Ashburton – a shopper’s paradise

Well I can’t believe that my holiday is  over and it’s fast becoming a distant memory! My holiday to Devon was wonderful and although I have taken holidays there before it was great to discover places I’d not visited before, not least the lovely town of Ashburton. I was so excited to find a town which had lots of individual independent shops with unique and unusual things to buy, a definite shopper’s paradise! I’d just like to share with you a few of my favourites.

Firstly, I discovered a lovely shop called the Vintage Emporium http://www.ashburton.org/directory/vintage-emporium/index.htm which was a treasure trove of new and old, beautifully displayed items to browse and where you could even have a lovely pot of tea and scrummy cakes, which I have to say we had to try. The problem was that whilst sipping tea from a pretty vintage china cup you have time to spot just some other item which is oh so nice! Needless to say I left with vintage linen and  even my husband succumbed to buying a sugar shaker!

Secondly, next door is Odds and Suds, http://www.oddsandsuds.com/  which on entering you are not only engulfed in the wonderful aromas of handmade soaps but visually attracted by the central table with staggering piles of carefully arranged blocks of soaps finished with dried flowers and beautifully hand wrapped. I found myself circling the table several times just to take it all in and slowly deciding on which one I would purchase, decisions, decisions. Finally, a difficult choice was made, it was going to be hard to part with my purchase as it was to be a gift for someone else! The lady who makes the soap featured on Kirsty’s Home Made Home you may remember her.

With two family birthday’s in August we next headed into Gifts and Gallery www.giftsandgallery.co.uk where we found two unusual 3D cards which I had to admit I found fascinating. This one was for my daughter as she loved a recent visit to the capital, so we thought this was very apt.

Next I spotted a specialist sewing shop  (which seem few and far between at home) called ‘ Sew Enchanting’  http://www.sewenchanting.co.uk/. The window display was inviting  and once inside there was no doubt that the owner had a real passion for fabrics. I can honestly say that it was pure genius the way she had squeezed so may bolts of fabric into a small shop whilst still making them easily accessible. All carefully colour coordinated it was impossible not to leave without a bundle of fat quarters for some project not yet decided upon!

There are many restaurants, cafes, pubs and takeaways but I couldn’t resist a peek in Taylors Antiques and  English Tearooms window which looked incredibly elegant, I didn’t go in as there are only so many cream teas one can justify even when you are on holiday! We did however indulge in Tapas at the Moorish Restaurant in the evening which made a nice change to try something new. It was also great to see a specialist fish deli which along with some fantastic fish had a lovely array of olives and tapas and fish inspired pottery – Rick Stein watch out!

It’s a great place to shop not just because of the ratio of lovely shops for a small town but also because the service was first class, knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. So, if you are ever in this part of the country be sure to make a visit I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.  The visit has also given me an idea for a textile picture but more about that when it’s underway. So what’s been your latest retail discovery?

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