Welcome to our brand new Bedford Blog! Every month, lifestyle journalist and Bedford resident Kate Chaundy will be bringing us the latest from the Bedford social scene. From restaurant reviews to days out, she’s got it covered.
This month Kate reveals how to make the most of an afternoon out and about in the town…
Bedford is a town steeped in history so why not spend the day discovering some of the delights. You can start in the town centre where St Paul’s Church stands (www.stpaulschurchbedford.org.uk,) dating back to the 13th century.
Here, Bedford’s most famous son John Bunyan, author of The Pilgrim’s Progress, once preached, as did, a century later, the Methodist founder John Wesley. The BBC also broadcast services in secret from one of its chapels during the war, which you can learn more about at the recently refurbished Higgins Bedford museum (www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk). Also, showing here until 10 April are all nine of its Turner landscapes in an exhibition entitled J.M.W. Turner and the Art of Watercolour- a must-see.
If this is all bit too cultural, and retail therapy is more to your liking, why not head over to the beautifully designed artisan gift shop ‘épanoui’ (www.epanoui.co.uk)? Opened recently by local jewellery designer Hannah Paine who can help you choose a special piece hand-made by her on site. Or the new independent children’s bookstore on Castle Road ‘Rogan’s Books’ (www.rogansbooks.co.uk).
If by now you’re thirsting for a cup of tea or coffee, why not try the delightful Pavilion in Bedford Park (www.pavilion.attheparkbedford.co.uk) where you can also indulge in a delicious lunch or maybe just a naughty cake. For the energetic, on the first Monday morning of each month a local historian can give you a guided tour of the park.
If you’re looking for something a bit stronger, the award-winning Wellington Arms may be just the ticket (thewelly.wix.com/bedford). It doesn’t serve food but it has 14 real ales on draft and other beers from around the world in an authentic pub atmosphere. Or we have been enjoying two new offerings; The Artisan Tap, part of a UK chain giving craft beer fans a new haven, or the St Peters Ale House, a micro-pub on the edge of the town centre, introducing local ales, ciders, wines and even snacks from the region.
Another pub, The Gordon Arms has a venue attached, the Ent Shed (www.ents24.com/bedford-events/gordon-arms-ent-shed) that attracts top jazz musicians each Monday and, if you fancy a laugh, well-known comedians every Thursday.
Follow Kate Chaundy @chaunds