• Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

    Our favourite place: Witney

    by  • 09/12/2016 • Country moment • 0 Comments

    Visit WitneyThis pretty Oxfordshire market town on the River Windrush has prospered and grown from its 300 year history in the blanket industry. We love it for its…

    Wool history Follow the Witney Wool & Blanket Trail and discover the town’s landmarks. Trail leaflets are available online or at the Witney Visitor Information centre on Welch Way.

    Architecture Admire the Georgian buildings along the High Street. There’s also the 17th century Buttercross and 13th century church with a 156-foot spire which can be seen from afar. The Corn Exchange, Blanket Hall and the towns three almshouses also carry a fascinating history.

    Open spaces Witney Lake & Country Park is a haven for wildlife and leads to the Lower Windrush valley walking trails while Standlake Common Nature Reserve (developed in the 1990’s) offers an easy way to watch wildlife with bird hides and leisurely pathways. In the town centre, Church Green is a lovely open space to sit and watch the world go by or to enjoy a good book.

    Museums Explore the town’s history further at The Witney & District Museum in Gloucester Court Mews, or, experience Victorian country life at Cogges Manor Farm Museum,  which may ring a bell as the setting of Yew Tree Farm in TV series Downton Abbey.

    Shops Everyday goods and high street brands can be found at shopping centres Marriotts Walk and Woolgate; or amble the High Street and its smaller side lanes for bespoke gifts and finds. Dove White, on the High Street, has the prettiest accessories to make a house a home while sister shop Decorus  displays room sets and sells larger pieces of furniture plus mirrors in a modern country style. The Old Pill Factory is a treasure trove of decorative antiques, while Wesley Barrell  is the place to source that perfect sofa. Redecorating? Then Relics of Witney is made for grand plans – source paints (Earthborn, Farrow & Ball, Little Greene), bespoke hardware and accessories. Bookworms will love the antiquarian selection at Church Green books, and third generation clock maker Steven Fletcher offers clock restoration and watch repairs at the Clock Workshop.

    Witney Sewing and Knitting Centre is packed with a huge variety of sewing machines plus fabrics, haberdashery, wool and threads and craft ideas.

    If you’re looking for gifts, teddies new and preloved, source Steiff, Merrythought and Dean’s brands at Teddy Bears of Witney. Or step in to the Sota Gallery for contemporary artworks and exhibitions including ceramics, glass, photography and textiles.

     Food Delicious local produce is easy to source in this ancient market town’s shops with additional variety to source at regular markets. Family business and traditional Densham’s butchers sells locally farmed meats and game from Cornbury Park estate in nearby Charlbury, weekend roasting joints and award-wining British pork and green goblin cider sausages – all prepared in the shop. For hampers or picnics, pick up a Best of British basket at The Solan Goose sandwich deli, which includes everything from carved Wiltshire ham, tangy Stilton and handmade piccalilli to summer berry trifle and gingerbeer. And visit the twice weekly charter market on Thursdays and Saturdays (the Thursday market dates to the Middle Ages)  Or try the monthly farmers market.

    Do you have a favourite market town to visit? We would love to hear more about it…

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    Our favourite place to visit: Lymington

    by  • 22/07/2016 • Country moment • 0 Comments

    Visit Lymington in HampshireThis Georgian market town sits at the gateway to coast and country with the Solent Strait and  New Forest right on its doorstep. There’s an array of shops and family-friendly activities to try, too. We love it for its…

    Saturday market
    Lymington Charter Market began in 1250. Today, more than 90 stalls run the length of the High Street selling fresh fruit and veg, bread, meat and sausages, deli treats, cupcakes, fudge, plants, flowers, clothing and household goods.

    Outdoor activities
    With two marinas and an Olympic gold medallist (Ben Ainslie), Lymington is the place to try some sailing, start with a luxury day trip from Escape Yachting.  Or join a guided walk to hear smugglers tales and more with Lymington Town Tours. If that’s too energetic, head to Lymington’s outdoor seawater baths, the oldest in the UK, for a relaxed dip on a summer’s day.

    Just North of Lymington discover the wild heathlands and woods of the New Forest, where ponies, pigs and Highland cattle roam free.

    Coastal chic and stylish home buys can be sourced at charming Puffin Bay, Quay street, where you’ll find furniture, lamps, cushions and seaside themed gifts, capturing the essence of living by the sea. Make your house a home with gorgeous furniture, fabrics and lamps from Willow Lifestyle, 60 High Street. Domestic goddesses can source kitchenware from Steamer Trading cookshop, 98 High Street, and make plans for new kitchens with Raynsford Furniture’s handcrafted English furniture including kitchens, bathrooms and bespoke pieces at 26a St Thomas Street. Browse galleries for unique artwork too, including contemporary art at Stephen Lees gallery, 2 Quay Street, and fine art at Robert Perera, 19 St Thomas Street.

    Food Heroes
    Delicious local food is easy to find here with its enviable location. Family butchers A&J Seal, 4 Angel Courtyard, sell ethically sourced meats including game, speciality sausages and local Pennington beef. Seafayre Seafoods has a steady stream of visitors at The Yacht House, 8 Quay Street, for its mouthwatering lobster, prawns, scallops, cooked crab and cockles. Independent wine merchant, The Solent Cellar, 40 St Thomas Street, welcomes visitors to browse, taste and shop for wines, with expert advice on food matching too. And New Forest ice-cream must be tasty as visitors queue around the block for it at Truly Scrumptious, 6 Quay Street…

    Where is your favourite market town? We would love to hear more about it…

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    Our favourite place to visit: Woodbridge

    by  • 01/04/2016 • Country moment • 0 Comments

    Woodbridge SuffolkThis historic market town sits by the River Deben in beautiful Suffolk. We love it for its beautiful architecture, independent shops and easy transport connections to countryside and coast.

    The main run of shops is along the lengthy Thoroughfare with its wonderful variety of independent stores, while Market Hill offers vintage markets, boutiques, foodie retreats and pubs. We love luxury interiors shops 10 Church Street, which sells antique and country furniture, art and decorative objects, ceramics, textiles and pet products. Smaller antiques, including silverware, jewellery, pocket watches, pottery and porcelain, can be sourced by the riverside at Woodbridge Antiques Centre, 7 Quay Street. For bespoke curtains, soft furnishings and an interior design service, visit Pippa Rolls, 6-8 Gobbitts Yard, or try June Bellamy creative soft furnishings, 82 Thoroughfare. For pots, pans and kitchenware gadgets, try Woodbridge Kitchen Company, 7 Thoroughfare. All types of flooring including solid wood, engineered wood, parquet and Amtico flooring can be sourced at Hartwood Floors at 1 The Quay. And Music lovers will adore the timeless elegance of Woodbridge Violins shop, 26 Market Hill, where owner Russell Stowe restores and repairs stringed instruments and sells instruments from violins and violas to cellos and accessories.

    Foodie Places
    There’s a Thursday weekly market selling homemade food, plants and crafts, country-markets.co.uk; and a twice monthly farmers and craft market in town selling fish, meats, plants, ice-cream, cakes, honey and preserves. The Woodbridge Fine Food Company, 2a New Street, is a foodie haven and an award-winning deli – source Suffolk free range organic chicken, dry cure Suffolk hams and bacons, rare breed meats, game, fresh crab and lobster, oysters from Butley Creek. For wines, ales, beers and spirits, try the Woodbridge Wine Company at 6 Thoroughfare. And priding itself on farm to fork produce, try butchers J R Creaseys, 8 Hamblin Walk, for locally sourced beef, lamb, pork, poultry and game.

    Head down to the picturesque quayside and watch sailboats on the River Debden. Visit the attractive Tide Mill, a working mill and living museum with more than 800 years of milling history; see the English oak waterwheel turn the wheels and stones to grind grain and make flour, or look out for special events. In the market area, look out for Shire Hall, Market Hill, a 16th century building which formerly housed a corn market and courthouse. Or, close by, visit Woodbridge Museum, 5a Market Hill, which showcases the town’s history from an Anglo Saxon settlement through its medieval era and maritime history on to modern times.

    Where is your favourite town to shop this season? We would love to hear more about it!

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    Our favourite place to visit: Tunbridge Wells

    by  • 19/02/2016 • Country moment • 0 Comments

    Tunbridge WellsThis prosperous spa town lies on the Kentish Weald in the Garden of England. We love it for its…

    Weekly markets With so much farmland close by, seasonal produce is in abundance for the farmers’ markets supplying meats, food, drink, hops for beer-making and (notably for this region) soft fruits and berries.

    Spring water Discovered more than 400 years ago by Dudley Lord North (a courtier to James I), the Chalybeate Spring led to the town’s development and prosperity. Today’s visitors can still taste the iron-rich water from Easter to September, served by a Victorian costumed Dipper.

    Stroll through history Walk in the footsteps of Queen Victoria, Samuel Pepys and Daniel Defoe along The Pantiles colonnaded walkway – a place to admire the elegant architecture or to meet friends and browse specialist shops, cafés and galleries.

    Seven Wonders of the Weald Tunbridge Wells is one of The Seven Wonders of the Weald, stay a little longer and see the full collection including Scotney Castle, Groombridge Place, The Kent & East Sussex Railway, Biddenden Vineyards, Marle Place, and Chiddingstone Castle.

    Tunbridge Wells offers a wonderful selection of shops with an abundance of home interiors style. Visit Jeremy’s Home Store, 26 Monson Road, for a great selection of baskets! For modern country style, source decorative pieces from Lots of Living, 48 Mount Pleasant Street, or De Hasse, 13 Nevill Street, for organic stone washed linen and hemp fabrics and cabinetry made from recycled timber flooring. A trip to Tunbridge Wells is not complete without a trip to Trevor Mottram’s cookware and kitchenware shop, 33-41 The Pantiles. Find Swedish Gustavian-style furniture at Georgia Lacey interiors,  53 St John’s Road, while the perfect armchair awaits at Wesley Barrell, 33 High Street. Find stylish garden gifts at Le Petit Jardin, 14 Chapel Place, and elegant lighting at Olive and The Fox, 10-12 Chapel Place. Or create a bespoke bathroom for your home with the help of C P Hart, 60-62 High Street.

    Foodie places
    The wait in line is worth it for locally sourced meat, pies, and game at Peter Speaight butchers, 15 Chapel Place. Further afield try Southborough Butchers for poultry, sausages and hog roasts, 60a London Road, Southborough. Source local farm fruits, veg, free range meats, cheese and specialty produce at Locality, 15 Camden Road. Enjoy authentic Italian food at Max & Molly’s deli and Osteria restaurant, 3b Monson Road, or step into Perk & Pearl, Tea & Coffee Merchants, 2 Grove Hill Road, which sells single origin coffees and loose leaf teas – try a hand-warming cuppa during your visit!

    Where is your favourite town to shop this season? We would love to hear more about it…

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    Our favourite place to visit: Stow-on-the-Wold

    by  • 29/01/2016 • Country moment • 0 Comments

    Shop in Stowe-on-the-Wold

    Steeped in history and surrounded by picturesque countryside, this ancient market town is the perfect place to amble and shop. We love it for its…

    Medieval market square
    The Market Cross and the Stocks have stood in the town centre since the fifteenth century.

    Scenic Walks
    Find a route map at and follow one of the many scenic trails through the Stow countryside.

    Stow-on-the-Wold is dotted with independent boutiques and charming shops tucked behind historic Cotswold limestone facades. Visit Rosie B Home & Interiors, 3 Digbeth Court, for painted furniture, country-style crockery, vintage home-wares and pretty accessories. At Scotts of Stow, The Square, you’ll have the chance to browse items from well-priced kitchen ceramics and cookware to furniture and garden ornaments. Around at Bloom, The Square, pick up beautiful bouquets, posies or single stem silk flowers, that closely resemble the real thing. Or book a workshop at Vintage & Paint, where you can learn découpage, gilding or crackle-glazing; there is also a good selection of unusual industrial lighting and vintage furniture to choose. And don’t miss Fosse Gallery, The Square, which specialises in contemporary British art; representing many prestigious artists and hosting regular exhibitions in partnership with the Royal Academy.

    Foodie places
    This area is brimming with artisan food producers, so it’s well worth picking up local cheeses, free-range meat and other gourmet treats whilst here. We like Hamptons Fine Foods, 1 Digbeth Street, for Cotswold Brie, Single Gloucester and accompanying local honeys, handmade chutneys and more. Sweet tooths can indulge in handmade artisan chocolate, made with Cotswolds cream at The Cotswold Chocolate Company on Digbeth Street. Or stop for a warming bowl of homemade soup, or a freshly baked ‘Special Stow Cream Tea’ by the fireplace at Lucy’s Tearoom, located in a charming oak-beamed cottage.

    Where is your favourite town to shop this season? We would love to hear more about it…

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    Glorious gardening…

    by  • 16/05/2015 • Country style, Country Videos • 0 Comments

    It’s that time of year when we get giddy about gardens…all thanks to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. We’re excited that we’ll be going along to the show next week to support the many incredible talents exhibiting; we can’t wait to get some inspiration for our own plots.

    Our shopping video this week is inspired by this awe-inspiring show and our passion for gardening. Watch to see our favourite new garden buys, which are sure to make you smile…

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    All about bees…

    by  • 09/05/2015 • Country style, Country Videos • 0 Comments

    Where there’s a bee there’s always a happy yellow hue and a monochrome stripe…so what’s not to love, right? Every season there’s a stand out ‘hero’ creature adorning homeware collections, and right now there’s a definite buzz in the air for the humble bumblebee.

    Watch our latest video to see our selection of fun finds currently championing bees…

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    Everyday life sorted, with these handy home office buys

    by  • 21/03/2015 • Country style, Country Videos • 0 Comments

    The key to organising a busy lifestyle is staying on top of things! In the new issue of Country Homes & Interiors we share our pick of the best keep-the-chaos-at-bay buys!

    In our latest shopping video we share an edited selection of our favourite buys to help organise your work, family and household admin in style. Watch below to see the items we’ve chosen…

    We’re coveting a fabric-covered memo board, to hang and merrily pin with invitations and appointments for all the family to see.

    Plus beautifully illustrated botanical print weekly desk pads for the home office, that will not only look great but will keep your diary in-check…simply tear off the pages as the weeks pass.

    Lastly the simply stunning country classic wallpaper covered box files for hiding away important household papers, the perfect accompaniment to any home office.

    Thank you to Neptune, Hobbycraft, Garden Trading, Berry Red, Nordic House, Vanessa Arbuthnott, Butlers and Joules for all your help.

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    Video: Pie making buys

    by  • 07/03/2015 • Country Videos • 0 Comments

    It’s British Pie Week, so what better excuse to get baking! Our love for cooking homemade comfort food has led us to uncover some fabulous pie making finds. If you, too, are passionate about pies you won’t want to miss them…watch our latest video and see for yourself.

    Thank you to Neptune, Hobbycraft, Garden Trading, Berry Red, Nordic House, Vanessa Arbuthnott and Butlers for all your help.

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    Video: Painted florals

    by  • 07/02/2015 • Country style, Country Videos • 0 Comments

    Here at Country Days we love all things floral. Whether adorning fabrics, wallpaper or home accessories, beautiful blooms perfectly complement the country home. Watch our latest video to see our pick of the best painterly floral buys from Caroline Gardner.

    Thank you to Neptune, Hobbycraft, Garden Trading, Berry Red, Nordic House, Vanessa Arbuthnott and Butlers for all your help.

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