In Praise of Stratford-upon-Avon

Now here’s something you don’t see very often. Me…writing an article in Praise of Stratford upon Avon.

Usually, when I’m in FCM (Full Curmudgeon Mode) I complain about anything and everything that takes place, exists etc in this place that I reluctantly moved to in 1970. If it’s not the (justifiably so) traffic, it’s the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and its reluctance to engage properly with the townspeople, if it’s not the number of Estate Agents in town, it’s the over-abundance of Tea Rooms, so on and so on…etc…etc.  At the end of these tirades I usually finish with a flourish by naming Shakespeare upon Avon as ‘the Town that doesn’t know what it is’. Well, today, is different.

This morning I am feeling a changed man (I hope he doesn’t mind. Joke). Today I want to write about Stratford upon Avon, the Town that is trying its best.

And why, I hear you ask?

Why has this hardened Curmudgeon turned? Why has this dyed-in-the-wool miserable bar-steward changed his much-sung tune? What has turned the real-life Dementor and lunatic into a charming yet sword-wielding Crusader and Champion for all that is good in S-u-A?

I shall reveal all.

in praise of stratford upon avon bell courtLast night I went out. Me and a small amount of visiting family went out for a meal. But this time was different. Not for us our usual haunts (not that there is anything wrong with our usual haunts. Sometimes even a die-hard Curmudgeon requires change). This time, the memsahib suggested we go to the newly (many times) refurbished Bell Court.

[Bell Court: A small shopping centre in the middle of Stratford-upon-Avon that has had the ‘retail defibrillator’ applied to its failing heart more times than I’d like to count].

It was a joy.

Not only did we experience the wonderful ‘Steakhouse’ restaurant (wonderful meal, fantastic staff. I gave a tip and I never tip), I actually for one fleeting moment, thought we were on holiday.

The whole thing, the meal, Bell Court itself, even the lights in the pavement (sidewalk) felt like being in Europe. It was a European experience. Clean, fresh and…different. Of course, the mild evening weather helped but this was as far as I was concerned a first for Stratford. Something, warm welcoming. For me a  ‘what the F…’ moment.

So. My fingers are crossed…

…that the UK winters do not take their toll. I hope the good people of Stratford-upon-Avon will use this brilliant facility and keep the footfall up.

My fingers are crossed…

…that the visitors keep on coming. Not just the tourists but the Brummies, the Coventarians (?)…and people like my daughter from Blackpool who enjoyed the experience.

My fingers are crossed…

That the Royal Shakespeare Audience (before and after show) learn about Bell Court and its intimate and classy restaurants and bars.

My fingers are crossed…

That the terrible monster that is Brexit doesn’t somehow diminish the ‘European feel’ of the place. That we are not returned to a grey, broken ‘fish n’ chip’ view of the UK 1950’s. 

in praise of stratford upon avon bell courtWell done Stratford-upon-Avon.

Anyway, that’s enough gushing.

If you are coming to Stratford-upon-Avon…Don’t miss out on Bell Court.

You like me, will be pleasantly surprised. I promise.

This entry was posted in confession time, curmudgeon, EU, Family, good advice, oh what fun we had, Personal. Bookmark the permalink.

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