So often one is tempted to seek experiences in distant places and resultantly miss those precious gems that are right before our eyes. One of these extraordinary experiences would be Lincoln Road, running from the centre of Peterborough out to and along the western periphery of the original city. A road who’s history is so wonderfully captured in some of these images.
As dusk starts drawing in, and while tucked beneath the magnificent London Planes, which are growing on a generous stretch of grass at the far end of Lincoln Road and Maskew Avenue, one is able to make several observations. Business doors shutting as the day comes to an end, residential doors opening and folk returning home, and business doors opening as the early evening trade starts coming through. The rows and rows of terraced houses dating back to the late Victorian 1800’s sit squashed and squat along the road.
Moms and kids move through the park, stopping briefly to play on the council installed play equipment. A group of preteens and teenagers play basket ball on the court alongside. Their stomping and shouting intermittently breaking through the gentle rustle of the leaves above.
As one turns and walks along Lincoln Road, in the direction of the city centre, the homes slowly give way to more businesses, some smaller industrial units and many home conversions. Within metres of each other you will observe brand new german luxury vehicles alongside 20 year old “vintages” of the same namesakes.
If one was to be blindfolded (colour and texture of ones own choosing) and gently led along the street, you could be forgiven for not realising that this is central England. Nationalities from all across the globe have come to call this street home. Listen to the accents and dialects as they pass by and you could pick up Arabic, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Romanian, Russian, Urdu, Oromo, Portuguese/ Brazilian, Turkish and many others which would be difficult to identify unless the speaker is interrupted and asked directly …..
(my apologies to all those speakers of unknown languages, as some stranger with a notebook and pen interrupted them to inquire of their origin, I realise in post Brexit UK culture this can be a sensitive question when asked by an “English speaker”)….
A result of this economic and cultural cauldron is the ultimate stamp of identity, national cuisine. The opportunities are multitudinous and diverse, from the simplistic roasted, grilled and fried chicken of the Kebab Shop through to the intricate delicacies of the ancient Moroccan kitchen.
To end scene one, we are going to step into The Lounge. The lounge is a well priced restuarant with a slight middle eastern feel about it, the friendly staff are quick to welcome and invite one to a table. The special treat that this restaurant offers is a large free standing tent out the back of their building. Here are numerous comfortable couches and chairs, this is where they serve Shisha. The soft lighting and lively greek music allows one to immediately relax. Fantastically, there is no alcohol served here, and as a result groups are refreshingly calm and chilled and there is very little interruption to a great evening spent here.
A delicious bowl of Vegetable Moussaka and warm fresh bread does well to fight off the developing chill of an evening in the UK spring. The vanilla and pear shisha makes a very smooth and flavourful addition to a serene night chatting and catching up with special friends.
So, if you ever find yourself with a spare evening nearby to Lincoln Road, go ahead, breath deeply, pick up this memory and put it in your pocket.