What the locals really think of Alderley Edge
- Credit: Archant
Janet Reeder heads over to Alderley Edge to find out what’s hot at the heart of Cheshire’s “Golden Triangle”
Alderley Edge is ‘a village with a capital V’ I am told by the man in the local wine merchant’s and it’s a phrase that seems to sum up this vibrant location. On the one hand bags of rural charm, on the other expensive cars and smart restaurants.
It’s an area that attracts attention and whether the locals like it or not that is set to continue thanks to the film crews that have been rolling up here to make the WAG-packed ‘reality’ TV show the Real Housewives of Cheshire.
There’s natural drama here too: The Edge itself and the legend of King Arthur’s knights who are supposed to be slumbering there ready to save England in her hour of need. Butt this small neighbourhood punches above its weight for lots of reasons.
It has lovely shops, great restaurants and an upbeat vibe that means you can’t help but be caught up in the fun. After all, this is where more fizz is drunk per head than anywhere in the UK. Even the local chip shop sells champagne!
We meet the locals and discover more about one of Cheshire’s most intriguing locations...
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Jeannie former founder of the Kids Unlimited company now co owns The Yard, a mixture of wholefood shop, cafe and performance space that attracts everyone from sharp suited millionaires to local creatives.
Why Alderley Edge? I like the magic of the place. That’s very deep - the landscape and the energy of the Edge is very special. I lived here when I was doing Kids Unlimited but left for a couple of years and moved to Didsbury because I became disillusioned with the place but then when I was away I found I did miss it and when we decided to create The Yard, it seemed the right pace to be.
Tell us about The Yard The Yard is a place to collaborate. It is like a vortex that keeps attracting people and it is now developing into a way of life - much more than just a shop or cafe, all its component parts add up into a lifestyle. The concept is pretty much there, now we are looking for people to come along and help us extent and develop ideas within that, so we aim for example to do pop up yoga possibly off-site and detox days.
Plans for Christmas? It will definitely be “alternative” - a Christmas “street food” type thing. We are bringing in this up-and-coming young chef called Johnny Marsh and there will be lots of music. it will be casual, it won’t be a formal thing. We’ll have father Christmas too. We have a caravan in the yard and that will be transformed into a grotto.
LOVES: The Wizard Tearoom
The actress is the driving force behind Oxjam in Alderley Edge - a musical extravaganza which raises cash for Oxfam. She has taken the involvement of The Yard from one gig last year to organising a festival across the whole village
Why Alderley Edge? ‘I have been blown away by how easy it has been to get everyone involved in Oxjam,’ she says.
‘Alderley Edge is quite a creative place and so there’ll be something happening everywhere. We have created our own Oxjam logo that will go on T-shirts and bags and the whole event culminates on October 24th at the Festival Hall with a finale based on The Voice, with a celebrity panel.’
LOVES: The village’s youthful energy
Simon is manager of Portland Wines with a window bearing the words “Alderley Edge loves bubbles”...well it does have a reputation for selling the most champagne anywhere in the UK per capita.
Why Alderley Edge? ‘It’s hard to put a finger on exactly what Alderley Edge is. Maybe it’s the ley lines and its connection with the Knights Templar. On the one hand there are the woods which are lovely. I think the National Trust forest is the heart of what the area offers, there’s some soul up there you can feel it.
And there are some very genuine people who live here. We have some pretty discerning wine characters - and others who are not, but then there are the people who come here at night. Some of them can be pretty vacuous. I have a love hate relationship with the place really.
You’ve got people who drive along here in cars costing £120,000, then around the roundabout - doing the circuit and it’s about showing off how much money you’ve got. it’s all about wealth.’
Works with Lauren Shaw at Alderley Flowers, where they are kept constantly busy with orders from regular clients. Both Heather and Lauren slept in the shop last Mother’s Day such was the demand for blooms.
Why Alderley Edge? I love the Edge and the walks in the countryside most of all. You can walk up Oak Road and see all the lights of Manchester and Runcorn on a clear night which is special.
LOVES: The Botanist. Well working in a florist it seems appropriate! It’s all about flowers and I love that you get your chips in a little watering can.
Rosie’s family have been running G Weinholt patisserie in Alderley Edge for 60 years.
Why Alderley Edge? We’ve been here since 1953 and seen a lot of changes. I think what makes us special is we make a lot of cakes other bakers do not make - because they can’t . Everything is hand-made on the premises and we do our best to produce a really great product.
LOVES: The fact that the next generation is taking over. My daughter now runs the business
Works at the local hairdressers.
Why Alderley Edge? People should come and support local businesses not only the bars and restaurants but the fantastic shops too.
We have some lovely clients but a lot of people come here to meet a footballer and locals find them intrusive. Over the eight years I’ve worked here I have seen the change. It’s definitely a different place at night.