I feel like I’m cheating a bit here. I’m not a resident of Reddish (though I am a frequent visitor) as I live in London. I am, however, becoming a bit of a regular down at the Retreat Salon on Reddish Road. This time, I supplemented my usual eyebrow threading appointment (£7.50, fifth appointment is free) with a neck and shoulder massage (£10 for 20 mins). I stepped in to the salon and was greeted by the lovely Priya. The first time I met her it was a bit of a shock as I was confronted with a flustered and extremely loud person with bright purple hair. However, it’s really easy to warm to her quickly as her eccentricity is more charming and welcoming than a reason to feel uncomfortable.
After a 10-minute wait (not unusual – best to come here on a day you’re not in a rush) I was led upstairs to a massage room. It reminded me of a Turkish boudoir; all purple and complete with four-poster day bed and exotic trinkets. I don’t know if I’m making it sound slightly tacky here. It isn’t. It’s really, really nicely done and makes a huge difference to the stairs and corridor, which look like the inside of a non-descript office. I stripped off and got on to the bed, ready for the perfectly nice Tina to start on my painfully kinked neck and shoulders.
I’ll be honest. It wasn’t the best massage I’ve ever had. If, like me, you spend most of your time hunched up over schoolbooks or a computer, every now and then you need your muscles beaten in to submission by hands akin to those of an angry ogre. This was an experience closer to being danced on by fairies. Not unpleasant and relaxing enough, I just didn’t walk out as knot free as I’d have hoped.
After going back downstairs and being greeted by a glass of water and an ever-cheery Priya, I settled down to have my eyebrows done. In between threading, she told me a bit about the background of the business. The salon has been open for about 18 months and the most popular treatment is eyebrow threading. It’s easy to see why – my appointments with Priya are quick, relatively painless and I appreciate her thoroughness and willingness to talk you through the process. She’s a total boss at eyebrow threading. It’s all over in 7 minutes and, in the 3 years I’ve been having my eyebrows threaded, nobody has done it better than her.
All in all, a good experience. I find the salon good value for money and (despite the slight grumble at often having to wait) I usually enjoy the experience. Here’s a tip. Phone a week or so in advance and request Priya specifically to do your eyebrows to save time and pain.
By Louise Frodsham
Dragon Palace Chinese Restaurant
Dragon Palace is one of those places that, frankly, you’d walk past if you were on a night out in Reddish. Not in a bad way – it just looks a bit like one of those buildings you’d see in a bandit tow. But I’m not here for Grand Designs – I’m here for a food review.
Jez, Ana and I were lucky enough to eat at there a couple of Sundays ago, and we managed to get stuck into what they called their £8.50 meal deal (drinks not included, obviously – I had a diet coke).
The £8.50 meal deal consists of a starter (which can be either chicken and sweetcorn soup, or chicken and sweetcorn soup), a follow-up dish and a main course. I decided to go with the standard chicken and sweetcorn soup – which wasn’t without it’s charms.
The interim course was either a couple of spare ribs in a sweet chilli sauce, or some vegetable spring rolls. Both were cooked really well, and the ribs were particularly tender, which impressed me.
The mains were served pretty quickly. I have to say that the service in Dragon Palace is particularly speedy, but not in a bad way. The food was served promptly, was cooked right through, and you didn’t have to wait long for a refill.
For mains, Jez had some beef in oyster sauce, Ana had satay chicken, and I had the chicken with pineapple and ginger. All of us had the egg fried rice.
The chicken was pretty standard. I’m not going to go overboard – it tasted like the standard Chinese chicken that you have in restaurants all over the country. I was particularly impressed by the slithers of ginger in my dish – it really added a punch to the dish. Ana’s chicken satay was also more than passable. I’m not going to say we haven’t had better, but I was especially happy that they didn’t offer us chips at the first opportunity to go with our meals. Personally, from the couple of mouthfuls I had of Jez’s dish, I found the oyster sauce to be a bit too heavy, but that’s just me picking
With drinks and tip, the meals came to about £15 each, a price that reflected the value of the meals and the standard of service. The Dragon Palace can cater for large parties, and looks bigger on the inside than it does on the outside, thanks to extension at the rear.
Overall, I’d recommend the Dragon Palace as somewhere to stop in for a quick meal on a night out – standard Chinese fare, but with great service and decent value thrown in for good measure.
by Ben Stroud
Having been an avid gym goer for many years, and leaving behind a family of gym buddies in Birmingham, finding a decent gym up north was very important to me. I spent a long time researching my options and seeing as it was unlikely that I could stay with my chain of club the search began for a replacement. After a bit of googleing and a quick phone call I went down to Life Leisure, Houldsworth village and after being tempted by a student friendly monthly fee I joined up.
For those that don’t know, Life Leisure is the face of Stockport Sports Trust and the facilities in Reddish seem to be very new and modern. For me there are a number of things I look for in a good gym: cleanliness, decent opening hours, good facilities and staff attitude. The last may seem a little odd but I find it really important to be in a positive, motivating environment. At Life Leisure the staff are friendly but some of the trainers and instructors seem fairly young and at the start of their fitness careers which can limit their knowledge and confidence.
The atmosphere can vary but is normally positive. A wide range of people are members and so working out is not intimidating in the slightest. During classes there is normally a sense of team morale with members encouraging each other.
All of the facilities are cleaned to a very high standard and most of the equipment is top of the range with iPod docks and if you don’t want to listen to music you can watch one of the wall-mounted televisions. The gym itself is fairly small with limited equipment. They have everything you would expect as well as keeping up to date with the latest freestyle training trend offering ViPR and kettlebell classes; I would like to see more Freestyle equipment such as TRX or core bags but there is simply not the space. Unusually Life Leisure has two X-Dream bikes – exercise bikes that are more like videogames and take your mind off the exercise. Recently one of the indoor football pitches has been transformed into a basketball/badminton court which I am excited to try out.
If you don’t fancy hitting the gym there are a wide variety of classes to try out, although these often become very busy so booking ahead is a must. This can be very frustrating, especially when people do not turn up.
A class only membership is available, and a discounted full membership is also currently on offer at a very reasonable £17.99 per month. Pop into the club for more information and hopefully I’ll see you in there soon.
by Liz Edwards
So, a few of us Reddish boys and girls decided it was about time to try some of our local cuisine. The Carousel is located on Reddish Road (full details at the bottom of this post) and you can’t miss it because it is bright orange. Don’t let this put you off though. When we arrived (on a Sunday evening) there were a few people hanging around outside, having a fag with pint glass in hand. It was a bit intimidating (they could really do with a smoking area out back to stop this), but again, don’t let this put you off.
Once inside The Carousel is surprisingly welcoming. It’s been refurbished relatively recently and it shows. It’s cosy and predictable in a comforting way. It was also clean and had plenty of free tables to choose from.
Food wise we’d been made aware of the following offer at The Carousel:
Given that we all value our hearts, don’t fancy a coronary embolism and aren’t completely mental, we decided to skip it in favour of more human sized food. Between us we ordered a 12oz Inferno Burger, a Chicken New Yorker and a 6oz Three Cheese and Mushroom Burger, all of which came in way under £8 each. Taste wise, simple pub grub, tasty and value for money. Service wise, nice and friendly, just what you’d want and expect from such an establishment.
The atmosphere was relatively sedate, but it was a Sunday evening so that could explain it. I do wonder what it would be like on a Friday night, and to be perfectly honest it’s not somewhere I would go personally for weekend drinks. But for relaxed, unpretentious and well priced food it hits the nail on the head for a quick week day evening meal when you want big carby food. There’s even a Steak and Quiz night on a Tuesday. Winner!
by Ana Hernandez