It’s a new year, and that always brings a sense of reflection, and also of anticipation for what the next 12 months might bring.
There’s no doubt 2016 was a year many of us will remember, for reasons good and bad. Personally, 2016 saw a dream fulfilled when I opened my own restaurant, but the last 12 months have also seen a lot of other changes in the city’s food culture.
We have seen new and diverse cafes, bars and restaurants enter the city scene; from the Pizza Parlour on Cowgate, to Chaiiwala on Lincoln Road serving Chai tea and Indian street food. We’ve seen a new dessert bar open on Bridge Street, and other restaurants such as Prezzo have been refurbished. We’ve also welcomed unique and international names including Wagamamas and Krispy Kreme.
Further afield the theme continues – we saw eight restaurants and pubs from Peterborough and the surrounding area listed in the Michelin Guide last year, and a number of these are continuing to push the boundaries and are exploring new territory.
Across Peterborough food is thriving. We have Italian delis in Fletton, Portuguese chicken on Lincoln Road, Afro-Caribbean and Goan food at the City Market, as well as the Green Back Yard shop selling vegetarian and vegan produce. It feels to me as though we are just a few more pubs and independent restaurants away from being a seriously great attraction for food lovers nationally.
It looks like 2017 could well bring these needed additions too with a new bar, Puzzles?, opening later this month, and two new steakhouses tentatively set to arrive in the city centre in the next 12 months.
What else might be heading our way? We’ve seen so much growth in a year - it’s exciting to think where we may be in 2018.
It’s a point I’ve made before, I’m sure, but it’s a great time to be shouting about our city – and there are so many ways we can do that.
As we enter this New Year, try a new restaurant, a new cuisine, a new bar. Tell your friends and spread the word on social media, or at your next family gathering. Here’s to a bright, prosperous and food-filled 2017!
LEE Clarke is head chef and patron at Prevost, 21 Priestgate, Peterborough. www.prevostpeterborough.co.uk