It’s easy to get distracted by the tourist giants of Chester: the races and the walls, and miss all the good stuff in-between. So whether you’re here for a day, a week, or settling into our wonderful city for the long haul, here’s a handy guide to where your legs should be taking you….
What to do on your first day…
Start with an iced latte from The Jaunty Goat if the temperature’s on your side, or their thick hot chocolate if it’s not. Arm yourself with leaflets and a map at the Chester Information Centre. Explore on foot and walk the walls, taking it all in from up high. Check out the info here.
Grab lunch from Mad Hatters (who do a few healthy options if you’re being good), or Marmalade to take advantage of their superb sandwich and soup offer. Then head downhill to the river and queue up for an ice cream (the mint chocolate chip and coconut come highly recommended). Follow the water down to Grosvenor Park and say hello to the swarm of friendly squirrels who own it.
Decorate your new place with a plant from The Violet Palm; they’ll advise you on how to keep it alive for the long haul. Don’t forget to pick up stilton and walnut pate and a box or two of oatcakes from The Cheese Shop on your way home. Collect a Thai takeaway from 9 Elephants. Eat and fall into a smug sleep.
In your first week…
Admire the Cathedral – there’s usually a free exhibition inside and see if you can get into the garden to throw a penny into the mermaid fountain. Check out what’s on at Telford’s Warehouse and sign up (salsa dancing class anyone?).
Bar crawl your way to The Commonhall St Social (don’t forget to stop for a glass of wine (or bottle) at Covino. Treat yourself to a hangover brunch at Hanky Panky. Investigate The Rows; there’s a whole other world of shops at the top of those stairs, including the delectable lifestyle boutique Nichols & Co.
Wander further afield checking out places like Hoole – don’t miss grabbing a bite at The Little Yellow Pig and a cold brew from Short + Stout, and Handbridge – a visit to Meltdown for a deluxe toastie is a must, or grab a refreshing juice from ExSqueezeMe.
In your first month….
Look up and book up. Check out Storyhouse for cinema, theatre and general arty happenings and get your hands on some advance tickets. Consider The Chef’s Table and The Sticky Walnut for those special occasion dinners. It’s a tourist hot spot, but get yourself to Chester Zoo (it really is top notch- especially if you can avoid the crowds on a week day). Get lost in the Grosvenor Garden Centre, it’s a short drive out of town and it has everything remotely outdoorsy over 14 acres. Do yourself a favour and don’t leave without their cherry scones and clotted cream. Stock up your cellar for your housewarming event at Corks Out, Whitmore & White or Chester Beer and Wine. All do wonderful tasting evenings if you like a tipple. When you’re in need of a retreat, take advantage of the £99 day pass (inc lunch and three treatments) at The Doubletree by Hilton Hotel and Spa.
For the long haul…
A great lunch pitstop to brighten up your working week is Gustum; it’s relatively new to Chester and a leafy little cafe where the special changes daily. Ask for a rainbow latte. For bespoke and reclaimed solid wood furniture hot foot it down to Langhorns – the team there really know what they’re doing and the sale pieces are a steal. Decorate that new coffee table with some beautiful touches from Scandinavian Living. Follow Delamere Events on Facebook to keep up-to-date on fun in the forest. And last but not least, discover the best of Chester by checking out our event’s calendar.