Shoppe Birmingham

October 30, 2021

Filed in: Field Guide

Shoppe Birmingham might be my favorite place in the whole city. Yes, me, a fresh Southern transplant of barely two months, already proclaiming her favorite place. But I can’t help it. It is a flower lover’s dream—and it takes me to Paris in a good way.

Shoppe Birmingham greenhouse at sunrise

Amy and I went early—early as in 8:30am. An excellent choice, as the parking was abundant. (My principal nightmare is parallel parking Fitz in a tight spot. That’s just a recipe for stalling…or worse.) Morning dew still glistened on the café tables and sunlight streamed through the trees, bathing the greenhouse in an irresistible delicious golden light.

pumpkins at Shoppe Birmingham

I had heard about Shoppe Birmingham (and its café neighbor, General Birmingham) a while ago but had never had the time to go until now. It’s really a crying shame I hadn’t gone earlier! I’m contemplating making it a weekly or bi-monthly trip, just  for a slice of the olive oil cake or maybe a cup of tea while I read (one of my goals is to read more this year).

left: plants at Shoppe Birmingham right: fish-shaped vases at General Birmingham

General Birmingham

We wandered through General, fingering the flowers and beautifully curated merchandise as a man tucked into his coffee cake and a book at the Art Deco-inspired bar. Eventually, we made our way to the counter, ordering our way through the pastry case: a miso-lavender scone, ginger chocolate chip cookie, and slice of olive oil cake, plus tea for two. We installed ourselves on the patio, enjoying the crisp air running through our hair, and proceeded to taste our way through the spread.

Left: olive oil cake at General Birmingham Right: Wall of plants at Shoppe Birmingham

I am obsessed with the olive oil cake. I’m pretty sure I know the recipe, but I made the mistake (though I excuse myself as I was not of legal drinking age and could not convince my mother to make the purchase) of leaving out the Grand Marnier. ESSENTIAL. The olive oil cake was at once soft and fluffy, yet dense with a crackling crust crumbling with sugar. A hint of citrus poked through, which complimented the fruitiness of the olive oil. I talked about this cake all day.

Left: teacup with green leaf decoration at General Birmingham right: planter with topiary and pumpkins at Shoppe General Birmingham

The ginger chocolate chip cookie was pleasant. At first, I was afraid the ginger would be overwhelming, but it was not. The miso-lavender scone was the only disappointment, due to the fact that the miso flavor did not break through the butter layers. Otherwise, it was an expertly executed scone, and the flower-lover in me appreciated the fresh sprig adorning the top.

Left: French-style café chair and table with pastries at General Birmingham right: planter with flowers and pumpkins at Shoppe Birmingham

Shoppe Birmingham

After finishing the last of the tea, we headed next door for a proper walk through Shoppe Birmingham. The sidewalk brims with plants in elaborate planters, and the artists in us appreciated more than one bust. Pumpkins galore, roses, topiaries, and more overflowed in such abundance that encouraged me to remember the joy of the harvest.

an array of planters and pumpkins at Shoppe Birmingham

The tiny greenhouse, which may catch the eye, hides behind it a vast selection of plants and flowers, plus chairs for those who’d like to just sit and take it all in. There are so many gardening knickknacks, and it’s peaceful to just take a stroll through the short path, admiring the plants.

bust planters and pumpkins under string lights at Shoppe Birmingham

Visit Shoppe Birmingham

  • 3815 Clairmont Avenue 35222
  • Shoppe Birmingham hours: 9am-5:30pm Monday-Saturday; 12-4pm Sunday
  • General Birmingham hours: 8am-5:30pm Monday-Saturday; 12-4pm Sunday; Lunch 11am-3pm Tuesday-Saturday

pumpkins in a galvanized metal tub at Shoppe Birmingham

tiny topiaries in the greenhouse at Shoppe Birmingham

the outline of the glass greenhouse at Shoppe Birmingham

a large metal sink next to a wall of plants at Shoppe Birmingham

the plant garden behind the greenhouse at Shoppe Birmingham

two Adirondack chairs in the garden of Shoppe Birmingham

Left: Art Deco bar at General Birmingham Right: lavender-miso scone

General Birmingham

potted plants from hang from the ceiling of the greenhouse at Shoppe Birmingham

General Birmingham

sea-green chimney at Shoppe Birmingham with pampas grass in a ceramic vase

yellow tulips at General Birmingham

framed, dried, pressed foliage at General Birmingham

I am a Birmingham, AL portrait photographer specializing in the female portrait, children, love stories, and (personal) brands. I’m also always ready to photograph destination portraits in Paris & Provence! Want to work together? Get in touch! I’d love to know your story. If you need fine art prints & posters to decorate your home, check out my print shop.

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Paris & California strolls; plenty of flowers; stories; and looking for the beauty in the everyday. I hope you'll come along as I take the year to document the entirety of my home state!