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The Quarter Blog

Posted in The Quarter Blog, on 4 March 2020, by , 0 Comments

As we all rush about our busy daily lives, how many of us can honestly say that we sit down at the table to eat together as a family every day? This is something that, in days gone by, was just how things were done. I remember, as a child, eating together every evening. Sometimes Dad was a bit late home from work and we’d start without him, but he would always join us when he got in and we would discuss the day’s events as a family. The thought of eating at separate times or, heaven forbid, eating different meals, didn’t even enter our heads; it just wasn’t an option!

So how come things have changed so drastically? Well, gone are the days of most people working 9-5 jobs. There are so many variants in shift work these days that each person within a household could be working at different times and they become, to coin a phrase, ‘ships that pass in the night’. Not only that but people have much busier social lives nowadays, not to mention the wide and varied extra-curricular activities of children. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, of course it isn’t, it’s just that we have many more options available to us than we did 30 years ago! Of course, another major factor is the vast development of technology. How many of you are guilty of playing on your phone whilst eating, or watching TV? It is rather saddening to see a family out at a restaurant sitting in silence, everyone staring at their phones! What happened to good old conversation? I fear it has been, not lost, but somewhat buried a little and a renaissance is needed.

But why? Why does it matter so much if a family dines together or not? A major benefit is that of communication because talking through the stresses of the day with loved ones can help to prevent mental health issues later on, as there is no bottling up of emotions and gripes, and so they don’t build up to become a much bigger problem. You may not realise it, but children can also pick up valuable language and social skills in the process. Meal times may be the only time of the day when all members of a family are in the same place at the same time and so in this technological world of computer games and television, it is even more important to spend this time together.

Eating together can also help to promote more sensible eating habits, in turn leading to better weight and health management, and also setting a better example for the next generation. If children see adults eating healthily and using good table manners, then they are far more likely to follow that example and continue the trend through to future generations. If you are eating at different times, then children don’t necessarily see what or how the adults are eating and therefore these ideals don’t become ingrained in their minds as the norm. Eating together can help you to become more connected as a family because even though you all lead your own hectic lives, coming together and talking about them strengthens the bonds that are already there and so creates lasting relationships.

For those whose busy lives make it nigh on impossible to have these dining experiences regularly at home, why not make time to eat out as a family? Booking that table at a certain time will force all members of the family to join in and enjoy the opportunity. So make it a regular event! I’m not saying that family meal times should be happening every night, just that it should be a regular enough occurrence to enjoy the above-mentioned benefits. So put that phone away and come and enjoy some much needed family time! It’s almost Mother’s Day, followed swiftly by Father’s Day, so jump on the excuse to take your loved ones out for some good old family bonding! (Book here: https://www.thequartercafe.co.uk/book/)

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Posted in The Quarter Blog, on 12 February 2020, by , 0 Comments

When you visit a museum or an exhibition, have you ever thought about the impact that the arts can have on a city? The butterfly effect that is created each time someone experiences a bit of culture? There are, in fact, myriad ways in which arts and culture influence the growth and continued progression of a city and I think they can be segregated into three main areas.

Economy

The first of these is, of course, the economy. The arts bring prosperity to a city, not only via the customers themselves, who might spend money in the cafes and gift shops, and in the surrounding areas of the city, but also through the jobs created as a result of people visiting these establishments. Arts and culture bring in £10.6 billion to the UK each year and are responsible for around 400,000 jobs! This represents a huge contribution to the economy, rather than just an ‘added extra’.

Arts and culture can also play a massive role in reviving a town or city, for example, run down seaside towns. Think about how a town such as Blackpool has been revived through not only the museums and theatres that adorn the seafront, but also the buildings, sculptures and public art that have brought the town back to life. The idea of the cultural regeneration model began in the 1980s when new economic and social policies were needed to change the thinking behind what a city really needed to survive. It certainly had an impact in the regeneration of Glasgow, which became European Capital of Culture in 1990, and the ideas adopted began to be rolled out across the country.

               

Environment

Another area of impact is through the environmental messages that arts and culture can convey. They can help people to understand the issues that are plaguing our planet through art, plays/theatre and music, and inspire them to do their bit, no matter how small, every little helps (to coin a phrase!). They can, in other words, help society to face up to the challenge currently facing all of us and show people, through art, the consequences of doing nothing. I think actually seeing, right in front of you, the horrors of what is unfolding and the potential ramifications is far more powerful than simply being lectured about it. Engaging with people will hopefully spur them into action, rather than potentially causing them to switch off and therefore fail to grasp the gravity of the message.

       

Community

The third area in which arts and culture can impact a town or city is that of community. This is by no means the least important; in fact, I think the arts play just as important a role in this area as in those already discussed. Many of the museums, galleries and libraries around the country are, of course, free to enter and this therefore helps to tackle the very real issue of social inequality. If everyone has access to the same exhibitions and events, then everyone is equal in terms of their enjoyment of the arts. Poorer sections of society are not excluded because they can’t afford the admission fees, bringing everyone in the community together in a mutually beneficial way.

This doesn’t only apply to members of society based on their wealth, or lack thereof. The arts can also bring people together no matter their age. The health and wellbeing of the older generation can be improved through theatre, music, dance and art, for example, while young people will benefit as the arts support their education and bring to life ideas that they may have learned about in school or college.

The arts can also play a critical part in rebuilding a community following disaster, a perfect example being the bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon. For the one year anniversary of the atrocity, Rainey Tisdale created the ‘Dear Boston’ exhibit at Boston Public Library, the centrepiece of which was made up of 134 pairs of running shoes that had been left at the makeshift memorial site of the bombing. There was absolutely no explanation needed, everyone just ‘got it’, an example of the powerful effect of seeing something in front of you having a much greater impact than simply being told about it. It brought people together, all members of society, whether they had been affected by the catastrophe or not, and gave them a place of sanctuary and reflection.

Arts and culture really are a lynchpin of society, the beating ‘heart’ of the city, far more than people probably realise, for all the reasons outlined above and probably many, many more.

Children and families

Arts and culture can also have significant social benefits for families and children. They have a positive relationship to social-emotional development and help to shape the way in which children see the world. They can help them to understand and to shape their identity. Experiencing arts and culture as a family, the shared experience, can help to strengthen the bonds between them, tightening the connection that was already present.

Parents can become engaged in their children’s learning and help them, through the arts, to enhance and support what they have learned in school. All children learn in different ways and seeing shows and exhibitions can play a huge part in helping to deepen their understanding. As we all know, children’s brains are like sponges when they are young, they soak up lots of the information that is presented to them, so just imagine how much they can pick up from a museum exhibition, for example, that they wouldn’t necessarily have covered in great depth at school!

     

The arts can also have a positive impact on confidence, and personal and social development. They can break down barriers such as language, prejudice and differences as a lot of the cultural experiences available to children are available to all. It gives them the opportunity to come together with others who they might not otherwise meet, eradicating the inequality that can sometimes carry through into adulthood. This enhances the quality of life and, in turn, the health and wellbeing of adults as well as children. Children’s curiosity about the world, those ‘sponges’, can only be a good thing for future generations, so please fill your precious family time with as much culture as you can soak up!

     

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Posted in The Quarter Blog, on 30 January 2020, by , 0 Comments

As many of you will have noticed, the local high street of today, in any town or city up and down the country, has far less to offer than in years gone by. There is a trend for empty premises to be filled with charity shops or just boarded up completely, making the high street much less appealing to shoppers and providing them with little reason to go there. Obviously, this has a massive impact on the small businesses who have chosen to set up in the vicinity. As the numbers of visitors to town and city centres dwindle, customers just don’t know they are there.

This is where social media comes in. Social media can play a massive role in helping small, independent businesses to grow and flourish in this challenging high street economy. 2019 statistics show that there are now 3.5 billion users of social media around the world. That is 46% of the global population! It’s astonishing to think that 20 years ago, social media wasn’t even a thing and now look – it’s a global phenomenon! Technology moves at such a frightening rate and all we can do as businesses and consumers is try to keep up! So why is social media so important to businesses? Have you ever stopped to think about the impact it can have? It really can be make or break for a small business and I will try to outline some of the reasons why…

What’s in it for us?

Social media is important for us as a small business because we are able to engage with our customers, potentially increase our customer base and of course, build brand awareness, in other words, to tell people we are here! Someone who wouldn’t necessarily walk past us in the high street as they no longer shop there will see the interaction of others on our social media pages and decide to visit us, yay! This wouldn’t happen without this avenue being open to us. A 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Michael A Stelzner found that 90% of business owners (82% of which own businesses with fewer than 100 employees) believed social media to be an important factor in the running of their company. That’s a huge proportion of businesses who perhaps wouldn’t be as successful without it!

Social media helps us to listen to you, our customers, to determine what it is that people want. The food and beverage industry is extremely changeable. Alternative diets are emerging all the time, trends in what foods and drinks are popular are constantly evolving, and the only way in which we can keep up is to listen to society and adapt what we offer to suit your needs. It enables us to stay focused on the community, on what is going on locally, and to offer a more personal touch to our service as we get to know our customers at a more personal level.

Research by Ambassador shows that 71% of people who have had a positive social media experience with a company are more likely to recommend them to others – taking good old word of mouth to a whole new level!

What’s in it for you?

So what are the benefits for you of interacting with small businesses on social media? Well, there’s the obvious one in that it helps us to stay relevant to your needs and, more importantly, open for you to enjoy! You can engage with your favourite companies at a much deeper level, and much more conveniently, than ever before. With small businesses, you can eliminate the need to write a letter, to which you may never get a response, or to negotiate complicated call centres. In comparison, social media allows us to give you an almost instant answer to your question, at the click of a button on your phone, wherever you may be! Social media also eliminates the formality that is sometimes necessary in the above forms of communication – it can almost feel like you are talking to a friend, and why wouldn’t that be a good thing?

Without that direct connection with you, our customers, we wouldn’t be able to tell you about all the wonderful things that we can offer you! Social media removes the onus on you to search for events or places to go, and places it on the business to provide you with this information, saving you copious amounts of time and energy!

Social media also provides you with ‘proof’ of how good the offerings of a business may be, without having to try them out for yourself first! If a small business has many likes and comments to say how great it is, then the chances are that you will like it too! Any queries you may have can also be resolved quickly and efficiently via the social media pages. It makes life so much easier!

So next time you are scrolling through the numerous posts on your social media, remember to give us a like or a comment here and there; it really does help to create the perfect partnership between business and consumer, with benefits for both. It’s a win-win!

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Posted in The Quarter Blog, on 22 January 2020, by , 0 Comments

As our brilliant QUARTER customers, many of you will already be aware of the benefits of shopping and dining locally but just in case you need a little more convincing, or there is someone you need to persuade, here are just a few of the reasons why more people should make the change…

Shopping or dining in your own town centre can have a massive impact on the local economy. Research has shown that just £10 spent locally can mean up to £50 more for the local economy! How? Well, think about it, take the QUARTER as an example. The more you spend in the cafe, the more supplies we need, and where do we get those from? A lot of the delicious food that we source for you comes from other local businesses – cakes from the local bakery tsp, oatcakes from local oatcake shops, you get the picture! This ripple effect means that you are actually supporting many small businesses at the same time without even realising it! Whenever you shop or dine locally, the effect will be the same; they will in turn spend more money in local shops and restaurants, circulating money throughout the community and allowing it to thrive. It’s obvious when you think about it!

Another benefit of small, independent businesses, of course, is the creation of local jobs for local people, creating a better place to live and work and contributing to healthy economic growth. Keeping people connected to their community is a key factor that should not be underestimated. A further element to this is that local businesses tend to support local charities that are relevant to the area, so the more you spend in a local shop or restaurant, the more donations will be made to the causes that matter in the area in which you live. It really is as simple as it sounds!

We mustn’t forget about the environmental impact too. If you visit local businesses to shop or dine, then you are more likely to walk, which is much better for the health of the environment around you. Choosing to walk to the local shop or restaurant, rather than drive to the big chains in the out of town areas, will have a positive impact on air pollution, traffic issues, and so on, and without meaning to sound like I’m lecturing, it will be a lot better for your health too!

The most important benefit of shopping/ dining locally, I think, is the personality that exists within these small businesses. They add character to the community and all because they are run by actual human beings, rather than boards or shareholders. They exude originality, providing a completely different experience to the big chains, and offer the shopper/diner the personal touch. A rapport is built with customers and they know what they want and need, and so provide it for them! There is also someone to talk to if something doesn’t quite go to plan, rather than a generic telephone number to call with numerous automated call options to negotiate. I suppose what I am really saying is that shopping or dining in your own town centre is simply much more fun!

By shopping or dining locally, you can have such a huge impact on small, independent businesses. You are supporting local entrepreneurs who would not otherwise have been able to get their companies started, and the more entrepreneurs we have, the healthier the economy becomes. Small businesses have begun to take the lead in innovation, their creativity moving things forward to further reflect the needs of local people, and big chains are starting to follow their lead. At the end of the day, why wouldn’t they? Who knows the local customers better than the local people who run the local businesses? They truly are the backbone of our economy, which is why, given the choice, shopping or dining locally is always the wiser option.

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Posted in The Quarter Blog, on 17 January 2020, by , 0 Comments

As you may or may not be aware, after Christmas we took our little Quartets on a trip across the pond to California. We had so much fun and crammed so much into the week that we came back far more exhausted than when we left!

Whilst in LA, we met up with one of our customers believe it or not – it really is a small world! David Craddock, originally from Stoke-on-Trent and a former pupil of Hanley High School, leads a vegan lifestyle and is an independent consultant specialising in employee share ownership and reward management. He established David Craddock Consultancy Services in 1997 and has since developed a varied clientele around the world. Alongside his consultancy work, David is also President and Co-Founder of publishing company Books to UPLIFT along with his fiancee Susan Smith Jones. Susan, who lives over in America, is an incredibly inspiring lady, having gained a PhD from UCLA and being a Pulitzer Prize nominated author with 33 books to her credit to date and still writing! She is even a recipient of the President’s Award (yes, the President of the USA!) for her contribution to health, physical fitness and sports in America. As a behavioural and transformational specialist and holistic health expert, Susan is a leading advocate in America and worldwide for health and wellbeing, nutrition, mindfulness and natural remedies, in her words ‘how to live successfully and create your best life in body, mind and spirit’. You can read all about how they met and the work that they do on their website www.bookstouplift.com. It really is an amazing story!

David is a regular at the QUARTER and splits his time between the UK, living locally in Biddulph, and LA. He has been telling us all about the Kreation Kafe in Brentwood, LA, somewhere he visits regularly, and so this is where we arranged our get together. It soon became clear why David and Susan love the place so much, as it blends seamlessly with their lifestyle and their whole raison d’etre. The theme of the cafe revolves around the health benefits of natural remedies and providing ‘nourishing, clean fuel for the mind, body and spirit’, a perfect fit for David and Susan.

It was, however, a little bit of a culture shock for the Quartets at first! They didn’t know what to make of it but as children do, they soon adapted and tried out all that was on offer. The first thing we were struck by was the use of iPads for menus! Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue if we were to try this in the centre of Hanley?! Brilliant that this works though, and it really does show the progressiveness of the psyche in LA that iPads being stolen isn’t even a consideration!

The ethos of the Kreation Kafe is illustrated by the fact that every single item available on the menu is made from totally organic food and optional organic beauty shots can be provided after every course if desired! Chlorophyll is added to filtered table water, which is thought to help with blood detoxification, healing, gut health, energy and general immune system support and cancer prevention.

         

Amethyst stones adorn every table, bringing positive energy, relieving stresses and strains, alleviating sadness and dispelling anger, fear and anxiety. They also look beautiful!

Kreation Kafe also has gender neutral toilets as the norm, so there’s no need to worry about walking into the wrong one! Joking aside, this is a definite positive for the transgender community. Everyone needs ‘to go’ and this provides the facilities without the need to first identify with a specific gender or worry about what other people might be thinking. Everyone is using the same area so it isn’t even an issue, which can only be a good thing.

Susan also very kindly brought along a gift for the girls, some colouring books designed specifically for mindfulness and positive thinking. Not just a good idea for the children either! Who doesn’t love colouring in? It’s very therapeutic. If you haven’t tried it as an adult, give it a go!

Those are just a few of the examples that we came across on our relatively short visit. A big thank you to David and Susan for taking the time to show us a bit of cafe culture from a very different perspective. Who knows, maybe we’ll incorporate some of these ideas into the QUARTER in the future!!

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Posted in The Quarter Blog, on 6 December 2019, by , 0 Comments

Well, we finally made it to December and Christmas is just around the corner! The festive season is now well and truly in full swing here at the QUARTER and we are so excited about all the things we have planned for the next few weeks. So much has happened, and is happening, that it’s hard to know where to begin! I’ll try and pick up where I last left off…

Last month saw successful Medi-Painting and Zen Club evenings, which are to become a monthly event from January. January’s Zen Club will be focused on intentions and working towards goals, whatever they might be. This will be a great way to reset after the stress of the festivities.

There have been many charitable donations, including coffee and cake vouchers to: Staffordshire Police for their Charity Cake Sale & Auction/Raffle for Breast Cancer; Water Plus for their Christmas Charity Raffle in aid of The Macari Centre, who are committed to ending homelessness in Stoke-on-Trent; Scarlet Theatre for a charity raffle, part of their show A Christmas Carol, in aid of The Honeycomb Group in Stoke (the domestic abuse and homeless support strands); and a donation to the Pashupati Ashram Animal Sanctuary’s #BigBarnAppeal.

October also saw us host a couple of special gatherings, one of which was a gut health and wellness event – We’ll Gut There – presented by a health and wellness coach to inform people about the importance of gut health and to learn about the 30 day programme that she offers. We also hosted a drama and music group for people with a diagnosis of Early Stage Dementia, the aim being to explore the role that creativity can play in managing the condition and in enriching the lives of the people in the group, a beautiful group and a cause very close to our hearts.

We recently provided catering to the cast and crew of the show Annie while they were in town with their show at The Regent, which went down very well with all involved. A great show and a great way to end the 2109 tour.

I should mention that we are now fully booked for every Friday and Saturday, and most Thursdays, throughout December. There will also be no Tapas Thursdays or Saturday Afternoon Teas for the whole of December due to our festive menu. Take a look at the menu here: https://www.thequartercafe.co.uk/christmas-menu/

This week sees our fully booked charity tarot evening taking place at the QUARTER, guaranteed to be a success. Look out for future events; these evenings are always extremely popular. We will be playing host to a number of Christmas parties and works ‘do’s, for example, The Sentinel, AWD-IT, NHS staff, Water Plus employees and The Davies Group, to name just a few. We are going to be extremely busy over the next few weeks.

We have to say thank you to TLC Productions for featuring us in their promotional video featuring Pete Conway for their version of Aladdin at the Mitchell Arts Centre. We can’t wait to see the show! https://www.facebook.com/TLCPantomimes/videos/1039225993092685/

Speaking of pantos, it won’t be long until good ol’ Jonny Wilkes will be back on stage at The Regent in this year’s panto Sleeping Beauty, which begins on 13th December and continues through to 5th January. Get booked in for a pre-show meal and make the night (or afternoon if you are attending a matinee) extra special. We’re just around the corner from The Regent so not too far to trudge with those full bellies! Even Jonny Wilkes himself popped in for his tea on Monday!!

Our recent Pottery and Prosecco events with Denise O’Sullivan were very successful and lots of fun was had by all who came along.

     

The same can be said for the Christmas Pottery Painting sessions, with just one session still to go on 12th December. We have a few events coming up for our younger customers in the run-up to Christmas, including Breakfast with Elsa and Anna, and the Santa Singalong, all on 15th December – it’s going to be a busy day!! Then we have the Festive Storytime on Monday 23rd December, which also promises to be a lovely morning listening to some festive favourites. All Christmas events are now fully booked, with the exception of the Festive Storytime, for which a few spaces remain.

   

Don’t forget our gift vouchers, the perfect gift for that really awkward to buy for relative, friend or colleague! Buy online or in the cafe, available as either value to use towards food in the cafe or for an Afternoon Tea.

Phew, I think that’s everything! We are going to be busy, busy, busy over the festive period but we love nothing more than celebrating with our beloved customers and being a part of all the fun and frolics that the season brings.

From all of us here at the QUARTER, we would like to wish our dear customers a very Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year. See you all next year!!

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Posted in The Quarter Blog, on 6 November 2019, by , 0 Comments

‘Fun? In Hanley?’ I hear you ask. Of course! Why not? Statistics show that many of the inhabitants of Stoke-on-Trent and the surrounding areas do not take advantage of, or even realise, what Hanley has to offer right on their doorstep, and choose instead to jump in the car or on the train to venture further afield for their entertainment. In fact, there really is no need. Hanley has much to offer for all ages and group dynamics. To prove it, I am going to walk you through a step by step guide to a fun, family weekend in the city centre and immediate vicinity. You don’t have to do a thing, except enjoy it. You’re welcome!

Wheel or No Wheel?

So, unless you live in the city centre, the first job is to decide whether or not you want to drive into Hanley. If so, then your best bet parking-wise is John St car park (postcode ST1 3BP) at a cost of £4.70 for the day on Saturday (if arriving after 9:30am) and just £1.60 on Sunday. It is perfectly located for all of the activities I will outline for Saturday and there are options for Sunday. Free parking is available at Tesco, however only for two hours (perfectly suitable for Sunday morning though). intu Potteries car park is an alternative, although a little more expensive at £1.30 per hour and fixed at £1.50 after 4pm. Of course, if you don’t want the stress of finding somewhere to park the car, why not leave it at home? Catch the bus! The bus station is right in the heart of the city centre and you couldn’t be closer to the action on Saturday!

         

The Art Part

So we begin our fun weekend at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery. Located on Bethesda St (postcode ST1 3DW), right around the corner from whichever starting point you choose, it is completely free to enter, although they do welcome kind donations, and opens at 10am, facilitating a leisurely start to the weekend and allowing plenty of travel time. The museum boasts ‘diverse displays of art, local history, natural sciences and the world’s greatest collection of Staffordshire Hoard ceramics’. It has quiet spaces to sit and reflect, as well as a secret garden area. Alongside the more permanent collections, many temporary exhibitions make an appearance throughout the year, for example, the recent homage to the 50th anniversary of the moon landings, or Potters Lane, a tribute to the world of Harry Potter and the works of JK Rowling. The museum was shortlisted amongst only 15 finalists nationally for the Family Friendly Museum Award 2019, proving its worth as a great family attraction. There is also free wifi, a cafe and a gift shop; what more could you want? Find out more at http://www.stokemuseums.org.uk/pmag.

         

Our next stop is literally a minute’s walk, less than 20 metres across the road! Here you will find the Airspace Gallery (address 4 Broad St, ST1 4HL), a studio and exhibiting space that has been bringing high quality contemporary art to Stoke through an evolving programme of events, exhibitions and activities since 2006. Again free to enter, and open from 11am, pop in and have a look around. Find out more at https://www.airspacegallery.org/.

         

Lunch Munch Time

What with all that culture, you must have built up quite an appetite by now, so next up is our very own QUARTER cafe (address 65 Piccadilly, ST1 1HR) for some lunch. Only a 2 minute walk from the Airspace Gallery, and that is allowing time to cross the road, we have extensive menus from which you can choose some delicious refreshments, including lunch, brunch, kids and even a dedicated vegan menu (have a look at www.thequartercafe.co.uk). We pride ourselves on catering for all of our customers, so if you have any dietary requirements at all, please ask and we will do our very best to accommodate your request. If you time your visit right, you might even catch our live lunch with Rebecca Louise, who accompanies our diners on the piano between 12:30 and 2pm every Saturday! ‘eat, drink & listen @ the QUARTER’.

         

Future’s made of…Virtual Reality

Next up is XP-VR (address 62 Piccadilly, ST1 1HX), another teeny walk to a world of virtual reality games and activities. With something for everyone, from complete beginner level to more advanced players, kids to adults, this is bound to keep everyone happy. Pricing varies from £5 upwards and it is strongly recommended that you book in advance so that you are not left disappointed. There is an age restriction of 8 years for some activities and height restrictions for others, but there is also plenty to keep younger children entertained. Have a look at the website for more information, trailers, and to book, at www.xp-vr.co.uk.

         

A Hive of Activity

Here there is a bit more flexibility to follow your own schedule. A 10 minute walk will bring you to The Hive, the city centre’s newest entertainment and eatery complex. On offer here are Chiquito’s, Pizza Express, Coast to Coast, Nando’s, Frankie & Benny’s and the very popular, buffet-style Bon Pan Asian. There really is something for all tastes. If you are still full from lunch, however, why not fit in a film at Cineworld before you eat? Check out what’s on at www.cineworld.co.uk. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, then of course you could always do a spot of shopping right next door at intu Potteries. Most shops will be open until 6pm so have a browse around before eating at one of the many tempting establishments available at The Hive.

         

Icing on the Cake

To really top off a great day, why not stop in at the Little Dessert Shop Stoke (address 53 Stafford St, ST1 1SA) on your way back to the car park/bus station? Open until midnight every day, they have on offer every kind of pudding you can think of, from waffles to pancakes, sundaes to cakes, and even milkshakes! Check out www.littledessertstoke.co.uk to see the full menu. What better way to finish off a fantastic day?

         

Here to Stay

If you’re travelling into Hanley from further afield and need somewhere to stay for the night, I can recommend the Smithfield Apartments (address Jasper St, ST1 3DE), which is close to the city centre activities, or the Moat House Hotel (address Festival Way, ST1 5BQ), which is closer to some of the Sunday activities. It is really easy to get the bus here from the city centre. You can catch the numbers 4, 4A and 4E, which are every 15 minutes on a Saturday and every 30 minutes on a Sunday.

         

Wake Up, Shake Up

Sunday begins and there is no need to be up at the crack of dawn. Enjoy a relaxing start to the day with some ‘RAWR-some’ food at RAWR Kitchen & Bar (address 31 Piccadilly, ST1 1EN). Opening at 11am on a Sunday (other days vary), the brunch menu looks amazing! There are also plenty of options for vegetarian or vegan guests. Have a look at https://www.bemorerawr.co.uk/. Enjoy!

         

Making a Splash

Our next stop is Waterworld, the UK’s number one tropical aqua park and fun for all the family. Walk off that brunch (a one mile walk, which should take approximately 20 minutes), or drive around to conserve some energy for the pool. Parking is available at £3.50 for 8 hours, not bad at all! Open from 10am until 5pm, a family ticket costs £16.50 per person and although spectators are charged at £17.50 per person, if you keep hold of your wristband, you will be refunded £7.50 on exit. There really is something for everyone, from toddlers to the really adventurous, from the fast paced rapids and racing slides to the calmer bubble pool and lazy river ride. There is even an assault course for those who fancy a workout! Check out www.waterworld.co.uk for more information.

         

A Taste of India

After building up an appetite in the water, hop onto the canal towpath for a relaxing stroll and head to Mirchi (address 60 Snow Hill, ST1 4LY) for some well deserved refreshment. It is only a mile, so again, approximately 20 minutes, or utilise the free parking if you don’t fancy the walk. Open from 5-10pm on a Sunday, Mirchi serve delicious Indian street food, for that ‘real taste of India’. They serve a ‘wide range of savoury Tandoor dishes, south Indian curries, dosas and exotic curries with a spice level of your choice’ and their mantra is ‘come as a guest and leave as a friend’, suggesting that once you have tried it, you will definitely be back for more! Check out the menu at www.mirchistoke.co.uk.

         

Bowled Over

After a delicious meal at Mirchi, work it off with a short walk back to Festival Park (or drive if you came in the car) for a game of bowling at Tenpin Stoke (postcode ST1 5SP) to finish off a fab weekend. Open until 11:30pm on a Sunday, make the weekend last as long as you can with some great family deals (depending on the number of people and how many games you would like, etc. – see https://www.tenpin.co.uk/our-locations/stoke/). There is also a bar for refreshments and an arcade with a variety of games for even more family fun.

         

I hope you enjoyed your family weekend in Hanley. I bet you now need another weekend to rest! Did you even realise how much there was to offer right in the heart of the city in which you live? Why not get out there and tell everyone all about it? Be proud of our city and tell the world to come and visit! Let’s celebrate Hanley!

Look our for our next blog, which will outline a ‘No kids allowed’ weekend of fun! Watch this space…

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Posted in The Quarter Blog, on 23 October 2019, by , 0 Comments

“I keep seeing these ads on Facebook about the Tapas Night at the QUARTER, but what actually is it? I’m not really sure what it means.” You probably won’t be the only one reacting in this way to our messages about tapas. So, whilst attempting to not patronise those of you who are familiar with this style of dining, let me explain…

Tapa’ is Spanish in origin and simply means ‘a small portion’ of any kind of food, with ‘tapas’ being more than one. It originates from pre-19th Century Spain when innkeepers offered refreshment to passing travellers. Since reading and writing were more specialised skills, there wasn’t really any such thing as a menu, and so the innkeepers offered their guests small samples of the available dishes. As dinner is served very late in Spain, usually between 9 and 11pm, tapas is used to fill the gap between finishing work and eating their evening meal, hence the idea that it is a snack.

   

As tapas has progressed over time, more influences and ingredients have been incorporated. It can be hot, such as spare ribs, paella or baked salmon, or cold, for example, salad or olives, whatever you fancy, but the key is that the portions are smaller than usual. Tapas has now evolved to the point where it can constitute a whole meal, rather than just a snack or appetiser. This is very much what we offer on a Thursday evening here at the QUARTER. We change the entire menu for that one night a week and offer a wide and varied range of food for you to choose from to reflect this more casual style of dining. Have a look at the menu here: https://www.thequartercafe.co.uk/menu-quick-view/menu-tapas-thursdays/. You can choose a few dishes to try for yourself, or share with your friends and sample a wider variety. The choice is yours! We even provide live commercial music from the fabulous Shaun Walker to enhance your experience.

   

The food at the QUARTER has been described by previous guests as “stunning”, “excellent quality”, “amazing” and “the best I have ever had”!! What are you waiting for? Get yourselves booked in!

📞 01782 286008
💻 quarterbookings@gmail.com

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Posted in The Quarter Blog, on 10 October 2019, by , 0 Comments

Veganism…not a new concept as such but certainly much more widespread and accepted than previously. According to The Vegan Society, the number of vegans in the UK last year was around 600,000, four times the number in 2014 (150,000) and more than double the number in 2016 (276,000), showing an exponential growth, and the numbers are continuing to rise. It is looking likely that a quarter of the British population could be vegan by 2025!

Following a vegan diet has some amazing advantages, promoting weight loss and a lower BMI, for example, and a lower risk of serious illnesses such as heart disease or certain cancers. A vegan diet is typically high in fibre and contains very low (or no) cholesterol. It can be a highly nutritious option, so it stands to reason that more and more people are choosing the vegan lifestyle.

But why now? Why is veganism suddenly becoming more popular if the benefits have always been there? I think one of the reasons must be because many more establishments are now catering for their vegan customers. People following a vegan diet no longer feel that they need to stay at home to be able to enjoy a decent meal. And rightly so! They can now go out to eat with their family and friends without feeling awkward about what they can and can’t eat on the menu, without having to whisper to the waiter/waitress that they can’t eat a certain item and can it please be served without that item, or pretending to eat something and leaving the restaurant hungry. These scenarios cannot be acceptable in today’s fast changing society.

This is why next week, we will be launching our stand-alone vegan menus, both for daytime and evening dining, so that everyone can enjoy the same standard of delicious food. The menu is just as mouth-watering as our standard menu and aimed to ensure that all of our guests feel accepted and catered for, which has always been the desire here at the QUARTER. We want everyone to be able to enjoy the deliciousness that we cook up! But what can I look forward to, I hear you ask? Here’s a sneak peak to get the tastebuds going…how about our Baked Burrito, a soft tortilla filled with rice, spicy beans, vegetables and cheese, topped with house tomato sauce and cheese, baked and served with herby potatoes? Or the Maple Glazed Tofu Burger, sliced tofu glazed with maple syrup, baked with fried onions and pickles, served in a bun with salad and fries? I am salivating at the thought! (Check out the new menus here: https://www.thequartercafe.co.uk/vegan-daytime-menu/ and https://www.thequartercafe.co.uk/vegan-evening-menu/.) The menu is filled with all the goodies you can get on the normal menu, pasta, salads, starters and sides galore! Please ask for this designated menu when you are seated…you are in for a real treat.

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Posted in The Quarter Blog, on 7 October 2019, by , 0 Comments

Wow, another busy week here at the QUARTER, it’s hard to keep up!

To be or not to be…

We held our Tarot Night with Hazel and the team from Rainbow Therapy and Healing. These evenings are always very popular, so why not get yourselves booked in for the next one? As part of your time with us, a reader will spend 20 minutes with each table, so get some friends together and enjoy good food and drinks and immerse yourselves in the tarot experience. The next evening will be held on Wednesday 16th October. Booking is essential and tickets can be purchased through our website: https://www.thequartercafe.co.uk/product-category/tarot-nights/

The sound of music…

The weekend saw us once again buzzing with activity as we enjoyed the sounds of our amazing live music acts, from the ever popular Robert Perry (see video https://www.facebook.com/thequarterhanley/videos/920101258360870/ – he always gets the crowd singing along!) to the lovely singer/songwriter Sheena Bratt and guitarist Dan Machin. Our resident pianist Rebecca Louise accompanied another relaxing Saturday lunchtime. We are always on the lookout for new artists, so get in touch if you’re looking for a gig. Our live music nights are always fully booked, so remember to call and reserve a table – don’t be left disappointed!

 

 

 

 

 Mingling with the stars

Our owner Josef was pleased to be invited to an exclusive drinks reception by Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce to celebrate the British Ceramics Biennial taking place across the city. The event took place at Spode Works, at which he enjoyed a lovely evening of networking with like-minded business people from across the city. He heard from a range of leading speakers from the ceramics industry, the key speaker being the queen of Stoke-on-Trent pottery herself Emma Bridgewater!

    

On the radio…

Did you catch Josef on BBC Radio Stoke on Tuesday? He was one of Louise Stones’ Lunchtimers, chatting on her afternoon show about all things Nigel Havers, mispronunciation and free time (what’s that again?). Radio Stoke is fantastic for supporting local businesses and it was a real treat to be on the show. Catch him on iplayer (https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07n12vd) or next month when he’s back in the studio with Lou.

Cake, coffee, charity

Our charity support so far this month includes vouchers to Hartshill Cricket Club who are holding a Fashion Show in aid of Douglas Macmillan. Our own little Quarters went along to a Macmillan Coffee Morning with some sweet treats to help raise money for this great cause.

   

In the Garden Room…

We love supporting new businesses and providing a platform for their innovations and entrepreneurial ambition. Our Garden Room is a well utilised space, not just for parties and dining but also workshops, meetings, networking and community groups. This month we welcome MediPainting on the 15th October (booking at cbfmedipainting@gmail.com) and a brand new Health and Wellness event taking place on the 22nd October. If you would like more information about the space we can provide, please get in touch via our website.

New look Tapas…

Tapas Thursdays have a new look menu and brand new music line-up. Our very popular Tapas Night takes place once a week and for this one day, we change our menu to reflect this delicious and casual style of dining. Tapas is the perfect way to try more than one item at a time. Do you ever read a menu and think ‘I wish I could just try a few of the starters without people thinking I’m weird?’ Well, with Tapas, you can do just that. The portions are designed to be smaller than usual so that you can try a few at once. Share with friends and taste a sample of even more, or savour them all for yourself. There really are no rules, other than to enjoy! We only serve from this menu and if you’ve not had Tapas before, then it’s a must try night here at the QUARTER. View the menu here: https://www.thequartercafe.co.uk/menu-quick-view/menu-tapas-thursdays/

That’s all for now. Don’t forget to get booked in for our live music nights, tapas, or whatever takes your fancy. We are always busy and we don’t want any of our customers to be disappointed. Call now while it’s on your mind! See you all soon…

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