Harvey Nichols Birmingham
Steven Gerrard’s eagerly-anticipated appointment this week as the new boss of Aston Villa has brought much hype and excitement not just because of his excellent track record as a title- winning manager with Rangers, but because of the former England and Liverpool captain’s winning mentality during a career that saw him lift nine trophies.
Life in Scotland may have been successful but it was often widely reported that his wife Alex and the couple’s four children were less enamoured with living North of the Border and she has been eager to live back in England for the last year. So what can Alex and the family expect from their big-money move as they settle in Birmingham for the next three and a half years?
Homelife in leafy Solihull or Four Oaks
When it comes to where to live as a family, there are many luxurious homes up for sale in the region which might tempt former model Alex who will no doubt be tasked with finding the dream location while Steve becomes acquainted with his new charges.
Like many wags before her Alex will probably look to upmarket Solihull or leafy Four Oaks in Sutton Coldfield.
Current properties on the market requiring a sizeable chunk of her husband’s new multi-million pound salary could include a £3 million modern six bedroomed house on Solihull’s most desirable address, Lady Byron Lane. The modern chalet style home boasts a 20 metre long dressing room - perfect for former model Alex to store all her designer clothes.
Or, if they follow in the footsteps of outgoing Villa boss Dean Smith, and choose Sutton Coldfield, how about this £7 million mansion complete with a swimming pool, snooker room and home cinema?
Shopping at designer stores
During Gerrard’s England days Alex was often seen as one of the most influential wags alongside Victoria Beckham and Colleen Rooney and was often snapped by paparazzi leaving trendy Liverpool fashion boutique Cricket.
Here in Birmingham the closest comparison might be city centre store Flannels where she and Steve could be kitted out head to toe in designer brands from Gucci and Balenciaga to Balmain and Jimmy Choo.
Alex, a former newspaper columnist, might also enjoy a personal shopping experience with the experts at Selfridges’ flagship store in the Bullring or Harvey Nichols where a private suite awaits where vips are treated to champagne and canapés while their shopping is chosen for them.
Birmingham’s fast-paced and ever-evolving dining scene will offer up lots of options for Alex and her family whether it be a family lunch or a discreet dinner with her husband.
Dinner will no doubt see the couple enjoying an intimate table at Tattu - the Chinese-infused restaurant popular with the city’s high-fliers and offering them the chance to get mouthwatering delicacies such as a £55 Green Pepper Lobster under the blossom fronds that adorn the ceiling.
They may also enjoy the Italian-style tapas at Fumo or enjoy a Birmingham favourite, a curry at Ashas popular with Hollywood actors Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger whenever they are in town.
Like many of his predecessors in the Villa hot seat, Gerrard and his family may well use the luxurious Belfry Golf and Spa Resort resort as a base while they find a home to locate to one the region.
While Steve, a keen golfer, can enjoy playing 18 holes on the Ryder Cup-hosting Brabazon Course, Alex can chill in the Fire and Ice Spa where a day’s relaxation involves taking advantage of the bio-thermal rooms and pools before a relaxing massage and facial.
If Alex wants to paint the town claret and blue with the wives of her husband’s new team, where better than footballers’ favourite hangout Nuvo in Brindley Place? Here she can enjoy sumptuous sushi at Oko bar before dancing the night away in the club’s exclusive first floor VIP area where guests enjoy champagne cocktails all served to them in their very own booth.
If a family night is called for the couple and their children Lexie, Lilly-Ella, Lourdes and Lio might enjoy bowling at Lane 7 or a jungle-themed mini-golf game at Tree Top Adventure Golf in the Bullring.
Life in Scotland may have been a very different pace but there is certainly much to keep the family occupied here in the Second City not least the excitement of match days where Villa Park is now a 42,000 sell-out every game and where Alex and her family will no doubt enjoy cheering on Steve and the boys from the luxury of her very own box. Here guests are treated to pre-match dinner and drinks from their very own perch in the Trinity Road stand - a luxury which will set the new Villa boss back £35,000 a year.
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