The urge to explore somewhere new comes often these days and when my friend Jade suggested we switch our usual shopping destination from Liverpool and have a jaunt to Chester, I immediately agreed.
Despite it only being a half hour train ride away, the last time I visited the city must have been during my sixth form years. My memories of it were hazy at best so hopping on the train felt like a bit more of an adventure. We inadvertently arrived among the crowds of well-coiffed ladies headed to the races so we had to weave our way around a little before finally making our way to the shops.
After a stroll around the main stores and around the area, we decided to head to the cute looking Tea Press cafe in the undercroft of the Debenhams store. I wish I’d managed to take a few more photos inside but the lighting wasn’t suitable for much other than Instagram – ah, how filters manage to save the day! Now afternoon tea is something I’ve always fancied and the menu sounded so appealing that we decided to have a very ladylike lunch. Something about mini cakes and sandwiches is incredibly exciting – the tiny cheesecake in particular was divine – and we barely had enough room to finish the enormous scones.
We then decided to explore a mysterious set of stairs leading up from the main road. Imagine our delight to find that they lead up to the clock tower over the main street and we got a little snap happy for a few minutes. We decided to take advantage of the gorgeous warm day and strolled along the wall path for a couple of minutes before descending to a gorgeous little park.
Imagine dappled sunlight coming through the trees, beds of lavender giving the air a subtle scent and the gentle chatter of people on a Saturday afternoon walk. A man dressed in full armor teaching children how to use their miniature shields gives a little life to the picture and we watched for a few minutes before checking out where the Roman baths used to stand. There’s so much history to the city and I’d love to go back to walk around the entire of the city walls on another lovely summers day.
Walking down the path, we spotted an interesting looking building which we got very excited about when we saw the name – Hickory’s Smokehouse! I’ve mentioned the West Kirby one numerous times as it’s one of my favourite places to eat on the Wirral (just take a look at their breakfasts here) but the location of this couldn’t be matched. Overlooking the river Dee with a gorgeous veranda to sit out on, it’s a must-visit if you’re ever in the area.
I can’t even describe the content I felt to walk along the riverbank. A jazz band was playing, people were cruising along in rowing boats – basically, it reminded us so much of The Notebook that I was almost convinced Ryan Gosling was going to step out from behind the bandstand and offer me a dance.
We’re sentimental folk, us humans. To get a better view of the river, we headed up onto the bridge where we only noticed the padlocks at about halfway across. As we’re both visiting Paris this week, it got us very much in the mood for getting our own padlocks on the bridge while we’re there! It never fails to make me wonder whether the couples are still together and what their lives and relationships are like. It’s a romantic notion and I love it. Chester, you have captured my heart.