The Chester blog

Chester weekly news Blog #11

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Newly opened Turkish cafe/ bazaar Pars Kahve have appealed for support after the unexpected closure of the stairway leading to the premises on the rows at the corner of Watergate street and Bridge street as well as the stairway leading directly to Watergate row. Planning notices erected this week indicate that the footpath will be closed to pedestrians from the 9th September for “at least 6 months” to allow “safety and construction works in the area of the footpath”. Pars Kahve posted on instagram about the threat to passing trade as well as row access for themselves and other businesses on the rows. The unfortunately timed closure comes at the same time as much publicised campaign to regenerate the rows area

Chester Castle will be making a rare opening for visitors this weekend on the 4th/5th September. Originally built in 1070, English Heritage will be bringing the story of the castle to life with volunteers highlighting aspects of medieval life. (11- 3) Visitors can enjoy the view from the top of the 12th century Agricola tower and see the medieval art in the chapel of St Mary de Castro.

View from the Agricola Tower

Local theatre company Against the Grain (founded 2019) have announced their return to the stage. Coming to The Live Rooms in late November is “Mr Dumpling” written by founding member of the group Mark Newman:

When middle-aged Graham moves back in with his dysfunctional parents after splitting up with his partner, little does he expect to find his mother operating a telephone sex line, and both of them at each other’s throats. So, three weeks later, when he finds himself ‘assisting the Police with their inquiries’ into their disappearance, just how much should he tell them? Should he mention what his Dad asked him to help with? Exactly what is buried under his mother’s prize-winning rhododendron? And who the hell is Mr Dumpling?

This latest play by Mark Newman is outrageous and hilarious in equal measure and combines compelling, entertaining dialogue and memorable characters to promise a hugely enjoyable night out.  Though perhaps not one you’d want to bring the kids to…

Tickets are on sale now and cost £10 https://www.theliverooms.com/event/againstthegrain-presents-mr-dumpling-a-new-twisted-comedy-by-mark-newman-2/

Now open in the former newsagents unit at the front of the Forum (next to Boots) is the latest pop up Place for the Arts . The pop up exhibition space , a collaboration between many local stakeholders, aims to promote the economic well-being of Chester by making it a more attractive and interesting place to work in and to visit by turning empty business premises into creative spaces. This unit follows 2 earlier successful pop ups on Bridge street and Northgate street. On show/ sale will be original visual art , glassware, award-winning photography ,hand made ceramics, unique illustrations, huge pepper pots and stunning Mandala Art.

The Cheshire Archives and Local Studies service is offering a free, unique, digital, culinary experience called ‘A Taste of History’. Taking place on Saturday September 11th (12 – 1.30) on zoom, chef Leo Burtin will explore the culinary collections of Cheshire Archives, who are throwing open their (digital) doors and inviting you to come and taste and smell the history of the region.

Leo has been working on his pioneering Eat the Archives project, and will introduce some of the chefs, recipe compilers, ingredients, and flavours which have shaped the tastes of Cheshire. He will demonstrate how to craft a natural remedy and a healthy stew drawing on culinary trends of Cheshire’s history.

Council Leader Louise Gittins said: “You can cook your meal in advance using our recipe card and kit, or cook along with Leo on the day itself, and enjoy a shared tasting experience while hearing about the stories behind these dishes.  It’s going to be a truly unique event.”

This free event will be hosted on Zoom, so you can get involved without having to leave home.  Register before September 7 on Eventbrite to receive detailed recipe instructions, an ingredients list, a recipe kit and a link to the Zoom Event.  Places are limited so sign up now to take part in this historic cookalong.

This dish will be suitable for vegetarians. It may contain nuts and the provided recipe kits cannot be guaranteed to be free of gluten or any other allergens. Should you have any allergies or dietary requirements, please email as soon as you book to receive suggestions for spice kit swaps.

Chef Leo in action

Meanwhile other events this weekend Makers Market at the Carriage Shed (Sat 10-4) and the return of the Bluecoat Arts fair ( Sat 10-5)

This year’s Focus Wales International Showcase Festival has a strong local music showing over the 3 day event. Chester labels Mai 68 Records & Restless Bear Records have a very decent prescence with Campfire Social, Cow, Ennio The Little Brother, Dey-Yey, Yammerer & Mondegreen. Other local acts from, or with strong connections to the city include, Everything Is Now, ME & Deboe, Pint + Blister, Saltwater Injection, Sustinere, The Zangwills and Vulpes Urbana. The event runs from over the 7th, 8th & 9th of October, all over Wrexham with 20 stages. You can find out more at https://www.focuswales.com/music/ (Dan Schott)

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