Put your sweaty hands in the air if you’re enjoying the long hot summer. Actually, put them down again quickly thanks, it’s far too hot for that kind of thing. Everything is not always 100% rosy in the Garden of Twickenham but we hope we have a suitable quantity of good news to compensate for the less good bits in our sizzlin’ summer 2018 Twickenham High Street Update. It’s scorchio!
The Ben Thanh Vietnamese restaurant on York Street closed a while back. Did you ever go? Ah. It was another place where we run the risk of overusing the term ‘short lived’ to describe it even though that’s exactly what it was. In its place comes… drumroll…. The Meat Room. At least it’s not called “The Meating Room” because that would sound pretttty weird, right? It’s actually a new butcher’s shop which already has a couple of branches in the Midlands. It will also sell online too. For those lamenting the demise of the Laverstoke Park Farm butcher on King Street, this could be for you. Chop chop.
The former Citizens Advice Bureau building on Heath Road has been empty since the short-lived (damn! said it) occupancy of High Road Auctions ended but is now open again as a Crown Paints Decorating Centre. Whether this is a long term plan or just dipping their toe in the paint pot we’re not sure but it does fit with the Council’s Twickenham Area plan which advocated Heath Road becoming some kind of DIY and decorating wonderland. With Screwfix, Machine Mart, D&M Tools and assorted other businesses in very close proximity it’s a plan that seems to be coming to fruition. Functional rather than decorative perhaps? Or maybe both.
On Church Street we say goodbye Lovers Lights Gallery which has closed its store but is still selling handmade glass, ceramics, jewellery and other craft items online at loverslightsgallery.co.uk. Two doors down the Delhi Durbar has served its last chicken madras with pilau rice. It’s been closed for a while. Here at Twickerati HQ we always regarded it as one of the better Indian restaurants in Twickenham but even with the Delhi Durbar gone you’ve still got plenty of choice. Meanwhile the Chuba Rasa Malaysian restaurant on Heath Road has also closed but you can still order online. And by the way, don’t forget that many of the restaurants in Church Street are doing the al fresco dining thing from Thursdays to Sundays until 2nd September.
Talking of levels of ‘shutness’ Rileys Sports Bar has been closed for a few months. Their Facebook page says they had a flood earlier in the year and that it’s taking a while to get the remedial work completed before they can re-open. A posting in July says they are still working towards getting back to business soon so we hope it’s a real refurb and not one of those special Twickenham refurbs we sometimes mention on here.
On Heath Road there is a new outlet for locally produced crafts, gifts and ‘artisan’ products. It’s called The People Hive and sells a range of items from honey to ceramics to soap to knitted products. It’s raising funds for the charity RHLT which supports local people with learning disabilities. Drop in.
Sayurit Sushi opened a few months ago on Richmond Road and brings the total number of Japanese eating places in Twickenham to three. Umi (York St) and Ke Sushi (London Rd) being the others. It’s where the Marble Hill Tandoori used to be, just along from the Royal Oak pub and is more ‘cafe’ than full blown restaurant.
A new mobile phone accessories and vape shop is set to open where the Cavan Bakery and, a long time prior to that, Wishbone Butchers was on King Street. It’s called Mobile Vape or possibly M&V depending on which part of the sign you read. Smoking used to be cool didn’t it? Think Humphrey Bogart; Lauren Bacall; Dot Cotton. Not anymore it’s not. Times change. There’s nothing cooler these days than walking around staring down glumly at your phone in a cloud of candifloss smelling white fug. At least it’s less unhealthy than good old fashioned proper fags.
In other news, there’s a new dentist that you might want to check out. St Margarets Dental is on St Margarets Road in… well you get the idea of where it is. The Canteen on London Road is looking a tad on the closed side. It seemed to be closed more than it was open which is not a great way to build a reliable customer base.
Something that got a mention in the comments on a previous update but which you might have missed was that the former Belmont Bakery on Queen’s Road has been converted into a swimming pool for babies. Yes really. It’s called First Swim and as its website says: “Baby swimming, grown up coffee”. It’s a whole scene, apparently. Like Steampunk for new parents. Maybe. And something else that we had failed to notice FOR A WHOLE BLOODY YEAR is the arrival of estate agent Hamptons International in Twickenham next to Sandys and the news(ish) Nando’s. With the likes of Hamptons, who tend to specialise in the upper end of the market, now in Twickenham it can surely only mean one thing. We’re all posh now? Nope. A house price ‘correction’ is on the way? Could be. Hurrah! Remember that you read it here (four hundred and ninety) first, folks!
UPDATE: A couple of things mentioned in comments below that we’ll now add to this. Twickenham Discount Store on Heath Road has now closed meaning that you’ll now need to go elsewhere for washing up bowls, folding plastic baskets, toddler pee podiums and all those other things that you can’t easily find elsewhere. The posh paint shop Decorate on Heath Road is now open again and re-branded as Callaghan Interiors and focusing more on kitchens than tins of Farrow & Ball which is more in line with their main showroom in Hampton Hill.
That’s all for now but stay tuned for more exciting news from downtown Twickenham. Now go and enjoy the summer.