I’m sure many of you are already aware of LOROS, and the wonderful work that this charity does in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. For 30 years LOROS has provided hospice care for more than 30,000 people with terminal illnesses, and support to them and their families. I’ve had some small personal insight into the immense positive difference that LOROS makes to the experience of terminally ill people and their loved ones during the most difficult of times, and it’s a charity I’m very proud to support.
To mark its 30th birthday last month, LOROS launched the 30 for 30 initiative, encouraging people to incorporate the number 30 into their own campaign to celebrate three decades of LOROS. Supporters have responded by donating £30, doing a 30 mile sponsored run, and in one case by playing 30 music gigs in different venues around Leicester!
I was keen to join in the celebrations, and to make my own 30 for 30 project a very local one. After all, LOROS is a proudly local charity with two very popular shops in Clarendon Park. I’ve decided to pick 30 purchases I’ve made in Clarendon Park during September, add up how much I’ve spent, and donate the total amount to the charity. I didn’t go out of my way to do anything outside my regular routine – these are things I buy on a regular basis from some of my favourite Clarendon Park shops.
I learned two things from this project. Firstly, even a small amount of money, if put aside regularly, can quickly add up to a sizeable charity donation. Secondly, these ‘little and often’ spends also add up to a meaningful investment to the local economy. Research on spending by local authorities shows that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business 63p stays in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger business. As one unmentionable supermarket giant might put it, ‘every little helps’!
Keep reading for a whistle-stop tour of some of my favourite Clarendon Park independent shops. You’ll also find out about a few hidden local gems, including the friendliest cobbler in Leicester and where to pick up a slice of wickedly indulgent Cypriot baklava…
- CD – £1.50, from LOROS Music on Queens Road
- Paperback book – £2, from LOROS Books on Queens Road
- Scratch card – £1, from any LOROS shop
I’m a big fan of charity shops, especially for picking up cheap second-hand books and CDs. The new music-themed LOROS shop on Queens Road has a very browse-worthy collection of CDs, vinyl and even a few musical instruments! As well as picking up a bargain, you can also buy scratch cards and donate your unwanted stuff at any LOROS shop, or join the LOROS lottery. At £1 per week, the lottery is a really affordable way to support the charity, and every week you’ll be entered into a prize draw with a £2,000 jackpot.
- Biltong – £3 for a small handful, from Archers Butchers on Queens Road
- Applewood Smoked Cheddar cheese – £2 for a smallish slice, from Christopher James Deli on Queens Road
- Deli-made scotch egg – £1.95 – Salvador Deli on Queens Road
We’re spoiled in Clarendon Park when it comes to places to pick up a few posh savoury treats. The biltong made by the lovely folk at Archers Butchers is a massively moreish meaty indulgence and the great value scotch eggs at Salvador Deli are so substantial, one is almost a whole meal in itself.
- Aperol Spritz – £7, from Cultura on Queens Road
- The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc – £5 for a large glass (recommended), from Babelas on Queens Road
- Clarendon Gold – £5, from The Offie on Clarendon Park Road
I love Clarendon Park’s small but perfectly formed selection of bars and pubs – check out my Clarendon Park After Dark article for a comprehensive run-down. Did you know that The Offie stock their very own brew called Clarendon Gold? It’s the perfect accompaniment to a late summer barbecue!
- Marigolds – £2.99, from Jeff Hardware & DIY on Queens Road
- Toilet brush – £1, from Poundsavers on Queens Road
- Insoles – £2, from Superfine Shoe Repairs on Queens Road
Sadly, it’s not all glamour. Just in case you thought I spent all my time sipping aperitifs and munching fine delicacies, sometimes it is necessary to undertake the odd more mundane task. Superfine Shoe Repairs, towards the south end of Queens Road, is one of Clarendon Park’s hidden gems – small and large repairs to leather goods are carried out with skill by the incredibly friendly proprietor, and it’s great value. Highly recommended.
- Cherries – £1 for a handful, from Parsons on Queens Road
- Gerberas – £2.10 for three, from Flower Corner on Queens Road
- Doughnut peaches – 60p for 2, from Peasgood on Queens Road
There’s something very charming and old-fashioned about visiting a proper grocers and leaving with armfuls of brown paper bags full of fresh fruit and veg. I was so pleased with these pretty gerberas from Flower Corner too – they made for a really pretty and minimalist floral display and lasted for weeks.
- Freshly squeezed orange juice – £2.50, from Bar Dos Hermanos on Queens Road
- Macchiato – £1.50, from Northern Cobbler on the corner of Queens Road and Clarendon Park Road
- Fresh Strawberry lemonade – £2.50, from Jones’ on Queens Road
Could these be the top three non-alcoholic beverages in Clarendon Park? I think so. If you’ve yet to pay a visit to Northern Cobbler, the area’s newest coffee merchants, get up to speed by reading my article, Loafers and Lattes.
- Birthday card – £2.80, from Mooch on Queens Road
- Tea light and holder – £3.50, from Elizabeth James on Clarendon Park Road
- Earrings – £9, from Prettiez off Queens Road
It’s hugely handy having a bunch of places on your doorstep where you can pick up a last-minute birthday card or stocking-filler. These gorgeous peacock feather earrings from Prettiez were handmade in Clarendon Park by the talented Elizabeth Lenore from Nevermore Boutique.
- Leicester Mercury – 70p, from Victoria News and Booze on Howard Road
- Fish ‘n’ Chips – 55p, from Gainsborough Stores on Queens Road
- Pint of milk – 59p, from Knighton Supermarket on Clarendon Park Road
I’m so grateful for the fact that I live somewhere sufficiently urban that an emergency pint of milk or Twirl bar is less than a minute away. My most local ‘local’ is Gainsborough Stores, purveyors of the underrated and delicious snack that is curry sauce flavoured Fish ‘n’ Chips, which I’m munching on as I type.
- 1 scoop of honeycomb ice cream in a sugar cone – £1.80, from Andersons’ Sweets and Ice Cream on Queens Road
- Baklava – 60p, from Pavlos on Queens Road
- Lemon muffin – £1.60, from Fingerprints on Queens Road
I’ve devoted a couple of articles to the best cakes and cookies Clarendon Park has to offer – and there are plenty. Pavlos is anything but your average takeaway and another of Clarendon Park’s best kept secrets – they offer authentic Cypriot fare at fantastic prices and their baklava is delicious (and a snip at just 60p).
- Taxi ride into town – £5, from Victoria Cabs on Queens Road
- Laundry – £3 for a 35 minute wash, from Clarendon Laundry on Clarendon Park Road
- First class UK letter postage – 63p, from Clarendon Park Post Office on Queens Road
From hair salons to estate agents and beauty salons to dry cleaners, there are plenty of businesses in Clarendon Park offering both essential and luxury services. We’re particularly lucky to have a family-run post office on our doorstep, even if Queens Road’s long suffering post box does take a tumble every now and then!
Total LOROS donation: £75
You can find out more about the work of LOROS on their website, where you can also make a donation, get info about their shops and services and enter the LOROS lottery.
Happy birthday LOROS!