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The Bold and the beautiful

Guess which street Lonely Planet thinks is Britain's shopping paradise

Published on May 12th 2011.

The Bold and the beautiful

TO quote a retailer on Bold Street, it’s about time the vibrant shopping streets of Liverpool got some recognition.

The author of The Lonely Planet Guide to Great Britain has chosen the street where Liverpool Confidential lives (or just off it, anyway) as his top of the shops.

Since 1983 David Else has written or co-written over 25 Lonely Planet guides covering the UK and many other parts of the world. Now he has nominated Bold Street as his pick in the Google Street awards.

It’s gratifying for Bold Street’s
independence to be recognised
in the face of homogenised city
centre streets worldwide

Mr Else is said to have bowled over by its lively independent cafes, alternative boutiques and colourful food stores.

Certainly, the street that is now known for its selection of indie retailers and restaurants alike has come a long way from its humble origins as a ‘ropewalk’ used to measure the rope from the top of the street to the bottom because it was the standard length needed for sailing ships.

Not to mention its furry days as the “Bond Street of the north”.

Sara Newton, from News from Nowhere, the radical and community focused bookstore on Bold Street told us: “It’s gratifying for Bold Street’s  independence to be recognised in the face of homogenised city centre streets worldwide.”

The endorsement is hoped to be a boost for traders on Bold Street who last September launched the Bold Street festival, with City Central BID, to celebrate its vibrancy and a new website (www.visitboldstreet.org)

Ged Gibbons, Chief Executive of City Central BID, which represents 630 businesses in Liverpool City Centre, said the nomination was a priceless stimulant for the family run, independent and boutique businesses which bring a unique ‘personal touch’ to the high street.

‘’Bold Street really is a street like no other and has a magical, bohemian charm that is hard to find on a high street in any UK city. Its unrivalled blend of Victorian, Georgian and art deco architecture coupled with a perfect mix of quality, independent fashion stores, cafes and restaurants has created a unique village like atmosphere which gives shoppers an intensely warm, friendly and personal experience.”

But to some Bold Street traders, the nomination came as a complete surprise.

 “This is really great news.” Says Nadia Al-Tairy, from Anya’s Closet Boutique. “But it’s about time! There are so many independent shops on Bold Street, we’re all different, and we deserve the recognition.”

3620188810_9f2a0cb2fd.jpgSince the opening of Liverpool One, many businesses have noticed that the grand shopping mall has drawn away their customers.

Carl Walkom from Hairy Records said he hoped business would pick up with the nomination. “It definitely can’t hurt.” He says. "So many businesses are struggling at the moment; the free publicity the nomination will bring can only be a good thing.”

Bold Street isn’t the only one nominated for an award for its loveliness.

Nearby Seel Street, known for its vast array of bars and clubs such as the award winning church converted Brazilian bar/restaurant Alma De Cuba, is also in the Hippest Street category nominated by Miranda Almond, Fashion Editor of Vogue.

Hippest Street is one of three new categories for the 2011 awards along with Most Romantic and Best Shopping. There are 20 towns in each category.

Voting closes on May 22. The winning three streets will be awarded the Google Street View Award trophy when they are announced in June. To vote for your favorite streets (we all know what they are going to be, don’t we?), go to http://maps.google.co.uk/beststreets

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Boulevardier BrianMay 12th 2011.

Excellent news for Bold Street which was in the doldrums last year. Up, up, up!

Paul PaulsMay 14th 2011.

I have voted. Swivel on that Manchester and your northern quarter.

Absinthe & TurksMay 25th 2011.

If last year's was he first 'Bold Street Festival', what was that thing organised by Jayne Casey involving the Lord Mayor drinking champagne with her on Bold Street one Friday evening in about 1992?

I'm sure that was called 'The Bold Streeet Festival' too!

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