A pull-out in yesterday’s Times ranked Chipping Norton as number five in their list of the ’30 best towns in Britain’. Obviously we Chippy folk were delighted. That is, until we actually read it…
This town is sometimes described as Britain’s answer to Beverly Hills
Is it? By whom? It was market day in Chippy today, and all I could see as I scanned the stall-holders were women with tartan shopping trolleys, waving copies of The Times and saying, ‘Beverly Hills?’ in incredulous tones across the plums.
… its homes, hewn from honey-coloured stone, are to die for.
Well, I’ll give them that. Cotswold stone is beautiful, even when clad onto modern houses with cardboard walls.
The town is peaceful and picturesque.
Granted, it is pretty here, and the countryside is glorious, but the town itself is your average hotch-potch of charity shops and offices, punctuated by some real gems. I love it – it has everything I need, and more besides – but peaceful it most certainly isn’t. Clearly they have never tried to squeeze a pushchair between the Blue Boar and a convoy of thundering lorries.
Facilities include London-standard pubs and restaurants.
London-standard? Wow! Really? You really think our tiny, provincial town can compete with eating establishments in The Big Smoke?
For heaven’s sake. Since when did London become the only benchmark for quality dining? It’s so arrogant. And besides, the last time I was in a London pub it was over-priced and rammed with pinstripes – a sartorial choice I’m relieved to say I rarely see in Chipping Norton.
Who lives here?
Oh, this’ll be good.
David and Samantha Cameron
No, they don’t.
…and Elisabeth Murdoch
No, she doesn’t.
…and Matthew Freud.
No, he doesn’t. Honestly, this ‘Chipping Norton Set’ has got beyond a joke. The Chipping Norton boundary has extended so far beyond the town it may as well include William and Kate. In fact I’m surprised the royal couple hasn’t snapped up a home hewn from honeyed stone, given the number of London-standard eateries around here.
Oh, I give up.
Chippy’s a great place. It’s packed with things to do and places to eat. We’ve got an award-winning theatre, festivals galore, and no end of gossip to keep us entertained. We have a fantastic town. We don’t need the London comparisons, and we don’t need to pull every celeb and politician within a twenty mile radius of the town, into the mythical Chipping Norton Set. There is no Chipping Norton Set: there’s just Chipping Norton. And we like it here.