November can be pretty dull time between the end of the summer and the build up to Christmas, and I decided to brighten things up with a day out with a friend in Tetbury. Tetbury is in the ‘Royal’ county of Gloucestershire with Prince Charles’ country estate of Highgrove just down the road, and Princess Anne also living nearby. It’s the sort of place where well heeled Londoners have a weekend house and the picturesque cream stone buildings are filled with antique shops, yummy food shops and smart boutiques. Just the place, I thought, for a girly day out.
The morning flew by as we browsed for Chrismas presents and imagined what glamourous clothes we might buy for all those Christmas dinners and drinks parties (I wish). We scoured every corner of the many antique shops for furniture and ornaments to decorate and beautify our houses (in our imagination) and mentally consumed delicious home made, organic and locally sourced produce. We took a gastropub lunch at The Priory where almost everything comes from local producers within a 30 mile radius of the restaurant (more of that later) and instead of pudding bought a gooey chocolate brownie from one of those artizan bakers to nibble on the way home.
If you’re visiting Tetbury , here are some of my favourite haunts;
Sassy & Boo – for glamourous but well priced girly stuff mixed in with vintage bags and jewellery.
Moloh – where the well dressed Gloucestershire gal goes for stylish clothes with an English country twist.
Overider – for the trendy young stable hand or horsie type who hopes that Daddy will be picking up the bill – get your cowboy boots and studded belts here.
Sharland and Lewis – for painted furniture and decorative objects with a French provincial feel – think faded floral quilts and striped French linens.
The Highgrove Shop – this is probably the closest you’ll get to Prince Charles’ estate, selling produce from the Duchy Farms and the ideal place to find a gift for your host when you’re invited to all those country house parties.
Quayles – an amazing deli with all the gourmet, foodie fare you could wish for.
Cafe 53 – a young, modern cafe tucked beside the Brown & White Antique centre and just the place for coffee or a light lunch – it has a pretty courtyard garden hidden away at the back.
The Ark Angel – there are many antique emporiums in Tetbury selling furniture and decorative objects, but my favourite is The Ark Angel where they mix up things from different eras and I always find something to covet and admire.
The Priory Inn – just a few minutes from the centre this gastropub serves excellent, locally sourced bistro style food and has hotel rooms decorated in contemporary style – it’s family friendly too.
Other things to do around Tetbury
The Westonbirt Arboretum has beautiful walks, activities and events all year round, and is just a short drive from the town of Tetbury.
Abbey House Garden in the nearby town of Malmsbury is the home of ‘the naked gardeners’ who normally dress for visitors except perhaps on their ‘clothing optional’ open days. Their beautiful gardens are open daily between March and October and you can take refreshments in their indoor/outdoor tea room.
Chavenage House is an Elizabethan Manor House near Tetbury, where a member of the family who have owned it for the last 100 years will give you a personal tour on Thursdays and Sundays between May and September.
For more information on Tetbury, take a look at the Visit Tetbury Website