Tag Archives: shops

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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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.

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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.
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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!

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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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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

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Twickenham High Street and Shopping Update

“Woof! Woof. Woof!”
“What’s that, Lassie, old girl? There’s a boy? Trapped in the old mine shaft?? And he needs our help???”
“Woof! Woof, woof. Woof!!”
“Ah, I see, you’re saying that irresponsible child can wait a bit but we urgently need another Twickenham High Street Update? I’ve got it now, old girl. Let’s get on with it.”

So there we have it. Despite just a few weeks passing since our last update it’s time for another. Spring is in the air and on the high street. Here’s what’s hot…

[UPDATE: We’ve added a few new items at the end of this article]

After the warm reception and positive reviews given to Ke Sushi on London Road, we’ve now gone and got ourselves a second sushi restaurant in the form of Iso Sushi on York Street. There’s been a distinct lack of recent success in that place – we’re talkin’ the short-lived Din’s Grill and Pizza Rizzo – so here’s hoping for third time lucky with this new business. What with sushi being the new Thai (which was the new Indian, which was the new tripe and onions, etc) it could actually do well.

Sushi you, Sir!

Sushi you, Sir!

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Twickenham High Street Update – Spring 2014

Well, well, well. It’s been a while since our last High Street Update hasn’t it? But that doesn’t mean it’s been all quiet on the Twickenham front. Far from it, as it happens. Here’s the skinny.

On London Road we’ve finally seen the back of that terrible pink Yummies sign. The short-lived but long-closed experiment in frozen yoghurt has been replaced by Ke Sushi, purveyors of, you’ve guessed it, sushi, to the twickerati – that’s you lot, btw. Although not exactly on Twickenham’s ‘restaurant mile’ – Richmond Road, York Street, Heath Road (and Church Street) – it might actually do quite well especially if it can drum up a decent lunchtime trade. Next door, in what used to be Max Sports, a dry cleaning service has opened going by the name of Bonjour Dry Cleaners. With several other dry cleaners already in town, will Bonjour be a case of “Say hello, wave goodbye”, or could it be more a matter of “Suits you, sir”?

Ke Sushi London Road Twickenham

At the junction of London Road and Whitton Road, what was previously the Kaka takeaway, aka AKA’s, has now become Margherita Pizza. We assume other varieties of pizza are available. Our suggestion for a late night speciality would be a doner kebab pizza with gravy… topped with guinea fowl cooked three ways and served with beetroot paint and a basil gel. Look out for that in the upcoming series of Masterchef. We reckon old Greg Wallace would bloody love tucking into that little lot. We’re not so sure if the glum faced one would be quite so keen though.

Sticking with food, Blah Blah Blah is still closed but it’s now got a sign up saying that the lease is for sale. After stints as Bibi, Heavenly Dish, at least two versions of Karahi Spices and most recently Blah Blah Blah itself, some might be forgiven for thinking that this isn’t the best spot to run a restaurant. So, expect a new eatery to open there very soon.

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