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The ubiquitous blank page and the solace of Urbano 32: writer Richard Griffiths blogs about an inspiring trip to Chester


Inspiring surroundings at Urbano 32 Photo courtesy of Urbano 32


A writer’s retreat: Urbano 32 in Chester Photo: Richard Griffiths

Drawing inspiration from our city Photo courtesy of Urbano 32


A hearty We Are Chester welcome to aspiring author and freelance journalist Richard Griffiths, who blogs here about his quest to find literary inspiration in the heart of our city. Writer’s block is no joke – and it’s inspiring to hear how different writers manage to overcome it and rediscover that creative spark. Over to you Richard. 

I recently met up with some friends for lunch in Chester. The walled city always provides me with the dichotomy of bookshops (the unpublished writer’s opportunity to check out how it should be done) and the ability to lose myself in the café culture of the city, to actually practise my craft of writing in peace.

Having feasted and filled, I bade farewell to my companions, and headed off to find a corner to open both my notebook and my mind, looking for those elusive ideas upon which to base a future short story or blog post.

It was then I came across Urbano 32 on Bridge Street, which describes itself as a pizza restaurant, bar and meeting place. It was mid afternoon, so I enjoyed the conversations of the last of the lunchtime diners, prior to those looking to dine before the evening rush arrived.

Smugglers’ gold

As such, I could have the choice of tables, always the ‘smugglers’ gold’ of those who need to place themselves strategically, in order to ‘feel the words’.

Having been greeted by the friendliest of front of house, I took my chosen seat and ordered a glass of an agreeable mid afternoon red wine – one to inspire the mind and relax the weariest of bones.

As I sat there, wondering what I could possibly draw inspiration from, I slipped into the warm, enveloping arms of my drink, listening to the conversations around me, all about travel and tales of faraway places. But it was not these utterances that inspired me: strangely, it was the furniture right before me.

Fantastical adventures

The bar was formed of a cupboard of many drawers. Now I would never describe myself as an ‘imaginary writer’ – I do not envisage myself writing tales of fantastical adventures, but searching around for inspiration,  I immediately found my mind wondering what was inside each drawer.

And so my imagination unexpectedly took flight. This would be the story of a man who lived in a house with a cupboard of 21 drawers, each night opening one drawer after another.

Each drawer offers some objects which may at first be confusing and bewildering, but as he falls asleep on the sofa, and the nights progress, they help unlock puzzle after puzzle, until he gets to the 21st night where he opens the final drawer.

Big idea

I won’t give away my big idea, suffice to say that an enjoyable, peaceful and most inspiring hour spent in this Chester hideaway spawned something, from where I do not know, and which I haven’t been in touch with for a while!

Diners came and went during my brief repose at Urbano 32, but the overriding atmosphere was both welcoming and conducive to this writer’s mental block and search for something new.

I’ll let you know when my big book deal is done. The sweat, toil and worry of a thousand plus hours will be available in Tesco on a two for £7 deal, in due course, no doubt. And you’ll find me a having celebratory  glass or two over the bones of my next bestseller in Urbano 32!

Urbano 32 is located at 32 Bridge Street Chester. Tel: 01244 300487


We Are Chester writer and aspiring author Richard Griffiths




About Angela Ferguson (231 Articles)
I'm a writer, journalist and blogger, as well as the founder and editor of culture webzine I'm also a university lecturer in journalism and media communications and a radio presenter for hire.

2 Comments on The ubiquitous blank page and the solace of Urbano 32: writer Richard Griffiths blogs about an inspiring trip to Chester

  1. Well, I found this piece inspiring and interesting on the view of writers block, I hate writers block I can just sit there for hours looking at a screen doodling trying to find inspiration. Urbano32 in Chester looks a cultural and innovative place to dine, I’m thinking of booking a table soon. What a Transcendent piece, Thank You for your inspiration

    Liked by 1 person

  2. welshmapleleaf // February 29, 2016 at 9:15 pm // Reply

    Reblogged this on Bald man's blog and commented:
    Here’s an article I wrote recently for the brilliant blog ‘We are Chester’. Check them out at:


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