Well, Twickenham, it doesn’t seem that long ago since we did a High Street update on here does it? That’s because it isn’t. It’s just two weeks in fact. But things have been busy, busy, busy so we thought we’d sneak in another one. Just for fun, like. (The last one’s here btw).

Sign at Belmont Bakery
Belmont Gone? One of Twickenham’s longer running businesses appears to be no more. We’re talking Belmont Bakery with shops on Queen’s Road and Heath Road. The place has been looking distinctly closed for a week now and that “closed for a couple of days” is sign looking increasingly permanent. Whether the closure is indeed permanent or just temporary it’s a shame. But Belmont did have something of the 1970s about it and perhaps that is (or was) part of the problem: lots of white bread, meringues, Chelsea buns and gingerbread men. All have their place, but only some of the time and sometimes back in time. In September the Twickenham Town Centre Manager ruffled a few feathers by calling for a high quality baker in the town. Many leapt forward to say we already had one in the form of Belmont. We suggested a compromise whereby Belmont should simply stick the word ‘artisan’ in front of its products and charge an extra 50p a loaf. Flippant perhaps but Belmont didn’t seem to make much headway in tapping into the Farmers Market / Laverstoke / Patisserie Valerie foodie vibe brewing up in Twickenham. Perhaps trying to compete with both the supermarkets and the more upmarket specialists left Belmont fighting on two fronts. And now what? If Belmont has gone, we’ve two more empty shops to fill.

On December 6th The Fox on Church Street will re-open after its major refurb. It’s one of the best pubs in Twickenham so let’s hope they’ve done a great with the building work over the last few months. Meanwhile, The GarryOwen on London Road has changed its name yet again. It’s now The London Road Bar.

The Gurkha’s Inn on York Street is almost ready to open and a little further along it looks as if Twickenham will be getting a spanking new Vietnamese restaurant going by the name of Pho Saigon. It’s getting right royal cosmopolitan along that stretch of road, innit?

We hear ABC Pharmacy on King Street is disappearing but re-appearing in a new spot just around the corner on Cross Deep, re-branded as Day Lewis, a chain of independent pharmacists. Also on King Street, the little Tutto Buono cafe between Bu’Sen and the Scope charity shop has closed. We reckon we probably have enough cafes in Twickenham for the time being.

Marc Jason’s Shoeworld on Heath Road is now open, for all your cheap footwear requirements. Ummm. We’re a bit surprised by that addition to our High Street but if it works, it works.

Remember all those good times in Wineland Taverna? Or Kaswani? Or Nights of Tehran? Or even Pablo’s? No? We’re not that surprised because you probably never went. All have occupied the same spot on Heath Road and, it’s fair to say, none of them ever looked especially busy. Well, the place is now being refurbed again and this time it’s going to be an Italian restaurant. The sign says “Unique Italian“. Whether that’s going to be the name or just a description of the food, we’ll have to wait and see. Suggestions made on Twitter that the location is cursed and that an underground passage links it to La Serenata on London Road are totally without substance…. or are they? UPDATE: It’s going to be called da Vinci.

And just over the road, the South African Biltong store has closed. Moved to Kingston says the sign. Now who’d go and do a thing like that?

And finally…
Its good to see the local businesses working together to promote themselves. The Twickenham Town Business Association has launched a new website. And guess what, you can find it at www.ttba.org.uk.

The previous Update is here. Or just look at the right hand index.