Twickenham High Street Update (Yet Again)

When the going gets tough, the shops get going… from our town centres.  Harsh? Yes. True? Probably.  In our latest High Street Update we cover the usual array of departures but some good arrivals too. In fact with all these comings and goings it’s busier than Heathrow Terminal 6!

Costa Coffee has now been open for a couple of months on London Road.  It’s where Mail Boxes and the Princess Alice Hospice charity shop used to be.  Costa obviously spotted a gap in the market in Twickenham, a very tiny gap indeed.  Nero. Check. Starbucks. Check. Costa. Check. We’ve got ’em.  Add to that the likes of The Press Room (good coffee, btw), Corto (awesome almond croissants),  Cafe Zizou, York Street Cafe, Ruben’s Bakehouse, Sapori TW1,  Caffe Roma, Harris & Hoole, Rosie Chai and err, all the others and we reckon that Twickenham’s got  its tea and coffee bases covered for the time being don’t you? Room for one more?  On Water Lane, where Emily’s furniture store was, The German Bakery is up and running selling bread, cakes, coffee and enough gluten-free products to keep the most ardent gluten-phobe happy.

Costa, London Road, Twickenham

Costa, London Road, Twickenham

Talking of national chains which we sort of were, The Old Anchor pub on Richmond Road has been converted into flats with a mini Co-op supermarket on the ground floor. It’s due to open round about now and joins the ranks of Tesco, Sainsbury and M&S Food in the great pantheon of ‘express’ supermarkets in the town.

New Co-op, Richmond Road

New Co-op, Richmond Road

Opposite the Co-op, the restaurant that was, among other things Rubiks and very fleetingly Chungs is now Noush Richmond. We wish Noush Richmond well but we do wonder if they know that they’re not actually in Richmond. According to the sign, it sells ‘exclusive Indian street food’ and we are left to ponder whether the words ‘exclusive’ and ‘street food’ can really co-exist in the same sentence. It’s a very straightforward paradox.   Sticking with Indian food for a second, Taste of Mogul continues to be closed.

Noush Richmond (in Twickenham... on Richmond Road)

Noush Richmond (in Twickenham… on Richmond Road)

Heading east.  In St Maragrets, The Toy Shop has had a re-vamp and going all the way over to East Twickenham, it’s definitely  worth a mention that Ruben’s Bakehouse has opened a new branch at the corner of Richmond Road and St Margarets Road.  “Sourdough for all!” will become the rallying cry of the East Twick residents. Nearby, just opposite Marble Hill Park, it was The Rising Sun, then The Aleksander and now it’s Alba. It’s been Alba for a few months but we have to admit that we only noticed recently. Perhaps you’d spotted the change? It’s website is albarichmond.com so maybe this idea of Twickenham being Richmond is really catching on.  From east to west now and  The Price Albert on Hampton Road has had a refurb which might be the only excuse you need to drop in for a swift one.

If you’re the sort of person who is out and about in Twickenham,  dawdling along York Street trying to decide whether to pop into The Bear for a drink, or maybe get some food at The Chicago Ribshack or Miss Siam, but then suddenly gets the urge to purchase a posh new bathroom then you’re in luck! Hugo Oliver, purveyors of those very things to people in places like Charlton, Watford and Kings Cross will be opening a new showroom in December.  It’s going to be in the shop where The Rugby Store used to be and which was a Bottoms Up wine store before that. Let’s hope this business doesn’t go for an early bath or down the plughole, etc, etc, etc.

In Church Street, the Mint hair salon and beauty spa has given itself some pampering and a shiny makeover. It’s reduced its footprint too and that part of the premises is now available to rent as a pop up.

Business news now. Do you ever find yourself wondering where you can find an accountant to assist with your tax? If you’re one of those people then the new TaxAssist Accountants on Heath Road could be for you. The clue’s in the name really. It’s on Heath Road and is aimed primarily at small businesses. It certainly has a strong brand presence. In other words, it’s bright blue and bright yellow.

TaxAssist Accountants

TaxAssist Accountants

Twickenham’s longstanding Chinese restaurant Jun Ming has closed and is being replaced by Ballaro, a Sicilian pizzeria and restaurant. Will it do well? Maybe. We certainly hope it lasts longer than the Sicilian restaurant on the opposite side of the road which never really took off and which closed a few months ago. Twickenham now lacks a Chinese restaurant which is a shame.  Steers grill on London Road (was Wimpy before that) has closed and is going to become The Canteen. Apparently it will be serving fresh food, as opposed to stuff that’s gone off, perhaps?

Ballaro Sicilian goes here....

Ballaro, new Sicilian goes here….

At Twickenham Green, the institution that is Arthur’s on the Green has the lease up for sale. The owners are retiring after long and loyal service to the town. We certainly hope that whoever takes it on makes a success of this popular site. In other words, and to make the totally predictable toilet reference, it would be a real shame to see this place go down the pan.

In other news…

Clothing store M&Co on King Street has closed. The site, together with the adjoining Santander building is part of the grand scheme for developing the Riverside. Smile! Marc Jason’s Shoeworld is being turned into a dentist, as is the former shop/restaurant on the corner of Heath Road and Heath Gardens.   Cafe Fresh also on Heath Road had a good run but it’s successor Perking Lot has already packed up.  It is about to be replaced by a new (Chinese?) cafe called Sweet Diner.

And finally, Cakes World is closing down.  When it does close its doors for the last time we will have to say goodbye to what must surely have been the most ‘unusual’ window display in Twickenham.  Was it actually a display, was it just for overspill storage or lost property, or was it perhaps a bold statement on the human condition expressed through the medium of baking equipment?  Like all good art, it’s a question that leading scholars could be discussing for many years to come.

But is it art?

Cakes World display  –  But is it art?

 

That’s your lot. Get out there and shop!

17 Comments

Filed under High Street Updates, Local Issues & News

17 responses to “Twickenham High Street Update (Yet Again)

  1. Very impressed with the bread at the german bakery .

  2. I was told yesterday by an apparently ‘reliable source’ (the mother of the chairman of Twickenham Conservatives) that her son had told her that the Lidl/school scheme for Ryde House had been approved. This is untrue: Planning application number: 16/2777/FUL is still at the assessment stage: http://tinyurl.com/RydeHouseschool. It has attracted a large number of objections from the locals, mainly on traffic grounds (it will turn very slow moving traffic on Richmond Road into gridlock each going home time) and an even larger number of support comments from far and wide, as this neutral comment points out:

    ‘ . . I also thought it interesting that so many comments in support seem to have come from people in far off locations that have absolutely no connection to Twickenham and its planning. 

    I thought this was rather odd, so I did some cursory searches on google, linked in and facebook and I found: 

    a property investment consultant, a consultant on free school creation, a designer of buildings, a potential new headteacher, a commercial buildings insurer, a wholesale supplier, a PR/Branding executive. 

    And that’s just from the first 10 I looked at. A rather odd collection of people to be so interested in a development so far from where they live, wouldn’t you say?  I wonder how they could have all suddenly become concerned with this project? . . ‘

    Despite the many cogent objections, there’s little doubt in my mind that the scheme will be approved – with elections coming up it’s politically essential that this school goes ahead

  3. Gianfausto

    Oh but we do have still one Chinese eaterie in Twicks. The Perking Lot (organic cafe on south side of Heath Road, close to Sammy’s Barber) has turned into the “Peking lot”. Well actually into the Sweet Diner (to give it its official name) and will be “open soon”. 8am open. 18pm close. Simple and straight to the point.

    • anonymous

      For your information in Twicks we still have another Chinese eaterie in Richmond road (Makan-Makan), they do Chinese and Malaysian food, open Monday-Friday lunch and dinner (closed Tuesday), Saturday and Sunday dinner but open for lunch on special booking.

  4. Alan

    Looking forward to the Christmas lights switch on on Sunday the 27th , they’re going to have camels and wise men walking down Heath road from the green to church street

  5. East Twickenham has acquired a sushi bar, Katsu, at 372 Richmond Road, tel 020 3774 9674, open til 10pm: “All food can be taken with you!”. One dessert only: Baked bananas with honey £1.50.

  6. Anonymous

    Co-op is opening today. Fantastic news.

  7. illiad1

    ‘the canteen’ hopefully a new ‘basic’ cafe, with NORMAL coffee and tea??
    and other ‘just like mum made’ goodies??? 😀
    http://wapsisquare.com/comic/09282001/

  8. From deepest Dorset where even we can buy a coffee in our one shop in the village, but there’s nowhere to sit. It looks as if no one needs to go to each others houses for a cuppa these days in Twickenham

  9. Dee

    Yes! The Cakes World display – always interesting / unusual. And
    wonder why ‘The’ in the title?

  10. Claire

    Your updates on Twickenham town centre always make me chuckle! The Cavan Bakery is a good addition if you have deep pockets. And the Mint makeover is rather fabulous!

  11. Pilu

    What is happening with the new exhibition building across the train station, anyone knows? Speaking of train station, when are we getting a new one?

    • Steve P

      Twickerman confirmed that the station redevelopment has been delayed yet again to sometime next year or possibly the 12th of never.

  12. twickerman

    FYI, Coop’s not opening til December.
    Plus, it depends on them overcoming truck unloading objections at planning committee.

    • Katherine

      The whole development has been a farce, they have not exactly covered themselves with glory ever since the pretend ‘Bits and Bobs’ shop opened. If anyone has trouble sleeping, I recommend a read of neighbours’ objections to the bonkers delivery and service plan proposals on the council website.

    • Mumto1plus2

      So the vouchers through the door valid for November will not be much use then! Lol