelims)

6:05 p.m. Adriaan Wildschutt – 5000m Run (Finals)

6:05 p.m. Ahmed Muhumed – 5000m Run (Finals)

8:15 p.m. Edidiong Odiong – 60m Dash (Prelims)


Saturday Schedule

5:10 p.m. Don’dre Swint – 60m Dash (Finals)

5:40 p.m. Trey Cunningham – 60m Hurdles (Finals)

8:10 p.m. Edidiong Odiong – 60m Dash (Finals)

9:00 p.m. – Lauren Ryan – 3000m Run (Finals)


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7 Fantastic Restaurants To Try In Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama, is a city in a state of perpetual transformation. Rising like a phoenix from the ashes of its dark past, the city has come a long way and is steadily moving farther into the bright light of vibrancy, diversity, and inclusion. This forward motion can be seen in every aspect of Birmingham life, but perhaps the most surprising is in its food scene. The city has evolved into a haven for innovative American and international cuisines waiting to be discovered.

What follows is a small sampling of the best dining options Birmingham has to offer. They represent creativity, hard work, and above all, the kind of food you’ll savor while enjoying your time in Birmingham. These are the places — in no particular order — my husband and I recommend and long to revisit.

Our Birmingham experience was hosted by the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau. However, all opinions are entirely my own.

Lemon meringue tart (Photo Credit: Simon Lock / MyEclecticImages)

1. Helen Restaurant

For Southern fare with a twist, served in a relaxed atmosphere, Helen Restaurant is an excellent choice for lunch or dinner. Open since August 2020, Chef Rob McDaniel and his wife, Emily, have turned this century-old building into a modern eatery.

The food at Helen is locally sourced and served in a contemporary Southern style, with a focus on sustainability. A smoker and special grill do the heavy lifting, and the results are outstanding.

Start with an order of Angel Biscuits, topped with whipped cane syrup butter and sea salt. For your entrée, try the thin cut pork chop, or the Catfish a la Plancha, served with house-made tartar sauce. The Okra a la Plancha is garlicky, with sesame seeds to give the texture some crunch. And if you still have room, indulge in the refreshing lemon meringue tart.

Pro Tip: Choosing between Helen’s offerings can be a challenge. Try ordering several items to share.

Heirloom tomato stack at Hot & Hot Fish Club
Heirloom tomato stack (Photo Credit: Simon Lock / MyEclecticImages)

2. Hot & Hot Fish Club

A blend of French, Southern, and California cuisines may sound tricky to pull off well, but at Hot & Hot Fish Club, it all comes together as if it was meant to be. That’s because owner, Chef Chris Hastings, has a remarkable way with food, and has received national recognition for his culinary talents. The James Beard Foundation named him Best Chef: South in 2012, Chris then went on to beat celebrity chef Bobby Flay in an episode of Food Network’s Iron Chef America.

A chef’s counter, an open kitchen, exposed brickwork, and Italian marble tabletops give the bright interior a touch of class without feeling cluttered. But when weather permits, the patio is the place to be.

Hot & Hot has a variety of skillfully prepared entrées, such as wood oven-roasted: dayboat scallops, chicken roulade, Asian noodle bowl, with frog legs, and braised short ribs with wild mushrooms on its regular menu, but be sure to check out the specials. My Tile Fish with basmati rice was perfection on a plate. Meanwhile, the Rabbit Roll with charred tomato, lima beans, and charred okra that won Chris the Iron Chef America title was a definite winner for my husband.

If you visit Hot & Hot when tomatoes are in season, the heirloom tomato salad is a must-have. Thick slices of sweet, juicy locally grown tomatoes are layered with fresh corn, field peas, and rounds of crunchy fried okra. Garlicky fresh basil, aioli, and a drizzle of sweet balsamic vinaigrette give the dish a distinctive final touch. The salad comes in two sizes. A single stack and a triple stack. The latter is topped with large succulent shrimp and easily feeds two.

Pro Tip: Hot & Hot is so hot, you’ll want to make a reservation to ensure you get a table.

Eggplant parmesan sandwich at The Essential
Eggplant parmesan sandwich (Photo Credit: Simon Lock / MyEclecticImages)

3. The Essential

Located on Morris Avenue, Birmingham’s oldest street, The Essential is a charming neighborhood all-day café offering familiar favorites skillfully elevated to a new level of modern sophistication. The café is the brainchild of owners Kristen Hall, a professional pastry chef, and Chef Victor King. In 2018, the pair transformed Birmingham’s first bank drive-through into a European-style café where patrons can drop in anytime.

Essential’s interior is chic without being pretentious. But when the weather is fine, a table on the patio will give you a perfect view of the comings and goings along the cobbled street in front of the cafe.

My husband and I shared the eggplant parmesan sandwich on outstanding sourdough and the Caesar salad, and both were excellent. Everything, including the pasta, is made onsite, or at the bakery next door that Kristen and Victor also own.

The Texas Special at The Bright Star Restaurant
The Texas Special (Photo Credit: Simon Lock / MyEclecticImages)

4. The Bright Star Restaurant

Local history and outstanding food meet at The Bright Star Restaurant in Bessemer, 20 minutes from downtown Birmingham. The oldest restaurant in Alabama, The Bright Star began in 1907 as a tiny café serving 25. Today, the restaurant is bright, spacious, and seats 265. What has remained consistent for more than a century has been the dedication to quality and freshness of the Greek families who have owned it, as well as the outstanding selection of Greek-influenced seafood, steak, and other offerings.

CNN Recognized The Bright Star as one of America’s Best Historic Restaurants, and in 2010, the restaurant was named one of the James Beard Foundation Awards’ America’s Classics honorees.

Mirrors, marble tiles, and hand-painted murals harken back to another time. And the Greek music playing in the background transports you to another place.

I recommend starting with the seafood gumbo. Then choose from a variety of fresh seafood transported daily from the Gulf coast: The Greek style broiled seafood platter, consisting of fillet of snapper, scallops, shrimp, oysters, and lobster and crabmeat au gratin more than fills a seafood lover’s wildest fantasy. Carnivores have several steak options from which to choose, but if you want to have a foot in both camps, try the Texas Special: a generous platter of beef tenderloin, Greek-style snapper, and Lobster & crabmeat au gratin

Pro Tip: The Bright Star has a dual personality. At lunchtime, it’s traditional Southern meat and three comfort foods. After 3 p.m., it transforms into a steak and seafood restaurant.

The menu board at Johnny's Restaurant Homewood
Photo Credit: Simon Lock / MyEclecticImages

5. Johnny’s Restaurant Homewood

For Southern food and hospitality Greek style, Johnny’s Restaurant Homewood will feed you body and soul. Located in Birmingham’s Homewood neighborhood, this welcoming diner has been offering its patrons flavorful, freshly made food since 2012. Owner Tim Hontzas, whose family has been in the food business for generations, named the restaurant in honor of his beloved grandfather. And grandpa Johnny would be proud. Not only has Tim created a successful business in a highly competitive market, he was also a James Beard Foundation 2020 Semi-Finalist, Best Chef South.

At Johnny’s, traditional meat and three comfort foods congenially coexist alongside Greek favorites, such as Spanakopita and Souvlaki cheesecake. Make your selections from two chalkboard menus based on seasonal availability, find a table, and wait to be impressed.

The Greek chicken is tender, juicy, and full of flavor. The Greek meatballs are a favorite, for good reason. The crisp grits cakes make a fine accompaniment, and the salads are enticingly fresh. For dessert, try the brownie truffles, balls of rich almost-baked brownie rolled in espresso ganache and served with crème anglaise and strawberry coulis if this decadent creation is on the menu. The banana pudding, which is usually available, is made with mashed bananas and banana moon pies.

Pro Tip: If you have the opportunity to chat with Tim during your meal, encourage him to tell you about his Greek heritage. You’ll find the story inspiring, and Tim tells it so well.

The 1907 roaster at the Alabama Peanut Company
The 1907 roaster at the Alabama Peanut Company (Photo Credit: Simon Lock / MyEclecticImages)

6. Alabama Peanut Company

Although not exactly a restaurant in the true sense of the word, Alabama Peanut Company is an ideal spot to pick up a bag of freshly roasted or boiled peanuts on which to snack. And while you’re there, take a trip into peanut history.

Alabama Peanut Company is one of the last surviving independent peanut sellers in the United States. You can watch peanuts roasting in a 1907 roaster, and learn the difference between boiled and roasted peanuts.

You’ll find approximately 100 different flavors from which to choose. Try the buffalo ranch, Cajun, or pickle. All the flavors are created in house.

Pro Tip: Don’t leave without taking a look at the picture on the wall of Morris Avenue in 1909 when it was a farmers market

Ice cream sandwiches from Big Spoon Creamery
Photo Credit: Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau

7. Big Spoon Creamery

Another snack option is Big Spoon Creamery, an artisan ice cream company specializing in handcrafted frozen treats. From ice cream trike to truck to two Birmingham storefronts, Big Spoon owners Geri-Martha and Ryan O’Hara, have grown their dream into a successful people-pleaser.

The O’Hara’s strive to produce seasonal flavors using locally sourced ingredients, and to offer their customers innovative takes on ice cream classics. Try the Valrhona 66 percent dark chocolate, goat cheese caramel apple crisp, or brown butter ice cream. Big Spoon also serves sammies (ice cream and cookie sandwiches), sundaes, banana splits, milkshakes, malts, and floats.

Pro Tip: Big Spoon has vegan options, and allergens are listed after each flavor.

Birmingham’s tourism attractions are as unique as its food scene:

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Local Birmingham man feeling impact of India travel restrictions

Local Birmingham man feeling impact of India travel restrictions

A Birmingham man is unable to make it to India for his mother’s funeral because of the COVID-19 travel ban.


Local Birmingham man feeling impact of India travel restrictions

A Birmingham man is unable to make it to India for his mother’s funeral because of the COVID-19 travel ban.

Local Birmingham man feeling impact of India travel restrictions, after he is unable to visit home after his mother passed away. Learn more in the video above.

Local Birmingham man feeling impact of India travel restrictions, after he is unable to visit home after his mother passed away. Learn more in the video above.

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Dinner with the dogs: 15 spots with outdoor dining in Birmingham [CUTE DOG PHOTOS]

Smiling dog at Good People Brewing Company outdoor dining in Birmingham
Seeing happy dogs at Good People Brewing Company makes me happy. Photo via Good People Brewing Company’s Facebook

Hear the good news about Alabama’s new pet dog bill? Read more to find fifteen spots with outdoor dining in Birmingham that are pet friendly. Cat lovers, don’t feel left out. You can go pet kitties at Birmingham’s cat café

1. The Filling Station

The Filling Station has a special on Thursdays called Paws on the Patio where bringing your dog gets you a free appetizer. I’d go just to see all the dogs.

  • Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11AM-9PM | Friday-Saturday 11AM-10PM
  • Location: 5524 Crestwood Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35212
  • Contact: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Call

2. Black Market Bar and Grill

Dogs wearing Black Market Bar and Grill shirts
Imagine these sweet dogs serving you at Black Market Bar and Grill. Photo via Black Market Bar and Grill’s Facebook

Black Market Bar and Grill has an Instagram dedicated solely to the dogs that stop by their outdoor dining in Birmingham.

3. FoodBar

FoodBar is happy to host your dog; they even celebrated Pig the Unusual Dog’s birthday.

4. Five

Just picture it: jazz brunch with your dog on the weekend. Now make it happen.

  • Hours: Diner: Tuesday-Sunday 5-9PM | Brunch: Saturday-Sunday 10AM-3PM
  • Location: 744 29th St S, Birmingham, AL 35233
  • Contact: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Call

5. Avondale Brewing Company

Avondale Brewing is all about the pups. They even sell Avondale travel bowls, leashes and collars.

  • Hours: Sunday-Wednesday 12-10PM | Thursday 12-11PM | Friday-Saturday 12PM-12AM
  • Location: 201 41st St S, Birmingham, AL 35222
  • Contact: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Call

6. Moe’s BBQ

Outdoor dining in Birmingham at Moe's BBQ
Golden beauty. Photo via Moe’s at Lakeview’s Facebook

Moe’s BBQ has great food, live music and a large outdoor dining area to relax with your dog.

7. Rojo

While pets are not allowed on the patio, their outdoor seating is spacious enough for dogs to visit. Plus, there is great park right across the street so you can grab your food to-go and picnic at the park.

  • Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 11AM-9PM | Brunch Saturday-Sunday 11AM-3PM
  • Location: 2921 Highland Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35205
  • Contact: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Call

8. Tip Top Grill

Tip Top Grill has a great view and is one of the most spacious spots for outdoor dining in Birmingham. All you need to do is bring your dog.

  • Hours: Monday-Saturday 6:30AM-3PM
  • Location: 588 Shades Crest Rd, Birmingham, AL 35226
  • Contact: Facebook | Instagram | Call

9. Good People Brewing Company

You can find more dog pictures under their hashtag #GoodPeoplePets.

  • Hours: Monday-Wednesday 12-10PM | Thursday-Saturday 12PM-12AM | Sunday 12-8PM
  • Location: 114 14th St S, Birmingham, AL 35233
  • Contact: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Call

10. Slice

Slice has a great outdoor dining set up and it’s the ideal spot to people watch with your pet.

11. Melt

Melt server Drew’s pet Doris the English Bulldog was named a winner of Early Time’s 2020 “All American Dog” contest.

  • Hours: Avondale: Wednesday 11AM-2PM, 5-8PM | Thursday-Saturday 11AM-2PM, 5PM-Close | Hoover: Monday-Sunday 10:30AM-9PM
  • Location: Avondale: 4105 4th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35222 | Hoover: 5219 Peridot Place, Suite 3, Hoover, AL 35244 
  • Contact: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Call Avondale | Call Hoover

12. Cahaba Brewing Company

Cahaba Brewing Company’s outdoor dining area shows love to all dogs, but did you know they love pet pigs, too?

  • Hours: Monday-Thursday 3-10PM | Friday-Saturday 12-10PM | Sunday 12-8PM
  • Location: 4500 5th Ave S, Building C, Birmingham, AL 35222
  • Contact: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Call

13. La Paz

La Paz has two spots for outdoor dining in Birmingham for a dinner date with your pet.

14. Hop City Beer and Wine

Outdoor dining in Birmingham
Just a sample of the dogs you can find at Hop City Beer and Wine. Photo via Hop City Beer and Wine’s Facebook

Last time I was at Hop City Beer and Wine, I saw at least six dogs and a woman going around petting all of them.

15. Back Forty Beer Company

Wednesdays are Woof Day at Back Forty Beer Company. Get your pup’s photo taken and have it added to the Woof Wall with all the other Back Forty Beer Company’s pet visitors.

  • Hours: Sunday 11AM-8PM | Monday, Wednesday-Thursday 11AM-9PM | Friday-Saturday 11AM-10PM
  • Location: 3201 1st Ave N, Birmingham, Alabama 35222
  • Contact: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Call

For cat lovers,

Gatos and Beans

For anyone with a cat preference, Gatos and Beans lets you sip on warm drink and play with cats. Plus, all the cats are up for adoption, so you can get a coffee and a cat to go.

  • Hours: Monday 4-7PM | Friday-Saturday 11AM-7PM | Sunday 12-6PM
  • Location: 4348 3rd Court S, Birmingham Al 35222
  • Contact: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Call

What’s your favorite spot to show off your pet? Let us know on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Don’t miss out on our free newsletter with all the good Birmingham news and events.

  • Curiosity gets the best of me over everything else. Passionate about writing, editing and adventuring.

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