Chester news round up #15

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  • Chez Jules celebrated their 25-year anniversary on Thursday July 7th with an extended week-long celebration. The city-centre French restaurant filled their menu with old favourites and decked the tabletops with their signature red and check tablecloths in a nod to their early years. To further celebrate #25Années, owner and founder Jason Ellison asked customers to share memories and photos of celebrations held at Chez Jules throughout the years. These have provided a wonderful record of the customers Chez Jules moments all the way from the late 1990s.  A highlight of the celebrations was the arrival of a fire engine, in homage to the building’s previous life as a fire station.  Jason Ellison said: ‘The celebrations have become a real time for reflection on what we have achieved over the last quarter of a century. From our conversion of our beautiful building in the 1990’s, bringing authentic French food to Chester, to seeing our beloved customer’s families grow and develop over that time.   However, this really must be a celebration for our team – and a thank you to them for their hard work and dedication over the years. They keep our business alive and vibrant – they keep our customers coming back and they alone create that special warm atmosphere that Chez Jules is known for.’  Chez Jules launched in 1997 with the purpose of recreating a neighbourhood French bistro in Chester. Jason, while travelling through France, fell in love with the French way of creating a daily changing menu, handwritten, with dishes made from the fresh food available on the local market.  Jason explains: ‘There are not many restaurants who still operate how we do in the UK today. We make every dish fresh and in-house. Our chefs buy our food daily and when something runs out, we take it off the menu- in fact we don’t use a freezer at all. We have a mission to keep on providing quality ingredients and simple cooking that is value for money for the next 25 years too!’ 

  • Cheshire West and Chester Council is supporting Cheshire West Voluntary Arts Network to recognise individuals or organisations making a difference to their community through the arts. The event couldn’t be run in 2020 and last year all those nominated who enabled local communities to participate in the arts during the pandemic were honoured. Councillor Louise Gittins said “At last we can return to the original format, and in their seventh year we welcome back a free awards evening in September in the newly refurbished Whitby Hall, Ellesmere Port. Now is the time to nominate your projects, organisations and volunteers and celebrate their achievements with us.” If you are a group, or know of a group or individual then nominations are now open for the following categories:  Children & Youth Arts, Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Music, Outstanding contribution (a special award to a group or individual) and Unsung Hero (that person who is always working away in the background, continuously supporting a group / project). A nomination form can be downloaded here and then emailed to by 5pm 15th August.
  • Members of Chester Male Voice who are staging a special celebration concert at Chester Cathedral with special guests the world-renowned Foden’s Band on Saturday 16th July at 7.30pm were surprised and delighted to receive a message of good wishes and congratulations from Her Majesty The Queen after they wrote to her to offer their best wishes for her Platinum Jubilee and sent her a special gift – a copy of their CD, appropriately named “Celebration”. In the letter received from Buckingham Palace written on behalf of Her Majesty, The Queen thanked the choir for their best wishes and their kind gift and in return, sent her best wishes to the members of the choir on the occasion of their 80th Anniversary.  Speaking about receiving the letter from the Palace, Chairman of Chester Male Voice Choir, Blair Wilson said “It was suggested by one of our choir members, Ian Belton that I should write to Her Majesty to offer our congratulations on her Platinum Jubilee and send with our best wishes, our Celebration CD. In my letter I explained to Her Majesty that we are celebrating our 80thAnniversary with a concert at Chester Cathedral and will be performing with the Foden’s Band. We were absolutely delighted to receive a reply from Buckingham Palace on behalf of The Queen thanking the choir for our good wishes and the CD. In the letter, Her Majesty sent her best wishes to us all in this significant year in the history of the Chester Male Voice Choir. To receive this letter with such kind comments from Her Majesty the Queen is a great Honour for all associated with the Choir.” The Cathedral concert, entitled “Male Voices and Brass” will feature a varied selection of popular music from both the choir and the band including “There is Nothing Like A Dame” from South Pacific, “Anthem” from  Chess, the march from “The Pines of Rome”, Adele classic “Someone Like You”, “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables and the smash hit rock anthem “Bohemian Rhapsody”. The choir and band will also be joining forces for some very special performances during the evening which promises to be one of the highlights of the Chester concert season.
  • A new walking tour focusing on the Women of Chester has been launched by Chester Visitor Information centre. The tour includes stories about extraordinary women associated with the city including suffragette Mary Philips , Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians, St Werburgh and Queen Victoria. The tour runs every Sunday at 11.30 tickets available from the Visitor Centre. See review
  • Chester Races Family Fun Day ( 31 July) will celebrate in 2022 with a special collaboration with Parentfolk, the family space curators who have previously collaborated with CBBC, Camp Bestival Shropshire, NEXT, LUSH and Harvey Nichols Kids to create memorable family experiences.   Parentfolk are renowned for creating cool family socials, completely different to regular family events, designed for ‘style junkies, foodies, dreamers and folk doing parenting their own way.’ They are set to transform the racecourse grounds into an inviting family space for ‘PlayFest’, where kid’s play meets summer festival, split into different zones, including a PlayZone, a MusicZone, MakeZone and EntertainZone.  The PlayZone will incorporate Ikos resort beach, a beach play space in the heart of the city, where little ones can get busy with spades building sandcastles, as well as a football skills area, a BRIO play space and a Wonderbly imagination area. There will also be giant versions of retro popular arcade games brought to life.  MusicZone will feature DJ Nikki Beatnik, a world-famous DJ and Ministry of Sound resident who has worked alongside Beyonce, Jay Z and Kelis. There will also be a kids Live Lounge where little ones can have a go at becoming the starring act, and the ever-popular silent adventure disco will be back with their choreography style dancing tours. Children can enjoy Face Art too to look the festival part.  MakeZone and EntertainZone is set to drive children’s creativity and wellbeing with summer inspired arts and crafts, a graffiti wall and workshop, story time, comedy theatre show, and yoga workshops.  Alongside all this will be the traditional giant inflatables that family racegoers have grown to love.   Louise Stewart, Chief Executive Officer, Chester Racecourse said: ‘We are so excited by the collaboration with Parentfolk for this years Family Fun Day. We wanted to encapsulate the feeling of a family festival at an accessible price point. Parentfolk are excellent at creating a fun family vibe, having produced many seasonal family socials, larger festivals, and event collaborations with the likes of CBBC, Camp Bestival Shropshire and MediaCity UK – there will be so many fun activities to occupy the children while the races are on.’   Family Fun Day tickets are available directly through the Chester Racecourse website. 
Life returns to the transformed former library building
The team at Cosy Club
  • Cosy Club is now open inside the former library building on Northgate street, the first part of the long awaited Northgate development – with the rest of the complex including new market cinema, public square and car park scheduled to open in October. The restaurant offers all day casual dining and drinking as well special occasions and group dining.
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