Chester & Cheshire - Autumn 2017 - The Ultimate Guide

MarketingCheshire

Your ultimate guide to things to do, places to visit & what's on in Chester & Cheshire this Autumn.

Chester

&

Cheshire

Autumn

2017

The

Ultimate

Guide

Issue 02

SEPTEMBER —

DECEMBER

2017

Featuring:

Plus:

OLD?

MEET NEW.

The region’s

biggest art

show comes

to Chester

+

MEN IN

TIGHTS

A N D

MUSICALS:

Storyhouse,

four months

on

+

B L O O D ,

SWEAT

AND BEER:

A cheater’s

guide to

C h e s t e r

Marathon

+

SURREAL

EATS AT THE

STANNEYLANDS

+

C h e s h i r e

In The Fall +

An Indie Christmas +

What’s On

This Season +

Bag An Antique

Bargain


1


2


A Very

Cheshire

Autumn

& Winter

IMAGE

GRAPPENHALL

HEYS, CHESHIRE

Cheshire this season has got it all going on.

From Alice in Wonderland-style restaurants

(better known as the Stanneylands in Wilmslow,

page 17) to men in tights and musicals, we

discover more about this season’s hot tickets,

which include Russian ballet, sell-out musicals

and contemporary dance (pages 20 - 27). Four

months down the line, we find out how Chester’s

Storyhouse is doing - but it’s not the only

cultural name in town, as we find out when

we interview one of the people behind ARK,

the biggest sculpture show ever to hit the

North West (page 07).

There’s something achingly beautiful about

autumn, as our guide to some of the best autumn

parks and gardens illustrates – places where

the turning leaves are the main draw (page 29).

We also highlight the little-known Tatton Estate

(page 30) and publish both an expert guide to

buying antiques, just in time for the Chester

Antiques Show (page 39), and a cheater’s

guide to the Chester Marathon (page 43).

Ready for Christmas yet? Don’t worry – it is a bit

early. But to make sure that you’re ahead of the

festive game we’ve put together an altogether

more interesting guide to Christmas in Cheshire,

a round-up of independent and one-off shops,

markets and things to do with the kids that sets

Cheshire apart from the same-same festivities

on offer elsewhere (page 11). And if all that’s not

enough, don’t miss our full listings of what’s

on and where in Cheshire this autumn – enjoy.

This guide has been put together

by Marketing Cheshire and was

made possible with the help

of our editor, Susie Stubbs, writers

Lara Williams and Mark Littler,

and the invaluable support, ideas

and reality checks of Marketing

Cheshire’s Leanne Eaton and

Storyhouse’s Jen Chapman.

Supported by

Thanks also to all of our

interviewees and contributors,

including Henry Brooks, Paul Lavin,

Claire Soper and Emma Roberts.

Designed by Heather Almond

Editorial and advertising:

Ashley Shacklady

a.shacklady@marketingcheshire.co.uk

Leanne Eaton

l.eaton@marketingcheshire.co.uk

For more information visitchester.com

and discovercheshire.com

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be

copied, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any

form by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording or

otherwise, except brief extracts for purpose of review,

and no part of this publication may be sold or hired,

without the written permission of the publisher. Words,

photography and design copyright: Marketing Cheshire

2017, except where stated.

Although the authors have taken all reasonable care

in preparing this guide, we make no warranty about the

accuracy or completeness of its content and, to the

maximum extent permitted, disclaim all liability arising

from its use. The publisher gratefully acknowledges the

permission granted to reproduce the copyright material

in this guide. Every effort has been made to trace

copyright holders and to obtain their permission

for the use of copyright material.

05


3


Old?

Meet New.

Surely a once in a lifetime event: Chester’s

grandest of grande dames – the Cathedral – has

opened her doors to a 90 artwork-strong exhibition

that features some of the biggest names

in contemporary art. Susie Stubbs gets

behind the scenes at ARK.

FROM TOP

CHESTER CATHEDRAL /

MIDNIGHT RAMBLER,

S GREGORY,

07


“This is a complete

departure for us,” says

Emma Roberts as she

describes ARK, the

contemporary sculpture

show currently inhabiting

Chester Cathedral’s ancient

spaces. And she’s right:

the venerable cloisters

of this 14th-century

building are more commonly

host to prayer recitals and

evensong than they are the

work of some of the world’s

best-known artists. But until

15 October the Cathedral

is dotted with 90 diverse

sculptures, ranging in size

from a gargantuan 13.5

metres to a miniscule 5cm

(which takes the form of

Antony Gormley’s tiny foetus

in a kidney dish), and from

artists such as Damien Hirst

to former Young British

Artist, Sarah Lucas.

If the exhibition seems

a curious choice for

a cathedral, it perhaps

makes more sense when

you discover the creative

brains behind it – Gallery

Pangolin. “Gallery Pangolin

is part of Europe’s

largest foundry and has

relationships with some

of the world’s best known

artists,” says Emma, one of

the exhibition organisers.

“It is specifically a foundry

for art, that’s all it makes.”

So, for 30 years, the

Gloucester-based

Pangolin has made

large-scale sculptures

for artists based all over

the world, turning bronze

and sheet metal into the

sorts of dramatic works

that now stud the Cathedral

and its grounds.

ARK has been three years

in the making, with much of

that time spent working out

just how to get the artworks

safely into a medieval

building. “St Werburgh’s

Street was at one time a

quarry,” says Emma of the

road immediately outside

the Cathedral. “That’s why

some of its rooflines are

sagging. So we had to pay

particular attention to the

weight of the sculptures that

Pangolin wanted to bring in.”

Thankfully, the Cathedral is

blessed with solid floors, but

even so it took three weeks

to install the sculptures,

some of which weighed

as much as 13 tonnes.

This is not, however, the

first time that the Cathedral

has dipped its toes in artistic

waters. Last Easter it

showed three “shocking

and contemporary”

sculptures by David Mach

– giant depictions of the

crucifixion that stood in the

South Transept - and just

prior to that it displayed

another work by the Turner

Prize-nominated artist,

this time a sculpture of

Christ made up of 12,000

burned matches.

Until 15 October the

Cathedral is dotted with

90 diverse sculptures,

ranging in size from a

gargantuan 13.5 metres

to a miniscule 5cm (which

takes the form of Antony

Gormley’s tiny foetus

in a kidney dish).

FROM TOP

© CHESTER

CATHEDRAL /

JOO, M STUBBS ©

STEVE RUSSELL

STUDIOS

08


The Cathedral has always

been a place of sanctuary but

in its earliest days it would

have acted almost like an art

gallery, a place built by expert

stonemasons, glassmakers,

carpenters and so on – therefore

it doesn’t feel such a stretch

to put modern art into this

medieval environment.

The theme of the show has its roots,

of course, in Genesis and the story

of Noah’s Ark, yet while many of the

pieces reference the biblical tale,

there’s a fair number that don’t.

In the gardens, for example, is a new

work by Eilis O’Connell – a huge silver

time capsule. “An ark doesn’t just

have religious connotations; it is also

a vessel, something that keeps things

safe, or a place of refuge,” explains

Emma. “The Cathedral has always

been a place of sanctuary but in its

earliest days it would have acted

almost like an art gallery, a place

built by expert stonemasons,

glassmakers, carpenters and

so on – therefore it doesn’t feel such

a stretch to put modern art into

this medieval environment.”

Speaking to Emma, it’s clear that the

exhibition is as much about making

the Cathedral a place for everyone

as it is celebrating the best in British

sculpture. “ARK is a celebration of life,”

she says. “Not everyone feels they can

step into an art gallery, whereas I hope

people feel that they can walk into the

Cathedral and not feel intimidated.”

With the show closing in October,

there’s not much time left to see it –

although it’s unlikely to be the last art

show Chester’s grande dame is likely

to see. “We’re committed to showing

more art here,” says Emma. “We’re

already planning our next big

exhibition, in 2019.”

FROM TOP

© MARK CARLINE, CHESTER

CATHEDRAL /

© STEVE RUSSELL STUDIOS

09


4

5


Have Yourself

A Very

Cheshire

Christmas

If you’ve ever felt guilty

when faced with your kids’

post-Christmas toy mountain –

you know, that teetering pile

of plastic tat that’d put Santa’s

workshop to shame – you’re

not alone. Try our go-to guide

for family festivities and have

yourself an altogether less

grabby Christmas.

Seven Go Wild

in Cheshire.

If Christmas is all about

spending time with those

you love, what better way to

make it fly than with some

family-focused theatre? The

Secret Seven graces the

Storyhouse stage this winter

(1 Dec-14 Jan, Hunter St),

as the arts centre celebrates

its first Christmas with the

first ever adaptation of the

Enid Blyton classic. Blyton’s

child detectives scamper

through snow, adventure

and mystery, bolstered

by original music and, off

stage, all manner of Blyton

books and paraphernalia.

Elsewhere, Snow White and

the Seven Dwarfs appears

at Crewe Lyceum (16 Dec-7

Jan, Crewe) – it’s an all-out

proper panto with 1980s TV

favourites, Cannon & Ball

in the starring roles - while

Chester Cathedral hosts

The Snowman (1 & 2 Dec,

St Werburgh St). That

promises to be a gorgeous

affair, with the action on

screen accompanied by

a live orchestra.

Elsewhere, Wild Rumpus (of

Just So Festival fame) have

teamed up with Chester

Zoo to create The Lanterns

(24 Nov-30 Dec, Upton-by-

Chester). This really is a bit

special: an illuminated trail

of animals that leads little

ones into a magical postal

depot, where they can post

letters, hopes and dreams to

the man in the red suit. Don’t

leave this one to the last

minute: it always sells out.

There are more lanterns in

Chester’s annual Lantern

Parade (1 Dec, starts at

Forum Shopping Centre).

The sight of hundreds of kids

carrying handmade lanterns

would surely have Scrooge

weeping into his glühwein.

The medieval Winter Watch

Parade (7 Dec, starts at

Forum Shopping Centre)

comes with fire breathing

and the deliciously named

Lord of Misrule, while the

Winter Watch and Saturnalia

Parade (14 Dec, starts at

Eastgate St) gives you two

raucous parades for the

price of one. The Winter

Watch is ancient history,

by the way: dating from the

1400s, it’s a reenactment

of the city entrusting its

keys (and its safety) to

the City Watch.

Further afield, swing by the

Cheshire Reindeer Lodge

and Christmas Tree Farm

and kill two birds with one

festively decorated stone (26

Nov-24 Dec; Little Stanney).

There’s a grotto, funfair and

elves, and there are enough

real, live reindeer to pull

Santa’s groaning sleigh –

just make sure you buy a

ticket beforehand (for the

reindeer bit; you can pop

in to buy a tree any time).

Talking of trees, Chester

Cathedral hosts its fifth

Christmas Tree Festival (25

Nov-7 Jan, St Werburgh St),

its creaky cloisters stuffed

with 50 bejeweled pines and

firs and, out in the gardens,

a giant star. All very pretty.

IMAGE

THE SECRET SEVEN,

ILLUSTRATED BY

TONY ROSS

11


Handbags,

Glad Rags &

Markets

If we have persuaded

you to ditch the festive

shopping in favour of

wholesome family activities,

well done. And also:

look away now – because

we’ve put together a guide for

those looking for alternative

Christmas retail kicks.

FROM TOP LEFT

CORKS OUT WINE

MERCHANTS /

CHESTER CHRISTMAS

MARKET / WALLACE

SEWELL SCARF FROM

THE ARC GALLERY

Make the most of England’s

most atmospheric city

by taking things onto the

streets: head to the 70

stalls that make up Chester

Christmas Market (16 Nov-

20 Dec). Clustered around

the Town Hall and Cathedral,

a smorgasbord of

independent sellers

promote their wares:

everything from handmade

crafts and clothing to the

now-obligatory mulled wine.

If it all gets a bit much, duck

into Chester Cathedral

(St Werburgh St), one of 26

historic buildings adorned

with a green Talking Walls

Chester plaque. Swipe your

phone over the plaque and

the Cathedral will call you

to tell its tale. Ring, ring!

Celebs including Gyles

Brandreth and Lucy

Meacock have lent their

voices to the stories – and

let’s face it, Gyles is going

to be a lot more fun to listen

to than the 58th rendition

of Slade’s Merry Christmas

Everybody.

Ah, but we were talking

about shopping, weren’t we?

Chester’s Christmas market

sets itself apart by its

commitment to all things

artisan – over 75% of what’s

on sale has been made in

the region. It’s a theme

that continues elsewhere.

Take The Arc Gallery

(Commonhall St), which

majors in British-made

ceramics and accessories,

such as statement scarves

for men and women by

British design duo Wallace

Sewell. Head to Watergate

Street for a cluster of indies,

such as (deep breath) wine

merchants Corks Out ,the

trad toys of Weasel and the

Bug and Toycraft, and the

chic kids clothing on the

rails at Chateau de Sable.

Nearby, Nichols & Co (Bridge

St Row) channels a Danish

vibe for its homewares,

while the womenswear

of Laundry B (Bridge St)

is a welcome departure

from the same-same

fashions of the high street.

If you cannot, however,

resist the lure of the big

brand, look no further than

Cheshire Oaks Designer

Outlet. The Ellesmere

Port-based centre has

enough going on to satisfy

both retail and festive

appetites (there’s 145 brands

and a Christmas corner

complete with German-style

bar for starters), but taking

centre stage this winter is

its epic, 102-foot Christmas

tree. And when we say epic,

we mean a tree big enough

to walk inside, with five

miles of fairy lights and

10,000 decorations. Which

does put rather an arduous

spin on Twelfth Night. Now,

pass us the glühwein.

12


6


Top of

The Farm &

Foodie Shops

Can’t think what to buy?

Chocolate, cheese and

wine rarely disappoint

(and if they do, we’ll

happily take them off

your hands). Find out

where to buy with our

roundup of the places

to pick up Cheshire’s

best treats.

FROM TOP LEFT

01 Bollands of

Chester / 02 & 03

Hollies Farm Shop

HOLLIES

FARM SHOP

Little Budworth,

Tarporley

This is an award-winning,

family-run, one-stop shop

for all things food and

garden-related, with an

emphasis on Cheshire-made

produce: the Hollies has

over 50 local producers on

its books. You can even get

Christmas trees and gifts

here, and refuel in its

excellent café (well,

Christmas shopping

is exhausting, isn’t it?).

CHEERBROOK

FARM SHOP

Nantwich

Another award-winning,

family-run farm shop

(you may notice a theme

developing…), Cheerbrook

is smaller than the Hollies

but punches above its

weight when it comes to its

butchery. It has won a clutch

of awards for its meat,

while the shop includes

marinades, bread and cakes,

cheese, fruit and veg

and more.

CHESTER

CHEESE SHOP

Northgate St, Chester

A tiny shop that nevertheless

packs in 200 kinds of

cheese. In short, this is a

deli that never disappoints.

Go local with eight kinds of

Cheshire cheese, including

the Nantwich-curdled goat’s

cheese, Kidderton Ash.

Lip-smacking.

BENTS GARDEN

AND HOME

Glazebury

Bents gets bigger every

time we visit. It began life

as a garden centre but now

stocks homewares, clothes,

books, Christmas decorations,

food and booze, the latter

courtesy of a Food Hall

that contains Honeywell’s

butchery and Reserve Wines.

There’s also a play area and

dinosaur-themed mini golf

(yup, you read that right).

COVINO

Rufus Court, Chester

Back in Chester, a teeny-tiny

independent wine shop (and

bar) whose otherwise hard

to find wines surely make

for one-off presents.

HAWARDEN

ESTATE

Hawarden

Surrounded by fields and

woods, Hawarden is more

of a day out than simply

a farm shop. A nature trail,

adventure playground

and café sit alongside an

award-winning butchery and

deli, while a weekend market

pops up every, er, weekend,

selling everything from wild

garlic pesto to antiques.

A mile down the road is the

estate’s The Glynne Arms,

a pub whose menu is heavily

influenced by what’s on offer

in the farm shop.

HALL

FARM SHOP

Alsager

Another all-rounder whose

shelves groan with meats,

cheeses, jams and chutneys,

fish, ices and gifts, this time

based in a former milking

parlour.

14


7

8


Eating out

The

Stanneylands

Susie Stubbs finds a lazy

Sunday lunch (or was it brunch?)

at the Stanneylands in Wilmslow

a touch on the surreal side.

16


Cheshire has always struck me as a

little bit Alice in Wonderland. Lewis

Carroll was a local lad, after all, and

he did name that eponymous cat after

his home county. But there’s more to it

than that. It’s all those rabbits hurrying

across bucolic fields, and an opening

scene that sees Alice lazing on a

dappled riverbank that could double

up as the Dee – and it’s a resemblance

that hit me full-square in the face

on a recent Stubbs family outing

to the Stanneylands.

Cheshire’s latest gastronomic

hot ticket most definitely channels

a Wonderland vibe. There’s a man in

plus fours who holds open the door,

while giant door keys with ‘drink me’-

style tags hang on the wall. There

are curious creatures everywhere.

When my six year-old spotted a

monocle-toting fox, mounted just high

enough up to avoid a sticky-fingered

prodding, she declared it straight out

of the pages of her favourite bedtime

story. (She was less impressed when

I declined to lift her up “so I just can

give Mr. Foxy a little cuddle, mummy”.

We both knew where that would end.

Expensively.) As for the general décor,

a profusion of leather, velvet and

polished floors makes this place feel

as close as you can get to Wonderland

without falling down a rabbit hole.

All this intentional eclectism could

easily have been overplayed. Yet the

Stanneylands holds her own, largely

because this boutique hotel is no brash

new-build. She’s a historic mansion

house surrounded by established trees

and yew hedges, and both age and

greenery rub the edges off that luxe

interior. Inside, the spot-on service

from those working behind the bar,

in the restaurants and, yes, at the

door (wearing plus fours) adds up

to a place that feels warmly eclectic.

17


The Tap & Pantry is one of two

restaurants on site. It’s the less formal

of the pair, with a resolutely laid-back

menu. So, ‘brunch’ becomes ‘blunch’,

a two-hour affair that mixes Sunday

roasts with brunch-y favourites, though

we kicked off with a stellar salad

of kale, quinoa, avocado, basil and

halloumi. It was both epic and the

sort of food that leaves you feeling

supremely smug – well, kale is a

superfood, right? The smallest person

at the table did double-carbs: wedges

of cheesy garlic bread as big as her

head, followed by a steaming bowl of

mac n’ cheese.

A prawn cocktail, straight from the

1970s, followed, as did a Sunday

Roast and a decent fish pie. “A salad

would have been nice, or some chips,”

observed my mum, spying my smoked

haddock omelette, which came with

neither. I told her I was far too

classy for omelette and chips but

nevertheless leaned over my son’s

plate and nicked a handful. My mouth

full (“don’t talk with your mouth full,”

said my mum,forgetting for the 40

billionth time that I am no longer

a child), I checked in with my dad,

who was quietly demolishing his

Sunday Roast. The verdict? Fantastic

spuds, dreamily tender beef.

Puddings were good – a nicely biting

lemon posset, a feather-light chocolate

mousse – though I couldn’t help but

wonder if putting pudding on a brunch

menu was somehow wrong, like

having raspberry ripple ice-cream for

breakfast (which I definitely never had

when I was a kid). As I asked for the

bill, and my six year-old dragged me

off for one last ‘explore’, I ventured that

Alice of Wonderland fame would like it

at the Stanneylands. “She wouldn’t like

it,” declared my little girl. The queen

of the pregnant pause, she waited a

moment before adding: “No, mummy.

She’d love it.” I don’t often say it,

but I think my daughter was right.

For Alice and for families, for lazy

Sundays and, perhaps, for those

looking for something a little different,

the Stanneylands isn’t half bad.

18


9


Storyhouse

Chester

On Stage

The best critically acclaimed

shows from around the world

hit the Storyhouse Stage this

Autumn! Highlights include:

Sep / Dec

2017

01

Chester’s new

theatre, cinema

and library

is here!

Tickets

storyhouse.com

01244 409 113

Tickets also available

from the Chester Visitor

Information Centre

FOOTLOOSE

5 – 9 September

Enjoy the best in UK

musical talent, cutting-edge

choreography and classic

hits including Holding Out

for a Hero, Almost Paradise,

Let’s Hear it for the Boy and

of course the unforgettable

title track Footloose.

Tickets from £20.50

COCKFIGHT

7 October

02

Cockfight explores the power

play between men, the frailty

of the ageing body and

questions our culture’s

desperate desire for

achievement. Without

each other these two

performers have nothing

left to fight for.

Tickets from £16.50

02

ALL OR NOTHING

27 – 30 September

TANGOMOTION

18 October

03

03

This quintessentially British

‘Mod’ Musical celebrates

the unique sound of the

iconic ‘60s Mod band,

The Small Faces.

Tickets from £16.50

BLOOD BROTHERS

9 – 14 October

Written by Willy Russell,

and starring Lyn Paul, the

legendary Blood Brothers

tells the captivating and

moving tale of twins who,

separated at birth, grow

up on opposite sides of the

tracks, only to meet again

with fateful consequences.

Tickets from £20.50

TICKETS SELLING FAST!

01

From virtuoso displays

of traditional tango dance

to the exquisite sounds

of 1930s’ Buenos Aires,

Tangomotion is a

breathtaking journey into

the heart of Tango Argentino.

Tickets from £16.50

KATE RUSBY

20 October

04

A career which spans across

25 years in music showcases

her as one of the finest

interpreters of traditional

folk songs and one of our

most emotive original

songwriters

Tickets from £25

TICKETS SELLING FAST!

04

20


BALLETBOYZ

30 October

05

Bringing together

composers, artists,

designers, filmmakers,

and photographers,

BalletBoyz aims to integrate

a wide range of artistic

elements in every

performance.

Tickets from £16.50

TICKETS SELLING FAST!

THINGS I KNOW

TO BE TRUE

7-11 November

Featuring Frantic

Assembly’s celebrated

physicality, Things I Know

To Be True is a complex

and intense study of the

mechanics of a family

that is both poetic and

brutally frank.

Tickets from £16.50

05

SPAMALOT

31 October – 4 November

Lovingly ripped off from the

hugely successful 1975 film

Monty Python and the Holy

Grail, Spamalot is a riotous

comedy full of misfit knights,

killer rabbits, dancing nuns

and ferocious Frenchmen.

Tickets from £20.50

THE SECRET

SEVEN

1 December –

16 January 2018

06

Storyhouse celebrates

its first Christmas with

the first ever major stage

adaptation of Enid Blyton’s

beloved book The Secret

Seven, brought to you by the

team behind the acclaimed

productions Stig of the Dump

and Alice in Wonderland.

In this, their first ever

adventure, the Secret Seven

are on the trail of strange

clues which lead them, in

disguise, through the snow,

to the old house, and

a mystery…

Tickets £25

(under 26’s £19.50)

TICKETS SELLING FAST!

06

Coming Soon

GANGSTA

GRANNY

11 – 14 April

CILLA:

THE MUSICAL

6 March – 10 March

07 07

From the acclaimed

producers of Horrible

Histories comes the West

End premiere of this

amazing story by David

Walliams, the UK’s

best-selling author

for children.

Tickets from £16.50

The extraordinary story

of the ordinary girl from

Liverpool whose teenage

dreams of stardom lead

to her becoming one of

Britain’s best-loved

entertainers of all time.

The musical score is the

ultimate soundtrack to the

60’s including Cilla’s

greatest hits Anyone Who

Had a Heart, Alfie and

Something Tells Me.

Tickets from £20.50

21


Cinema

01

Specials

02

03

CHESHIRE WEST

ON FILM

11 October / 6.30pm

The North West Film Archive

presents an evening of

archive film from the

Chester city and surrounding

area over the last 100 years

from the Edwardian era to

the 1970s, introduced by

staff from the Archive.

VICTORIA & ABDUL

From 15 September

Judi Dench reprises the role

of Queen Victoria whom she

last played 20 years ago

in Mrs Brown. Based on

Shrabani Basu’s book, the

film focuses on Victoria’s

later life when she strikes

up an unlikely friendship

with an Indian clerk who

has travelled to England

to present the Queen with

a commemorative coin.

GOODBYE

CHRISTOPHER

ROBIN

From 29 September

A rare glimpse into the

relationship between

beloved children’s author

A. A. Milne and his son

Christopher Robin, whose

toys inspired the magical

world of Winnie the Pooh.

As his family are swept up

in the international success

of the books; bringing hope

and comfort after the First

World War, what will the

cost be to the family?

01

02

BLADE RUNNER

2049

From 20 October

Thirty years after the events

of the first film, a new blade

runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan

Gosling), unearths a longburied

secret that has the

potential to plunge what’s

left of society into chaos.

K’s discovery leads him on

a quest to find former Blade

Runner Rick Deckard.

MURDER ON THE

ORIENT EXPRESS

Coming Soon

A lavish train ride unfolds

into a stylish and suspenseful

mystery. From the novel by

Agatha Christie, Murder on

the Orient Express tells of

thirteen stranded strangers

and one man’s race to solve

the puzzle before the

murderer strikes again.

India 70

A national tour

of recent films

from India to

mark the 70th

anniversary year

of independence.

HOTEL SALVATION

17 & 18 September

A Best Exotic Marigold

Hotel told from the Indian

perspective. A warm

and thoughtful film about

mortality and legacy.

Winner of the UNESCO

award at Venice

Film Festival.

THE LUNCHBOX

1 October

03

Lonely housewife Ila decides

to try adding some spice

to her stale marriage by

preparing a special lunch

for her neglectful husband.

Unfortunately, the delivery

goes astray and winds up in

the hands of Saajan an office

worker. A charming and

sweet film about the value

of love and friendship.

22


10


Cinema

Live On Screen

Halloween

Christmas

LA BOHEME

ROYAL OPERA HOUSE

3 October

Acclaimed director

Richard Jones directs a

new production of Puccini’s

La Bohème. When Rodolfo,

a penniless poet, meets

Mimì, a seamstress, they fall

instantly in love. But their

happiness is threatened

when Rodolfo learns that

Mimì is gravely ill.

HAMLET

NT LIVE ENCORE

5 October

Academy Award nominee

Benedict Cumberbatch

takes on the title role of

Shakespeare’s great tragedy.

Now seen by over 750,000

people worldwide, the

original 2015 NT Live

broadcast returns

to cinemas.

SCREAM

28 October

After a series of mysterious

deaths befalls their small

town, an offbeat group

of friends led by Sidney

Prescott (Neve Campbell)

become the target of a

masked killer with a twisted

love for recreating scary

movies in real life.

DEAD OF NIGHT

31 October

An architect senses

impending doom as his

half-remembered recurring

dream turns into reality.

The guests at the country

house encourage him to

stay as they take turns

telling supernatural tales.

Classic creepy horror.

GREMLINS

17 December

01 02

A boy inadvertently breaks

three important rules

concerning his new pet

and unleashes a horde of

malevolently mischievous

monsters on a small town.

HOME ALONE

23 December

When eight-year-old

trouble-maker Kevin

(Macauley Culkin) is

accidentally left home alone,

he must protect his home

from a pair of bumbling

burglars. Can he save

Christmas?

01

02

24


11

12


Art

BEDWYR WILIAMS:

HYPERCAUST

From 27 October

01

Storyhouse is pleased to

announce its inaugural

visual arts commission with

award-winning artist Bedwyr

Williams. His new work for

Storyhouse Hypercaust is

a computer generated video

piece which will bring back

to life the Roman Fortress

Bathhouse that once stood

a short distance from

Storyhouse. Now erased

from Chester, the baths

will be recreated through

historically accurate

3D renderings.

FREE

01

Literature

CHESTER

LITERATURE

FESTIVAL

12 – 19 November

Now in its new home at

Storyhouse, this year’s

festival features a weekend

of events curated by guest

director Hollie McNish, plus

a weekend of author talks,

poetry and performance.

26


Activities

Cinema Events

BREASTIVAL

Sunday 24 September /

10am – 4pm

A day packed full of short

talks, debates, discussion

and advice about

breastfeeding plus

a host of fun activities

for all the family.

FREE

KALEIDOSCOPE

FESTIVAL

Tuesday 26 September /

9am – 5pm

A one-day festival by, for

and with adults living with

a disability – a day filled with

performances and films

to watch, stuff to learn and

workshops to take part in!

FREE

PLAY READING

Wednesdays 27 September,

25 October, 29 November,

27 December / 6pm

A monthly play reading and

discussion group. Explore the

work of different playwrights,

share your ideas and read

excerpts aloud.

FREE

SPANISH FOR

OVER 50S

10 week course, starting

Wednesday 13 September /

10am

A relaxing class for people

who want to learn Spanish

but don’t want the formality

of the classroom or exams.

There will be lots of focus on

conversation and practical

language skills so expect

fun and new friends!

£5 per class

SCI-FI & FANTASY

BOOK GROUP

16 September, 21 October,

18 November, 16 December /

2pm

A monthly meet-up to discuss

the sci-fi and fantasy you

have been reading, and no

doubt digress into film, TV

and which pub to head to

afterwards!

FREE

LOVE LATER

LIFE FESTIVAL

Tuesday 3 October /

10am – 4pm

To celebrate Older

People’s Day Storyhouse

in partnership with Age

UK Cheshire are holding

a one-day festival for

people aged 60+.

The day will involve

free activities including

conversation café, free

hearing tests and dementia

awareness support, Thai Chi,

seated exercise and digital

support, plus a performance

of Haylo Theatre’s Over the

Garden Fence and a relaxed

screening of Casablanca.

Most events FREE

THAT DAMNED

CREATIVITY

18 October / 3pm – 4pm

Dr. Lee Martin is an Associate

Professor of Creativity and

Culture at the University

of Warwick. In this public

lecture, he will explore how

to use community creativity

more effectively for positive

change, offering guidance

on how to fundamentally

re-think our creative

processes.

FREE

FAMILY CINEMA

Saturdays, 11am

Each Saturday morning, we

bring the best family films

back to the big screen.

Highlights this season

include the iconic adaptation

of The Jungle Book, vintage

classic Chitty Chitty Bang

Bang, the magical Pete’s

Dragon and Monsters Inc -

just in time for Halloween!

MY FIRST MOVIE

First Tuesday of every month /

11am

Introduce your pre-schoolers

to the magic of cinema!

This seasons films include

Fireman Sam: Alien Alert! and

Thomas & Friends: Journey

Beyond Sodor.

PARENT & BABY

SCREENINGS

Every Wednesday / 11am

Cancel the babysitter and

enjoy the best new releases

on the big screen in the

company of other parents and

their babies. For parents with

babies under 12 months.

SILVER SCREENINGS

Every Tuesday before 5pm

Over 60’s enjoy 25% off all

cinema screenings before 5pm.

01

01

27


13

14


Cheshire

in the Fall

There’s nothing so lovely as an

Indian summer, all those bright

blue skies framed by leaves

turning gold and red. Make

the most of autumn with six

of our favourite woods, parks

and gardens.

02

IMAGE

01

Deer at one end,

pub at the other

Get lost in

the forest

Grappenhall Heys,

Cheshire / Tatton

Park, Cheshire

An astronomical

affair

Dunham Massey is never

less than a joy. Head along

its tree-lined avenues and

into the wilder corners of

a deer park whose herd

can be traced back to the

Elizabethan era. Dunham

is dominated in autumn by

the golds of towering beech

trees, but keep an eye out

for the twisted carcasses

of the fallen trees that litter

the parkland. They’re home

to 181 species of dead-wood

beetle, some so rare they

haven’t been seen since

Victorian times. Steer clear

of the deer (it’s the annual

rut), then walk to the

Swan with Two Nicks.

The 17th-century pub

comes complete with

real ales, roaring fires

and a restaurant.

Dunham Massey, Altrincham,

Cheshire, WA14 4SJ

Cheshire’s largest wood,

the 950-hectare Delamere

Forest is big enough to

get lost in. Go dragonfly

hunting at Blakemere Moss

and crane your necks up to

admire the sweet chestnut

trees, their copper leaves

and twisted trunks marking

them out as something

special in a forest that also

boasts bike hire, Go Ape

(for swinging in the

autumnal trees) and

a decent café.

Delamere Forest,

Northwich, CW8 2JD

The Lovell Quinta Arboretum was created by

a builder of giant telescopes - Sir Bernard Lovell

of Jodrell Bank fame. The garden today contains

2,500 trees and shrubs (with 800 species) and is

cared for by Tatton Garden Society. With hundreds

of rare trees, this is an autumnal hot ticket, with

golden Scots pines reflecting against the lake and

the garden lit up by the dramatic hues of beech,

oak, ash, rowan and field maple. Find it handily

close to gastropub, the Swettenham Arms.

Lovell Quinta Arboretum, Swettenham Lane,

Swettenham, Congleton CW12 2LF (follow

directions to Swettenham Lane if using satnav)

29


Tatton Estate

Pine needles

and pine cones

Another National Trust

classic, Lyme is 1,400 acres

of wild beauty, its moors

often shrouded in swirling

mist. But dive into

Lantern Woods for

a peaceful autumnal walk.

Here, sinuous paths thread

through the Scots pines,

the thick carpet of needles

underfoot cushioning each

step. The wood takes

its name from the

lantern-shaped folly

that sits on the hill; the

views open out over the

park and the Cheshire plain.

Lyme, Disley, Stockport,

Cheshire, SK12 2NX

Knutsford

Heath

Now, Knutsford Heath

is an interesting place,

and not just for its autumnal

glory. With woods of oak,

willow, rowan and silver

birch, and lowland grass

and heathlands besides,

it is also common land.

This means that it’s open

to everyone and part of

only 4% of England that’s

registered as such. “It’s

unique, 50 acres of open

space right in the middle of

a beautiful Cheshire town,”

says Henry Brooks of the

Tatton Estate, which owns

the heath (see box out).

Knutsford Heath, Knutsford,

Cheshire, WA16 0ND

01

Tatton Park is another well-known

autumnal beauty, the former seat

of the Egerton family that’s now

a mansion house, gardens and deer

park owned by the National Trust and

run by Cheshire East Council. But when

the last Lord Egerton bequeathed his

house to the Trust in 1958 it wasn’t the

end of the story. The rest of his estate -

several thousand acres of land around

Knutsford, Ashley and the village of

Rostherne – still needed an owner.

They looked for someone to keep

the rest of the estate intact, and

that person was my grandfather,

an entrepreneur from Levenshulme,”

says Henry Brooks, who heads up the

Tatton Estate. Today, the Brooks family

balances business with conservation

– and its latest venture, the Tatton

Collection, looks set to put the estate

firmly on the map. The Tatton

Collection includes Ashley Hall

Showground (the venue for the

mud-tastic Rough Runner, 21 & 22

October), the beautiful (and brand new)

Stock Farm Wedding and Events Barn,

and Tatton Stays, a group of luxury

farmhouses set in the Cheshire

countryside that can be hired out via

Airbnb. “By bringing new use to old

buildings, the Tatton Collection is

helping to conserve and enhance

some of Cheshire’s heritage assets,

”says Henry. “And in doing so, we’re

creating jobs and supporting the

local economy.”

Find out more: temproperty.com,

01565 654 107.

For Tatton Park: tattonpark.org.uk

02

IMAGES

01 Lyme /

02 Tatton Park

30


15


16


Event Guide

Autumn

2017

IMAGE

THE ENCHANTMENT

OF CHESTER ZOO

Sep / Dec

2017

33


Event

Guide

Sep / Dec

2017

ARK

7 July —15 October

Chester

A world-class contemporary

sculpture exhibition which

will be the largest modern

sculpture exhibition to be

held in the north west of

England, featuring 90,

three-dimensional works

by over 50 internationally

renowned sculptors including

Damien Hirst, Sir Antony

Gormley, Lynn Chadwick,

Barbara Hepworth,

Sarah Lucas, David Mach,

Kenneth Armitage and Peter

Randall-Page, amongst

others. Several sculptors

are showing brand new

works of art whilst some

pieces have emerged for

public view from private

collections. It is the first

time these pieces have

been seen together.

chestercathedral.com/

visit-us/ark/

CLASSIC IBIZA

01 September

Bolesworth Castle,

Tattenhall, Nr Chester

The Urban Soul Orchestra

conducted by Stephen

Hussey perform classic Ibiza

anthems under the stars,

with DJ Goldierocks and

vocalists Max Barnes-Davy,

Jina Burrows and Roo Savill.

This will be Cheshire’s

biggest dance party of the

Summer full of iconic Ibiza

anthems. A chill-out set in

the first half will be followed

by a half hour interval with

DJ Goldierocks playing the

latest Ibiza tunes. As dusk

falls, the lasers will hit the

Bolesworth skyline as the

Urban Soul Orchestra return

to bring some of the best

of the White Island’s dance

tunes to orchestral life.

It’s going to be a night

to remember!

classicibiza.co.uk

NANTWICH FOOD

AND DRINK FESTIVAL

1—3 September

Nantwich

The Nantwich Food and

Drink Festival takes place

over the first weekend in

September each year in

the historic market town of

Nantwich, Cheshire. It is one

of the few UK food festivals

based in a town centre and

makes the most of this lovely

Cheshire town, which is full

of independent shops, cafes,

restaurants, and bars.

During the festival, Nantwich

is transformed into a food

lovers’ paradise, with two

huge marquee food halls

filled to the brim with

delicious treats, wines,

beers, cheeses, pies,

preserves and more, as well

as a wide variety of street

food stalls. This year more

than 150 visiting traders

will attend.

nantwichfoodfestival.co.uk

THE BOLESWORTH

PROMS

2 September

Bolesworth Castle,

Tattenhall, Nr Chester

Paying tribute to Great

British Music. The National

Symphony Orchestra

conducted by Anthony

Inglis make their debut to

perform a feast of British

music from across the home

nations with Classical Brit

Award-winning Welsh male

vocal group Only Men Aloud,

Soprano Annette Wardell,

Pipes and Drums of the

Scots Guards Association

and a spectacular firework

display. The Great British

Prom will include the

traditional Proms favourites

and will celebrate some

of the most rousing music

from the Home Nations.

There will be a magnum

of champagne for the

best dressed British

iconic character.

greatbritishprom.co.uk

FROM TOP LEFT

ARK AT CHESTER

CATHEDRAL /

ARK AT CHESTER

CATHEDRAL /

THE BOLESWORTH

PROMS / CLASSIC

IBIZA AT BOLESWORTH

CASTLE

34


HERITAGE

OPEN DAYS

7—10 September

Heritage Open Days

celebrate England’s fantastic

architecture and culture

by offering free access to

properties that are usually

closed to the public or

normally charge for admission.

Properties of every age,

type and size in Chester and

the Cheshire West area are

opened, including churches,

schools, halls, historic sites

and historic buildings.

It is a once-a-year chance to

discover hidden architectural

treasures and enjoy a wide

range of tours, events and

activities which bring to life

local history and ability.

historyandheritage.

westcheshiremuseums.

co.uk

MBNA CHESTER

MARATHON

8 October

Chester City Centre

Participants will run past

all of Chester’s iconic

landmarks before heading

into the Cheshire and North

Wales countryside. The race

starts and finishes at

Chester Racecourse.

facebook.com/

chestermarathon

THE ARLEY HALL

ANTIQUES AND

FINE ART FAIR

8—10 September

Arley Hall & Gardens,

Northwich

A quality antiques and fine

art fair set out within the

state rooms of the main hall

and the Olympia Suite on

the Arley Hall Estate. Some

35 dealers will be selling

a wide range of items to

include town and country

furniture, silver, jewelry,

porcelain, clocks, antique

and contemporary paintings

and bronze sculpture and

many decorative items to

furnish any home with style

and elegance.

gallowayfairs.co.uk

AUTUMN

PLANT FAIR

1 October

Enjoy a day out browsing

the specialist plant

nurseries selling unusual

plants, shrubs, trees and

bulbs and gather great ideas

for your garden for the

following year.

arleyhallandgardens.com

THE ENCHANTMENT

OF CHESTER ZOO

21 – 31 October

You have until dusk to break

the spell…

An evil sorcerer has cast a

spell on Chester Zoo, trying

to steal away all of the super

powers of the nocturnal

animals. The only chance

to break the spell is for all

visitors to bring along their

good will and follow the wise

old owl. You’ll meet a host

of performers, musicians,

aerialists, acrobats and

animals along the way to

help you with the magic.

chesterzoo.org

DAYINSURE WALES

RALLY GB

26 – 29 October

Cholmondeley Castle,

Cheshire

Dayinsure Wales Rally GB

is the UK round of the FIA

World Rally Championship.

As well as three days of

spectacular rally action

in the forests, the event

also features a special

family-friendly RallyFest

at Cholmondeley Castle

on Saturday 28 October.

The fun-fuelled RallyFest

delivers a fantastic

programme of top class

entertainment for all ages –

and great value for money.

Tickets in advance:

Adult £23

Kids (15 and under) FREE

www.walesrallygb.com

CREWE

COSMOPOLITAN

FOOD FESTIVAL

29 October

Crewe, Town Hall

Crewe Cosmopolitan Food

Festival is brought to you

to celebrate the cultural

diversity in the modern

world with flavours from

across the globe. Live

music throughout the

day performed by the

Pantonic-all-Stars Steel

Orchestra and the

wonderfully unique and

versatile soloist, James Ball.

FREE entry

crewefoodfestival.co.uk

01

02

HALLOWEEN

GHOST TOURS

31 October

Chester City Centre

Join one of Chester’s

famous ghost tours on the

most haunted night of the

year. Your guide will take

you on a night time journey

around the eerie haunts of

Chester’s mysterious and

murky past, where you will

hear spine-chilling tales of

ghosts, ghouls and things

that go bump in the night!

If you can’t make a tour on

Halloween then join one

of the Ghost tours that run

throughout the year.

ghostcity.co.uk

IMAGE TOP

TO BOTTOM

01 GHOST TOURS /

02 MBNA CHESTER

MARATHON

35


FROM TOP LEFT

CHESTER CHIRSTMAS

MARKET / CHRISTMAS

LANTERN PARADE /

CHESTER CHIRSTMAS

MARKET

Our Ghost Tour Guides will

take you on a night-time

journey around the eerie

haunts of Chester’s

mysterious and murky

past, where you will hear

spine-chilling tales of

ghosts, ghouls and things

that go bump in the night!

Join us if you dare...

Every Saturday night* at

7.30pm (plus Thursdays

and Fridays at peak times

and with additional dates

during Halloween season).

*Days may change to

avoid busy race evenings.

Check website for

up-to-date information.

Booking essential.

ghostcity.co.uk

CHRISTMAS MARKET

16 November—20 December

Chester City Centre

Chester Christmas Market

is one of the many highlights

in the city’s festive calendar.

Taking place in the heart of

the city the market has over

70 wooden chalets selling a

variety of local and regional

produce.

christmasinchester.com

CHRISTMAS

AT ST MARY’S

December

A delightful array of

concerts, touring theatre,

cabaret and more; a perfect

and more intimate

complimentary offer to the

activity happening in places

such as Storyhouse and

Chester Cathedral. This

follows the success of

two similar seasons over

the past 2 years.

Facebook: St Mary’s

Creative Space

LIVERPOOL

INTERNATIONAL

HORSE SHOW

29 — 31 December

In addition to world-class

show jumping at the

Equestrian.com Liverpool

International Horse Show,

there is a packed

programme of truly

enthralling entertainment

and sporting spectaculars

over the New Year. From the

highly competitive Knockout

and Puissance, to watching

future stars of showjumping

compete in the Mini Major

and Olympic level riders

star in The Grand Prix,

Liverpool Horse Show is

an unmissable family day

out. This year celebrate

at the spectacular New

Year’s Eve party on

31 December 2017.

liverpoolhorseshow.com

WALKING TOURS

OF CHESTER

All tours start from the

Town Hall Visitor Information

Centre on Northgate Street

and take approx 90 minutes

See below for details...

chestertours.org.uk

THE CHESTER TOUR

Join a member of the Guild

of Chester Tour Guides for

a captivating walk around

the beautiful city of Chester,

unravelling over 2,000 years

of history and taking in all

the main sites along way,

including: the world-famous

and unique shopping

Rows, the iconic and

much-photographed

Eastgate Clock; the beautiful

Groves along the River

Dee; and the outside of the

imposing, historic Cathedral.

Daily at 10.30am.

Again at 2pm from Easter

to end October.

Tickets direct from the

Guide on the day: £7 adults,

£6 concessions, £16 family

CHESTER GHOST TOUR

Steeped in over 2,000 years

of history and with hundreds

of ghost sightings, Chester

can claim to be one of

the most haunted cities

in Britain.

SECRET CHESTER

CASTLE TOUR

Your Guide will have the

keys to unlock the secrets

of Chester Castle. Discover

the Sally Port and Mint in the

castle grounds and marvel

at the intriguing medieval

wall paintings in the Agricola

Tower. Then continue on

to the original cathedral,

now St John’s Church.

Includes steps.

2017 tours at 11.30am.

Tickets direct from the Guide

on the day: £7 adults, £6

concessions, £16 family.

Groups:

All tours can be booked

privately for groups at

any time by emailing

chesterwalkingtours@

gmail.com Please visit

chestertours.org.uk/

group-bookings for

more information.

36


17

HALF-TERM

RALLY ACTION

KIDS GO FREE at

ChOlmOnDElEy

CaStlE Fun Day!

SatuRDay

28th OCtObER

WalESRallyG b .COm


19 20

18


Investing

In Antiques

Mark Littler

returns, this time

with a buyer’s guide

to the Chester

Antiques Show –

his tips for what

to consider when

it comes to

investing in

collectibles.

Mark Littler is an

Independent Antiques

Consultant based in

Cheshire. For more

buying and selling guides,

visit marklittler.com

Let’s make one thing very clear. Antiques are not

investments. In fact, they are probably one of the

worst forms of investment out there – but that’s

not to say that you can’t buy antiques, appreciate

them and sell them later on down the line.

Typically, investments such as stocks and shares

are bought and their value monitored over time.

You might find yourself watching the market rise

and fall, and picking the most opportune moment

to sell. Often, there’s no reason for buying and

selling other than the potential to make money.

Compare that to antiques. With no antiques

indexes comparable to the FTSE, you can’t easily

monitor the market. On top of that, antiques are

often bought for personal reasons and, with no

official financial regulator for the industry, no one

to tell you if you’re paying a fair price or not.

So, if you’re heading to Chester Antiques Show

this autumn (12-15 Oct, Chester Racecourse),

what should you think about before you part

with your cash?

IMAGE FROM TOP

A 17TH CENTURY CARVED OAK

COURT CUPBOARD: W.R. HARVEY

ANTIQUES / A GEORGE III EMERALD

AND DIAMOND RING: THOMAS

GLOWER JEWELLERS

1

Quality

over

quantity

This is critical. It’s better to

buy one excellent example

of something rather than

ten average examples.

So, a 1ct diamond solitaire

ring is worth exponentially

more than a ring with ten

0.1ct diamonds. Both have

the same total carat weight,

but when you choose to

re-sell the 1ct solitaire will

be a lot more popular and

therefore more likely to

sell well.

Invaluable.com

39


2

Do your

research

3

Who are you

buying from?

If you were choosing shares to invest in, you

would likely do some research about the market

and the company you were interested in buying

into. If you’re looking to invest in an artwork, piece

of jewellery or an antique, it makes sense to do

likewise. There are now online databases that you

can search to see how the market has performed

for similar (not identical, as all antiques are

unique) items in the past, including Artnet,

the-salerooom.com and Invaluable.

Although there’s no official body,

keep an eye out for the two main

self-regulating bodies of the antiques

trade: LAPADA (London and

Provincial Art Dealers Association)

and BADA (British Antique Dealers

Association). Both have codes of

practice that members must abide by,

meaning that they’re more likely to be

reputable sellers. Fairs such as the

Chester Antiques Fair are a chance

to buy from such dealers, and you also

have the benefit of seeing specialists

from all around the country, whom you

might not ordinarily encounter.

4

Get a

guarantee

5

Buy

for love

IMAGE

AN OIL ON CANVAS

BY RICHARD FIRTH:

BARON FINE ART

Even if you’ve done your research,

you might still end up with a dud; a

1ct ‘diamond’, say, that actually turns

out to be a moissanite (a naturally

occurring silicon carbide very similar

in appearance). Cover yourself as best

you can – get a comprehensive receipt

that lists all of the important details.

If you were buying a piece of furniture

described as George III, for example,

make sure the receipt mentions its age.

And, if possible, ask for a note about

condition, too.

If you only follow one of

these five tips, follow this

one. Ask yourself whether

you’re buying something

because you genuinely love

it, and whether owning it

will enrich your life. If that’s

your main motivation it won’t

make any difference if it

rises or falls in monetary

value – it’ll be something

you cherish regardless.

40

Invaluable.com


21


22

23 24


BLOOD

SWEAT

&

BEER

The Chester Marathon takes place on

8 October, and whether you’re planning on

cheering on from the sidelines or are several

months into your training - it makes for

a fantastic day. Now, very few of us are on

a par with Mo Farah, so we’ve put together

the ultimate cheater’s guide to the race.

Featuring the best cafes for carbo-loading,

the best spots to spectate, the hottest tips

on avoiding a nasty case of runner’s nipple (!)

and, of course, the best pubs for that essential

celebratory post-run pint.

The Chester Marathon is fast

approaching, but fear not:

Lara Williams has the

ultimate cheater’s guide.

The Race

Beginning at Chester Racecourse

with a prompt 9am start.

With a mostly flat route, the

marathon takes runners past

some of Chester’s most iconic

landmarks, including the Roman

Walls, the Cathedral, Rows and

the Amphitheatre. There are drinks

stations every two to three miles

and the race covers only closed-off

roads, so you needn’t worry about

colliding with traffic. There will

be parking at the Racecourse and

a baggage store, too, for stowing

away anything you don’t need for

the race.

43


Pre-run

Prep

Any runner worth their

sweat knows a marathon

is not the sort of thing

you can show up to on

a whim - it takes plenty of

preparation. If you need to

stock up on energy gels or

natty new running threads,

visit the specialist running

store Up & Running

(Grosvenor Precinct).

If you’re after running

buddies to train with, the

marathon organisers are

hosting a series of training

runs - check out Facebook

for more information. And,

of course, there is no more

important preparation than

taking steps to avoid that

unpleasant chafing known

as “runner’s nipple” -

we recommend a slick

of vaseline or even

a trusty plaster.

Spectating

spectacularly

While there are plenty of places from which

you can cheer on those gnarly runners, the

best picturesque spots can be found in the

villages of Holt and Farndon. Holt contains the

ancient remains of a castle, a medieval stone

bridge and some Roman tile works. The Tollgate

Inn and The Old Ham Tree (both Holt) are

perfect for a spot of lunch once you’re done

exploring. Farndon, meanwhile, is a pretty

village perched on the banks of the River Dee

with riverside walks and historical sights such

as a former Victorian schoolhouse and the

14th-century St. Chad’s. Lewis’s of Farndon

is an ideal pick for a low-key lunch, while

The Farndon is good for something

a little more substantial.

Post-Run

celebrations

& recuperations

The race finishes where it began: at the

Racecourse. You’ll find a host of places to

eat and drink here - for a well earned pint,

we recommend The Architect (Nicholas St),

which brims with good vibes and great beers.

Want a celebratory meal? The elegant Joseph

Benjamin (Northgate St) offers up superb

modern British cuisine. Or there is The Old

Boot Inn (Eastgate Row) for decent pub grub.

And if you need a lie-down (and no one would

blame you if you did), ABode Chester

(Grosvenor Rd) and the Holiday Inn Express

Chester Racecourse are close enough

for you to be carried to your bed.

DON’T FORGET

ONE OF THE MOST

ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS

OF ANY RACE...CARBO-

LOADING! THESE ARE

THE HOTTEST SPOTS

TO STUFF YOUR FACE

IN CHESTER.

1LA FATTORIA

Lower Bridge St

Nothing beats pasta for

a pre-race carbo-load.

La Fattoria offers an

absolutely enormous menu

of tasty pasta dishes.

2

COAST TO COAST

AMERICAN

RESTAURANT & BAR

Pepper St

If your idea of a carbo-load

comes in the shape of a juicy

burger and fries - then this

place is for you

3

THE RING O’ BELLS

Village Rd

There’s nothing like homecooking

to settle your

stomach (and nerves). This

fab pub specialises in British

pub classics. Pre-marathon

pie and mash, anyone?

44


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ADVERT 25


26


Men in Tights

& Musicals

For a city that was without so

much as a cinema until earlier

this year, Chester has more

than made up for it in the

cultural stakes lately.

Susie Stubbs takes a look

at what’s coming up

this autumn.

IMAGE: BALLETBOYZ

47


What a difference a few months

makes. Since the opening of

Storyhouse in May, the city has

been awash with acclaimed theatre

(indoors and out), film seasons,

exhibitions and more. Some 170,000

people paid a visit to Storyhouse in

its first three months – 100,000 more

than anticipated - while its opening

appears to have had a knock-on

effect, with ARK at the Cathedral

(page 07) and the V&A-curated

Pop Art in Print at Chester’s former

library building (Northgate St, until

22 Oct) just two more reasons to pay

cultural homage.

Storyhouse, meanwhile, shows no

signs of slowing down. “We wanted

to create a diverse programme to

suit all tastes,” says the venue’s Paul

Lavin of an autumn/winter season so

packed we couldn’t possibly fit it all

in here. “There’s a really broad range

of dance this season, from new work

to the more traditional,” he says

when pressed to whittle it down a bit.

So let’s start with dance: alongside

performances of Swan Lake and

Giselle (16-18 Feb) are some more

unusual performances. First up is

Cockfight (7 Oct), which pits two

male colleagues against each

other - a physical game of

one-upmanship that involves

slow-mo fight scenes, balletic

movement and black humour.

“It’s a cross between The Office and

a cage fight,” says its UK producer,

Claire Soper. “It’s funny and it’s

physically dangerous and it has you

on the edge of your seat. The two

performers have known each other

for a decade, and so they can push

the boundaries of what’s possible

simply because they know each

other so well.” If you’re thinking

this is just for the boys, think again.

“Everyone has known someone

at work who wants to get the upper

hand,” says Claire. “So while there

is humour, there are deeper issues

that we can all relate to.”

There are more men in tights

with Fourteen Days (30 Oct).

A performance from the all-male

dance company BalletBoyz, it

features four new dance pieces

(which producers were given

just 14 days to create, hence the

name) and a staging of Fallen,

the award-winning performance

co-produced with Sadler’s Wells.

As with Cockfight, the emphasis

is on shaking things up a bit.

“We want to dispel the notions of

what dance is,” says Claire Soper.

These performances can be

about big issues or humour

or relationships or physicality.

They’re not just for theatre

or dance lovers.”

Taking a different tack is

Tangomotion (18 Oct). With

a West End hit under their belts,

the people behind Tangomotion

are the best in the business: four

dancers who move to the live

scores of the Tango Siempre

Quartet. Together, they bring the

raw energy of Argentinian tango

right into the (arguably far more

sedate) heart of Chester.

Ah, but it’s not all dance, dance,

dance. Other highlights include

Frantic Assembly’s Things I Know

to be True (“a genuinely incredible

piece of drama,” according to

Paul Lavin), the rip-roaring fun

of musical classics Footloose (5-9

Sep) and Blood Brothers (the latter

on its 30th anniversary tour, 9-14

Oct), and 19th-century opera, Tales

of Offenbach (22 & 23 Sep).

With more theatre, family shows

(such as the Secret Seven, page

06 & 11), live music and literature

events this season, there’s a

dizzying array of cultural goodness

to choose from. But is it too much?

“We’re lucky to have audiences who

are supportive of innovation,” says

Paul Lavin. “The Beggar’s Opera is

a classic play but when we staged

it, it was a brand new version. It’s

like the building: old with a new

adaptation. There was such fierce

support for the building that you

can feel it in the way our audiences

respond. They are behind what

we’re doing.”

It’s a cross between

The Office’ and

a cage fight.

IMAGES FROM TOP

COCKFIGHT / SWAN LAKE /

THE BEGGAR’S OPERA / TALES

OF OFFENBACH

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Maps

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Chester

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15

4

5

12

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7

1 Tatton Estate

2 Chester Zoo

3 Crewe Lyceum

4 Grosvenor

Shopping Centre

5 Brewery Tap

6 Fir Trees

Caravan Park

7 Belmond

8 Anderton Boat Lift

9 Ice Cream Farm

10 Reclaimed World

11 Penman Fairs

12 Bear & Billet

15 Chester Cathedral

16 Bridgewater Hall

17 GB Rally

19 Tatton Park

21 Jodrell Bank

22 Halle

23 Cheshire Wedding

Fayre

24 Bolesworth Estate

25 The Brindley

26 Christmas Market

27 ChesterBoat

28 Mill Hotel

29 Cheshire Oaks

Cheshire

16 22

25

19

1

29

8

2

21

10

6

9

24

23

3

7

17

Not featured on map:

13 Safe Chester

14 Experience Chester (Bid)

18 Slant

20 Mark Littler

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