Tag Archives: shops

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

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

18 Comments

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

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”.
Continue reading

35 Comments

Filed under Council, Food & Drink, Local Issues & News

Twickenham High Street Update (Redux)

It’s our first High Street Update of 2015 so get ready for a roller coaster ride of emotions. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll experience the deep joy of a life-affirming message of hope. But most of all you’ll probably just tut and roll your eyes.

SPOILER ALERT: This article reveals details of shops that are opening and closing in Twickenham.

Smokin! We’re all going flaming BBQ bonkers in TW1. What do you mean you didn’t know that? Well, assuming you’re not lying, you’re about to find out now. The former Hobgoblin / Grand Union pub on London Road is becoming a branch of Blue’s Smokehouse. It’s due to open in late February or early March and bills itself as an “Authentic American BBQ” selling ribs, burgers and the like. There’s already one in Bracknell which has generally favourable reviews on TripAdvisor. Across the street from Blue’s, the Twickenham Wimpy is no more. It’s gone. Finito. It’s being replaced by a Steers burger joint. Steers sounds a bit more macho than good old British ‘Wimpy’ although both chains are owned by the same company, South African giant Famous Brands. Famous who?

Further up London Road, on the corner of Arragon Road, another pub that’s had more incarnations than it’s served pints is getting a comprehensive re-fit by its new owners. The former Rugby Tavern / London Road Bar / Coady’s etc. will re-open as The Shack 68, a bar and ‘smokehouse’. In fact you might even have seen the separate smoking smokehouse bit out the back. It should do well with rugby crowds. Is there a World Cup on the way by any chance? There surely is.

And finally on the carnivore’s tour, the former Ales & Tails Bar on York Street is being turned into a Chicago Rib Shack. There are already other branches dotted around the UK with the Twickenham edition set to open in March. Here at HQ we like the look of their American breakfasts.

Continue reading

59 Comments

Filed under High Street Updates, Local Issues & News

Whither Church Street?

It’s fair to say that some things remain totally baffling to us here at twickerati HQ. How apples fell from trees before Isaac Newton invented gravity is one. The success of the television career of Nick Knowles is another. And, although it might seem strange to say it, the state of Church Street in Twickenham is yet another.

Church Street

A flowered up Church Street

Do people love Church Street? They surely do. It’s everyone’s favourite Twickenham street, isn’t it? Al fresco dining in summer; French markets; Christmas lights; a couple of great pubs; some quirky shops, a smattering of local businesses and a decent selection of restaurants. All great. Is it a roaring success? Maybe, a bit. Sometimes the place is buzzing. And yet on the other hand we continue to see empty shops – Par Ici, Escape, Langtons, and Mercado to name but four. Complement to name five. Take a look around on weekdays and even weekends and you’ll see that it’s not exactly heaving. Where is everyone? As a shopper you’re more likely to have to step aside for a passing car than as a result of the press of fellow punters.

Mid morning on a mild October Saturday

Where are you? Mid morning on a mild October Saturday

And yet, look at just about any promotional publication or website focusing on Twickenham and you can be pretty damn sure that lil’ old Church Street will feature. And rightly so. But where are the millers, the bustlers, the browsers and the leisure pursuitists? Some might be in the shops but the others are, well, elsewhere.
Continue reading

104 Comments

Filed under Features, High Street Updates, Local Issues & News, Random Stuff

Release the Twickenham Festive 5s! Five Tip Top Tips Just For You!

[Update: Want to see all the great ideas that have been added to this item? Jump straight to the comments section to take a look]

Some Twickmas going on

Some Twickmas going on


Wondering how it’s got to December already and you’re now closer to setting a new bunch of New Year’s Resolutions than you are to actually starting work on the last set? Tough!
 Beginning to panic about Auntie Madge overstaying her welcome on Boxing Day especially after last year’s incident with the Vicar and the sherry trifle during a game of charades? Too bad!  Stuck for gift ideas for family and friends?  Not anymore you’re bloody not. Why? Because this is the item where we ask you to share your Christmas recommendations and gift ideas with Twickenham’s teeming hordes, aka you the twickerati. That’s right, it’s time for this year’s Twickenham Festive 5s! We want yours and, as our dear American cousins might say, we want them real bad.

Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without lists. Present ideas, food to buy, cards to send, who to invite for drinks, who to avoid, the Sunday papers’ lists of the best and the worst of 2014. It’s just list upon list upon bastard list. Well count us in too!

What are the Twickenham Festive 5s? If you’re a local business or even just a regular resident and you want to share 5 ideas for Christmas, do it here by adding a comment below. If you’re a shop it might be your 5 best gift ideas that Joe Twickenham Public can come and buy. If you’re a pub it might be your top 5 Christmas drinks recommendations, if you’re a cafe it could be your top 5 festive cakes, or if you’re just a regular resident you might want to share your top 5 ideas for your perfect Twickenham Christmas?  It really is that simple.

The rules?
1)  Post a comment below with a numbered list of your 5 recommendations or gift ideas
2)  Explain what each thing is, but please keep it very brief
3)  Include hyperlinks to your website, if you want
4)  Include the price of each item, if applicable
5)  Re-check carefully that you’ve actually managed to make a list of 5 things (even if the fifth one is really just there to make up the numbers)

Apart from that?
Apart from that, there’s nothing to it. It’s basically your chance to get a bit of free promotion on twickerati under a ‘shop local’ banner. Who’s going to see it? Lots of people. This site gets between 500 and 1,000 page views a day and about 1,500-2,000 unique Twickenhammy visitors each week. Not too shabby for a humble hyperlocal blog.  We’ll be tweeting links back to this page too. So, get listing and share your Twickenham #Festive5s with us.  Good luck, Angels!

18 Comments

Filed under High Street Updates, Local Issues & News, Random Stuff

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

Continue reading

49 Comments

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

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)

7 Comments

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

Going, Going, Gone! Bang!

Going, going, gone? You might hear that but for today at least it’s more like a case of ‘hello, hello, hello’. High Road Auctions, newly open on Heath Road in central Twickenham, has its first sale today (19th May). The idea? Well it pretty much does what it says on the tin. It’s a high street auction house where you sell things you don’t want and buy things that you do. The catalogues and details of the sales are online or you can just go in and have a look for yourself. Regular auctions take place and you can either bid in person or online. The company already has one branch in Chiswick and have now opened their second here in Twickenham. All those who expect every new business in town to be a café of some kind will be relieved to know that there’s one here too but this does feel like something interesting and a bit different here in lil’ ol’ ‘Nam. Good luck to ’em, we say. Let us know how you get on.

High Road Auctions, Heath Road, Twickenham

High Road Auctions, Heath Road, Twickenham

And here’s the evidence of a decent turnout at their first Twickenham sale.

First auction, Twickenham

LINK:
* High Road Auctions

3 Comments

Filed under High Street Updates, Local Issues & News