One of the joys of shopping in a cathedral city like Winchester is the abundance of independent shops, restaurants, cafes and bars run mostly by the owners, so that you develop a close relationship with them and in many cases you become friends as well as customers. I also have huge sympathy for the independent retailer battling against all the problems which confront them, such as avaricious landlords, unpredictable bankers, VAT inspections,the cost of staff, and the problems of physically getting customers to your shop despite the difficulties of ‘one-way’ systems, restrictions on parking, and the vicissitudes of the English climate.
Having spent twelve years trying to help make a delicatessen profitable in a prime position, and with a celebrity chef as a partner, we were forced to ‘throw in the towel’ when the landlords almost doubled the rent, so I understand the challenges faced on a daily basis by the independent retailer.
Despite all the obstacles placed in their path, I never cease to be amazed by their vision and determination to provide a quality service resulting in an enjoyable shopping experience for their customers, whose loyalty they depend upon for their survival. This a truly symbiotic relationship.
So, this is our tribute to that special breed that continues to provide us with the pleasures of shopping in a wonderful environment, and for an astonishing range of products and services, which in Winchester include the following; a cobbler, a purveyor of specialist teas, Italian deli, Polish, Spanish and Chinese food shops, several jewellers, wine shops, a kitchen shop, furniture shops, an artists’ supplier, an old fashioned stationer, a gunsmith, interior designers, a camera shop, an independent travel agent, a shop selling ladies (and men’s) underwear! an internationally renowned hairdresser and several cafes, bars and pubs.
We could not include them all, but I am pleased that we have got a good ‘cross-section’ of the best of the independent shops in Winchester to give you a ‘feel’ for the place, which will hopefully encourage you to visit this ancient city, and experience the joy of shopping in this environment. So, here is our selection of the ‘crème de la crème’ of Winchester’s independent shops.
BISTRO LA PLACE and FROGGIES BAR
Occupying the best location for a restaurant in Winchester is La Place and Froggies Bar with splendid views of the Cathedral. Co-owned and managed by the French duo, Gael and Seb, it has earned a well-earned reputation for first-class service and care for their customers.
Whatever time of day one can be assured a of a warm French ‘acceuil’ . How satisfying for us Francophiles to know that there are French natives who actually feel that they have a better chance of running a business in our country than their own and aren’t we the more richer for that?
Downstairs is Froggies Bar and Bistro where one can enjoy a morning coffee and later partake of a delicious bistro lunch from the Prix Fixe and Special Menus or linger through the afternoon for a ‘glass’ of something. By the evening Froggies Bar becomes more vibrant yet always discerning, with a continental atmosphere for easy conversation. Food is still served downstairs during the evening but for more formal dining there is upstairs where there is a distinct French ambiance and a choice from the A La Carte and Plats du Jour Menus and possibly the restaurant best table for four set in the bow window overlooking the Square and the Cathedral.
The Vintage Magazine cannot praise this Bistro La Place & Froggies more highly as we have held many a ‘business meeting’ here and some of our best ideas have evolved over a fine glass of their house wine!
Bistro La Place & Froggies can be found at, 9 Great Minster Street, Winchester SO23 9HA
T: 01962 864 004
Visit their website for all the events and special occasions that are coming up:- www.laplacebistro.co.uk
Gael is obviously camera shy!
Boudoir Blush is situated in the heart of Winchester on Parchment Street.
With a strong focus on providing excellent customer care, they offer a specialist fitting service in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere for you to come and browse the biggest collection of lingerie in an independent boutique South of London.
With cup sizes ranging from AAA-K and back sizes from 28-44, they cater for all shapes and sizes and offer a beautiful range of lingerie, swimwear, control wear, nightwear, loungewear, hosiery and luxury gifts.
All of their staff are fully qualified and know their products well so you can be confident that you’ll receive the best advice and help there is on choosing the right shapes and styles for you.
Stocking a wide range of specialist bras including mastectomy bras, sports bras and teen bras, Boudoir Blush is a one-stop shop for all your underwear needs.
They understand that choosing the right underwear can be quite daunting for men and offer help in store or over the phone to help with sizing, styles and colours to help you confidently choose the perfect gift.
They have recently started hosting private parties and ‘hen dos’ in the boutique. For more information please contact us in store or online.
Boudoir Blush is now open seven days a week and you can visit us in store at 9a Parchment Street, Winchester SO23 8AT or online at www.boudoirblush.co.uk to browse our Autumn/ Winter 2013 collections.
T: 01962 841344
Cadogan & Company is situated in the middle of the prettiest street in Winchester, The Square, which runs parallel with the High Street and the Cathedral grounds.
Cadogan has been owned and run by Alex Edwards for over twenty years, and is still one of the most popular shops in Winchester, combining highly personal service with a huge range of quality clothing brands.
It is the sort of shop where you walk in and spend the first 15 minutes having a chat with Alex, or some old friend you have bumped into, but it is also an Aladdin’s Cave of goodies both for ladies and gentlemen, stocking clothes by Amanda Wakeley, Hartford, Max Mara, Nougat, Gant, Avoca, Anonymous, 120 per cent Linen, Barbour, Hoss, Marella, Petrovitch and Robinson, David Meister, Luis Civit, Vivi, Barbara Shwarzer, ELISA, Cavaletti, Carina, Ralph Lauren. Hunter, Dubarry, and many more as well as Bags, Shoes, Hats, and accessories.
They also have a fine array of men’s clothing from smart to casual, and as someone who is allergic to shopping, I am prepared to admit that Cadogan is the only place I shop at in Winchester, or anywhere else for that matter!
It really is a shop where you could take your wife, or son, or daughter and find exactly what they want for any occasion, chosen from an extensive range of clothing from around the world combining well-known ‘designer’ names with more eclectic designers.
Alex Edwards knows everyone who is anyone in Winchester and should really be subsidised by the Independent Schools Organisation since he employs most of their ex-pupils whilst they looking for their vocation in life, and his staff are numerous and courteous, so customers always receive individual attention.
Famous people who shop there include Colin Firth, Tara Palmer-Tompkinson, Dervla Kirwen, Alexandra Cheung, Colin Firth, Hugh Bonnevile and his wife, Rupert Parry-Jones, James Martin, Isabella Anstruther Gough-Calthorpe, and Gabriella Wilde.
Whoever you are, you will receive a warm welcome, and individual attention, qualities which are sadly lacking in most shops these days.
So, the next time you are in Winchester, do go and introduce yourself to Alex, and tell him he was recommended by Robert Jarman and The Vintage Magazine, and hopefully he will still talk to you!
The Address is: Cadogan & Company, 30 The Square, Winchester SO239EX
GERALD MARSH ANTIQUE CLOCKS LTD.
Gerald E. Marsh Antique Clocks Ltd., in business over 50 years, was established in Winchester, in 1947 and is located near the great and historical 900 year old Winchester Cathedral. In fact it is at No. 32a The Square which is the same desirable area where Bistro La Place and Froggies Bar and that other institution in Winchester, Cadogan & Company can be found. What more could one ask for than to be well fed, clothed to an impeccable standard and then to have ones horological desires met all in just a few paces?
Marsh Antique Clocks Ltd., has supplied and continues to offer to collectors and institutions many rare and important clocks by such eminent makers as Thomas Tompion, Abraham Louis Breguet, Ferdinand Berthoud, Thomas Mudge, Antide Janvier and others. Mr. Marsh continues to work with clocks and watches at the bench as well as specializing in the purchasing, selling and valuation of these rare antiques.
Marsh Antique Clocks Ltd., is one of the few retail clock dealers in the United Kingdom that has its own team of clock and watch makers who now collectively have over 200 years of horological experience. This team is complimented by a four member team of cabinet makers with exceptional skills and experience.
You will be welcomed in time honoured fashion and any questions you have will be answered fully, perhaps more than you might be expecting as there is nothing more that the team like to talk about than clocks and watches!
Gerald Marsh Antique Clock Ltd. can be found at 32a The Square, Winchester, SO23 9EX
The Independent Holiday Shop
– More than Just a High Street Travel Agent
Established more than 20 years ago, “The Independent Holiday Shop” is located in the centre of the historic city of Winchester, on the outside of The Brooks Shopping Centre. Car Parking is available within The Brooks itself.
As their name implies they are a fully bonded, fully independent Agency. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff will help you find the right holiday to suit your needs.
As members of AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators) they have an excellent relationship with many specialist Tour Operators, who feature destinations that many mainstream Tour Operators do not, and can tailor make itineraries just for you. However, if you want to book a standard package holiday, they are more than happy to do that for you too. In fact being independent means that they can virtually do anything – escorted tours, coach holidays, cruises, round the world itineraries, city breaks & weddings/honeymoons to name just a few. In addition they can arrange car hire, airport hotels & parking, excursions, visas and travel insurance to ensure that all aspects of your holiday are taken care of.
The business is co-owned and managed by Hilary Honess & Sharron Brammall, who have been assisting people in Winchester to book their holidays for many years. Together with 3 other members of staff, Alison, Olatz and Richard, they have a combined experience in the travel industry spanning over 100 years. They have all travelled extensively and regularly draw upon their own experiences when advising customers.
It is a friendly, professional Agency that prides itself on exceptional customer service to create the perfect itinerary just for you. They have many loyal clients who come back year after year.
If you need inspiration or advice, please call on 01962 877327, email or visit the office in Winchester. You can take your time browsing through the comprehensive and unusual brochure collection or talk to one of their experienced members of staff, who will be only too happy to help. Alternatively, you can book an appointment with a member of staff to discuss your holiday plans.
Their opening hours are Monday – Saturday 9.30am – 5.30 pm, and they look forward to hearing from you and helping you book that special trip.
Their contact details are as follows:-
Unit 35 The Brooks, Winchester Hants SO23 8QY
T: 01962 877327
JANE McINTYRE DESIGN
Jane McIntyre Design is a newly opened lifestyle shop on Southgate Street in our beautiful mediaeval city of Winchester. For years a hairdressers, the elegant Victorian space has been completely refitted, combining interior design with a fascinating mix of quirky and traditional finds. The shop is set out as a house but with all things in it being for sale, even the desk Jane works from!
Bringing together her years of experience designing houses, hotels, bars and stage sets, Jane has sourced products and fabrics from all around the globe – furniture, lighting, bed-linens, clothes, baths, sinks and works of art along with artisan ceramics, crockery, candles, toiletries, stationary and gifts.
There is definitely a buzz about this shop. A bit of an Alladin’s cave, the customer is often amazed at the slight decadence of the dark colours of the main room, teamed with velvet sofas, muted lighting and a selection of unusual wallpapers.
Jane McIntyre is a Business Member of The Vintage Magazine and our Interior Design Editor. We featured a comprehensive article on her stylish shop earlier this year. Please click here to read the complete article and discover all the innovative stock that Jane has sourced.
So why not pop in and meet Jane and test run the experience for yourself. She can be found at No.11 Southgate Street, Winchester
Jane McIntyre Interior Design and Project Management
T: 01962 853882
M: 07734 031206
OCEAN DRIVE LIVING
New kids on the block having only just opened this month are Ocean Drive Living.
Ocean Drive Living is an exceptional range of products for the house and garden with kitchen, dining and entertaining taking centre stage. Inspiration comes from the Caribbean lifestyle, the beauty of the New Forest and the sophistication of Winchester giving their range a distinctly New England and Scandi feel.
Specialising in Scandinavian interior design and representing the best of British artisans they have handpicked a stunning array of accessories for your home and garden. Top brands such as Skagerak, Culinary Concepts and By Nord blend with up and coming names such as Fenella Smith, Lily Matthews, Finnsdottir and Scantilla.
If you dream of the perfect coastal style or Scandinavian cosy, if you have a passion for incredible design and you love the innovative, the unique and the unusual, then Ocean Drive Living is for you.
Judy Peden has a BA in Interior Design and has a passion for bespoke pieces of furniture and accessories. She was also Managing Director of 360 Music Ltd, which was a privately owned residential recording studio and record and publishing company based in the New Forest.
Judy has a vast experience in retail but has also worked as part of the senior management team at the Scottish Youth Theatre in Glasgow as well as the renowned Chicken Shed Company in London.
“The type of customer we intend to target will cover every demographic from young mums to highly successful business people looking for quality products with a bespoke feel.” said Judy.
After his initial success as a writer and musician in the million selling act, ‘‘The Chimes,’ Mike Peden went on to become not only one of Europe’s foremost and in demand record producers, but also to achieve great success as an A&R man.
Having been responsible for multi-million selling albums ‘‘Ocean Drive” and “Postcards from Heaven’’ by The Lighthouse Family and ‘‘Supernatural’’ by Des’ree, Mike achieved his first Brits nomination with the album, ‘‘What Silence Knows’’ by Massive Attack’s featured vocalist Shara Nelson.
During his stints as A&R Director of Jive Records and Senior A&R Director of Warner Music (UK), Mike worked closely with artists such as REM, Madonna, Cher, Billy Ocean, The Backstreet Boys and Tribe Called Quest, all of whom benefited from his ability to combine the creative process with his sound management qualities.
Examples of other artists who have been pleased to work with Mike over the years are: Daryl Hall, David Bowie, Smoke City, Mica Paris, Emma Bunton, Seal, Lucie Silvas, Estelle, Kate Perry, Will Young, Lana Del Rey and Shakria who have all at some time requested Mike’s unique production abilities to help with their music.
So you can see that this is a place worth popping into, not just for the surrounding style of the shop but for the interesting ‘chat’!
Contact: Ocean Drive Living, 71, Parchment Street, Winchester, Hants, SO23 8AT. Tel: 01962 864 111
WINE UTOPIA, WINCHESTER
We, in Winchester, are delighted that Wine Utopia have chosen our city to open their second shop in the delightful setting of St. Thomas Street in August of this year.
Wine Utopia began in September 2011 with a wine list, a mail order service and a handful of local wine tasting events but graduated to its first shop on the High Street in Stockbridge in July 2012.
Owner Rachel Gibson started out in the wine trade as a graduate trainee with Majestic Wine back in 1999. After seven years managing various stores, ending up in Winchester, she moved on to work for an independent merchant for four years, travelling extensively round the wine producing regions of the world, before making the decision to set up on her own. Her particular passion is for those wines from New Zealand.
Wine Utopia pride themselves on offering a world-beating range of New Zealand wines, especially Pinot Noir. however, in fact they have hundreds of stunning wines from across the world, all chosen for their unrivalled quality and value. At their frequent wine tastings and events you will be introduced to a wealth of fantastic small producers and estates.
Rachel comments, “My focus is primarily on the customer and making sure they have access to the very best wines I can find, backed up with a friendly, personal service. The opportunity for customers to taste the wines, learn more about their origins and judge for themselves is incredibly important.”
Wine Utopia can give expert advice, party planning and offers nationwide UK delivery (free if you live in Hampshire!) and can be found at 4 St Thomas Street Winchester SO23 9HE
Order on line, by telephone or in one of their shops.
Here is a listing of many of the other ‘INDEPENDENTS’ in Winchester that make the city special, in contrast to the usual multi-nationals that dominate our towns and cities today:-
ART CAFE – Du Lunn Buildings, Jewry St. Winchester
T: 07513 931628 W:www.theartcafe.co.uk
B. E. CHAPLINS GUNMAKERS Ltd. – 6 Southgate Street, Winchester SO23 9EF
T: 01962 840055 W: www.bechaplin.co.uk
CARACOLI – Coffee Shop – 100 High Street, Winchester SO23 9AH
T: 01962 808185 W: www.caracoli.co.uk
CAFE MONDE – 22 The Square, Winchester
T: 01962 877177
CHAR TEAS – 156 High St. Winchester
T: 01962 868760 W: www.charteas.com
DINGHAMS – Cookware & Fireplaces – 4 The Square, Winchester
T: 01962 863333 W: www.dinghams.co.uk
FORME – Italian Style – 69 Parchment St. Winchester
T: 01962 842320 W: www.formeonline.co.uk
GUY KRAMER – Award Winning Hairdresser – Stonemason’s Ct. 67 Parchment St. Winchester
T: 01962 860149 W: www.guykramer.co.uk
THE BLACK RAT RESTAURANT – 88 Chesil Street, Winchester SO23 0HX
T: 01962 844465 W: www.theblackrat.co.uk
THE BLACK BOTTLE – 4 Bridge Street, Winchester
T: 01962 621563 W: www.theblackbottle.co.uk
THE GREEN MAN – 53 Southgate St. Winchester
T: 01962 866809 W: www.greenmanwinchester.co.uk
THE HAMBLEDON – Eclectic Store – 10 The Square Winchester SO23 9ES
T: 01962 890055 W: www.thehambledon.com
TOM’S DELI – 56 St. George’s St., Winchester
T: 01962 840595 W: www.tomsdeliwinchester.co.uk