In the spotlight
PUBLISHED: 14:33 20 February 2009 | UPDATED: 14:05 05 October 2010
By April Welsh Paul Richardson, 53, is the joint-owner of Fresh, a new organically sourced café near Whitechapel Station. Paul, twin brother David, and co-owner Shamim, won a TFL competition to renovate the old ticket hall at Whitechapel, designed by loc
By April Welsh
Paul Richardson, 53, is the joint-owner of Fresh, a new organically sourced café near Whitechapel Station. Paul, twin brother David, and co-owner Shamim, won a TFL competition to renovate the old ticket hall at Whitechapel, designed by local architect Natalie Weavers. A working consultant in special needs education, Paul now divides his time equally between consulting and managing the café.
Where are you from?
I am originally from the North-East. I was born in Newcastle but spent my childhood in Sunderland. However, my family came over to London when I was about eleven, so I grew up here. We lived in north-west London at first, but I moved to the East End in the early nineties and I've lived here ever since. My brother and I bought an old Georgian property just over the road from Fresh in Mount Terrace about two years ago and have just finished renovating it.
What do you like about the East End?
The lovely mix of people. I think east London is one of the friendliest and cosmopolitan parts of London, everyone's very welcoming here and everyone seems to get on so well. Compared perhaps to nearby Spitalfields for example, I also think that it's an area which will hopefully keep a balance between the traditional Georgian buildings on the one hand and the newer redevelopments like the hospital over the road on the other. In fact, we get a lot of the doctors and nurses coming over from the hospital who say they've been waiting twenty years for somewhere like this to open.
What don't you like about the East End?
The fact that Whitechapel in particular could really do with some proper investment in the market corridor. There is huge room for improvement, especially if you compare the market here to the ones in the West End, which there are proper storage areas for the stalls, for example. I think the council needs to think about boosting market traders potential. The products are interesting but it's the presentation that needs improving. If you lose the market traders you lose the heart and soul of the area.
What do you do to relax?
I like to sit at the table in the corner of the café which catches the sunlight brilliantly from about 11am, and just watch the world go by. I also use the sports centre at Whitechapel and Canary Wharf. I like to go up to the West End for sushi and I also support Sunderland FC.
Where do you go if you're out East?
I like Spitalfields and am also looking forward to the re-opening of the Whitechapel gallery. On nice days I'll go for a stroll in Mile End Park and my favourite pub is The Gun in Wapping. Obviously some of the best curry houses are around here and as well as the ones on Brick Lane, one of the best I've ever been to is Tayyabs on Fieldgate Street, where you'll sometimes find me tucking into a chicken curry or shish kebab rolls.
What are you doing this weekend?
My parents came down to London for the opening of Fresh four weeks ago and have stayed down since. It's my mum's 80th birthday on Saturday so I'm taking her out for dinner. My grandmother decided to name her Valerie because she was born on Valentine's Day so it's always a really special day.
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