Luton: Café Capital of South Bedfordshire: Part 2

We return to matters gastronomical, this time focusing on two of Luton’s finest tea and chips emporia: the Scandinavia Café and Restaurant, on High Town Road, and Tim’s Kitchen, now tucked away, ‘near the pram stall’, at the back of the indoor market in the Arndale.

Tim's Kitchen: near the pram stall.

Tim’s Kitchen: near the pram stall.

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My Fair Luton: On Growing Accustomed to Luton’s Face.

I have a little joke (mostly with myself) that I bust out almost every time a friend of mine (and occasionally a date) does me the great honour of coming to see me in Luton. Meeting them at the train station (since I should not like to leave them unchaperoned), I say, ‘Would you like me to give you the tour of Luton? Don’t worry: it won’t take long.’

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On Not Being Allowed To Take Photos In the Arndale: A Visual Odyssey

The other day I was stopped by a security guard in the Arndale and told that I am not allowed to take photos of the centre by order of the management. (I was taking a photo of the Muffin Break sign, not on its aesthetic merits, but because I was thinking I might write a review of the place in a forthcoming post. The irony of this is not lost on me.)

Muffin Break

Not allowed: taking a photo of a company sign with a view to sampling their products.

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A Lutonian gem: the Fair Deal World Shop

After ranging as far as Luton Hoo in my last post, my thirst to share Luton’s exotic outposts with you, dear reader, remains unslated. In which vein, a focus on Stopsley seems long overdue. I was tempted to include this post within my ‘café culture’ series (series of one…) because I do have a review to make of Coffee Express, but I’m going to save that for later.

The real star and focus of this piece is the Fair Deal World Shop, Luton’s very own fairtrade store, dedicated entirely to selling ethical goods (food, cleaning products, homewares and gifts) and proving that it is just about possible to sustain an avowedly ethical business within Luton. The Fair Deal World Shop is an unexpected treasure, and it needs our support.

Small but marvellous: the Fair Deal World Shop, in Stopsley village.

Small but marvellous: the Fair Deal World Shop, in Stopsley village.

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Luton Who? (Local joke for local people)

I recently celebrated a significant birthday. Significant in my mind, at any rate. Or, otherwise: a birthday halfway between two other, recognisably significant age milestones. Anyway: it was a difficult birthday and a hellaciously difficult week and I am at a difficult age. Let that stand.

The upshot of my difficult week (or week of being difficult) in February was that I cancelled a planned birthday party and basically went into hiding for a period. I exaggerate a little for comic effect, but not so very much.

What does all of this have to do with Luton? Well, it’s probably worth saying that living in Luton has a somewhat clarifying effect on the bad times. Continue reading