This post is dedicated to the places we like to spend our hard earned pennies. In a time when we all too quickly click and collect, it’s important to remember and support the local businesses which keep Winchester unique. We love what Winchester BID are doing to support and promote local business. You can find an up to date list of shops here.
We have deliberately left out clothes shops – we’re keeping that lovely lot for a separate post.
Do you like good Italian wine, gin, beer, coffee cheeses, meats and other deli products? Of course you do and so do we! Owned and run by the very lovely Cat, this place is a fantastic place to nip into just off the High Street on the rather lovely Parchment Street. Cat stocks a range of wines and spirits to suit a range of budgets. She also stocks a small range of Italian cheese – I’d go for the ‘drunken’ one and badger her about getting the La Tour back in stock. Upstairs is a seating area where regular events such as wine tasting, book club and games night take place so keep an eye on their social media for what is happening. Great place to relax on a shopping trip with a coffee or better yet glass of wine and cheese board.
Projects is a really interesting concept as a store as it is lots of little shops within one shop. In here in particular I like to use their Project Zero section. Here we refill cooking basics, herbs, spices, pasta, rice, oils, vinegars etc as well as sustainable home cleaning products and eco friendly beauty products. Other sections I love are the vintage postcard section, the range of plants and macrame pot holders, vintage items, clothes (more abut that in another post), gifts, and small homeware. To top it off, they also do excellent food and coffee. – I am dragged out of there regularly.
P & G Wells on College Street is just too beautiful. I used to live around the corner for it and would end my runs just before so I could stare at their window displays. They just invite you in! Being located in Kingsgate helps c – such an stunning part of the city. Downstairs is a really excellent selection in a number of genres, paperback and hardback. I love the organisation – really carefully curated selection of books. And the cookbooks. Oh the cookbooks! I could spend hours browsing in here. As it serves the College there is also a really decent small stationary selection and who doesn’t love a new rollerball pen! Up some wooden stairs is a lovely children’s book area with room for book readings. They have a really decent selection – too often it can seem like children’s books are just Dahl and Diary of A Wimpy Kid, but here you will discover some lesser known gems.
Independent bookshops need to be supported (though it was great to hear their numbers are growing) so I would urge you to abandon the online giant, ignore the two large chain bookshops in town, take a walk through the Cathedral Close and towards Kingsgate and see if you can resist making a purchase.
If you’ve driven around the ring road, you will have definitely noticed on Jewry Street a shop with a striking window display and items outside on the street. That’s The Consortium. They specialise in vintage, antique and retro furniture as well as a really well selected range of gifts and jewellery. Set over three floors this is a lot of fun to explore. In the basement you’ll find the bigger furniture and upstairs the soft furnishings. The regular changing window seems to be that their stock is so well chosen and at good prices, that it often flies out the door. So keep an eye on their website and Instagram feed to be ready to pounce. When we’ve bought bigger items for them, they have also arranged delivery for a reasonable rate taking the stress out of collection.
Dinghams has been a family run business since 1892 specialising in cookware. If you are an amateur baker or an aspiring Masterchef contestant, having a good kitchen shop in your town is essential. Excellent range of items in a non cluttered shop. Staff are really helpful too and give excellent advice. I asked for advice about which cake tins I should buy in order to construct a lamb shaped cake and they didn’t even bat an eyelid.