October 2016 – December 2018
Type of work
Food and Drink Editor
Leicester is a city replete with accomplished artists, performers and entrepreneurs. But, with no central unifying force to sing the praises of these talented folk, much of their work is overlooked or restricted to niche audiences.
Great Central set out to challenge this status quo. We banged the drum for culture, art and entertainment in the city. We let the people of Leicester know how much fabulous stuff was going on right under their noses. Created by a team of volunteers and funded by sponsors and carefully chosen advertisers, Great Central magazine was online and had bi-monthly print editions. 10,000 copies of each issue were distributed across the city.
My articles focused on the venues, bars, restaurants and shops that form the fabric of Leicester’s nightlife and independent economy. From a run-down of Leicester’s best beer gardens to a deep dive into Keralan cuisine: If you could eat it, drink it or buy it, I wrote about it. In my editorial role, I researched and chose subjects and oversaw the work of a small team of volunteer writers and photographers. I produced a style guide and copy edited articles before publishing.
Ultimately, we found it impossible to secure the financial support we needed to keep Great Central going. However, it remains a shining example of what can be achieved by a collective of passionate and determined creatives.
Can you think of any two-word phrase more deliciously inviting than “micro pub”? Didn’t think so. The good news is that a new micro pub has opened in the heart of historic Leicester and it’s every bit as cosy and welcoming as you’d hope.
Castle Inn is a stone’s throw from Turret Gateway on the cute and cobbled Castle View, which happens to be one of the city’s prettiest streets. The pub is run by De Montfort Students’ Union and there was originally talk of it being open to university staff and students only. Happily, it turns out everyone’s welcome into this beautifully-restored Grade II Listed cottage.
It’s a proper old-fashioned pub, albeit on a bijoux scale, and it’s the perfect bolthole for a glass or two of light, citrussy pale ale. Which is handy, because Castle Inn has its own signature IPA that perfectly fits this description, brewed just down the road at the legendary Framework Brewery.
“I’ve loved every issue of this great magazine, it really helped me when I first moved to Leicester from London two years ago.”
“I loved the look, feel and articles in this mag and the way it promoted music, spaces and people. A great loss to Leicester.”
“Really going to miss your mag. Thanks for a great team effort and an informative read.”
“In a world obsessed with online there’s still room for a paper copy mag like this and you offered an eclectic mix of coverage that was a delight.”
“A great contribution to the cultural scene in Leicester.”
Great Central readers