#LoveIndieOxford: Week Two
Today we catch up with Sarah Quinn to see how she got on with her second week of the #LoveIndieOxford Challenge. We launched the challenge this month to encourage people to think about local alternatives to buying from chain stores, supermarkets and online. The rules are really simple, it’s about discovering local businesses, and connecting with your community.
You can check out Sarah’s Week One story here, and read on to find out what she discovered in Week Two, including exploring the independent scene in Abingdon, and checking out what Oxford city centre has to offer. >>
What a wet and miserable week, I manage to brave the weather to check out some local indie businesses.
Monday started with a trip to nearby town of Abingdon, which is a market town, according to the ‘Experience Oxfordshire’ website its one of the oldest markets in England and by Royal Charter Monday is the town’s market day 8 am-3 pm, they have a wide selection of goods from flowers and plants to meat and groceries. It was however ‘The Isla Jane Bakery’ stall which took my fancy – I treated myself to an iced bun as big as my face and tried a Banbury cake (check out my highlights to see my review).
The local florist Fabulous Flowers has the most beautiful window displays, I went a bit snap happy in there. They also sell candles and plants, and the staff were super helpful too!!
After attending Illy Boo Designs calligraphy class I have become obsessed with finding the nicest pens – Prices stationers have the biggest selection of art and craft items, it was sad however to see there window campaign “Buy local or bye bye local” which shows just how important the #LoveIndieOxford Challenge is for helping promote local business so we can have a high street with a large variety of shops!!!
Next was a coffee from R and R in Abingdon which has a great central location and wide range of foods, from crepes to soups, perfect stop for lunch.
Abingdon is a beautiful old town. I have been before for photo trips to see the ruins at the Abingdon Abbey Gardens, and walk along the Thames river.
After a wander round I stopped in Added Ingredients for a coffee, this great little shop is a cornucopia of every kitchen thing you could need – oil, balsamic vinegar and SESI refill pourables, they even sell Turkish delight by weight! Last year I bought an individual loose tea swirler, but they have loads of different kitchen gadgets. They also have a fabulous selection of wine, cheeses and fresh items. This shop is such a gem definitely worth a visit!
Wednesday was a trip down the road to Flo’s Café and refill shop at Florence Park, they even have an electronics borrowing section! The refill station has oats, pasta and the faith in nature brand soaps and liquids, it is open on Wednesdays and Saturday – remember to bring your own container but you can also borrow one of theirs!! Make sure you grab some cake or hot food at the café, very tasty and they have a great range from beans on toast to lamb tagine!
Next stop was to Bicycle Blooms, my favourite florist for Galentine’s day flowers one for my friend and a bunch for me!! Jane is very knowledgeable and they whole team is lovely! Jane made a beautiful bunch for me, and prices start at five pounds for a posy bunch. I have over the years been for flower crown workshops and Christmas wreath making classes, next on my list is their coffee morning bouquet class, keep an eye on their website for more details! I definitely will be back for Mother’s Day as they do lovely died bunches which will last longer so your mum will be reminded of how much you love her longer!!!
Weekend – A fabulous place in the city centre to visit is The Covered Market which has a broad range of shops.
Bonners is the green grocers which has been there for as long as I can remember and always has a vast selection of fruit and vegetables. Much to Polina’s joy they have chanterelle mushrooms!
The Teardrop Bar by Church Hanbrewery, is the tiniest beer and wine shop, where you can stop off to wet your whistle whilst you shop, they stock local brands by the bottle to take away – a firm favourite of mine is Shandy Shack!
In the city centre you can also find Fair Trade at St Michaels an Aladdin’s cave of ethical brands from homeware (cushion covers, rugs, children toys) to jewellery and food stuff like teas, peanut butter and cereal bars.
My favourite coffee spot, where I am actually typing this up, is Society Café. I love their décor, and they showcase photography on their wall which I obviously think is a fabulous touch, maybe mine will be up there one day! The coffee is such a high quality and the staff are always kind and the cakes are delicious.
Thank you SO MUCH to Sarah for being our #LoveIndieOxford pioneer and unearthing some great Oxfordshire indies! Has Sarah inspired you to seek out indie alternatives in your community? If so, please do comment below with your finds, or chat to us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. For more inspo, hop on over to our Independent Oxford directory.