Tag Archives: shops

Twickenham High Street Update (Updated)

Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock. It’s the sound of the present slipping into the past, of the ‘now’ becoming the ‘then’. Unless you have a digital watch, in which case it isn’t. With the metaphorical clock ticking away we realised that it was quite a while since we’d dumped a High Street Update on our readers so let us freeze time for a minute and take stock of what’s hot and what’s not in our town centre.

We’ve now added a few more August UPDATES updates at the end of this piece.

Perhaps the most surprising news, or perhaps not, it that Ales & Tails bar on York Street has served its last rhubarb gin and tonic. The guys there worked hard to make it a success and they put a lot of effort into marketing and getting involved in Twickenham events. Indeed, we even had a couple of very successful Twickenham ‘tweet up’ social evenings there. But perhaps it just wasn’t right for a town where traditional pubs rather than bars tend to the norm. Maybe it’s a rugby thing. Either way, it’s sad to see the demise of another new venture on the high street.

Ales & Tails - closed

Ales & Tails – closed

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Twickenham Indoor Market Arrives

Twickenham Community Market at Mac's Diner

Twickenham Community Market at Mac’s Diner

Way back in 2013 we featured an article by Alan Winter about his idea for of an indoor community market in Twickenham. Alan’s plan to was find a space where local craftspeople, collectors and traders could set up market stalls without being subject to the vagaries of the Twickenham weather (which is a bit like the British weather except that it’s actually even more local). The main focus would be on arts, crafts and collectables with the idea being that stall holders could rent tables by for a period of time or even by the day. Alan’s idea generated a lot of interest and support but one of the stumbling blocks was finding a suitable location. Twelve months on and that problem has been overcome. Alan’s vision for a Twickenham Community Market is just about to become real. You say, “Where?”. We say, “At Mac’s Diner on the corner of Cross Deep and Heath Road”. You say, “When?”. We say, “Every Monday and Tuesday”.

Mac's Diner. Home to Twickenham indoor market.

Mac’s Diner, Twickenham

As Alan tells us, “It has taken a year or so but I am pleased to announce that the Twickenham Community Market which will focus on arts, crafts and collectables with local stallholders will open on Monday 21st July to a fanfare of good music, unusual and unique products and goodwill. It has taken a while because introducing a new addition to the Twickenham townscape of this magnitude always will. If you were one of the locals who fancied running a stall with your own arts, crafts or collectables please get back in touch with me. There will be fabulous refreshments too. Anita McMahon, who owns Mac’s Diner, has come up with a ‘Market Menu’ featuring very affordable and tasty breakfasts, snacks and lunches so come and meet your friends, browse and shop at the stalls and have a bite to eat. There will be some different stallholders on a daily basis to keep the market fresh and interesting for everyone. It is a not for profit, social enterprise and will feature a different local charity each week.”

The official opening will be at 12.00 on Monday 21st July where the Mayor of Richmond and Trevor Baylis will do the honours and there’ll even be live music to add a soundtrack to the occasion. Yep, local rock n rollers Nark Drool and the Shudders will be playing sounds from the 50s and 60s outside Mac’s at 11.30.

Here at twickerati we think it’s a great idea and with the new High Road Auctions just down the road it provides something a bit different for Twickenham’s shoppers. Get in touch with Alan if you want to find out more about taking a table for a day or on a regular basis.

LINKS:
* Alan Winter. M: 07875 578398 E: alanwinter192@hotmail.com

* Previously on twickerati (May 2013)

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Going, Going, Gone! Bang!

Going, going, gone? You might hear that but for today at least it’s more like a case of ‘hello, hello, hello’. High Road Auctions, newly open on Heath Road in central Twickenham, has its first sale today (19th May). The idea? Well it pretty much does what it says on the tin. It’s a high street auction house where you sell things you don’t want and buy things that you do. The catalogues and details of the sales are online or you can just go in and have a look for yourself. Regular auctions take place and you can either bid in person or online. The company already has one branch in Chiswick and have now opened their second here in Twickenham. All those who expect every new business in town to be a café of some kind will be relieved to know that there’s one here too but this does feel like something interesting and a bit different here in lil’ ol’ ‘Nam. Good luck to ‘em, we say. Let us know how you get on.

High Road Auctions, Heath Road, Twickenham

High Road Auctions, Heath Road, Twickenham

And here’s the evidence of a decent turnout at their first Twickenham sale.

First auction, Twickenham

LINK:
* High Road Auctions

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Twickenham High Street and Shopping Update

“Woof! Woof. Woof!”
“What’s that, Lassie, old girl? There’s a boy? Trapped in the old mine shaft?? And he needs our help???”
“Woof! Woof, woof. Woof!!”
“Ah, I see, you’re saying that irresponsible child can wait a bit but we urgently need another Twickenham High Street Update? I’ve got it now, old girl. Let’s get on with it.”

So there we have it. Despite just a few weeks passing since our last update it’s time for another. Spring is in the air and on the high street. Here’s what’s hot…

[UPDATE: We've added a few new items at the end of this article]

After the warm reception and positive reviews given to Ke Sushi on London Road, we’ve now gone and got ourselves a second sushi restaurant in the form of Iso Sushi on York Street. There’s been a distinct lack of recent success in that place – we’re talkin’ the short-lived Din’s Grill and Pizza Rizzo – so here’s hoping for third time lucky with this new business. What with sushi being the new Thai (which was the new Indian, which was the new tripe and onions, etc) it could actually do well.

Sushi you, Sir!

Sushi you, Sir!

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Twickenham High Street Update – Spring 2014

Well, well, well. It’s been a while since our last High Street Update hasn’t it? But that doesn’t mean it’s been all quiet on the Twickenham front. Far from it, as it happens. Here’s the skinny.

On London Road we’ve finally seen the back of that terrible pink Yummies sign. The short-lived but long-closed experiment in frozen yoghurt has been replaced by Ke Sushi, purveyors of, you’ve guessed it, sushi, to the twickerati – that’s you lot, btw. Although not exactly on Twickenham’s ‘restaurant mile’ – Richmond Road, York Street, Heath Road (and Church Street) – it might actually do quite well especially if it can drum up a decent lunchtime trade. Next door, in what used to be Max Sports, a dry cleaning service has opened going by the name of Bonjour Dry Cleaners. With several other dry cleaners already in town, will Bonjour be a case of “Say hello, wave goodbye”, or could it be more a matter of “Suits you, sir”?

Ke Sushi London Road Twickenham

At the junction of London Road and Whitton Road, what was previously the Kaka takeaway, aka AKA’s, has now become Margherita Pizza. We assume other varieties of pizza are available. Our suggestion for a late night speciality would be a doner kebab pizza with gravy… topped with guinea fowl cooked three ways and served with beetroot paint and a basil gel. Look out for that in the upcoming series of Masterchef. We reckon old Greg Wallace would bloody love tucking into that little lot. We’re not so sure if the glum faced one would be quite so keen though.

Sticking with food, Blah Blah Blah is still closed but it’s now got a sign up saying that the lease is for sale. After stints as Bibi, Heavenly Dish, at least two versions of Karahi Spices and most recently Blah Blah Blah itself, some might be forgiven for thinking that this isn’t the best spot to run a restaurant. So, expect a new eatery to open there very soon.

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Valentine’s Day in Twickenham

Valentines on Church StreetValentine’s Day. What do you think of when you hear those two words? Love? Secret admirers? A romantic evening for two? Or three?? Or perhaps it brings to mind standing in a shop, staring blankly at the rows of greetings cards with a mixture of frustration and irritation at the sense of obligation forced upon you by persons unknown and wondering if the people shuffling around next to you are thinking exactly the same thing. And trying to catch a sly glance at them to help you speculate about what they might be thinking and wondering whether they’re thinking you’re a good soul for getting into the spirit of it all, or whether they know what you’re really thinking. Of course, if truth be told, they’re firmly stuck in their own world – they haven’t noticed you at all. So, you buy your card and you hurry out with that telltale red envelope peeking out from the top of the paper bag.

But there’s more to it than that. Church Street will be getting into the Valentine’s mood with a series of goings on this Friday. There’s a children’s treasure hunt from 4.00pm with goody bags hidden in some of the shops, and there are discounts and offers at the likes of Mint Spa, Complement, Sweetie Pies Boutique Bakery, Pincho, Kiss n Make Up and Crusader Travel. The Twickenham Town Business Association website has the full details.

And if it all gets too much for you, Friday is the day that The Eel Pie pub re-opens, so you can check out their extended new look from 6.00pm.

LINK:
* TTBA – Valentine’s Goings On

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What Shop For Twickenham?

A slow day for localness

A slow day for localness?

With yet another estate agent arriving in our midst one or two folks on Twitter expressed what can best be described as despair at the prospect. Rather than moan on about having more places trying to sell houses than there are houses to sell, we posed the question as to what type of shop twickerati followers on Twitter would like to see in Twickenham. From a starting point of assuming that such a shop would not be one that sold either houses or the complete (second hand) works of Ben Elton, we can now reveal the responses. It has to be said that some of them are more serious than others and some more viable than others. Why not have your say and add yours in the comments section. It couldn’t hurt… or could it?

Here’s what they said on Twitter:

@ArthursTwick I’d like to see an indie chandlers. Failing that Robert Dyas would do.

@katieheffe Appreciate prob not sustainable but somewhere for basic kitchenware and ‘normal’ children’s clothes

‏@SHResidents To complement Rubens, Laverstoke & Sandys: a good deli of the standard of Camisa in Berwick St or Valvona & Crolla in Edinburgh
@nickandjess agreed – a good deli would be brilliant
@YHewett I’m with that. I also want a launderette.

@ProperPieLady pie shop;-)

@MumblyK I still miss Woolies. And I’d like to swap Burger King for a Nando’s.

@ali_aliandsimon An independent book shop & toy shop

@Mumto1plus2 A reasonably priced children’s clothes shop.

@rufusmcdufus Some sort of hardware shop. Not just DIY but useful bits and pieces

@taztaylor Missing a record / cd store since the one on York St closed down… must be 10 years ago.
‏@ninjagray @taztaylor And a Green Shield Stamp shop for old man Taylor #pipeandslippers

@JamesHepworth7 An exotic pet shop!

@kershaw As long as it’s artisan I don’t mind

‏@flashnorthey Not bothered by what they sell but wld be great to be independent. Bored with chains. Just look at @RubensBakehouse #twickshop

@DapperDanHart Honestly? Combined comics and board gaming store.

@thorntog Whole foods

@DrJagz Fortnum’s would be nice. Currently hard to find a good gentleman’s relish.

@samelswood82 An independent of some sort, not a chain

@Theonlygolux A cheesemongers #twickshop

@joy… #twickshop would be nice to have a shop selling fantastic cheese – nearest independent is Richmond Hill. Teddington’s cheesery closed. #yum

‏@clairethorne It has to be a haberdasher. preferably one that’s open evening and weekends #twickshop

‏@justinebower A star wars shop or maybe a timber yard. oh no, wait.

@LandJFlowers How about a new, local, florists??

@tippytaptap A children’s soft play centre selling overpriced coffee would make a killing.

So there you have it. Twickenham has spoken! Now it’s just down to the shopkeepers to deliver.

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Twickenham High Street Update

Another year begins and another Twickenham High Street Update lands on your virtual doormat. You bend down to pick it up with feeling of dread tempered with a hint of mild anticipation. Who’s opened, who’s closed and who, saints preserve us, is going to try their luck with a new cafe?

In December Twickenham bade farewell to Max Sports after many years of loyal service to the town in the provision of sporting equipment. Rather than renew the lease on the shop, Malcolm the owner decided to up sticks and retire to New Zealand. It was a bit of a case of, “So long and thanks for all the trainers!”

Yay, let’s talk kitchens. Again. It’s not that long since Twickenham Designs opened on Heath Road for all your new kitchen requirements. Guess what? We’ve now got a second new kitchen shop on that road. And in this case there’s no need to settle for a crap kitchen when you could get yourself a totally Schmidt one. The Germans name suggests something reassuringly solid and expensive but we’ve no further information on that front – the twickerati HQ’s kettle & dodgy microwave only need a couple of plug sockets and will just have to suffice for another year or two. After all, a Cuppa Soup’s a Cuppa Soup however fancy your kitchen worktop might be.

Your Schmidt, ahhhh.

Your Schmidt, ahhhh.

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It’s time to share your 2013 Twickenham Festive 5s

Christmas display, Corto, Church St.

Christmas display, Corto, Church St.

We’re after your top Christmas tips to help with the 2013 festive season. See them here. Or maybe you want to know more? Then read on… It’s a fact that Christmas always used to be better in the past. Right? Right! Whether it’s the Christmas of one’s own childhood, desperately hoping for a Hot Wheelz set, a My Little Pony, a Tracy Island, a Tinky Winky or some other piece of overrated plastic that you’d soon tire of, or whether it’s reminiscing about times gone by that you never actually experienced but have conflated with some of your own memories, things were just better. We’re talking about the year that it snowed when Great Aunt Agatha took you to Macy’s department store for Christmas dinner with Bob Cratchit, Aled Jones, James Stewart and a cowardly lion. It all happened. Didn’t it?

Similarly, in 100 years’ time, little children will be sitting around their floating eco-homes, next to a hologram fire delighting in family stories about the wonderful days of old: the tale about the magical Christmas of 2013. The sound of increasingly frenzied clicking as great-great-grandma did her last minute shopping on a thing called the internet, the broken keyboard and subsequent descent into hell (or Kingston if that was closer). About how she trudged to the Post Office in the sleet to collect a parcel that the postman had apparently tried to deliver but taken back to the depot – the big reveal being that the whole family were actually at home at the time but reached the door too late for the delivery man, but just in time to see the hastily written “We called but you were out” card settling on the doormat. After all that fun it’s no wonder the “Thank you for the socks” letter was superseded in 2014 by an emoticon of a smiley face that rolls its eyes… but only when you look away.
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