The High Street: How’s it doing, really?

A closely observed walk along a local hight street here in Liverpool, with statistics, to see and feel how it’s doing.

Our high streets are in trouble. Some blame austerity politics, others supermarkets and more still the passage of time, saying we shop differently now. What’s in less doubt than these various causes is the importance of a good high street to how happy we are with the places where we live.

Elsewhere on this blog I’m starting to look at the insides of people’s houses, looking at how we live and the necessity, a human right I call it, of us all having a secure and properly affordable place we can call home.

But we don’t only live inside of our homes do we? The quality of our lives has a lot to do with what else is around us, including the high streets of shops that run through and bind our neighbourhoods and, often as not, give them their names. So in Liverpool we have areas of Walton generally called County Road and Walton Vale, for example. In Anfield a place called ’round Priory Road’ and in Aigburth one called, well, ‘Aigburth Road’. High streets whose general health is an important part of how their neighbourhoods are doing. Continue reading “The High Street: How’s it doing, really?”

Furrow: What Grace did next.

In the bleak driving rain of a dark November day me and a friend went for lunch at a bright, warm and welcoming new place on Allerton Road. A café called Furrow.

Run by Grace Henley and her team.
Run by Grace Henley and her team.

For the past 18 months Baltic Bakehouse have been running a pop-up shop at a couple of places on Allerton Road, mostly staffed by Grace’s mum, Brenda. And this blog has visited before. But now they’ve turned their bread shop into this café which Grace is running. And no longer a pop-up but a permanent addition to our choice of places to eat around Allerton and Smithdown Roads.Furrow - 2Furrow opened a few weeks ago and since then I’ve been in to get our bread several times and the place, though newly opened, has always seemed pleasantly busy.

As it was today as me and my friend arrived to see what we thought.
As it was today as my friend and I arrived to see what we thought.

Continue reading “Furrow: What Grace did next.”

In the neighbourhood: Shops of the year

A couple of weeks ago when a group of us sat around in the Everyman Bistro and high handedly handed out the ‘Liverpool Awards’ we were all a little surprised, but very delighted, when the accolade ‘Shop of the Year’ went to the group of three picture perfect traditional style shops on Allerton Road, near us.

So this last Saturday Sarah and I went along to do what you’re supposed to do in award winning shops. Buy things from them. Beginning with the Fishmonger’s.Fish windowShops of the Year01The picture at the top of a full window display is taken from their own Twitter site as us turning up on a Saturday afternoon meant that most of that day’s catch had already been sold. This place specialises in ‘Fresh Fish’ remember. Continue reading “In the neighbourhood: Shops of the year”

Real Bread Matters

Bread Matters01Yes, this is a post about bread and why it matters.

Bread like this Moss Lake Sourdough from Baltic Bakehouse in Liverpool.
Bread like this Moss Lake Sourdough from Baltic Bakehouse in Liverpool. We’ll be hearing more about them later.

But first a bit of background about bread and me. You’d kind of expect that wouldn’t you, being my blog and all?

Come late summertime four years ago I was almost completely knackered. Three years of being Sarah’s principal carer as we both worried ourselves through the landscape of breast cancer, together with continuing to run our business on my own, had nearly wiped me out.

I badly needed a complete break. So with Sarah through the toughest of her treatments I took two months off working. And for the first week I went away. Continue reading “Real Bread Matters”