A Good Place To Live
I grew up in Beeston in the 90s so for me there is a lot of familiarity in the parks, the businesses and the shops on the High Street. It's nice that those places in Beeston which have been such a cornerstone over the years have endured - and, where businesses have had to change, the buildings are regenerated and something new comes in with some memory of what was there before.
Recently I took my bike to the Cycle Inn, (still Sid Standard in our household), as my parents did in past years and they were telling me how things had changed. Places like this are so important! It is almost guaranteed that I will bump into familiar faces when walking round Beeston and that is something I have come to really appreciate.
Old and New
A nice thing about Beeston is that it is a blend of the old and new, where the familiar mixes with a rotation of students and young blood. This is represented well in food and drink offerings where a diversity of more trendy eat-in spots sit alongside familiar staples. There has always been a glut of old fashioned sit-down pubs in the town centre, (some better than others), but it is nice that there is now also a vibrant bar scene with new hot spots popping up with more of a cocktails-and-dancing late night vibe.
Along with the new independent coffee shops and restaurants opening up in the town centre, it does feel more of a place to go. You don't need to travel to Nottingham to be somewhere high end and aspirational when you can get an espresso martini and a fancy doughnut on your doorstep. Beeston though has so much more heart, because it isn't all just generic high street brands with the occasional Costa coffee.
A good place to live
With the rejuvenation of the town centre, and the general up-and-coming feel of the area, a lot of my old friends from all over the city have moved to Beeston. One of them even works at Roundhill, where I went to school as a child, which I find very bizarre. They walk their dogs in the same Broadgate Park where I used to mill around in as a teenager, and another recently dragged me to the Commercial Inn - which I was surprised to find is quite a fancy pub.
The thing about Beeston is that it feels safe enough for families, but vibrant enough for those in their twenties and thirties - without completely excluding the older generations who have lived here for their whole lives and raised families here. Beeston becoming more desirable as real estate has brought up the standard of housing, with areas becoming cleaner. There is less derelict property and in general it is becoming a nicer place to live, (although alas for us much more expensive to buy!)
My parents still live in Beeston, but it has become a hub for me and my friends too, so when I am here I rarely need to venture into Nottingham.
Making it better
As to the future, I think I would like to see more independent, local businesses opening. More authentic international cuisine would be amazing as well - there is such a diverse community in the area and yet not a huge amount of established international eateries. I think places like The Garage are great too - we need more one-off events, market days, music venues etc. that bring people down to the area and showcase local talents!
I wouldn't say that there is a strong shopping culture in Beeston and I wonder if this is yet to be tapped, with some nice local boutiques and shops?
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