Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

I heart Heswall!! (Part 1)

on May 1, 2013

Evening dudes!

Can I just start by saying What a totally gorgeous few days we have had. I am loving being out in the sunshine.

I have had a really lovely day today, apart from an horrific moment where I cracked open my bottle of Coke only to find that I had bought Vanilla Coke in error. Gutted. (You know when your mouth is expecting to taste one thing and gets something totally different? Sad times indeed.) Anyway, I digress…
I popped into Heswall today to run a couple of errands (further evidence that i am, infact 100- who says errands these days?!) I mean annoying, time consuming, little jobs which btw I couldn’t even complete. Thanks HSBC.

So, I went round a couple of shops and just felt so chuffed to be home again. Having lived away for 14 years I expected it to take more getting used to than it has. I have fallen back into life here so easily and I LOVE IT.

so- for your reading pleasure, here is my little list of:

Things to do, shops to visit, food to eat (or avoid) in Heswall for people like me*

* 30 something, pretty, charismatic and engaging mothers who enjoy irony and sarcastic wit.

This isn’t exhaustive because that would be far too boring, plus, I don’t have experience of everywhere in Heswall so, I am just mentioning things that I think are worth a visit- of course- if you want me to talk about your shop, your business, your whatever it is you do- please let me know, I am happy to give you my opinion but- if your place is pants, it might not be pretty!

Activities:

Rhyme Time :
If the idea of singing in a circle with other, previously intelligent and interesting women is not your cup of tea then avoid Rhyme Time at Heswall Library on a Friday at 10:30.
If however you looking silly is less important to you than your ankle biter having fun , for free, even during school holidays, then this is ideal.
It gets pretty busy so I try to arrive in good time (fail to prepare and all that…) they usually put out toys and instruments. Breast feeding is welcome (obviously only of your kids- no weird stuff allowed; as far as I know)
The mums are friendly and some go for coffee afterwards- if you are cool enough you might get the nod!
Parking is easy behind library (pay and display) or it is a short walk from the bus station.
The library has a good selection of childrens books, DVD’s and audio books and is a good source of information on what’s going on in the area generally. (Not better than MumaLeary though-clearly!)

Church Mice at The Methodist Church is a cute little activity group which includes a song, bible story, a craft activity and brilliantly a slice of toast and cup of tea or coffee. It obviously won’t suit you if you’re not into the man upstairs as it is clearly a Christian group but I liked it. Not too long and costs £1.50, I think.
Friday 10.00-10.30 so you might wonder whether it is worth all the effort it takes to get out of the door for 30 minutes but tea, toast and conversation with actual adults isn’t to be sniffed at!

I go to a lovely playgroup on a Tuesday at The United Reform Church, next to Tescos. There is a good range of toys including cars, trikes etc. a little side room for babies and a craft activity is offered each week too. Average age I reckon is 2-2 1/2. Run by a lovely lady called Lorna McCloud but there is a waiting list so you’ll need to give her a callor see if you can come as a visitor one week and put your name down then.
There is tea and toast for parents/carers and juice or water and toast for the toddlers which is eaten as a group about an hour into the session.
After food there is a sing song which does include one or two songs about God but there is nothing overbearing.
I might like this group more because my mates go but, how are you going to make friends if you don’t get yourself out there?

I have heard about Baby Tiddlers and Little Fishers which is in St Peters Church Hall, Lower Heswall but have never been. The venue is really nice and new and I am a real sucker for the gorgeous view from the churchyard but that is by the by.
Any who- times are Tuesday 2:30-3:00 and Wednesday 2:00-2:30. £1.50. Let me know if you go and have any feedback.

The Puddydale:
Pretty crap. I saw a child being pushed on a swing the other day by a nan (or mum that has had a very very tough paper round) who had a fag hanging out of her mouth and wasn’t even bothering to take it out to exhale! Despite this she was pushing so half heartedly she was only using one hand. Class.
Serves a purpose I suppose.

Shops:

Linghams:

Linghams, Linghams, Linghams- I have long loved your extensive selection of books. I love the fact that you are a fantastic, independent book shop laughing in the face of Amazon.
I love that you have a fantastic selection of picture books, early readers and games for children and are actually happy to have children in your shop.
There is story time on a Saturday 11am and also various evening with authors. They also have their own book club.
I do not love the coffee shop. 😦
I ventured in for tea and cake whilst having a rare hour to myself and had the driest coffee and walnut cake in the world. Ever. Gutted. Now as you may know, I am no Custom Cupcakes but I don’t sell my cakes. The tea was ok but the experience I had envisaged went something like this; I find an amazing book, go and find a nice quiet, comfy chair, wait for someone to take my order in a timely- not rushy, way and then am served a lovely mug of tea and slice of fresh, moist, yummy cake which requires a fork because the frosting is a little sticky.
Reality- ordered at the counter as no one noticed me (can you imagine!) received an average/insipid cup of tea- you know the type which is sort of see through at the edges and a dry slice of cake which was more akin to an old ryvita. Sad times indeed.
Despite this, I heartily recommend Linghams, it is a Heswall institution. The staff are helpful and you can order any books through them, they’ll call when it arrives and I never want it to close. They had a little carol concert last Christmas. Too cute!
I went in there last week with the double buggy (obviously kids too- I haven’t totally lost it yet). Baby A had a little go in the toy boat thing, fell out, wailed her head off and totally ruined the calm ambience of the place. Despite this, the staff were very patient as I knocked into the shelves in my haste to get out. Infact, they held the door open for me!!
Linghams has been voted the best independent bookshop in the NorthWest for the 2nd year running so it might just be me with cake issues. Another plus- it is licenced. Who doesn’t love a beer and a book.

**Interesting point to note about me**
I will give some things the benefit of the doubt whilst happily ripping something else to shreds. There is little or no logic to my opinion and I reserve the right to change my opinion or ask that you respectfully don’t challenge me on the fact that I might change from one very strong view to an opposing very strong view within days with no apparent reason. It is one of my charming quirks.

Gould’s:
Ideal if, like me you are a total and utter loser and the mere mention of a new term means new pens, pencils, diary etc.
Both of my babies are yet to utter their first actual sentence but I am already excited at the prospect of buying school supplies.
Independent which is nice- probably more expensive as a result and obv you could get similar in Tesco but then, you could also be buying a horse disguised as a fish or something.

DeeFineArts:
It surely goes without saying that both of my children will be naturally gifted and most things (ha ha) If one of their incredible talents is painting then I’ll nip down here to get the frames sorted. 🙂
Does first class framing and also has a gallery upstairs, no lift though.
Has now expanded into mirrors, cards and some jewellery, crafty type stuff (which I might describe as dust catchers but most people would think are lovely) from local artists.
Always has lovely art in the window and there is also a sort of resident artist who works in the shop; Jim Fleming which is charming.

Destination Anywhere:
A brilliant travel agent on Milner road which Mr L and I ventured into with both baby’s in search of a family friendly holiday which wouldn’t make me want to put my own head in an oven.
We were given a really warm welcome, a cuppa and Janet wasn’t pushy at all. We explained what we were looking for from a holiday, gave them a budget and an email address and they found some really really brilliant options for us to chose from.
Nearly didn’t bother to go in as it looks a bit pricey but I would certainly recommend them, particularly if you are looking for something a little different or special.

Anne Margaret’s:
Hum… This is Heswalls version of Willy Wonkas chocolate factory. I don’t mean that it is staffed by Umpa Lumpas, I just mean I have never seen anyone enter or leave- weird.
However, if you are looking for a crynalin nightie that will spontaneously combust if there is too much friction then look no further ;-).

What I think Heswall is lacking, if anyone is interested, is is a Childrens clothes shop (and a fishmongers actually-someone open one please).
Since I have now reduced myself to buying my clothes from Florence and Fred, I have to live out my fashion dreams vicariously through my children.
I met the owners of RudyTudy last week and they sell absolutely gorgeous gorgeous clothes for kids aged 1-12. I am particularly taken with the nautical stuff (and the tutus). Run by two mums who get in the clothes and customise using vintage fabrics. They are on FB and have various pop up events so check them out if you are tired of the generic M&CO outfits (which also have their place) RT is perfect for an outfit that feels a bit more special and unique to you.

Baby Business:
Just up from The Ravenscroft Pub.
Really handy shop which stocks everything that a parent could need including buggies, furniture, toys, the works basically. Give it a go before you traipse over to town.

Eateries:

Isabelle’s:

Just a few doors away from Linghams so my advice is, peruse the shelves, linger in the travel section, buy your book and head for the door! Go to Isabelle’s for some AMAZING scrambled eggs, tea, toast etc.
Slight issue is how busy the place is but, obviously this is just proof that the food is fab. Great selection of teas, coffees, cakes (not ryvita) and, in my experience, good staff.
I have been here both on my own and with the girls and service has been great each time.
On busier days it might be a push with a pram but it is a popular haunt with parents so don’t worry that you won’t be welcome with the staff (I cant control the customers) There is a kids menu too. Its not going to set the world on fire- ham sandwiches etc but you don’t need anything else really. No toys or kids area or anything like that and decor wise it is pretty grown up so you might want to take stuff to keep children occupied and it’d be frowned upon if they were running riot in there.
Freshly made cakes daily which are LUSH. Read the reviews and go.

Could write about Costa here but I won’t. It’s a costa. Everywhere has them.

Archers Ice cream Parlour:
A new establishment just up from the library on the left hand side.
Lovely, lovely, lovely ice cream.
Very accommodating to parents with buggies and didn’t mind when myself and three mums (plus kids) cradled our drinks for far longer than polite and didn’t spend too much. Can eat in, or out and take away.
I will certainly be going back but would worry that I’ll become addicted.
Ideal for the forthcoming wonderful summer we are about to have.

Pizza Express:
Surely this needs no introduction does it?! Crayons for kids, sometimes even balloons and a little paper hat. Well used to serving families so stress is minimal. You’ll get pretty good food which won’t break the bank but it won’t be an experience you’ll reminisce over on the morning of their wedding either.
Does the job nicely. ‘Nuff said.

I have got lots to say on most of the restaurants in Heswall and can only assume that they will be asking me to visit as a mystery diner in the very near future so that they too can benefit from my pearls of wisdom and buck up their ideas.
I won’t include them now as this is mainly for when you are ambling with kids trying to avoid the pre tea melt down and the housework as opposed to when you are ‘out out’ (in the words of the utterly hilarious Mickey Flannigan).

Have just read thIs back and nearly slipped into a coma as it is so long and full of links. Ooh, get me being all techy. Apols!!
If you are still reading- well done you! If you aren’t from Heswall- come up, visit. There’s loads more to do!!! Look. 🙂

Now get outside with a glass of white and enjoy the evening. XxxX

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