A Worcester Crash Course
Welcome everyone to the University of Worcester! This is ‘The Voice’, Worcester University’s very own student led newspaper. I’m here to provide you with a bit of a crash course in everything Worcester; so you’re all up to speed with the best spots to hang out and eat as well as a brief highlight of Worcester’s place at the heart of English history.
Hopefully by the end of these two articles you’ll feel much more familiar with this ancient cathedral city of ours. But more importantly, hopefully you’ll feel at home.
In part one we’ll be covering the history of Worcester and where are the best places to eat and sample the various tastes of the city.
The History of Worcester
So you’ve chosen to come and study in Worcester. But how much do you know about your new city of residence?
I guess that depends on how familiar you are with English history, or if you’re an avid fan of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce.
But fear not! We at ‘The Voice’ have compiled a highlight reel of Worcester’s finest moments over the centuries. Let’s begin.
Worcester as a settlement can be traced back all the way to Neolithic period (2,000 BC). The town grew and switched hands many times over the next 3,000 years; being occupied by the Ancient Britons (who named it Weorgoran Ceaster), the Romans, the Anglo-Saxons and then eventually the Normans.
In 1041 the fledgling town was almost destroyed after a rebellion against the punitive taxation of the last Scandinavian King of England, Harthacnut.
Fast forward 600 years to 3rd September 1651, Worcester hosted the final battle of the English Civil War – Oliver Cromwell’s ‘New Model Army’ defeated Charles II’s army of ‘Royalists’, ushering in the Interregnum.
The world-famous Royal Worcester Porcelain Company was founded in the city by Dr John Wall in 1751. Sadly, it no longer produces goods, however, there’s a museum dedicated to the company’s history that we’ll get to later.
In 1832, the British Medical Association (BMA) was founded in Worcester’s Royal Infirmary Building. The Royal Infirmary was partially demolished to make way for Worcester University’s City Campus – however there is a medical museum, The Infirmary, housed within City Campus.
Lea & Perrins’ Worcestershire Sauce was first sold in the city in 1837, and it’s still producing and playing its part within the city today.
In 1857 Worcester welcomed it’s most famous son, Sir Edward Elgar, the famous composer who masterminded classical masterpieces like: ‘Enigma Variations’ and ‘The Pomp & Circumstance Marches’.
A Taste of Worcester
So – now that you’ve learnt a bit about the Worcester of yesteryear, it’s time to look at what delights and delicacies the city holds for you today.
Worcester has a very varied range of places to quell your hunger. There’s the recognizable nationwide brands like McDonalds, Subway, KFC, Pizza Express, Greggs, Pizza Hut, Nando’s and even a Toby Carvery.
But Worcester is home to a variety of different cuisines. I’ll start with a relative newcomer, and personal favourite of mine, ‘El Mexicana’. With only 6 stores nationwide, we’re lucky enough to have one at the heart of our city on the High Street. It prides itself on providing you with a selection of Mexican culinary delights. You can choose between a taco, a burrito or a chili basket (with various accompaniments). It works in a similar fashion to Subway, in that you pick the toppings and fillings you’d like once you’ve chosen between the three aforementioned options. Reasonably priced, great portion size, and offers a takeaway service if you’re in a rush. The staff are warm, welcoming and polite. Whilst the store is plastered in bright colours.
If you’re looking to sample Asian cuisine, Worcester has a few places you ought to check out. ‘Ruby’s’ comes highly recommended and it’s located on Bransford Road near St. John’s Campus. The restaurant is a Cantonese Buffet – it offers an all-you-can-eat menu for £13.50 (Sunday – Thursday) or £14.50 (Friday-Saturday). The menu offers an extensive selection of Cantonese delicacies. Though please note, desserts are at an additional cost.
Alternatively, if you find yourself nearer to City Campus on the opposite side of the River Severn, we’d recommend the ‘Ping An Oriental’ which is located on Pump Street (just off the High Street). Ping An offers Bubble Tea, Sushi, Panda Rolls, various Noodle Soups as well as Bao.
For a taste of Cornwall, we’d recommend you go try some of the pasties and bakes in the Cornish Bakehouse on Broad Street. Whereas for a more authentic taste of English cuisine, there are plenty of pubs that will offer English classics – however a safe bet for sampling English cuisine would be ‘The Crown’ pub. It is also situated on Broad Street.
And finally, if you’re in search of some astonishingly good Indian cuisine, look no further than Ashley’s Indian Restaurant on The Tything (north of Worcester Foregate Street Train Station). Combining Indian cuisine with locally sourced ingredients, Ashley’s prides itself on ‘leading the Indian Food revolution in Worcester’. Everything on the menu is under £10 (apart from the Starter Platter for 4 which comes in at £14.95).
That’s it for now! But be sure to check back next week for part two of our Worcester Crash Course! We’ll be exploring places to visit and points of interest as well as a more in depth look at what’s available to you as a student of the University of Worcester.