Wow! A Twickenham High Street Update

Wow! You just won’t believe what Twickenham town centre looks like now!!

Clickbait, eh?  Hate or despise it you just can’t ignore it. Here at twickerati HQ we’re not in the business of using sensationalist headlines to try to draw in readers. Well, not all the time anyway but we do allow ourselves the odd exception. So what has been happening over the last few months then? Well, quite a lot since you (almost) asked. Here’s our round up of the recent real changes and the alternative facts on the mean streets of south west London’s premier leafy suburb.

On York Street, estate agents Haart will no longer be where your home is. They’ve closed. You’ll just have to buy or sell your house at one of the many other agents in Twickenham. So sad. Just along from them, poshly named Hugo Oliver, purveyors of luxury bathrooms, is now open for business in what used to be the Rugby Store and before that the Bottoms Up off licence. With Bensons for Beds just across the road and some other new businesses on Heath Road there does seem to be some kind of a ‘home improvementification hub’ developing in the town. That was part of the famous Twickenham Action Plan, aka the TWAP, if you recall.

 

Hugo Oliver. In the rain.

Hugo Oliver. In the rain.

On London Road, Happicraft has sold its last pram and completed its final 100 piece jigsaw puzzle. As with many other sellers of ‘things’, competition from online retailers proved too strong in the end. Many local parents were sad to see it go.  The building is now a pop-up charity shop for the Octavia Foundation.

New store openings have largely focused on goods and services that you might want to get your hands on without having to wait for them to be shipped from a large warehouse near Slough. Hot meals for example.    The Canteen has opened on London Road where Steers had a brief stay and where Wimpy was before that. Is it a cafe or is it a restaurant? Not sure. Either way it’s had some good comments on Twitter especially for its lunch menu.

 

The Canteen, twickenham

The Canteen, Twickenham

Relax!  Just in case  you were getting concerned we can now reassure you that no High Street Update would be complete without a new coffee shop arriving in town. This time it’s Esquires Coffee, part of a  Canadian owned chain, which has opened in King Street where Laverstoke butchers was and where before that it housed an underwear shop (yep, the one in Bend it Like Beckham) and another coffee shop.  Can we now say that Twickenham residents are officially spoilt for choice when it comes to coffee? Err, probably.

 

More coffee, Twickers? Esquires Coffee on King Street

More coffee, Twickers?
Esquires Coffee on King Street

Also on King Street, Phones4All is having a refurb. At this stage we’re not sure if it’s a real one or one of those ‘Twickenham refurbs’ that seem quite popular with some businesses. And talking of things that take an excessive amount of time, the Co-Op on Richmond Road is open at last after spending many months just about to do that.

Heath Road has seen all sorts of changes over the last few months. Remember Blockbuster?  After that it was Morrison’s M-Local, then it was ‘My Local’ and it’s now the place to go if you need a screw or have the urge to fix something. Yep, we welcome Screwfix to Twickenham.

Screwfix Twickenham

Screwfix Twickenham

 

Next door to it is Ballaro, a new Sicilian restaurant in what used to be the longstanding Chinese Jun Ming. It sells Sicilian specialities and a range of pizzas. Twickenham is now without a ‘proper’ Chinese restaurant although there are a couple of takeaways and the new Sweet Diner cafe opposite in what used to be Cafe Fresh. Ben Thanh, a Vietnamese on York Street has shut but Pho Saigon is still going and still good. We can do Japanese, Vietnamese and Thai but not Chinese.  How times change.

 

Ballaro, Heath Road, Twickenham

Ballaro, Heath Road, Twickenham

The former Flavours of Sicily place on Heath Road which has been through multiple incarnations over recent years (including Kaswani, Nights of Tehran and Pablo’s) will no longer be an underused restaurant struggling to get by.  It’s going to be Londark. Who? What? Londark of course!  If you’ve ever felt shortchanged that Twickenham does not have a decent seller of plastic bags you’ll be delighted to learn that Londark is coming.  It’s a UK-based supplier of ‘great quality coated and uncoated polypropylene, polythene, polyester, and PVC products’. Woohoo!  What with Seldram Supplies and its extra long acid proof gloves just up the road, Twickenham really is fast becoming the ‘go to’ destination for people needing to dispose of a body quickly and efficiently. Smokin’ !

 

 

Kamares, Heath Road

Kamares, Heath Road

 

Talking of food and staying on Heath Road, Polish shop Magalasia, the one with the sign in a font you could never properly read, has now turned into Anna’s Deli.   Nearby, Greco-Italian themed restaurant Kamares is closing its doors. No more food, no more Elvis tribute nights.  We’re not sure if those nights were  legendary or not but one place that was definitely something of a Twickenham institution was Arthurs on the Green.  The former public loo dwelling eatery was a favourite of many.  The owners sold up and it’s now re-opened as Arthur’s Sourdough Pizza Restaurant. It’s not exactly far from Ask Pizza or Rubens Refettorio or the new Ballaro or indeed several other pizza places but as Twickenham residents know, it’s a good location especially in summer.  It will also be serving breakfasts too which is very good to know.  It’s owned by the same people who own the pub Alba on Richmond Road (previously The Rising Sun and The Aleksander).

 

Arthur's Sourdough Pizza

Arthur’s Sourdough Pizza

Talking of things opening close to other things already doing similar things, the former Cakes World store on the corner of Heath Road and Laurel Avenue is now Fiesta Party Store selling party accessories such as helium balloons, plastic cups and plates, invites, cards and such like. It’s just a few doors along from Memories which is doing something very similar. We hope they can both prosper in the niche market that is Heath Road based party stores.

 

Fiesta Party Store

Fiesta Party Store

 

In a similar vein, the world famous Marc Jason’s Shoeworld has become Richmond Dental Suite.   We hope their teeth improvement services are better than their geography.  Twickenham is Twickenham. Richmond is Richmond, unless it’s in Yorkshire in which case it’s also Richmond but the wrong one, or it’s East Twickenham in which case it’s West Richmond.  Simple.  Need more dental options? Then you’re in luck because the ‘opening soon’ Dr Mide dentist on the corner of Heath Road and Heath Gardens really does look like it’s about to open very soon.

 

 

Richmond Dental Suite in Twickenham

Richmond Dental Suite… in Twickenham

We’re going to wrap this up with some bad news for all the naysayers and moaners.  All the people who thought that the ground floor space in Beaumont House, the not-so-new flats on the corner of Saville Road and Heath Road, would NEVER be filled are going to have to eat their words. Go on, eat your bloody words! A new nursery, Beaumont House Day Nursery is moving into the space!  The hoardings are down and work is progressing to get it ready for its new occupants to open their doors to a toddling army of pre-schoolers in March.  That just leaves the ground floor of the new, similar looking building opposite Tesco to remain vacant for a few years so that we can know that the earth is in its orbit and all is right in Twickenham.

 

Beaumont House, Heath Road. Nursery goes here.

Beaumont House, Heath Road. Nursery goes here.

That’s it. Thanks for reading and stayed tuned for more updates as and when we can be bothered to write them. 

 

39 Comments

Filed under Food & Drink, High Street Updates, Local Issues & News

39 responses to “Wow! A Twickenham High Street Update

  1. Kym Richards

    One more thing ……. Sweet Diner has the best, freshest Chinese food! Lovely family that own it too.

  2. Kym Richards

    So very excited about REFRESH DENTAL in the old Blah Blah restaurant premises. Mide is my ex neighbour and the nicest guy you could wish to meet. He is an exceptional dentist and we are really lucky to have him here in Twickers. I just happened to see him there on my way to the Green and he showed me around. Wow! Really state of the art! He opens next week after things taking so much longer than he expected. He offers affordable payment plans, flexible appointments and much more. Do pop in and meet them.

  3. Sofie L

    Made me laugh – thanks for the update. PS retailers – we do NOT need any more coffee shops or charity shops. We are the cheapest dressed caffeinated people in London already.

  4. Mr Charled Arthur.

    Sadly,John Leach,has written an error, for York Road,PLEASE READ -YORK STREET.York Street runs EAST from the Junction towards RICHMOND,it
    joins up with RICHMOND ROAD,at the SHELL petrol station,which is where
    the QUEENS/GAUMONT CINEMA ” ONCE” stood”,in 1958 ,the SHELL stn,
    replaced ithe Gaumont, VERY SAD!! in thr year 1958 there were 3 CInemas
    in Twickenham,the ODEON – the REAGAL and the GAUMONT .NOW there
    are NONE,again very SAD…Any one remember the CINEMA’S ? or
    maybe the TROLLY BUSE’S,turning round at the junction?
    Happy Day’s
    By the way,info, One Road to add,It’s WATER LANE Runs From THE
    JUNCTION down to the River ,here you can Cross the river to EEL PIE
    ISLAND,BY FOOT,NO CARS…

    • Tis a pity, most cinemas are pricing themselves out… I am a bit younger than you I only remember the odeon, in 1970… tickets were only a few quid back then..

    • anonymouse

      OOH la la. Looks’ like TWICKER’S’ has a NEW “highStreety ” thingymejig. WTF is The ‘JUNCTION”?*

    • illiad1

      PLEASE recognize that a lot of SLANG is used here!!
      when people say ‘movie house’ they **do not** expect someone to look for a place actually called that (try film club, cinema, etc)… 😡
      ‘Junction’ is derived from the Latin ‘to join’ – so naturally means where many things are joined, enabling many things to change their route….. eg audio , internet, and even roads… 😛 🙂

  5. Georgia

    Thanks for your HIGH ST update – much appreciated by me!

  6. John Leach

    Twickenham does not have a High Street. It has King Street. London Road, York Road, Church Street and Heath Road.

    • Katherine

      It’s a well-worn turn of phrase, neatly defining a community’s local (not out-of-town) shopping centre

    • Alexis

      Since we seem to have got a bit bogged down in the semantics of “High St” vs Heath Rd etc, I thought I would add a new diversion and draw your readers attention to the fact that that old political bruiser Sir David Williams of the LibDems has been granted the freedom of the borough, whatever that means. Apparently it’s an honour granted to a few of the great and good in our community or, perhaps, to those who have hung on to their council seats until finally being kicked out due to trying to bludgeon through too many unpopular schemes. Remember the unlamented LibDem Twickenham Riverside scheme and the CO2/CPZ parking tax scam?

      Perhaps Sir David could be forgiven for the latter bit of opportunism since he had no idea that perceived wisdom would change so suddenly and the new “polluter should pay” epithet now applies to drivers of diesel cars rather than petrol – I‘d be pretty upset if I had listened to Sir David and his Council chums and changed my 14 year old “gas guzzler” for a snazzy small engined diesel VW which, according to today’s Sunday Times, emits more poisonous NO2 than a fully laden Scania truck!

      Sorry for going off subject but there are many people who read these posts and remember the bad old days of LibDem rule. Let’s hope that their fresh faced new leader, Gareth Roberts, (nice photo in R&TT) will put those days behind him and refrain from any more somewhat churlish attacks on letter writers to that paper, like Ms Garrow who hold differing political opinions.
      Alexis

      PS: My latest receipt from M&S in Heath Rd still refers to it as “St” what the heck, I know what is meant by “High St”
      Thank you for the update.

    • Alexis: I just had a look at gmaps, and that says ‘street’ … could be M&S are relying on that…
      My local club made a mistake in their postcode, so I tried to correct the address on gmaps… it took 100s of tries, stymied by its ‘auto guessing’ thing…. 😮 :/
      If you have tried asking Google, it is almost impossible to get a response… 😦

  7. mr arthur charles

    PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE ARE NO SUCH ROADS AS-TWICKENHAM
    HIGH STREET OR RICHMOND HIGH STREET
    THEY ARE KING STREET TWICKENHAM &
    GEORGE STREET RICHMOND.
    & CROSS DEEP,TWICKENHAM IS NOT ,TEDDINGTON ROAD.?
    STEVE ALLEN OF L.B.C RADIO IS SO WRONG SO MANY TIMES,
    HE SHOULD GET HIS FACTS RIGHT!!!
    STEVE IS ON AIR AT L.B.C RADIO MON-TO- FRIDAY 4AM TO 7AM
    3 HOURS OF TALKING WITH MANY MANY REPEATS,BIT BORING.

    • anonymouse

      Calm down dear, calm down.

    • Fair point. Maybe next time we’ll call it “The King Street, York Street, Cross Deep, Church Street, Heath Road, Richmond Road and London Road Update”. It could work.

    • Jacob Rees-Moggy

      TALK RADIO, EH? You bring it all back…..

    • aristophanes

      for reference: definition of “high street” (with or without capitals): ” a common name for the main, or former main, shopping street of a town”. Chambers 9th edition

  8. Katherine

    I see M&Co is under offer for a short-term lease, any idea what’s going in there?

  9. twickerman

    Lattest News:

    Esquires Coffee started out in Canada, but is now operated by a NZ company. Their global expansion plans appear to be bankrolled by Chinese shareholders.
    So yet another global coffee chain, just what we need in Twickers.

  10. twickerman

    A great piece. Well done to all at twickerati towers for asserting that #TwickenhamIsTwickenham, and is not effing Richmond (or words to similar effect).
    But, the question remains, how hard is Twickenham?

  11. Joy

    Great update – made me smile. Disappointed to see that Laverstoke and Happicraft have gone, though. They were great shops we visited plenty when we lived in TW1. Good to know there’s always caffeine and hardware but don’t any of the new businesses do *any* research at all into what’s already there?!

  12. Ceri

    Thank you, thank you, for making me laugh out loud! Please never stop writing these updates!

  13. Loved this. Made me LOL. Another fab update high street-wise.

  14. N W

    Thank you for the ever entertaining update! I love reading these, you are a superstar.

  15. Robaba

    “Twickenham really is fast becoming the ‘go to’ destination for people needing to dispose of a body quickly and efficiently.” That elicited a loud laugh on the 7:13 to Waterloo this morning.

    • Bah Humbug

      Not forgetting that the Hatton Garden vault robbers travelled all the way to DM Tools and Machine Mart in Twickenham to buy their equipment so also the ‘go to’ destination for elderly yet ambitious bank heist gangs.

  16. Penelope Chamberlain

    Love your updates……it’s a good thing we can laugh about Heath Rd. changes which really are pretty tragic. I can’t help thinking that opening a shop there is some kind of reality show joke. Let’s just turn each empty shop into much needed affordable housing .

    • illiad1

      ‘affordable housing’ has a bit of a dirty name, as most peg it at 500,000… :/
      I don’t know many who can afford that much!!!

  17. Diane

    Hi, the Vietnamese restaurant on York Street also closed!

  18. Sue Christien

    Thank you for your very comprehensive High Street update. Us mortals in Strawberry Vale/Twickenham Road also have our own every changing landscape – I’m talking about the up, down, up etc etc of the speed advisory lights which this time managed to stay in place for more than 2 weeks – a record. I asked the taking down person for an explanation. Answer “Dunno” anyone got a better answer?!?!

    • Well if we can stretch as far as Strawberry Hill…….here in St.Margarets a coffee shop has opened – the 8th I think. This took a very long time to gestate but then “we are trying to change the world” No, I don’t understand either. There are lots of small works of art on the walls though. Pity about the demise of predecessors Denham & Finney

    • Paul Luton

      I understand that the speed advisory lights loose their effectiveness after a time. Now if they were randomly swapped with speed cameras …..