Most of the shops I regularly use can be found in what I call my very own 'Beeston Quarter':
The map shows the small shops, not the chains, that I use with a couple of exceptions insomuch as Birds and Wilkco's have local roots of sorts. What prompted this map is this little shop:
It stands on Wollaton Road where the pavement is at its narrowest. To view the shop's whole frontage you need to stand on the other side of Wollaton Road. I took this pic from the pavement outside the shop. What makes it special is the fact that it sells Trebor Very Strong Spearmint Mints and, and sugar-free biscuits (the two ands is deliberate) at prices which demonstrate why no supermarket chain or their companions deserves any loyalty from shoppers. News & Essentials on Wollaton Road sells sugar free digestives, chocolate wafers, chocolate chip cookies for c.£1 a packet.
In the next week or so they hope to add sugar-free chocolate to the range they sell. News & Essentials sell other biscuits as well, all at below supermarket prices as far as I can see. They deserve to succeed — hence this commercial by me! The service is friendly and a great example of why I try to use local independent shops as and when I can.
Out of this World at the junction of Cross and Villa streets is Beeston's only organic food shop insomuch as that is all it sells, be it fruit, vegetables, breakfast cereals, cakes, flours, nuts, tinned foodstuffs, cosmetics, you name it. I buy things like nuts, honey, shampoo, body wash etc most weeks. If I had the money I would buy more there but there are areas where it is competitive with the supermarkets and there are offers all the time, so it's worth looking once a week at least.
Hallam's the fishmonger and greengrocer. Well, what can one say? Good quality at reasonable prices, certainly better than any of the supermarkets. I visit several times a week.
One of my better photographs which includes the top pic of the salmon's head and, most notably, its eye. The fish counter is a always a work of art, a sight to behold. This week dogfish, one of my favourites, along with cod's hard roe. I bought them both!
Birds make the best pork pies. I like the small 'cocktail' pies, all of 68p best. Three small bites and its gone, but every one close to divine. Their custard tarts are good too and Susan loves their cream buns, which I always think of as Devon Splits. Their boiled ham is like no other cooked meat and we both like tongue, and Birds is usually my first port of call for this homemade sandwich or roll treat.
Rosie Lea's Tearoom is a place we do not visit often enough, but when we fancy a bacon roll this is where we go. I usually have the version which includes an egg and, of course, brown sauce. The pot of tea for two is generous and of your choosing. We usually have Earl Grey. Hidden away it may be, but well worth searching out. I would describe it as Beeston's most unlikely location for a café.
Next time I will take a pic. I've just realised that I've been too busy enjoying a Rosie Lea's bacon and egg cob to take a pic. I can feel a visit coming on. I might see you there. They do good poached eggs too!
The Country Market in Wollaton Road Methodist Church every Friday morning (7.30–11.30am) is worth getting up for and when I don't have time to make a cake and I have visitors coming, there is no better place to go. Supermarket cake is always overly sweet, so I never buy it. The worst shopping smell I know is the nauseous smell of the open cookie counters in shopping malls. The Country Market is a whole different experience. There is a small café open at the same time. For the perfect treat it is even better then Birds.
In The Square there is a regular 'Monday Market' of sorts selling food and other items too. Craft fairs as well. It's really a case of turn up and see, especially on Saturdays. I have bought a couple of hats and the occasional bunch of ripe bananas.
I could go on, but the whole point of this post is to encourage you to explore; to create your map of the Beeston town centre you like even if it never leaves your head except when having chance conversations.
Beeston Town Centre is so accessible on foot, by public transport and car parking is cheap, that is should be a Mecca for shoppers wanting to escape Nottingham City Centre and enjoy somewhere more intimate. The High Road has such potential that you wonder Broxtowe Borough Council fails to use its imagination? The truth is it is a victim of traps it makes for itself!