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"The High Street serves a purpose but it doesn't represent Kings Heath with the kind of people that live here."

A recent addition has been Maison Mayci, which serves as a cafe and French bakery during the day and transforms into a bistro restaurant in the evening.

Upwardly mobile in Kings Heath

into less salubrious bedsits, coupled with a recent explosion of trendy bars, restaurants and cafes has boosted house prices way beyond the reach of many.

Stretched along the A435 one of the busiest arteries leading into the city people come to take advantage of its wide range of shops that focus on the functional.

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Residents living off the High Street can sometimes be complacent about the fact that they are within walking distance of pretty much all the everyday shops they could need.

This relatively short street includes three cafes, three gift shops, a funky independent jewellers, toy shop, aquatics store, florist, three restaurants, a herbal goods store, computer game retailer and two solicitors. Not far around the corner on School Road is an excellent upmarket florist.

According to the internet guide UpMyStreet, some postcodes within the suburb for example, All Saints Road are comparable to the upmarket districts of Kensington and Chelsea, Wandsworth, Ealing, Richmond upon Thames and Fulham in London.

Some regard Kings Heath as the poorer relation of the more fashionably bohemian "village" of Moseley less than half a mile down the road.

Recent times have seen an influx to Kings Heath of young professionals and first time buyers.

But the road that perhaps best represents the aspirations of the suburb is Poplar Road.

Which makes the preponderance of charity and pound stores, chain pubs and fast food outlets on the High Street all the more puzzling and frustrating to many residents.

The site describes the kind of people typically living in this area as high earning professionals who "enjoy the arts, including theatre, classical music, opera and the cinema" as well as "foreign travel and skiing".

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its inhabitants, Kings Heath is something of an enigma. Situated four miles south of the city centre, it's Birmingham's third biggest shopping area (after the city centre and Sutton Coldfield).

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In the height of summer, it plays host to the epitome of middle England that is the BBC Gardener's World Nike Air Huarache Light show, and yet there's not a single bar that its booming young professional populace would be seen dead in.

Like Moseley, property consists mainly of attractive Victorian houses, but of more variety, including, crucially, more affordable terraces.

Kings Heath is an important centre for the whole of the southern part of Birmingham and attracts a significant amount of visitors on a daily basis.

Visit one of the cafes on a Saturday and you might even convince yourself for a moment that you are in one of London's more fashionable suburbs. Of course, it's one of Kings Heath's idiosyncrasies that locals refer to Maison Mayci as "The French cafe".

It contains two of the best grammar schools in the country and an abundance of attractive green space, yet its high street is littered with charity and pound shops.

To this extent, Kings Heath with its far greater stock of affordable housing has long been something of an overspill to Moseley and preferred by many young families with its more residential feel.

It does not fare so well, however, on the fashion front Burton's, Dorothy Perkins, Evans and New Look are as far as it goes.

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According to a recent analysis by Birmingham City Council, the largest proportion of the population is aged between 25 and 44 (35.9per cent), unemployment is below the city average and the percentage of people educated to degree level is well above the city average.

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There are, however, hints that things are starting to change. A Kings Heath Action Plan produced by the city council last year highlighted a need for more specialist shops such as delicatessens, fishmongers and health food shops while also encouraging cafes with pavement seating.

The area boasts two supermarkets, a WH Smiths, a Woolworths, Argos, Adams, Homebase, Clarkes shoes, Boots, a number of hairdressers, law firms, estate agents and a video store.

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Though some wouldn't have minded if the Birmingham tornado that whipped down Kings Heath High Street last year had taken half the shops with it, others like the area's unpretentious "charm".

This year saw the arrival of a monthly farmers' market and there have been a number of new cafes opening, which appear to be doing brisk trade.

Moseley has always enjoyed a status as one of Birmingham's most interesting areas, attracting an eclectic mix of creative sorts academics, politicians and journalists to its many drinking haunts.

Allison Sadler, co owner of People, one of the first independent retailers to move on to the street more than five years ago, said: "It stands on its own in Kings Heath. It would be nice if there were more shops like this on the High Street. You come out of this road and it is completely different.

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One of the most recent has been the Kitchen Garden Cafe in York Road. The cafe provides a tranquil retreat from the rush of urban life with its emphasis on organic food and country garden centre feel.

However, a predominance of large Victorian houses which either remain at the top end of the market or are turned Nike Air Huarache Black And Orange

a hive of activity most days, fuelled during the week by parents dropping off and collecting their children from Kings Heath Primary School a large and popular school at the top end of the road.

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