Food Special: Luton Officially Eight Times More Special Than Dunstable

If your new year’s resolution is to eat less, lose weight and save money on eating out, you’ve come to the right place. Only one week in to 2014, Luton has delivered generous municipal support designed to galvanise your intentions for post-festive restraint in the form of news, released yesterday, that no fewer than 16 of our local eating establishments achieved a round and umami-rich zero in respect of food hygiene, as assessed by Luton Borough Council in conjunction with the Food Standards Agency. Continue reading

Everything Changes But LU: the 2013 Luton Change Almanac

The Buddha taught us that change is the only constant in life. Now there’s a man who never lived in Luton. Here in Lutopia, change teases and torments us like a chorus of pug-nosed Satyroi casting seductive backward glances from the Hertfordshire horizon.

Hertfordshire: where deer and stockbrokers roam free.

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Art Attack! Art, Loho and Lutopia

In a way I take comfort from the way that some people readily presume that I am dead if I haven’t posted in a while. Certainly, that’s the approach taken by my mother, who recently got quite worried given that I hadn’t posted on Facebook for a couple of days, and hadn’t updated this blog in over a month. I apologise to all: I’ve been busy (rather than dead), and my conscience is all the more pricked for having missed this year’s annual High Town Festival over the weekend of 15-16 July, which I learn from the Friends of High Town was super-plus good.

High Town (or 'Hightown') Festival sign in front of the now sadly fire-ravaged premises of the former pub, the Railway Tavern.

High Town (or ‘Hightown’) Festival sign in front of the now sadly fire-ravaged premises of the former pub, the Railway Tavern.

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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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Luton: Café Capital of South Bedfordshire (Part 1)

In my new spirit of solutions-centric positivity, I begin, as promised, with the first of a multi-part foray into Lutonian café culture, and with a solution to that timeless question, ‘Where can I get myself a decent cup of coffee?’ The good news is: it is possible. And what’s more: it’s getting better. Sound the positivity klaxon!

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