Cafe Clarkes to open at the Key Theatre

Not content with running just one great Michelin-recognised restaurant in Peterborough, Lee Clarke of Clarkes on Lincoln Road is set to take over from Riva at the Vivacity-run Key Theatre and transform it into “Caf? Clarkes”, a “classic British restaurant with more of an informal, casual atmosphere”.

I caught up with Dinesh Odedra of the Banyan Tree who is teaming up with Lee on this venture to find out more about their plans to bring another independent, locally-owned dining experience to Peterborough. Continue reading “Cafe Clarkes to open at the Key Theatre”

Carluccios opens in Peterborough

If you’ve been living under a rock or possibly one of the Cathedral Square paving slabs you will have missed that Peterborough’s latest restaurant – Carluccio’s has finally opened.

Founded by the “Godfather of Italian Food” Antonio Carluccio (but since sold to a Dubai-based investment company), the restaurant is styled more as a smart-casual caff? where you can pop in for great food whether it’s a breakfast pastry or an evening dinner for two.? As chain Italian restaurant, Carluccio’s gets mentioned in the same breath as PizzaExpress, Ask, Prezzo, etc but really it deserves a bit more respect.

What I appreciate about Carluccio’s is that it’s always about the food – great Italian food – despite being a chain restaurant.? They don’t even need pizza on the menu, just a veritable smorgasboard (and then some) of dishes. Continue reading “Carluccios opens in Peterborough”

Carluccios Peterborough announces opening date

After over a year in the planning, Peterborough’s hottest new Italian restaurant Carluccios is set to open it’s doors on January 31st.? UPDATE Carluccios opens to the public on February 6th – the January date is a soft launch for staff training!

Where some other chain restaurants prefer out of town retail parks, Carluccios seems to prefer the city centre locations which is good for Peterborough as our city centre has been flat on it’s backside for a couple of years.? Any new restaurant will put increasing pressure on existing restaurants, especially the independents like Riva and The Pizza House with 2012 seeing Topo Gigio on Cowgate pretty much close it’s doors (apparently it’s still open for private hire). Coincidentally, the new Carluccios restaurant is in what had previously been Topo Gigios and then a tea room.

My hope is that it the opening of Carluccios in Peterborough will encourage the independents to go above and beyond what the chains can normally offer by providing a more personal and intimate service, introducing seasonal menus using local ingredients.



Clarkes restaurant under new management

Hot off the press is news that Clarkes (which mysteriously closed for a few days last week) is now open under new management!? Lee Clarke is still head chef, creating some stunning dishes and pushing the boundaries of fine dining in Peterborough but the new management brings Clarkes under the wing of The Banyan Tree, arguably Peterborough’s top Indian restaurant.

The North St Bar above Clarkes is under separate management and is also still open and I wish both businesses all the best for the future.


Auntie Anne’s Pretzels comes to Peterborough

In a twitter-scoop by local journalism student Cameron Todd (@cameronEtodd), I’ve learned that pretzel chain Auntie Anne’s is coming to Peterborough, opening a franchise store in Queensgate.

I have to admit, I’d never heard of Auntie Anne’s before and my only experience of a pretzel is those tiny, salty, hard baked awful snacks you get passed around at Christmas time.? Well Auntie Anne’s is nothing like that (thankfully). If you still have no idea what a pretzel is Continue reading “Auntie Anne’s Pretzels comes to Peterborough”

Peterborough jobs market looking healthy

Though the last twelve months have been particularly tough in pretty much every sector, the arrival of spring does seem to have brought with it a more optimistic outlook amongst economists. Whereas companies throughout the UK had adopted a policy of battening down the hatches in the closing months of 2011, the jobs market would appear to be turning a corner and there is hope that 2012 might not see the UK economy heading for a double dip recession as was previously feared. Continue reading “Peterborough jobs market looking healthy”