NIGEL THORNTON: Peterborough’s the real meal deal

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton -
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton -
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It would seem Phase 2 to make Peterborough the foodie capital of Britain is well underway. Let’s face it, it’s got more chance of being named that than environment capital.

After the influx of eateriess including Nando’s, Bills and Argo Lounge, a new raft of restaurants are lining up to tickle (or otherwise) our tastebuds.

Japanese chain Wagamama and French brand Côte Brasserie are both looking to open in the city centre.

Some might poo-poo these restaurants because they are all chains and not exponents of fine dining – but let’s not forget it wasn’t so long ago that we didn’t even have a Pizza Express despite its founder Peter Boizot being Peterborough through and through.

It will be interesting to see if Peterborough has the collective appetite to sustain these new restaurants, particularly as several long awaited major developments including North Westgate and Fletton Quays include more restaurants as key parts of their plans.

We have already seen collateral damage in the disappearance of Ask which was tucked away in Priestgate but was, in my opinion one of the best of its type of restuarant.

It would be good to see a greater range of new restaurants – maybe a high end independent to rival Clarke’s and (please, please) a great Chinese.

The city council and others point to these new restaurants as proof that the expensive “public realm’’ works have been worth it.

It would be churlish to disagree, but there is another side to the coin. And that is that the retail offering in the city centre is flagging desperately. Despite the expensive revamps of Bridge Street, Long Causeway and Cowgate big name retailers and smart independents have not been convinced to move in and so the centre is flooded with charities, “pop ups’’, bookies and mobile phone shops.

The restaurants are not the icing on the city centre cake, they are the full three courses.

As big as sprouts

Being a big-fan of oversized (and humourously shaped) vegetables, I was excited to read about the invasion of “monster’’ sprouts threatening to take over our Christmas dinner plates.

A story on the PT website and various national ones with accompanying picture (above) warned that the sprouts were 20 per cent bigger than normal making them the size of golfballs.

I was underwhelmed.

It reminded me of the enthusiastic PT reporter (now a respected national journalist) who in reporting residents’ concerns about rats near their homes came up with the memorable description of the pests “as big as kittens’’.

That’d be a normal sized rat then? deadpanned the office curmudgeon.

Saving the planet

Since the government introduced its tax on plastic bags like the good/tight Yorkshireman I am I’ve made much more use of bags for life.

Only problem is I’ve discovered these so-called bags for life are not...for life, that is. Unless of course you are a drone ant with the lifespan of a couple of weeks (I looked it up on t’internet).

All’s unfair

According to the World Economic Forum it will take 118 years before the global pay gap between men and women is finally closed.Blimey I think the human race might have evolved so that men can have babies before then.

Such inequality is ridiculous in this day and age – women tennis players shouldn’t get paid a better hourly rate than men at Wimbledon.

Single Andy-ed

I’m a big fan of Andy Murray and always have been but his heroics in the Davis Cup only underline the farcical nature of this “team’’ event. He effectively won it on his own, something even Tiger Woods in his pomp couldn’t do in the Ryder Cup. No doubt the victorious GB tennis boys will win the team award at the BBC’s annual sports awards. Leeds Rhinos who achieved a clean sweep of rugby league trophies will be lucky if they get more than a patronising 10-second clip alongside Patrick Barrie and Matthew Rose, the national UK tiddlywinks pairs champions.

Is the pope...

Amazing journalism from the Daily Mail after the release of new pictures of Princess Charlotte were released. It gushed: “Does Kate’s blue-eyed girl remind you of anyone?’’ And then added in the next line in case you were struggling: “Charlotte looks just like Wills did.’’

They dug even deeper and revealed that she also had a resemblance to her brother George. Related people looking like each other, that’s just weird.

Diary Of A Bad Dad

I know, I know, I made a rod for my own back.But it’s my rod and my back, so I don’t really care what you think!

I stand accused of creating a monster/princess in the shape of Toddler T.

But, hey, one man’s stubborn and insolent is another’s strong willed and independent.

I think she’s growing into a splendid little girl – not perfect, but that would be boring to the point of irritation.

Okay Toddler T might treat me like her personal slave but at least she has the good grace to do it with a smile and rewards me for picking up her toys with a “super huggle’’.

And despite my abject parenting skills she’s showing signs of being keen to help where she can.

She offered to (and did) get her brother’s clothes the other day although with typical Toddler T feistiness didn’t take kindly to being taken advantage of and when asked to fetch a nappy responded: “I can’t do everything myself’’.

And then when Mrs T was changing a particularly ripe nappy for BabyT2, Toddler T turned up her nose and commented: “That’s why I don’t want to be a mummy.

“I want to be a fire lady and a swimming teacher. Being a mummy is too hard.’’

She should try being a dad (bad or otherwise).