Watford town centre, and other retail areas across the town, are gearing up to welcome people back as non-essential shops reopen on Monday (15 June), with a range of measures in place to make sure they can shop safely and with confidence.
Over the last few weeks, Watford Borough Council has been working with Hertfordshire County Council, Watford BID and intu Watford to provide more space for people to move safely around the town centre. This will ensure people keep their distance and queue where needed to enter shops, banks and takeaways.
Shops and businesses have all been offered tailored support from the council’s Environmental Health team to make sure they are doing what is needed to keep their staff and customers safe. People should look out for the Watford ‘confidence mark’ which shows a business has taken steps to follow guidance and are prioritising people’s safety.
Watford BID has provided five hand sanitising units throughout the town centre and introduced a ‘one way’ system through the High Street – just follow the pink and green stickers on the pavement. Stewards are also on hand to manage queues and providing advice and support to visitors – they will be keeping a particular eye out for any visitors who might need a bit of extra help.
Many stores in intu will be opening their doors for the first time since March. The centre has introduced its own safety measures, including managing the number of visitors inside the centre and putting controls in place at the entrance and exit points at Queens Road.
Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor said “We are looking forward to welcoming people back to the High Street and other shopping areas across the town. Whilst they may look and feel a bit different, we are all looking forward to a return of some sort of normality, bringing vibrancy back to the town and boosting our local economy. Our businesses have done an amazing job to make sure they can open safely and so I would encourage people to support them if they can. It is important we all keep a safe distance from others, washing or sanitise our hands regularly and walk or cycle if that is possible”.
Maria Manion, Chief Executive of Watford BID said “Watford has such a vibrant and thriving town centre, with the renovated High Street, intu extension and brilliant businesses operating in the High Street all making it a great place to shop and eat. Watford is also one of the top 20 shopping destinations in the UK, and to help keep it that way, we are encouraging people to support our local businesses after the challenging few months they have been through.
With more retailers opening from the 15 June, what we would say to people is actually allow more time because this is not going to be your normal shopping experience that you’re used to and be prepared to spend more time in the town centre”
Love Brownies opens new cafe and shop in St Albans
Love Brownies, a Yorkshire Dales-inspired chocolate brownie company, is to open a beautiful café and brownie shop in the heart of St Albans,creating a number of jobs and adding a premium brand to St Albans’ bustling high street.
Established in 2009, Love Brownies is known for its decadent brownies and delicious seasonal menus. Originating in the Yorkshire Dales, the brand has a growing network of brownie shops and cafés, with St Albans being the fifteenth to open in the UK. So what makes Love Brownies so outrageously delicious? It’s no secret: they bake each one individually, by hand, using the best ingredients possible.
The Love Brownies Range
The new Love Brownies shop in St Albans will offer a mouth watering menu of indulgent handmade chocolate brownies in a variety of tempting flavours, magnificent brownie milkshakes (with vegan alternatives), a range of premium, freshly-brewed coffees and the bold flavours of Northern Bloc ice cream.
Love Brownies’ Head Baker and Owner, Chantal Teal said: “The St Albans shop will be our first to open in Hertfordshire and we’re so excited to bring our award-winning brownies and delicious Dales-inspired menu to a brand new audience.
Inside Love Brownies St Albans
The inside of a Love Brownies is a unique blend of a cafe and shop. St Albans residents can pop in to the cafe for a drink and one of their fabulous brownies. Love Brownies merchandise and products can also be purchased in store. These include Love Brownies tea towels, Love Brownies mugs and Love Brownies aprons.
For those on the go, a delicious ‘Dales Kitchen’ breakfast and lunch menu with pastries and jam-packed sandwiches will also be available for St Albans residents.
Love Brownies’ Head Baker and Owner, Chantal Teal also said “The shop is in a fantastic location and we’re anticipating a busy summer! We’re so pleased to be bringing business into the area during a time that has been so difficult for so many and can’t wait to be a part of the St Albans community.”
Where to find Love Brownies in St Albans?
The new Love Brownies café will be located at Number 1, Market Place and will open to the public at 8am on Wednesday 21 July. For more information about Love Brownies or to see a sample menu visit www.lovebrownies.co.uk or follow @lovebrowniesbakery on Facebook and Instagram.
Bedford to get Euros final to make Italians feel more at home
After overcoming Denmark to reach the European final, England and their fans excitement to play Italy in the English home of football may have been dashed. UEFA have decided to move home advantage from England to Italy by demanding the Euros 2020 final takes places at Meadow Lane, Bedford instead of Wembley. Bedford is unofficially referred to a Britain’s ‘little Italy’ thanks to it large Italian population.
Why switch from Wembley to Bedford?
One of the talking points of England’s win over Denmark was the clear advantage England had over the Danes. With over 58,034 of the supporters at the game being England fans compared to the Danes 1,966, UEFA have decided that they want to remove home advantage away from England. According to UEFA’s Fair Play officials Stan Dupp and Fumagalli Enzo, switching the Euro 2020 finals from Wembley to Bedford means Italy can also benefit from playing on home soil at the same time as England.
Can Meadow Lane host 60,000 plus fans?
Absolutely not. But that is not a problem as Bedford High street will be pedestrianised and large screens will be erected all the way down to the embankment.
Ahead of the clash, England fans heading to Bedford have been advised to brush up on their Italian so we have created a ‘Nine step guide to speaking Italian’ below. These are probably the only nine words you will need to know for the game.
Nine steps to speaking Italian
Wendover welcomes Bel & The Dragon at The Red Lion opening
Today marks the opening of Bel & The Dragon at The Red Lion in the historic market town of Wendover. Located in Buckinghamshire, it becomes the seventh site in the popular Bel & The Dragon group.
Located in the centre of Wendover, in the foothills of the Chilterns, the new country inn will emulate Bel & The Dragon’s distinctly cosy and classic manner and will be managed by Matt Coupland, an experienced General Manager.
Inside Bel & The Dragon at The Red Lion Wendover
With 23 beautiful en suite bedrooms and an extensive selection of fine wine and British food, Bel & The Dragon at The Red Lion will be a sought-after destination for weekday and weekend breaks. Bel & The Dragon at The Red Lion is a historic grade II-listed coaching inn with stunning features dating back to 1669 and possibly earlier, with much of the original building still standing.
Bel & The Dragon at The Red Lion has been sensitively restored this year, with the aim of providing a premium, contemporary English inn, with sophisticated charm and historic character and also offers alfresco dining with 160 covers in a beautifully created covered and heated patio area.
Dining at Bel & The Dragon Wendover
With an emphasis on provenance and quality, our team of talented chefs have created a menu full of modern adaptations of simple classics. Think Devonshire mussels in a cider and bacon broth to start, followed by sustainable Cornish fish and crayfish pie or salt-baked saddle of lamb with seasonal vegetables to share, as well as a range of daily specials.
The pudding menu will be full of theatre, including the Bel & The Dragon classic of a flaming Baked Alaska, served with salted caramel ice cream, providing a perfect end to any meal.
As with all Bel & The Dragon sites, Bel & The Dragon at The Red Lion will offer an outstanding selection of wines at competitive prices. In addition, the comprehensive From the Cellar list includes some of the greatest vintages of the world’s most sought-after wines, and the use of the Coravin system allows guest to sample rare wines by the glass.
Word from the General Manager
Matt Coupland, who is originally from Lincoln, moved down to join Fuller’s eight years ago at The Paper Mill at Apsley Lock near Hemel Hempstead. After completing the Fuller’s Management Training Programme, and having acted as a holding manager at The Paper Mill, he moved to The Six Bells at Thame for his first general manager appointment. He subsequently moved to The Red Lion in Wendover and has played a key role in its transformation to a Bel & The Dragon.
Matt said: “This is a dream come true for me – it’s a fantastic site, in a great area, and Bel & The Dragon is an outstanding brand. I can’t wait to bring our fantastic menu and excellent wine list to the great and good of Wendover, and our stunning bedrooms to those who want to come and visit.
“I’m really looking forward to welcoming back locals and visitors alike and to working with the local neighbourhood to ensure Bel & The Dragon at The Red Lion takes a place at the very heart of the community.”
Directions to Bel & The Dragon at The Red Lion Wendover
Located in the centre of Wendover, in the foothills of the Chilterns, Bel & The Dragon at The Red Lion is an easy commute from within Beds, Bucks & Herts.
Bel & The Dragon at The Red Lion address
9 High St, Wendover, Aylesbury HP22 6DU