Richmond is a great place for shopping....except for on a Saturday afternoon when the sidewalks are too busy!
Richmond has a decent sized High Street, with all the usual suspects, such as GAP, Top Shop, Next etc, but there are also have some better brands here, such as Ted Baker, Karen Millan and Joseph.
I love the old Dickins & Jones department store (part of the House of Fraser chain), with its excellent ladies shoe department (and clean toilets!).
What to buy: Other main-stream shops of interest include Habitat (home wares & furnishings), Crabtree & Evelyn (excellent lotions & potions) and Joy (interesting clothing and gifts).
There are also plenty of non-chain shops to browse in, particularly down the little cobbled lanes that run off the main street. Here you will find little gift shops, shoe stores and a couple of evil looking chocolate shops.
If you need an escape from the shopping there are plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants to take a break in - see my restaurant tips for some inspiration!
One of my favourite shops in Richmond is Philglas & Swiggott, a fabulous wine shop. Read the shop's name aloud and see if you get the clever play on words....I didn't for ages!
I first discovered the shop a couple of years ago, after a visit to one of my favourite wineries back in Australia. After doing some wine tasting I asked them if their wine was stocked anywhere in London, and they said yes, but only at Philglas & Swiggott. Of course when I arrived back to London I headed there to stock up on a few bottles, and have been going back ever since.
What to buy: There are 3 stores in the Philglas & Swiggott family - the first opening back in 1991 in Battersea, then Richmond opening in 2003 and Marylebone following in 2005. Originally only Australian wines were stocked, but these days they stock a range of interesting wines from across the world, still with a good selection of Aussies wines on hand.
Prices are very reasonable, with some wines cheaper than they are at the supermarket. Staff are friendly and knowledgeable, and it is a very dangerous place for me to visit....it is hard to walk away without buying at least two bottles....
They have won London Wine Merchant of the Year in 2003/04/05/06.
Philglas & Swiggott is open Monday to Saturday from 11am to 7pm, and Sunday from 12pm to 5 pm.
What to pay: Prices are very reasonable, with some wines cheaper than they are at the supermarket.
If you have a sweet tooth (and let's face it, most of us do!), then you will want to pay a visit to William Curley. This is a Patissier Chocolatier which is said to rival any in Europe!
William Curley recently won the award for the best UK Chocolatier 2006. This is a man who is passionate about what he does and he trained in numerous Michelin-starred restaurants before opening the shop.
What to buy: The smell of chocolate will engulf you when you enter the small shop. The individual cakes and pastries will make you drool and you will want to sample them all - they are so beautiful looking that they are ideal to serve up when entertaining.
There is a glass cabinet filled with a large variety of handmade chocolates, including some sinful truffles and an intriguing sea-salt caramel one which tastes pretty good. A hand-picked selection of these chocolates makes a great gift....or perhaps just the perfect snack for a rainy London weekend ; )
What to pay: Not as expensive as it looks
Richmond is home to a lovely little farmers market which is open each Saturday from 11am - 3pm. It is located in the pretty Heron Square, which is located just up the bank from the river, close to Richmond Bridge.
The market is a great place to pick up supplies for a tasty weekend lunch or dinner, a snack to eat on the go, or a sweet treat to enjoy with a coffee later at home.
What to buy: There is a good range of organic fruit and vegetables, some excellent meats and fish, a few stalls with fresh breads and some mouth-watering cakes as well.
Some weeks you can buy locally produced Billtong (a South African delicacy), home-cooked French meals, and even Sushi.
What to pay: It may cost a little more than the supermarket, but it is worth it for the taste
Source is a fabulous fresh food and grocery store located just near Richmond Station. Open since December 2004, it has become increasingly popular with Richmond workers and residents as a great place to pick up a snack, a meal or ingredients to stock up the pantry.
Source stocks a good range of top quality foods from smaller suppliers, giving it a more up market feel to the nearby supermarkets.
What to buy: There is a delicious array of ready-made meals and lunch time snacks, including the tasty Itsu Sushi. You can pick up some organic vegies and bread, some interesting pastas and a full range of cupboard essentials. Have a look at their wine selection, including some good Italian and Australian options, and be tempted by the array of delicious chocolates and hand made biscuits on offer.
A more recent addition to Source is the in-house Taylor Street Baristas who are making the best coffee in Richmond - drink in or takeaway.
The main street is well supplied with big name stores like-Gap,Next,Monsoon,Habitat, Dickins and Jones,as well as independant book shops,antique shops,art shops,jewellers,etc.,etc.
Picturesque alleys with shops selling antiques,jewelry,flowers,chocolates(hand-made)lead onto Richmond Green,as well as housing nice pubs!
This is a chocolate shop like no other - Its owners have won awards all over Britain for producing the finest and most extraordinary chocolate creations - they really are so exquisitely made, I don't know how anyone could eat them!! Each one is like a jewel. I haven't tasted anything from here but it was an experience just to come and look!
Even if you don't buy anything here, it is worth coming just for that gorgeous chocolatey aroma!
What to buy: The best chocolate in the UK.
What to pay: It's not cheap - but the best never is.. so be prepared - the chocolate here is the kind you buy for special occasions or a very special person! :)
I'm a bit of a sucker for charity shops, especially when they're in 'good areas'. The chance to find a bargain, and your money goes to a good cause! Guilt free Retail Therapy!
So while killing a bit of time in Richmond, I was pleased to come across an Oxfam shop.
Entering the shop, I immediately spotted a jacket that I liked- and it was in my size! I tried it on- a perfect fit!
I was tempted to look at more things, but remembered that my case was already full to bursting, and I might have to carry anything I bought here around for the rest of the day.
So I paid my £14.99 for a hardly worn 'Precis Petite' jacket and left.
I did spot some more nice clothes (not my size) with well known quality labels. Also handbags and shoes-(though I'm a bit squeamish about buying 2nd hand shoes, unless they look like they've not been worn)
Besides 2nd hand clothes, shoes, jewellery, bric a brac, videos/DVD's, CD's Vinyl, cassettes, books etc there is a range of new products including Fair Trade products.
Oxfam shops can be found throughout the UK, and worldwide.
My local supermarket has a recycling area including bins for Oxfam for Clothes and Shoes and Books/Cd's etc. So Whenever I have a clear out, I take my stuff here.
Oxfam was founded in 1942, by the Oxford Comittee for Famine Relief commitee in Oxford, with the aim of ending famine in Greece caused by Allied naval blockades.
Their first Charity shop opened in 1948.
Oxfam aims to fight poverty, campaigns for change and provides Emergency Response.
Check out other Charity shops too - I do find that the goods in Oxfam are priced much higher than other outlets.
Richmond Borough offers a diverse range of places for you to shop, from unusual gifts sold in the hidden streets of Richmond to the more well known names on King Street in Twickenham.
Or why not be adventurous and explore the abundance of designer clothes and antique shops by Richmond Green and Richmond Hill?
Twickenham boasts a unique French Market in Church Street once a year and Teddington and Kew have dedicated cheese outlets.
Richmond also houses a delicious chocolate shop, for those with a sweet tooth.
Richmond is filled with interesting shops and a nice new one opened in December 2006 - Nuggs 1268. Ok, not so sure about the name, but it's what's inside that counts ; )
Nuggs is a foodies paradise, filled with specialist foods and wines, along with a good range of cookware and house wares.
What to buy: I was initially attracted into the shop to check out their wines and was pleased to see some interesting choices - mainly French and Italian. The shop also sells a big selection of oils and vinegars, and taste tests are offered throughout the store.
Alex was also quite taken with the shop and on his first visit purchased some Mustard & Dill dressing and some unusual Balsamic Vinegar.
If you are after gifts then you may well find something here - be it gourmet sauces, oils or olives and perhaps a platter to serve them on.
I was looking on line for a shop where I could buy Leberkäse - after some searching I came across this shop. It is German run and always has German staff and customers. It is a busy shop and you can also buy something to eat and drink in the shop too!
What to buy: A great selection of baked goods and meat products.
This is a department store that has been around for ever seemingly. It is loved and trusted and well frequented!
What amazes me is how everyone shops here! All ages. From young and funky teenagers, to older ladies.
What to buy: You can buy all kinds of things here, from satin scarfs, to brand shoes and clothing (and hats!), to feather cushions, to bedlinen and towels.
They cater for a variety of tastes under this roof.
It is a lovely place to visit if you are looking for a special gift for someone, that you wont find in a chain store.
What to pay: You will pay more than you usually do for certain items.