This post contains references to companies I have worked with previously. I am a Queensgate #Qblogger and was compensated for covering the Summer In The City event on my social media. I was under no obligation to blog about it.
I was rather put out earlier this year when my lovely home city Peterborough was voted The Worst Place To Live in England. Whilst the survey was tongue in cheek, I still feel the need to defend poor Peterborough.
We may not be the biggest or the fanciest city. We don’t have the music scene of somewhere like Leeds or Manchester. Admittedly, I still cringe at the 2011 series of Cop Squad that laid bare an average Saturday night in the city centre. HOWEVER there’s lots to love too.
Here are just a few of the reasons why I love Peterborough and you should
not vote it worst place to live you naughty people too!
If you haven’t been to Queensgate Shopping Centre for a few years, you might be surprised. The inside is now modern, bright and fresh. Long established stores like H&M and Boots have been given makeovers and or moved to bigger premises.
We also have a multi floor Primark which always feels a lot calmer than those in other cities that I’ve visited. (And don’t scoff that I mention Primark as a selling point – their fleecy pajamas and bargain undies and tights cannot be rivalled – okay?!)
Big names like Pandora, MAC, Joules and Swarovski have moved in and there’s more to come. Work has finally begun on the much anticipated first phase of a £60 million pound extension. This will build a 10 screen Empire Cinema with IMAX screens and luxury seating. We already have a great Showcase Cinema De Lux on the Eastern side of the city, but the centre of town has been crying out for it’s own.
Queensgate regularly hold special events too. Last month they celebrated Summer in the City with a fashion and beauty focused extravaganza.
Ferne McCann opened the event, sharing her favourite picks for Summer. During the day visiting shoppers were offered fashion styling sessions and makeup consultations with industry experts.
I’ve been to several of these events now. Each one is a little bit different, but I always have fun and leave smiling. Best of all, they’re completely free.
Last year Peterborough Cathedral celebrated it’s 900th anniversary with a series of special events. My mum and I paid a visit to see Tim Peake’s Spacecraft exhibition.
We loved seeing an actual spacecraft and astronaut suit up close, but the beauty of the cathedral itself was also something to behold. The grounds of a cathedral are great for a wander in Summer.
Another exhibition I’m really excited for this year is artist Luke Jerram’s ‘Gaia’, a huge 3D installation of Planet Earth which will hang in the cathedral from August 19th to 15th September. I missed last year’s Museum of the Moon from the same artist so I can’t wait.
No culture in Peterborough? Pfft! Its’ unique culture is one of the reasons I love Peterborough!
Peterborough has embraced the vegan scene in a really positive way. During its pop up residency at the Key Theatre, Resist! Vegan Kitchen was the No.1 rated Peterborough restaurant on Tripadvisor.
I’ve sung the praises of entirely plant based restaurant When Polly Met Fergie on here several times and the menu keeps getting better. They’ve added healthier options to sit alongside the scrumptious comfort foods, including this tasty asian stir fry with chilli, broccoli, pak choi and brown rice that I wolfed down on my last visit.
Another reason why I love Peterborough is that lots of the restaurants have introduced vegan food options.
Peterborough plays host to vegan pop ups too.
I visited the most recent vegan market on Cathedral Square. As well as lots of tempting food stalls there were vegan beauty products, accessories and health products on offer.
I enjoyed chatting with the stallholders and bought a bamboo, fully recyclable toothbrush from the Zero Waste Club. I’ve wanted one for ages and this gave me the push I needed to finally make the change.
Back in Queensgate, The Body Shop now stock various clearly labelled vegan beauty products including full makeup palettes and mascara. Superdrug’s own brand has lots of beauty and skincare products that are vegan and cruelty free and it’s all clearly labelled.
Yeah okay, some parts are a concrete jungle. But then there are some beautifully green spots like Ferry Meadows Country Park, Railworld Wildlife Haven and Nene Valley Railway.
So that’s why I love Peterborough and you should give it a chance too!