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Posted in Uncategorised, 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 Uncategorised, 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 Uncategorised, 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 Uncategorised, 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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Posted in Uncategorised, on 30 September 2019, by , 0 Comments

Coffee, cake, conversation, culture…what more could you possibly want, or even need, in the heart of Hanley? And where can I find all these things at the same time, I hear you ask. Here at the QUARTER of course! By night, we may transform into the place to be to celebrate, relax, or to just have a good night out, but by day, we are a busy little coffee shop offering a huge range of speciality teas, coffees, cakes…whatever your heart’s desire, we can deliver.

Our coffees and teas are provided by award-winning, ethical coffee suppliers Matthew Algie, who have been innovative in the world of coffee since 1864, all the while adhering to their principles of sustainability, quality sourcing, certification, Fairtrade, freshness and community. Their own green coffee buyers personally travel the world and visit farmers in search of the best quality beans out there, so you can be assured that here at the QUARTER, you are getting the tastiest coffee there is! From the Americano to the Salted Caramel Fudge Latte, or if tea is your thing, try one of the TWELVE different flavours of Suki Tea, from Breakfast Tea to Camomile Tea to Mango Tango Tea…have a look at our drinks menu; I’m sure you’ll find something to tempt those tastebuds! @matthewalgiecoffee

Our mouth-watering selection of cakes, including: Victoria Sponge, Coffee and Walnut, Chocolate Guinness, Lemon Drizzle, Coconut and Raspberry, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Lemon and Raspberry, and Chocolate Brownie to name a few, all originate from the Stoke-on-Trent based bakery Tsp. All of their cakes are baked in their purpose built kitchen, which is a part of their home, so truly a family affair, much like ourselves here at the QUARTER. Tsp. are well-known for their delicious handmade cakes and sweet treats, baking for customers all over Stoke-on-Trent and beyond, so what are you waiting for? Get yourselves down here to sample a few! @tspcake

Do you follow a special diet and are worried about whether or not you’ll be able to sample some of the above deliciousness? Not a problem! All of our cakes and treats are offered alongside gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options. We also provide a wide selection of alternative milks to add to your drinks, namely soya, almond, oat, coconut and hazelnut, so nothing to worry about there either.

 

The conversation, of course, is down to you! And the culture? Well, we’re surrounded by it, being located right in the centre of the Cultural Quarter of the city! We have the AirSpace Gallery and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, not to mention the Regent Theatre and Victoria Hall, all within a stone’s throw of our front door. So whether you’re in town to take in some of that culture, or do a spot of shopping, or whether you work in the area and have a coffee/lunch break to fill, stop dilly-dallying and come and see us! We can promise you won’t be disappointed! @airspacegallery @regandvic

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