When people mention Hanley, admittedly I don’t often think ‘unbelievably cool.’ Usually, it’s pigeons and innumerable cigarette butts that first spring to mind., however, having given it some thought the city centre actually has a lot of quirky outlets on offer. The Sentinel recently published their list of the 20 “coolest” shops in Hanley, some of which I’ve already reviewed (like NOM and my all time favourite (tsp.)) and others which are now on my to-go-to list, like Blondie’s Twisted Tearoom.
Inspired by the above list, here are my own top 5 coolest businesses in Hanley (excluding (tsp.) of course, because I’ve blogged non-stop about them already…):
- Brassingtons, Picadilly.
Considering they’ve been a family business since 1901, it’s fair to say that Brassington’s should be seen as a Hanley institution by now. They are synonymous with quality shoes and the only place to buy Dr Martens. I had my first pair of Docs for Christmas from this shop & the chap serving me couldn’t have been more helpful. Even if you only pop in to admire the impressive Dr Martens display, you should definitely pay them a visit the next time you’re passing by.
2. Melice, intu Potteries
Melice is still a relatively new cafe on the scene but brilliant nonetheless. The best place in Hanley to tuck into a proper French crepe (possibly the only place in Hanley that serves French crepes?) and they also sell a variety of French pastries which are always displayed so nicely in their window. Undoubtedly, Melice is bringing a touch of class to the Potteries centre and the city’s food scene as a whole.
3. The Potteries Museum Gift Shop, Bethesda Street
This may seem like a weird addition to the list, but they stock a cracking range of Moorland Pottery’s “Stokie-Ware” along with other bits and pieces of Stoke Pottery, local history paraphernalia and postcards. Just as a side note, the actual museum and gallery is pretty cool too.. Even if you’re an avid museum-avoider, you’d be hard-pressed not to be impressed at Stoke-on-Trent’s story.
4. Roberto’s Italian, Pall Mall
I love this restaurant. It’s like a little slice of of authentic Italy right in the middle of Stoke. Inside the unassuming building, Roberto’s serves delicious cuisine with friendly service. If I was to recommend a particular dish, it would have to be the calamari. I don’t know how they make it so fresh (seeing as we are absolutely nowhere near the sea!) but it’s fantastic. Best of all, they have very reasonable prices. Te Amo Robertos!
5. Webberley’s Bookshop, Percy Street
I know. It’s closed. I’m not over it yet, so this is an ode to perhaps Hanley’s coolest shop of all time. It’s range of books was second to none and I could spend entire afternoons browsing the art & stationary supplies upstairs. I’ll just make a quick plea to anyone reading this with a spare million lying around (is that unlikely?)… please buy the building and develop the concept scheme that an architect has drawn up! The building is too important to stand empty for too long…
It’s true that Hanley might have too many pigeons, but it’s also got some one-of-a kind eateries, cafes and shops. Perhaps it’s about time that they start springing to mind first…
The original Sentinel article: http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/20-unbelievably-cool-shops-cafes-Hanley/story-26514611-detail/story.html
Websites for: Brassingtons http://www.brassingtons.co.uk/
The Potteries Museum http://www.stokemuseums.org.uk/visit/pmag/