So first of all, I have blogged before about how I think St Helens Town Centre has died. If you’ve visited gilliblogs before you will know I live in Newton-le-Willows, which is part of the St Helens borough.
We are surrounded by the towns of Wigan, Warrington & Widnes, all of which have had quite a lot of investment in their shopping centres with huge multi-storey car parks, American style malls, swish indie cinemas and bowling alleys.
Saldy, St Helens has not had quite the same luck with the main shops and brands you would expect to see in a thriving town disappearing one by one. My local councillor would scream “Austerity” at this point, but whatever the reason, St Helens Town Centre has become less and less like somewhere I wanted to visit.
However, this weekend M and I had to visit one of the few thriving shops in St Helens as he had to pick up some new glasses. I suppose people’s eyesight will continue to deteriorate no-matter how many pennies are in the purse.
After our appointment was done and M could once again read his Twitter feed without squinting, we decided to pop into a new(ish) healthy eating restaurant on Bridge Street called “Vigour“. As we walked in we were greeted by a New York industrial style cafe with upbeat music, exposed brick, long oak benches and (surprisingly) comfortable stools.
We went to the counter and the staff were friendly and attentive and offered us either the breakfast or regular menu – we went for breakfast and ordered a Breakfast Bagel and something called Avocado Smash.
We took our seats at one of the free benches and didn’t have to wait long for our food to arrive. Our mouths were already watering at other people’s plates being brought out – always a good sign and we weren’t disappointed.
I had the breakfast bagel with sausages and bacon and honestly the sausages were seriously so good, so tasty and full of flavour that I literally shoved the food in my face! M had similar thoughts about his Avocado, poached egg & bagel combo and before long we both had empty plates! I actually only left my bagel because I was too full! We only ate one dish off the menu, but it was enough to convince us of Vigour’s pedigree and standards.
There will always be a place in every town centre for Greggs the Bakers and life would be dull without somewhere to get a vanilla slice, but similarly a cafe that promotes healthy food is such a WIN for the town.
People want to work out and stay healthy, that’s an undeniable fact so a healthy eating style restaurant is a gorgeous idea. Inside it has the brilliantly buzzy feeling that there might be a kernel of positive change for the town centre and long, long may it continue.
Well done Vigour – we will definitely be back. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐