Have you recently relocated to our fair City? This advice has a definite Chester twang to it, but should be able to aid terrified movers UK wide. Practical tips on knowing your bins, tactics for friendship seekers and top notch shops for prettying up your place, the Amble team have pooled it all…
See what’s on offer on Meet-up Group
It doesn’t cost you anything to have a look around and see what groups exist in your City. Some groups cost nothing to join and be part of, others charge a small fee to cover costs, and can be quite upfront and selective over the type of members they accept (a few are age or gender restricted). And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, it’s easy to set up your own. Chester has a lot of groups geared at recent movers and friendship seekers – New Friends, Young Professionals and Letsgoand, to name but a few. There are niche groups too, like – CodeUp, Pottery, Dog Playgroup, Painting, Reiki, Improv, and Ceroc (again, the list is endless).
Do you have a local GFN (Good for Nothing)
GFN describes itself as, ‘A simple idea: bring creative energy, ideas and skills to those already innovating on social issues but doing so with very limited resources. The transaction is a gift. It’s civic participation which is open, creative, generous, fun, social, local, and generative.’ There are events, socials and activities around collaboration and supporting the creative community. Intrigued? Read all about it here. You can find out more about the Chester Chapter here.
Doctor and Dentist sign up
It’s one of those annoying tasks that you keep putting off. (and if you’re like me, with a lot of house and city moves in your past – it’s always on your list to sort out). But the (further annoying) truth of it is, Dentists book up fast, so you’re best off getting your 6 monthly check up for your gnashers in pronto. Check out your closest NHS practice here
And since you never know when you’re going to catch that cough-maybe flu-sneeze-maybe not, thing again, check out your closest GP practice too, here.
Identify your Local and what they offer
Yes, I’m talking about the good ol’ English pub (although your closest might like to think of itself as a boutique drinking establishment). Sample a range of beverages, sign up to the next pub quiz, familiarise yourself with the pool table, see what events they have on. We all need a place to wander too after a rough day, that we can then crawl back from.
Check out our events calendar
Shameless plug! We try to stay on top of the best and brightest events in Chester – and we’re particularly fond of the ones currently flying under the radar. There are paint parties, gin tastings and art markets galore, whether you’re flying solo, hunting for mates (sounds quite sinister, really), or looking for something a bit different. Check them out here.
Make a note of the big events
It’s worth a bit of research to find out when those brilliant, energetic people will be running through the streets, when something fabulous like Pride is going to be in full swing, or a bizarre event is coming to a place near you (I’m primarily talking about Pokemon Go here). If something is drawing in the crowds, it’s good to be aware. For one you may want to jump in. If not, there could be road closures, crazy traffic, competition at your favourite bistro for lunch. For Chester the big reason for overspill is The Races. Find the upcoming race dates here.
Join Nextdoor and lean on your neighbours
No heating? Leaky pipe? When I first moved here I realised I knew hardly anyone who could recommend a reliable and fairly priced…anything. My network for all things catastrophe and otherwise, became Nextdoor (I really don’t mean my direct neighbours – although they do occasionally take a parcel for me). Nextdoor, describes itself as, ‘the private social network for your neighbourhood’. You join a forum of people who live close by, who are ready and waiting for all your community needs. From lost cats and local petitions, to car shares, freebies and crime alerts, it’s a great little resource.
Master the bins by contacting your council
We have many, many bins in Chester, and a strict rota of what goes out when to boot. If you get it wrong, be prepared to face angry stickers. Educate yourself. The council are pretty good at shoving helpful posters through your letterbox on a regular basis, but the link will give you guidance too. You can order more bins, report a missed waste or recycling collection, get help putting your bins out, and request the pick-up of bulky items. You can also register to vote if your day’s not been exciting enough already.
Here’s a great tip for you
Whether you’re having a clear out, renovating, or secretly throwing away someone’s stuff as punishment, it’s good to know where your closest tip or recycling centre is. You can also find out what they’ll take from you and opening hours. The Chester one of Bumper’s Lane is a real favourite of mine as it’s surrounded by retail parks. Out with the old, in with the new and all that.
Furnish with flourish
So you’ve moved in. You’re sleeping on a blow-up and sitting on the floor. Everyone’s asking when the housewarming is but you’re preoccupied with locating your one plate so you can stop eating directly from the pan. Sure, you can hit up the retail giants – Chester is particularly good for homeware shops around Sealand Road. Or you can wander into the City on foot and check out a few of these gems:
Arbol, Wild and Langhorns – are all celebrated in my Cream of the Crop feature. Arbol is a little wonder emporium on Northgate Street, with some beautiful retro and industrial furniture, and lots of inspired touches, think copper lamps, abstract vases, marble coasters and insulting greetings cards (what’s not to love?) Wild is a delight to walk around, with plenty of fresh flowers and potted plants. They also sell a range of accompaniments: candles, incense and creative containers. And Langhorns are responsible for most of my new wood furniture. Their turnaround is typically 12 weeks, longer for bespoke pieces, but it’s always worth the wait. The things they can do with reclaimed wood…
Palace Darling is a great shout if you find yourself in Handbridge and in need of pretty furniture pronto. Their speciality is painted, upcycled pieces, using Annie Sloan chalk paint. You can also lean on them for your upholstery needs, or give it a go yourself at one of their workshops.
Nichols & Co is up on the rows on Bridge Street. Check out their scented candles to ensure you can unwind after dragging all the bags home. They also stock unique vintage furniture and homeware so it’s worth popping in now and then to see what’s landed.