Picture this: You're sipping a cold beer on a hot summers evening seated outside a bar in a beautiful cobbled medieval street surrounded by marvellous ancient buildings.
Brugge? Ghent? Vienna? Munich?
Well yes, but what if this could be in cosy old Leicester? Think it sounds ridiculous? Have a look at this picture:-
(photograph copyright Matt Ots - more here)
This is Castle View, one of Leicester's hidden gems within the boundary of the original Norman castle bailey. Around it are some of Leicester's most fabulous bits of heritage, St Mary's de Castro church where Geoffrey Chaucer was married, the Great Hall of the castle, Castle Gardens, the Newark Houses Museum and Trinity Hospital.
Now imagine once again this was full of people chatting, drinking and generally enjoying the atmosphere. What better way to breathe new life and interest into this beautiful but largely neglected corner of the city?
Not only is this not all that far-fetched, it actually used to happen:-
The above picture is the Castle Inn, next to the turret gateway as was a few decades ago. Many of the buildings on Castle View now lie empty having previously been used by De Montfort University.
None of this requires a regeneration masterplan or a millionaire developer - just a bit of imagination and a landlord who can see the potential of the location.