Have you discovered the beauty that is Southwell, Nottingham? Once people stumble across the gem that is Southwell in Nottinghamshire there’s no going back. It’s a town that pulls at the heartstrings. A quintessentially English shopping destination in the East Midlands famed for the Bramley Apple, a stunning Minster and Southwell Racecourse. The Guardian described Southwell as a “minature York or Winchester” and I think that pretty much sums it up! But perhaps our greatest strength is how we celebrate independent businesses as a town. As nearby cities see many shops closing down with shops popping up, struggling and gone within 6 months, Southwell continues to flourish. So in the true spirit of loving local and celebrating Nottingham independents, as well as being a Southwell Shop ourselves here are my favourite businesses and top tips of where to eat and visit in Southwell.
Owned by my pal Tracy and home to an eclectic mix of fabulous homeware, this Southwell lifestyle boutique is my go-to place for gifts, lamps, throws and all things home. From my neon dream lamp on my dressing table, to a monkey head decanter, if you’re into the home interiors thing, this shop is for you! They can make anything too - from bespoke curtains to lampshades and don’t get Tracy started on her love of leopard print! I know she’s a mate but I genuinely love this emporium of funktastic gorgeousness!
As featured on many of my Instagram posts this independent clothes shop in Southwell is my go-to for beautifully made independent clothes brands that you can’t find in big department stores. My favourite brand that Real Clothing boutique has recently brought into their shop is, Stardust Official. As you can see I like it a lot and love it teamed with Last Night I Dreamt’s jewellery. Lucy and Rupert do a fabulous job of buying for their two shops. I’m obviously a big fan of the lady's boutique, but their menswear shop holds many fabulous brands.
Katie Hill is such a treasure of a find. I exhale as soon as I step into her little beauty room. Katie is my go to nail technician for gel nails in Southwell (she is a CND Shellac Salon. As a product CND doesn’t react with my sensitive nails and doesn’t contain the nasty seven ingredients that don’t work with my nails!) Katie’s treatments include HD brows (love my brows since I’ve been going to Katie!) to LVL lashes (I’m not a fan of false lashes but love the LVL, volume and lift treatment when I go on my hols!) I trust Katie with my brows and my nails and that’s a biggy for me!
I know, I know, I got married years ago but a girl can still look can’t she? Nottingham brides listen up! This Nottinghamshire Bridal shop kicks the ass of all East Midlands bridal boutiques. Southwell’s wedding game is strong and with brands like Suzanne Neville, Jenny Packham, Jesus Peiro and Stephanie Allin, it’s easy to see why Frances Day has built a reputation for the very best in Bridal Couture.
Breakfast is my absolute favourite meal of the day. I LOVEEEE IT. So how lucky is Southwell to have it’s own independent delicatessen and eatery, The Old Theatre Deli. With a wide selection of handpicked deli products, from local artisan producers, it isn’t any wonder why the Deli in Southwell is the go-to for foodie types. When I go for breakfast or brunch I opt for the infamous Deli Stack. Their extensive lunch menu is sure to delight. I’m a big fan of their beautiful salads and homemade tarts. My mouth is watering as I write! Southwell is blessed to have the best place for parties too! From my 40th to my website launch The Old Theatre Deli makes the perfect Southwell/ Nottingham party venue. Their grazing platters are second to none!
How about an independent wine shop that doubles up as a wine bar in the evening on a Friday and Saturday? YESSSS I hear you cry. Winner of the Independent Wine and Spirits Retailer of the Year in the International Wine and Spirit Competition Awards (WSC) boy do Chris and Gosia know their stuff when it comes to wines. From Chablis to Sauvignon and being a gin gal a HUGE selection of gorgeous and unusual gins, you’re sure to find the right beverage for you. Plus they have an online website too! Southwell’s very own fine wine shop is definitely a top hit with locals and those visiting our beautiful town.
When I walk into Kelly’s shop this zen-like calmness comes upon me. There are so many reasons to shop at this beautiful home interior store. The Hen House prides itself on selling “practical goods” that can be used, plus they have a strong environmentally-friendly ethos. You can see why this boutique is a firm favourite with interior designers, The Hen House is loved by Nottingham home interiors designer and blogger, Hilary Marconetto, who’s home-style I absolutely love. (@hilarymarconetto & www.hilarymarchinettointeriors.co.uk )
My go to shop in Southwell, Nottingham for Farrow and Ball Paint, all things cactus related and beautiful ceramics and pottery. Or I simply step in there to relax and take in the peace!
Put the Boden catalog away, there’s a new childrenswear shop in town! Full of independent brands, exclusive clothes and featuring it’s very own height chart of fame for its little customers, Hattie & Moo is quite literally the cool kid on the block. This shop is my daughter’s absolute fave destination children’s clothes shop boutique so it had to be featured in this blog. Emily is my Saturday gin after work girl and with a background in industry buying this gal knows her stuff! It’s a fabulous new addition to the Bull Yard area of Southwell and this baby is going online soon. Watch this space and shop the latest in children’s wear. Be a Hattie & Moo Kid!
What Richard doesn’t know about home styling isn’t worth knowing. Richard Carnill is an interior designer and home interiors aficionado and offers up some gorgeous home delights in his delightful shop on Queen Street in Southwell. From the beautiful gold tables, bell jars, antler display and many of the objects, Carnill and Company can be seen throughout my boutique. At home I adore my quirky fish decanter, giant glass egg timer and octopus paperweight. I love how all the interiors shops are different in Southwell, each offering something quite unique. Richard never fails to wow with his stunning windows and beautiful eye for detail.
Who doesn’t avidly watch The Great British Bake-off? I make a mean Viccy sponge and my flapjacks are the talk of the town whenever I have time to make them! SOOOOO Homebake is quite simply the best shop ever! Just walking past the window makes me so happy. Beatrice loves the Home Bake Kits and this shop has everything you need for baking and covers all baking bases!
Not leaving you boys out, Core on King Street in Southwell is sure to impress. From its cool industrial shop fit-out to its strong independent designer brands, this menswear shop offers an alternative to the department store experience. Marian (also a pal of mine!) is totally ace at styling so come in a shop your entire seasonal wardrobe in a chilled and friendly environment. My Dad loves this shop and is walking around like the coolest Dad in the world! From his waistcoat to Guide London shirt and funky scarf to his coat.
Website is coming soon but check out their Instagram @core_southwell
While we’re talking about you boys this is where the boys in my life go and get their hair cut. Founder Tash is super cool and stylish and knows her stuff when it comes to male barbering. Offering the full Gentleman’s Grooming Experience and with a great online booking system, getting your hair cut couldn't be simpler. Plus our Tash is a stylish gal who’s made this joint the hottest barbers in town. Alongside husband and fellow barber Paul, The Bullyard Barbershop is an experience, not just any old haircut. Join the hair movement and check out their website:
My go-to on a Sunday after a dog walk (and yes you can take dogs!) and they do the very best cakes. My cake of choice is their homemade Bakewell tart with custard. The lushest thing I ever did taste and the perfect tonic for a chilled Sunday off. Hayley has created a lovely space in a beautiful location (by a lake!) and you can combine it with a walk along the Southwell Trail too.
BEST OF THE BRILLIANT REST!
I could go on and on as I genuinely shop in most of the shops in Southwell. We have some gorgeous eateries (La Parisienne and Alfresco are two of my other go-to eateries.) Go to pubs include The Rodney and The Hearty Goodfellow with the lovely Will and Lisa at the helm.) We are blessed with a gorgeous lingerie shop called Studio Lingerie (currently wearing their PJs as I write and Julie is part of my Gin Saturday! Follow @studiolingerieandresort ) the best sweet shop (Saturday Sweetie Day is an institution in my house), some gorgeous florists including Minster Flowers who do our instore display and Gigil and Bloom - www.gigilandbloom.com (Plus my go-to wedding florist who did my floral LOVE window and recent 2019 Christmas window is Rebecca McNish - follow @becksmcnish on Insta or contact us for details!) My new go-to for all things bath related, Soak Southwell, for the very best vegan-friendly bath bombs (Find them on insta @soaksouthwell ). We have the best card and gift shop ever, Burley’s and that’s my go boutique for all Jellycat cuddly toys. There’s even more home interior offerings from Country Home Interiors www.countryhomeinteriors.co.uk (curtain fabric tick from me! Yep I told you I shopped locally for most things!), Oh and let me not forget my awesome experience at shopping for my glasses from opticians, Optique of Southwell on King Street - www.optiqueofsouthwell.co.uk Finally our independent Sports shop totally kicks ass and it sells ON trainers - Best Sports (they’re on facebook!) and lest we forget everyone’s go-to and one of my nearest neighbours opposite me, Southwell Handicentre.
If I shop with you (and I shop with most of you) don’t take it personally if I’ve missed out your shop. I hold a lot of love in my heart for this town and want it to stay the thriving bubble that it is.
Love Rebecca x