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”
The Hub Milton Keynes hosts our May #lunchNbloggers event
The TrendLife Magazine team are excited to announce that #lunchNbloggers is back. We have been working hard to plan something special for our first post-lockdown event so we are happy to say we have chosen The Hub Milton Keynes.
This #lunchNbloggers will be the first event that features five dining experiences as we discover all what The Hub has to offer. Located in the heart of Milton Keynes between Midsummer Boulevard and Avebury Boulevard, The Hub is home to a wide range of popular restaurants, bars and hotels.
What to expect when #lunchNbloggers arrives at The Hub Milton Keynes
As part of The Hub #lunchNbloggers experience, we will sampling and experiencing some of the most popular dining destinations in Milton Keynes
- Bogata – We will be starting with a Meet & Great at Milton Keynes’ first speciality coffee shop
- Las Iguanas – Join us as we sample a slice of the Latin life which is on offer at The Hub
- Turtle Bay – A bottomless brunch of Caribbean inspired dishes at Turtle Bay is next on the menu
- Banana Tree – At the fabulous Banana Tree, we will be experiencing Japanese style private dining
- Blossom Room – Sticking with the Japanese theme, we will be ending the night in style at the fabulous Blossom Room. Make sure you charge your phone for those instagram stories.
As with all our #lunchNbloggers events, the masterclass is always something special and we have arranged a Yoga masterclass with a twist at Sweat Studios. Chill out, stretch out or work out – it is your choice. As with all our masterclasses, everything you need will be provided.
About The Hub Milton Keynes
The Hub is a vibrant restaurant, cafe, hotel and lifestyle quarter in the very heart of Milton Keynes.
Register for #lunchNbloggers
#lunchNbloggers has always been and will remain FREE to attend. We occasionally ask for a small deposit to ensure those who are selected attend notify us in advance so we can offer this exclusive opportunity to another member of the #lunchNbloggers team. To register for this event, please complete the form below and remember to follow us on instagram for updates.
Thursday 27th May 2021
From Midday until late.
1pm – Meet & greet / introductions
2pm – Private yoga session at Sweat Studios
3pm onwards – Restaurant sampling
If you wish to attend but cannot take part in the Yoga masterclass, please let us know when you register. Venues may change subject to availability.
Residents have voted on what is missing in Hitchin Town Centre
Just two years ago, Hitchin Town Centre had been named as a finalist in the Great British High Street Awards 2019. Despite losing out on the crown, Hitchin Town Centre has remained one of the more popular destinations in Hertfordshire. As times and demands change, town centres and high streets across Hertfordshire also need to change to meet the demands of residents and visitors coming from out of town.
As residents return to the cobbled streets around the town centre, we asked the question… ‘what is missing from Hitchin Town Centre?’ In total, we had over 200 individual responses with 40 different suggestions.
Here are the top ten things missing from Hitchin Town Centre.
From 10 to 1, below is a list of the top things voted for by Hitchin residents. Some notable responses that did not make the top ten include a Vietnamese restaurant, a gin bar, toy shop, escape room and art gallery.
10. McDonalds/KFC 2%
Would local residents really stomach a McDonalds in Hitchin Town Centre? Would Colonel Sanders be welcomed with open arms? These two fast food giants may bring the Big Mac, finger licking’ chicken and employment but what about the litter and UberEats riders? There are a number of issues that come hand in hand with today’s fast food giants.
9. Record store 3%
Owning music in a psychical format had been on a steady decline since 2010. However, nearly 5 million LPs were purchased in the UK last year alone. Most of these have been online but is there an opportunity for a savvy Hitchin entrepreneur to create a nostalgic record store experience?
8. Live outdoor entertainment 3%
Who doesn’t like getting out and experiencing live outdoor entertainment? Well, in most cases, councils don’t and they tend to be the decision makers on events in public spaces. Post-covid would be ideal for live outdoor entertainment to return to Hitchin Town Centre. The market place offers the space and Hitchin does have plenty of local talent.
7. Vegan restaurant 3%
With plant-based food businesses, festivals, and pop-ups booming, it’s clear that veganism is become a global phenomenon. Because of this changing trend, some larger towns and cities can boast of vegan only restaurants. A Hitchin vegan restaurant could become a reality soon as the demand is clearly there.
6. Independent book store 5%
Picking up 5% of votes, an independent Hitchin book store would probably struggle given that Waterstones is positioned in such a good place but Waterstones itself is currently in a battle online giant Amazon. Independent book stores tend to be more quirky and with the right ‘keeper of books’ behind the till, the experience of buying a book in person is a lot more rewarding than hear the thud of delivery hitting the passage floor.
For the remaining things missing in Hitchin, watch our video below and don’t forget to subscribe.
St Albans favourites deny rumours of new High Street in the sky
Late on Tuesday night, three high profile businesses in St Albans were forced to release statements denying involvement in the launch of a Super High Street above St Albans.
Three of the so called St Albans ‘Big Six’ – Chloe James Lifestyle, Must Wine Bar and Mad Squirrel – have all put out statements denying rumours they plan to create a new St Albans High. The remaining three are expected to make statements in the next 24 hours.
The announcement of a new St Albans High Street has caused enormous uproar across Hertfordshire and beyond, with near universal disbelief from shoppers, local residents and politicians – including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Unconfirmed plans suggest a monorail system will be constructed to take shoppers from the iconic clock tower to the yet-to-be confirmed new St Albans High Street somewhere above St Albans Cathedral.
Donna Nichol, owner of the popular independent fashion store Chloe James Lifestyle has issued a statement.
“I have absolutely no idea where this has come from and ironically, I cannot see it getting off the ground. We have been welcoming back our customers and have enjoyed the buzz of a busy shop. Why would I want to move my store 30 feet above St Albans?
I have just recently updated the shop window with a new French brand called FRNCH – how will anyone see it? Ignore the rumours and find us where we have been keeping St Albans fashionable for the last ten years.”
Mad Squirrel St Albans have also put out a strong worded statement in response to news of the Super High Street. General Manager James has gone on record and said “Of the 25 beers we have on tap, nothing is that strong”.
“We have been here in St Albans for almost two years and whilst we are accustomed to hearing the occasional bit of nonsense in the taproom, this idea is farcical. Beer and heights don’t mix so we will remain on the ground floor of St Albans in Heritage Close serving the finest beers to St Albans residents.”
Mad Squirrel has quickly established itself as one of the predominant beer destinations in St Albans. With access from the footpath towards the Abbey, it would seem a strange decision from management but when you are around beer all day, anything can happen.
Local resident Isabelle Ringing who we interviewed shopping in St Albans said the idea was nonsense. “St Albans is unique and residents love it the way it is. Why? a monorail? I just can’t get my head around it – we don’t need this nonsense in St Albans.”
Must Wine located on George Street were also quick to release a statement in regards to the rumours. Wine Steward and c0-owner Mike Nuttall explained, “I get the idea – great minds drink alike and the concept of tasting the finest wines with breathtaking views of Hertfordshire is idyllic.
However, the individual who came up with the pour decision of running a monorail above St Albans is clearly on cloud wine.” Must Wine will continue run wine tasting classes on George Street.
As these rumours of a break-away high street continue to spread, the TrendLife team will continue to keep you updated with facts instead of fiction.