Alresford Shopping Guide
I feel really lucky to have so many fantastic independent shops near me, not just in Winchester itself, but in all the surrounding villages and towns. Whenever I get a day off one of my favourite things to do aside from heading to Stockbridge, is to make for Alresford 7 miles north of Winchester. This small but perfectly formed Georgian town is well-known for its picturesque charm, but luckily for me also happens to be chocka-block with fabulous eateries, galleries and… places to shop.
Caracoli, Broad Street
My first port of call when visiting Alresford has to be Caracoli, a buzzy coffee shop and specialist food store on Broad Street. I can happily pass an hours in here over a skinny latte and if I’m hungry their avocado on toast is quite truly delicious! Being like the staff canteen for all the local businesses and residents there’s always a great atmosphere and vibe, and after you’ve finished your food or coffee, or whatever, you can pick-up everything you need for that night’s supper right there, including the cooking utensils – and if you need ideas, a cook book too! Their ingredients and wines are top-notch and if you’re after a gift for the turophile in your life (that’s cheese-lover to you and me) their cheese counter is seriously, seriously not to be missed. Oh, and their bread is really good too!
No.42 West Street
No.42 has to be one of my top ten absolute fave places to shop. As a womenswear and accessories boutique I’ve worked with them a few times over the past year and find their individual pieces so flattering. I’ve found so many brilliant items in there that have become firm favourites like a MAC pair of jeans which I wear all the time and my Jumper1234 which is my perfect everyday that I wouldn’t be without.
Everyone’s so friendly and helpful in there too and whenever I go in I get an automatic lift! Alongside the latest styles and designs in women’s clothing they also offer really stunning accessories making it a one-stop shop whatever the occasion.
Whether you’re stuck for inspiration, need an outfit for a special occasion or simply want a fresh new look, the team are always happy to give ideas and offer suggestions. They help me out all the time! Definitely worth a visit if you’re in town or you can find them online
Alresford Linen Co, 9 Broad Street
Love this place! It’s my ultimate lifestyle store and I literally drool over all the home accessories and interiors. Offering unusual products from all over the world they pride themselves on items that are a little bit different and can’t be found in the usual high street shops. With everything you could wish for to make your home beautifully welcoming, including comfy sofas, colourful cushions and baskets, beautiful ceramics and glassware, rugs, books and deliciously scented candles. A real Aladdin’s cave! I bought my brother a fabulous lamp from here for his birthday last year and paired it with a Kate Forman lampshade. It was simply stunning and he was thrilled.
ALCO also have an in-house dry cleaning and laundry service for clothes as well as things like duvets, rugs and sofa covers, and brilliantly handy – a clothing alterations service, which I can highly recommend! Whenever I’m in town I have to pop in anyway to say hi to Chilli – the resident ginger tom – who can usually be found either asleep by the till or asleep on the sofa! He doesn’t like too much stroking, but is so big and cuddly I always want to bring him home with me. Sadly for me though he likes it where he is!
Hetre, 39 West Street
This luxe boutique offers an amazing collection of clothing, shoes, bags and accessories from top names rarely found out of London, such as English Weather, Lou Renn and Bolam Style. They promise you ‘The best! Everything you need in one place’ and it’s true! I shop here all the time with my mum and sister-in-law, Serena (who has a whirlwind social life and is always on the look-out for funky clothes and supercool shoes).
Whatever you’re looking for – quirky designer footwear, on-trend accessories, or the very latest spring styles and designs, lovely Carol at Hetre, will help you put your look together to ensure you are the belle of the ball! (or girly lunch, night out, weekly supermarket food shop etc). They offer a fabulous mix of designer brands and any self-respecting handbag divas out there will just love their current Anya Hindmarch handbag collection.
Shopping done, I usually head back to Caracoli to give my feet a break and top up my caffeine levels, maybe with one of their scrummy muffins as a treat!