Category Archives: Food & Drink

Greggs Bakery in Twickenham to Close

There’s bad news on the local jobs and business front today.  Greggs, purveyors of bread, pies and pasties to the nation, has announced that it is to close three of its UK bakeries as part of a corporate re-organisation. The three facing closure are in Edinburgh, Lincolnshire and in Gould Road right here in Twickenham. The company expects to lose 355 jobs as part of the process which is designed to shift focus away from being a traditional baker and more towards selling ‘food-on-the-go’ products. Yes, and these can even include salads. At the same time, the company has said it intends to upgrade its Enfield bakery in north London.

What does this all mean for the large Greggs site tucked away in the side streets between the Green and the River Crane? It’s too early to speculate… but we will anyway. Would a business of similar scale move in there? Seems unlikely so perhaps it’s time to start a book on whether it gets divided up into industrial units, turned into a school or, let’s hazard a wild guess here, gets snapped up for extensive residential development.

So, no more bakery trucks clattering through the narrow roads but it’s bad news for business, bad news for jobs and bad news for those who enjoy the smell of doughnuts wafting through the TW2 evening air.

Greggs Bakery, Gould Road, Twickenham

Greggs Bakery, Gould Road, Twickenham

LINK:
* BBC News

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High Street Update – Spring

Our last High Street Update was way, way back in February. It was a time when the election, new road surfaces, bust-ups over school sites and questions about landscape gardening seemed but distant dreams. Halcyon days some might think. But we are where we are. And where are we? We’re in the place where it’s time for a quick update.

Food Hall goes here...

Food Hall goes here…

Let us begin with some good news. The launch of the new food emporium in Twickenham is getting ever closer. The Church Street Food Hall plans to open its doors in May. It will be in the former Langtons book shop premises on Church Street. The responsible adults behind the scheme have steamed up with various providers of essential victuals, including the likes of Borough Wines, to bring a range of food and drink to the twickerati (that’s you, btw). It’s an interesting idea and we wish them well. Will the new food hall help bring in the extra footfall that Church Street so badly needs? Let’s hope so. It needs it.

Church Street Food Hall poster (click to enlarge)

Church Street Food Hall poster (click to enlarge)

Staying in Church Street, Wild Goose has flown the nest and we hear rumours that another store very nearby may soon be bidding farewell to Twickenham. On a more positive note, the Lovers Lights pop-up shop that has been occupying the old Mercado store is moving a few doors down to take up residence in Monica Boxley’s old place.

My word, we’ve got all this way in our update without a single mention of a new cafe. How can this be? Well, to assuage your concern we can report that the former cafe Bellissimo on London Road has had a makeover and is now open longer and later and describing itself as a cafe / restaurant. Good luck to ’em is what we say. Continue reading

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El Brute in Sandys Flowers Flap – UPDATED

UPDATE 17/04/15: The Council and Sandys have now reached a solution to this issue. The flowers will stay! According to an El Brute press release: “In response to the Council’s request for action Sandys reduced their A-boards to one and pulled back their plants from along the pavements’ edge. There was some continuing uncertainty over the size of the planters that the Council had suggested could be retained, but losing Sandys’ flower display was not the aim. The Council and Sandys have now agreed that the existing tiered planters will stay”.  We hear that part of the original ‘misunderstanding’ revolved around differing interpretations between Councillors and Council officials of  how strict the enforcement of the regulations should be. Either way, we’re pleased the floral displays will stay. Or as they might say in Sandys, “brill”.
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Your 2014 Twickenham Christmas What’s On Spectacular

Christmas display, Corto, Church St.

Christmas display, Corto Deli

Can it really be that time again when we have to scour other people’s websites and publications to find the best of what’s on in Twickenham and then pass it off as our own hard work? Yes, yes it can. So here we go with some quality stuff to keep you occupied over the festive season. Meanwhile we’re off to sort out our legal defence with our lawyers. Whether it’s Christmas lights, festive fairs, artists’ studios, a pantomime or rugby at Twickenham Stadium that you’re after, when it comes to #twickmas, we’ve got it all below. Or at least, we’ve summarised some aspects of it…


Scroll down or just click on our categories if you want to keep it simple:
Christmas lights
Other Christmas events in & around Twickenham
Panto & Theatre
Music & Comedy
Other Useful Links

 

CHRISTMAS TURN-ONS
When seminal indie art-rockers The Sugarbabes sang ‘Push The Button’ way back in 2005 it’s unlikely they were aspiring to be the ones who switched on the Christmas lights in Twickenham some nine years later. And to be honest, they’ve had so many changes of personnel that having a stage big enough to fit them all on would be difficult, especially as they’d also need to make space for assorted local dignitaries and Star Wars Storm Troopers.  Come to think of it, do we actually know who’s inside those Storm Trooper outfits? Mutya? Keisha? The other one? Is that you lot in there??

Twickenham – Friday 21st November
Twickenham Town Centre Christmas Lights – from 4.00pm
Busy, much? Expect plenty of Twicker-types down in Church Street for Twickenham’s Christmas lights. Events kick off in the afternoon. There will be stalls, Punch & Judy shows, face painting, the band from the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall and more. Given that the presence – or at least the clearly identifiable presence – of The Sugarbabes is highly unlikely, you will see,  Don Craine of 60s (and current) rhythm & blues outfit Downliners Sect doing the honours when it comes to pushing the button at 6.30pm. It was on Twitter; it must be true! Expect plenty of mulled wine, mince pies, festive music and a whole lot of good-natured milling around. Worth a visit.  More info (coming soon) at TTBA

Festive Family Fayre at the Diamond Jubilee Gardens – 4.30pm to 7.30pm
There will be elves. There will be reindeer, Santa, children’s crafts, stalls, carol singing and live music from Nark Drool and the Shudders to keep you entertained at the Diamond Jubilee Gardens on Twickenham Embankment. More info from Twickenham Riverside Trust.

OTHER, LESSER PLACES…

Whitton – Sunday 23rd November
Whitton gets the Christmas lights treatment on Sunday 23rd. The High Street will be closed from 11.00am. There’s a 5k fun run at midday and there’ll be lots of other entertainment including the Kneller Hall Military Band. The lights go on at 4.45pm and it’ll all be over at 5.30pm. More info.

Teddington – Thursday 27th November
Teddington – are we even allowed to mention that place – does its thing in the High Street & Broad Street. Includes late night shopping from 4.00pm to 10.00pm Lights go on at 5.45pm. Broad Street, Teddington.

East Twickenham – Friday 28th November
East Twickenham will be doing its own button pushing or switch flicking on Friday 28th November with support from Mayor Jane Boulton (off of El Brute). It’s taking place at the Christmas tree (obviously) just by Richmond Bridge at 5.00pm with carol singing, mulled wine and, of course, mince pies. More.

Hampton Hill – Friday 28th November
28th November festive fun is not the sole preserve of East Twickenham. Hampton Hill will be getting into the Christmas spirit too. Events take place from 4.00pm, with its famous parade at 6.00pm. Expect a hog roast, craft stalls, booze, you name it. More.

Richmond Christmas Lights – Fri 28th November
Oh blimey, there’s also loads going on ‘over the water’ on Friday 28th. Richmond’s Christmas Lights event runs from 3.00pm to 8.00pm. We’re talkin’ food market, live music, Father Christmas, and lots of promotions in the local shops, especially around Hill Rise. The lights will go on at 6.30pm with Jerry Hall doing the honours. Younger readers will remember that Jerry first found fame when she appeared on Strictly Come Dancing a few years back and she’s also starring in Richmond’s panto this year.  Oh yes she is.  More.

Hampton Village – Sun 30th November
Food, drink, local choirs, live music and more at the Hampton Village Christmas Celebration. Santa will be leaving the Jolly Coopers at 3.45pm (hopefully not after a long lunchtime sesh!) and heading to the Sea Scout Hall on Station Road to turn on the tree lights at about 4.30pm. The event ends at 7.00pm. Full details.

Twickenham Green – Sun 7th December
A Christmas tree, some carols and some mulled wine. Your chance to get festively communal on Twickenham Green. 6.30pm (we think).

Teddington Christmas Lantern Procession – Sun 14th December
Bloody Teddington, eh? Always trying to have the final word, aren’t they? This will be their second event of the season. The Christmas Lantern Procession returns for its second year. The clue’s in the name really.  The procession starts at 4.00pm at Teddington Memorial Hospital and wends its festive way through the town centre. Santa will be leading the way. He’s certainly being kept very busy in the Borough isn’t he, boys and girls?! More details.

 

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High Street Update (Updated)

It’s been a long time since our last Twickenham high street update. Has much really happened in the last 3 months? You bet your bottom dollar it has. And we’ve even added a couple of updates right at the end.

Heath Road has been a veritable hive of activity with openings (hooray) and closings (boo) reflecting the ever changing face of High Street UK.  Probably the biggest story is the closure of Albert’s Music Shop after 62 years of supporting the musical folk of south west London.  It’s a shame to see a longstanding family business disappear and the end of Albert’s will leave a big gap on the high street. These are tough times for specialist retailers and the internet’s gain is Twickenham’s loss.

Albert's Music Shop

Albert’s Music Shop

Shall we talk about 39 Heath Road again? Yes, let’s! It’s been home to restaurants with more names than Lord Voldemort but was most recently known as Istanbul Ocakbasi.  That has been shut for a while but now building work is taking place to give it a re-fit ready for its next incarnation. We hear it’s going to be an Italian, possibly a Sicilian.  Whatever it is, we wish the new business at that particular location the very, very, VERY best of luck.

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Booze Bonanza for Twickenham Types

Booze? Here in Twickenham? Yes, dear readers we can now confirm that that does indeed seem to be the case. In fact, such is the town’s commitment to the cause and such is this site’s commitment to the town, that we’re bringing you news of three booze related events coming up. All take place on the same day so you can take your pick.

10 Years of Twickenham Fine Ales

10 Years of Twickenham Fine Ales

First up, we salute Twickenham Fine Ales, London’s oldest micro-brewery. The company celebrates ten years of brewing with a 10th Anniversary Party on Saturday 13th September at its Mereway Road brewery. It was founded in 2004 by Steve Brown and has gone from strength to strength, picking up fans and plaudits and moving to larger premises along the way. Sundancer, Grandstand, Naked Ladies; if you haven’t tried them you’re missing out. Twickenham Fine Ales can now be found not just in pubs in the local area and more widely across London, but you can also now buy it in bottles and direct from the brewery. Saturday’s anniversary party will see up to 10 Twickenham ales on offer, hot food, live music and the chance for a good old nose around the brewery. We say, Happy Anniversary guys. Tickets cost £10 and include 3 pints.

 

Last Try Wines - Wine & Food Festival

Last Try Wines – Wine & Food Festival

Secondly, and also on Saturday 13th, we draw your attention to the Wine and Food Festival which is being hosted by Last Try Wines at the Cabbage Patch pub on London Road. It runs from 1.00pm to 6.30pm and tickets cost £7 each (with offers on group purchases and for loyalty card holders). What to expect? Wine, wine tasting, learning about wine from suppliers, sampling interesting foods, wine, sampling interesting beers, more food. More wine.

And, as mentioned in the comments below, The Sussex Arms is hosting a Cider-Fest on Saturday. It runs from 1.00pm to 9.00pm with live music from 3.00pm. There will be a hog roast and, of course, a load of different ciders.

So there you have it, three dynamic local businesses putting on something a little bit different to bring better booze to the good burghers of Twickenham. Sounds alright, doesn’t it?

Twickenham Fine Ales Brewery

The Twickenham Fine Ales Brewery

LINKS:
* Twickenham Fine Ales
* Last Try Wines
* The Sussex Arms on Facebook

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Twickenham High Street Update (Updated)

Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock. It’s the sound of the present slipping into the past, of the ‘now’ becoming the ‘then’. Unless you have a digital watch, in which case it isn’t. With the metaphorical clock ticking away we realised that it was quite a while since we’d dumped a High Street Update on our readers so let us freeze time for a minute and take stock of what’s hot and what’s not in our town centre.

We’ve now added a few more August UPDATES updates at the end of this piece.

Perhaps the most surprising news, or perhaps not, it that Ales & Tails bar on York Street has served its last rhubarb gin and tonic. The guys there worked hard to make it a success and they put a lot of effort into marketing and getting involved in Twickenham events. Indeed, we even had a couple of very successful Twickenham ‘tweet up’ social evenings there. But perhaps it just wasn’t right for a town where traditional pubs rather than bars tend to the norm. Maybe it’s a rugby thing. Either way, it’s sad to see the demise of another new venture on the high street.

Ales & Tails - closed

Ales & Tails – closed

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Twickenham Indoor Market Arrives

Twickenham Community Market at Mac's Diner

Twickenham Community Market at Mac’s Diner

Way back in 2013 we featured an article by Alan Winter about his idea for of an indoor community market in Twickenham. Alan’s plan to was find a space where local craftspeople, collectors and traders could set up market stalls without being subject to the vagaries of the Twickenham weather (which is a bit like the British weather except that it’s actually even more local). The main focus would be on arts, crafts and collectables with the idea being that stall holders could rent tables by for a period of time or even by the day. Alan’s idea generated a lot of interest and support but one of the stumbling blocks was finding a suitable location. Twelve months on and that problem has been overcome. Alan’s vision for a Twickenham Community Market is just about to become real. You say, “Where?”. We say, “At Mac’s Diner on the corner of Cross Deep and Heath Road”. You say, “When?”. We say, “Every Monday and Tuesday”.

Mac's Diner. Home to Twickenham indoor market.

Mac’s Diner, Twickenham

As Alan tells us, “It has taken a year or so but I am pleased to announce that the Twickenham Community Market which will focus on arts, crafts and collectables with local stallholders will open on Monday 21st July to a fanfare of good music, unusual and unique products and goodwill. It has taken a while because introducing a new addition to the Twickenham townscape of this magnitude always will. If you were one of the locals who fancied running a stall with your own arts, crafts or collectables please get back in touch with me. There will be fabulous refreshments too. Anita McMahon, who owns Mac’s Diner, has come up with a ‘Market Menu’ featuring very affordable and tasty breakfasts, snacks and lunches so come and meet your friends, browse and shop at the stalls and have a bite to eat. There will be some different stallholders on a daily basis to keep the market fresh and interesting for everyone. It is a not for profit, social enterprise and will feature a different local charity each week.”

The official opening will be at 12.00 on Monday 21st July where the Mayor of Richmond and Trevor Baylis will do the honours and there’ll even be live music to add a soundtrack to the occasion. Yep, local rock n rollers Nark Drool and the Shudders will be playing sounds from the 50s and 60s outside Mac’s at 11.30.

Here at twickerati we think it’s a great idea and with the new High Road Auctions just down the road it provides something a bit different for Twickenham’s shoppers. Get in touch with Alan if you want to find out more about taking a table for a day or on a regular basis.

LINKS:
* Alan Winter. M: 07875 578398 E: alanwinter192@hotmail.com

* Previously on twickerati (May 2013)

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A Marble Hill Mudfest (Updated)

The recent Foodies Festival at Marble Hill House drew in punters from around the area keen to experience a wide range of stalls, watch cookery demonstrations, listen to some live music and generally stuff their faces full of food and drink. Not a bad idea if you ask us. It was a good event. But of course it was an English Bank Holiday weekend and that usually means one thing: rain. OK, so it didn’t rain for the duration but there was plenty of it. The result? Getting all those vehicles off the park left the grass in front of the house looking more like farm tracks than a suburban park – and we should know, we went to the countryside once.

Not good:
Marble Hill mud (2) - June 14

Basically, a large area is a massive mess. We’re talking mud, ruts and the odd splattering of engine oil. We’re sure it will be sorted out between English Heritage and the festival organisers but it’s likely to involve some quite significant costs. The planning statement for the event indicated that it would return for a second year but we can’t see either English Heritage or park users being particularly keen on that unless something changes, and not just the weather. English Heritage’s ‘Design and Access’ statement in their El Brute submission said, “The principal physical impacts on the site are the wear and tear of vehicles during installation and dismantling, mitigated by the use of a track-way. Reinstatement of any damage to the grounds will take place immediately after the event”. Well, there was a trackway but it was clearly inadequate for the heavy rain / heavy vehicle combination over the weekend. Continue reading

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