Twickenham Summer High Street Update

Just so you know that we’re still alive here at twickerati HQ and haven’t given up on the website completely we thought we’d rush out this bumper summer sizzler of an update for all you lovely people to read while you’re on holiday, stuck on an overcrowded train or whatever it is that you do during the so-called Great British Summer. And in case you’re wondering what happened to the idea of some kind of twickerati 2.0 ‘collaboration meeting’ about how we might take things forward into a whole new era (or not) then that’s something that still might happen but after the summer holidays.

As ever, by now you’re screaming, “Get the muthaflippin point” at your monitor, phone or tablet. And do you know what? We will, we bloody well will. So here’s our very quick rundown on recent high street additions and departures in case you’ve been just too unobservant to notice them for yourself…

There’s a fair bit going on in Church Street. The Church Street Food Hall is now open for business in the former Langton’s book shop. It’s got the whole deli vibe going on with cheeses and fancy-dan jars of things as well as a selection of wines from Borough Wines and bread from local baker Blackbird Bread. Worth a look inside.

Church Street Food Hall

Church Street Food Hall

The former London Zu shop is now The Bloomery, a new florist. We reckon a decent flower shop could do well in Church Street given that it doesn’t have much competition slap bang in the town centre. Obviously for those really special occasions there’s still the Shell petrol station on Richmond Road but this will have to suffice at other times.

The Bloomery, Twickenham

The Bloomery, Twickenham

Twitter rumblings have alerted us to the impending arrival of Warren Wines at 56 Church Street in the place that was Complement jewellery and, before that, Toko. It’s an independent outfit that will have a heavy focus of wine tastings and education. Sounds good but we hope it does plenty to get itself noticed as that shop unit is a little bit… how shall we say.. tucked away behind Pincho.

Elsewhere in Church Street, the Sheer Laser Clinic has opened at number 17, near the Delhi Durbar. Laser clinics seem to be popping up all over the place these days, don’t they? Is the UK, as a nation,  growing more unwanted hair than in days of yore? It’s a big question but we’re not going to attempt to answer it…  let alone Google it.

And speaking of beauty, which we sort of were, Raksa Thai Therapy  has opened in the former Coffee Lab shop on King Street. A new Rush Hair and Beauty salon is now open on King Street and if it’s “almost new designer wear” that you’re after then Dynasty is new on Cross Deep near Headmasters.  Scrub up nicely don’t you Twickenham?

IMG_7334

Elsewhere Cook, purveyors of posh frozen food  to the ‘time poor’ has closed its London Road branch. The place is soon to be a new cafe, The Press Room, filling that caffeine free zone that exists between Caffe Nero and Lulu’z. There’s already a Press Room in Suburbiton so this new Twickers shop is an expansion for them.

The Press Room, TW1

The Press Room, TW1

Also on London Road, the Money Shop or whatever it was called has ceased doing whatever it did and is now doing that elsewhere. There also seem to be some signs of life at the long defunct Wishbone butchers on King Street next door to Cousins the greengrocer. Could something really be about to happen there or is it just a facelift in advance of the rugby world cup?

This used to do something or other

This used to do something or other

Mac’s Diner has closed. The owners worked hard to publicise their restaurant and it housed the indoor market stalls for a while last year but (and we’re purely speculating here) perhaps its first floor location didn’t help matters especially when up against the influx of new American / BBQ themed competition in town. Word is that Curves gym will be moving into the space above M&S. (We has heard on Twitter that it was  Riley’s sports bar being replaced by a gym but we’ve been corrected on that point. On Facebook)

On Heath Road, the short-lived Royal Spice Indian restaurant and takeaway has closed. It is, or rather was, the place where Amins was based for a good few years. You’re now  left with about a dozen others to choose from.

Sticking with food for a second, on London Road, Steers has now opened in what used to be Wimpy. It’s a kind of beefed-up burger bar all the way from South Africa and, as it happens, it’s part of the same group as Wimpy. Meanwhile let us know how you’re getting on with the rest of the carnivore’s quartet: Chicago Rib Shack, Blue’s Smokehouse, The Shack 68 on London Road. Or maybe share you’re views on other fairly recent openings, the new Malaysian Chuba Rasa or Sapori Siciliani.

And finally two things that will have you rushing to Heath Road just to take a look. As you know, Albert’s Music Shop is no more but what you might not fully appreciate is that if you have unfulfilled vacuum cleaner needs you can visit Seldram Supplies which has sprung up where Alberts was. It’s certainly got an interesting window display. We think it’s gone for ‘suburban French trading estate’ chic. And why the hell not, eh?

Seldram Supplies. For all your vacuum cleaner spares requirements

Seldram Supplies. For all your vacuum cleaner spares requirements

And the squatters who had occupied the old Scrubys furniture shop have moved on (or been moved on). We’re now privileged to enjoy the giant metal shutters that have been put up to deter a repeat performance. If you have any complaints about the new ‘run down inner city’ look in Twickenham then feel free to direct them to Tesco who own the site. They’re sure to give you their full and urgent attention.

No squatters here.

No squatters here, just shutters.

 

The end! We’ve probably missed a few things but that’s all you’re getting for now. Bye!

26 Comments

Filed under High Street Updates, Local Issues & News

26 responses to “Twickenham Summer High Street Update

  1. New item for those who want to comment further on the Lido vs Town Square plans.

    Twickenham Lido? http://wp.me/pVBg2-3fi

  2. We talk about more shops – coffee or otherwise in Twickenham town – is anyone backing the Twickenham lido to bring some life back into the place that is not rugby based? There[s a petition on the website: Twickenham lido.com
    I’m in favour – our kids learned to swim in the old pool. We would certainly all go there again.

    • Steve P

      It’s a great proposal – but the council seem to hate the very idea – shame.

    • The Council was in favour of a whopping great shed in Orleans Park to house the Gloriana. Look where that got them. If you think it’s a good idea then sign the Twickenham Lido petition and spread the word.
      With no effective opposition it’s up to local people to make their feelings known.

    • I noted that earlier, but my links were not liked… 😦
      The website takes its pictures from Bristol lido – Its actually quite small, could possibly fit into the space by the jubilee gardens occupied by the old bath house (to the right, looking from the river…)

  3. Jen

    I highly recommend Chuba rasa Malaysian. My family have had take away from there a few times. Super nasi goreng which the kids love too. Only a shame the restaurant’s decor isn’t a bit nicer.

    • Walkinthepark

      I agree excellent freshly cooked Malysian food, we often have takeaways.

      Ben Thanh is another good new restaurant offering excellent freshly cooked food . The cooking is done by a lady who used to cook in the market in Saigon /Ho Chi Minh City.

  4. rugbyarts

    Copy of my reply to Richmond Council re lack of toilets in the area for Wprld Cul visitors. Allan Storer.

    Dear Con O Brien I am a Richmond /Twickenham resident. This idea sounds like a bureaucratic, expensive nightmare. I cannot imagine foreign visitors coming to the area expecting to sign up for a card to use a loo. I do not when visiting major towns abroad. I would be completely confused. It is simple when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go, card or not. It is then that we residents have to tolerate visitors urinating etc. in our gardens, streets etc. In fact we residents do not have adequate public toilet facilities never mind visitors. Only now is our council in the wake of thousands of visitors realising there are no facilities for one of the most basic human functions. . SHAME. To outsource this responsibility on to local businesses is extreme neglect, disservice and inefficiency. It can hardly be cost effective. Why don’t you just use our rates andvprovide public toilets that are hygienic and large enough to cope. Most of the towns business toilets are inadequate. They are small, single units, with poor flushing facilities, unclean and generally neglected even many are in catering establishments. Some stink and most are not fit for purpose. Councillors appear to have some weird, on the hoof short sighted ideas when it comes to the provision of service which should have been planned well in advance. Not very bright to say the least. You advocate free market ideas based on the private sector. In reality a private business would not survive with such lack of foresight and inefficiency. With the privilege of public funds you appear to flirt with the ideology rather than provide either a public or private service in this context.

    Allan Storer.

    >

    • twickerman

      Hear, hear Allan,

      The RFU & England rugby wash their hands of the pee problem after the station.

      The Council and our local Riverside councillors are turning a blind eye, as usual, to the Twickenham town centre toilet troubles we experienced during the Army v Navy & London 7s this year.

      Currently, there is only one commercially run community toilet in the town centre (BTW that’s KFC).

      Adding 1 or 2 more community toilets isn’t going to solve the rivers of pissue. We need masses of portaloos to relieve the problem.

      With 10 RWC games over 7 successive weekends this issue cannot be flushed under the carpet. It will keep on flowing and flowing.

      Please El Brute, provide the facilities to take the piss?!

  5. and what’s going on at the rather odd ‘flavours of sicily’ restaurant on Heath Road – on Saturday mornings I observe it from our habitual perch at Rubens, and it always seems closed .. yet with staff coming and going .

    • David

      Think I’ve tried to go there twice now (mid-afternoon and post-dinner), and found it closed both times. I’m all for supporting independents, but it would help if I could get into them!

    • Steve P

      Blinds are down, shelves in the window have been cleared and what looks like loose cable lying around inside – I think the restaurant that has re-generated more times than Dr Who is about to do it again.

  6. I am worrying about Church Street Food Hall already — I don’t quite understand it, the pieces don’t hang together properly and when I have dropped in I have seen several people cleaning but no one really in charge. Perhaps this is inevitable consequence of three operators under one roof – who manages the vision. But good luck to them

    • It’s worth going into. The lower range wine offers are good and it stocks some very nice upper end of the market hooch too.
      As for the chocolate – wonderful!

  7. Anonymous

    Anyone know what’s happening with The Old Anchor? I heard it might be a Co-Op but that was earlier this year and no sign of any change.

    • The Old Anchor next to the ‘mulberry tree’ pub? It’s now called ‘bits and bobs’ – second-hand shop ??

    • There is still a sign at the side of the Old Anchor saying a licenced premises licence has been applied for – presumably a supermarket that sells wine. There’s been a bit of work going on in the back garden but the place is beginning to look a bit squalid. The Bits and Bobs stuff at the front of the shop is hardly a going concern – it’s never open.

    • Thanks, smburningham! (I cannot see your ‘reply’ button! )
      Looks like its the usual ‘hope for finance’ and Estate agents pushing twick as a money maker… that disappears when the rugby does! 😦

  8. twickerman

    It’s good to see that Bridge House is having a makeover by Haymarket Media. It’s not likely to look any less ugly, but at least it will remain in office use (having been given approval for conversion to flats).

    Also at the station (arse) end of town, work seems to have started on the ex-McClements empire of Casa Mia and Chanterelle. I wonder if it’s gonna be anything permanent or yet more RWC pop-up meateries. Any news folks?

  9. sian

    still catering to the rugby crowd with cafes, burgers etc no decent shops

  10. Robyn

    Yes, it’s true that Curves (fitness for women) are relocating from above M&S to over the road into what was Mac’s Diner and very excited we are too!

  11. Letty Mooring

    Hello
    In my rush to read the comings and goings in Twick so early this morning I might have overlooked any comments about the empty Rugby clothes shop. Is it getting a make-over or has it shut down? Odd just before the Rugby World Cup. Never realised it was such a huge space.