Who's open for business and how can you help to keep your local indies alive? Well, you can start here.
In this brave new world, where ‘furloughing’ has stormed into the English language, cupboard cooking is all the rage (which is great, as I have lentils in from 2004 to eat up), and your trusty correspondent is grounded from unearthing the fun stuff until further notice, what to do?
For me, in my line of work, it’s a no-brainer – shout it out. My passion is finding, encouraging and telling you about awesome indie businesses so. I’m trying to do my bit to help them survive this nightmare. But to do this I really need your help, so please keep telling me about any businesses you love that are still operating in some way, shape and form, and need some publicity.
Every Tuesday I will be publishing an #inlovewithlocal news roundup for these innovative, plucky local businesses, and this will also go out on social and in a Muddy video bulletin (coming this week, I’m just working on finding the nerve!). Please please share this feature and social posts, and let’s get word out as far and wide as possible. There are more than 20,000 readers every month on Muddy Berkshire – if you share this post with just three people that means we’re getting the message out to nearly 60,000. Not bad right?!
OK here goes for this week’s Latest #InLoveWithLocal.
Let’s talk tipples… it’s an essential and there’s plenty of local wine, beer and spirit shops and producers offering delivery to your door. GrapeSmith in Hungerford. Shop online or call 01488 680 933 (10am-5pm) to discuss what you fancy and they’ll deliver. Over in Newbury Inn at Home has an online shop with craft beers, wine and spirits.
The Grumpy Goat is an indie seller of craft beers and ales, cider, small-batch spirits and cheese. They’re offering delivery only (within 5 miles) and we are loving the sound of the Happy Goat Boxes of cheese and beers, which you can add fresh bread, eggs, chutneys and more.
Sit & Sip, Wokingham – Beer and gin bundles available (sanity essentials) delivered to your door.
Mixed Beer Bundle, £25; G&T Bundle – £45; Spirits Bundles – £35 – should help you self-isolation swing. Email email@example.com to place your order.
Old Butcher’s Wine Cellar, Cookham – Lots of choice for all budgets, simply shop the online store and your wine will be delivered. Hic! Happy days.
Colline’s Kitchen, Newbury – taking online orders for afternoon tea boxes, fridge and freezer meals and treat boxes (great if you’re WFH) and gift vouchers. Robyn’s Nest Cafe in Warfield is also offering delivered afternoon tea boxes (Robyn has also been sending cakes and afternoon teas in for the NHS – so show her some love back)
Bridge Street Skin Clinic in Hungerford is a super-stylish, innovative skin clinic. You can read my review here. But if you’re trying to emerge from lockdown looking better than ever, I’d recommend it now for its free video or phone consultations. Owners Dr Tara and Lina try everything out on themselves which is always a good sign. They both look amazing, which is an even better one!
If you need a quarantine treat, head straight over to Gift Pop. Gorgeous colourful bags, jewellery, cards, bits for your home and guaranteed to raise a smile. Owner Hannah’s also handwriting cards if need to send a note for someone’s birthday or simply an old school ‘hello’.
Sweet Marie’s, Cookham – The gorgeous shop may be closed, but you can shop online and get free postage. Free doorstep delivery is also available in Cookham and the surrounding areas.
The much-loved The Watermill Theatre has lost 75% of its income overnight without performances so it’s started an Act Now So We Can Act Tomorrow campaign where you can donate to keep this regional gem going. The Corn Exchange in Newbury is also raising funds through its Love Your Corn Exchange campaign and you can also donate money to South Hill Park in Bracknell through its Art Unites Us campaign
If you’re worried about the state of your hair during lockdown, then pop Gilded Hair in Wokingham on speed dial. You can place an order for any Kevin Murphy product and they will deliver it to your door for free. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy hair days incoming.
Let’s get physical… not like that you saucy lot. Exercise! Pilates instructor Sophie is offering Flex @ Home – 1:1 mat pilates classes beamed straight into your living room. Gecko Fitness has launched its online classes and consultations. If you need nutrition or injury advice to stay healthy during lockdown; or need to get busy with home exercise classes, book up for XRange HIIT workout and Pilates are now available (pays as you go).
Justin Timberlake’s backing dancer Holly Frances has re-joined Accomplish Fitness‘s online team to bring you barre classes. Money too tight to mention? Jo at Wellbeing Spirit Online Exercise has created 19 live and pre-recorded classes and support to keep you mentally and physically fit. She’s charging just £15 a month for the whole household or £7 per week. Plus Zoe Zest Fitness is offering clubbercise, zumba and drum and bass combat HIIT. And for those who are totally converted to online fitness, Anna Cousins is your go-to PT.
Get on your bike! Velospeed in Yattendon is open. If you want to make most of your daily exercise but need a bit of help on the hills, buy yourself an e-bike. Velospeed are e-bike specialists and can hook you up with a set of wheels to suit your needs.
In Brightwalton, the Saddleback Farm Shop is offering click and collect (to be picked up on Thursdays) or delivery for anyone in self isolation and needing a local delivery. Keep an eye on their instagram where they run through what they have in stock.
The Five Bells in Wickham has set up an online shop where you can order groceries – meat, fish, veg boxes and store cupboard items all available. Order by 12pm on Monday for collection on Wednesdays (12-4pm) and orders by 12pm Wednesday (meat) and 12pm Thursday (veg and fish) for collection on Saturday (12-4pm). Email your list to email@example.com.
Zero waste shop Zero Joes’s in Windsor is offering a collection and delivery service. The new must-haves of toilet paper and dried foods (didn’t think I’d ever write that sentence!). Simply email your order to firstname.lastname@example.org
One of my favourite eco luxe furntiure and interiors stores, Field & Hawken in Reading is open online so if you’re in the market for new outdoor furniture and cushions, or home accessories, click, add to basket and it will miraculously appear at your home.
FEEL THE LOVE: FREE HELP AT HAND
Bravo to Berkshire-based Rob Donnelly Therapy – he’s offering FREE 45-minute consultations for anyone who is struggling with anxiety and stress during these uncertain times. Simply contact Rob by phone 07710 726424 or email email@example.com to arrange your online session.
Big up Leighton Park School for leading an amazing initiative to help the NHS frontline tackle Covid-19 by making protective face shields in the School’s DT workshop. Head of DT Mark Smith and his co-operative manufacturing operation (involving 9 Berkshire schools) have made 1,550 face shields so far. The target is 10,000. If you would like to make a donation, go to the fundraising page. Mark says, “Not every superhero wears a cape, but they do all wear masks!”
Elsewhere, Peter Lumbar, owner of 137 Gin Distillery, has been making hand sanistiser for the emergency services. Peter has been busy bottling up and sending supplies out to GP surgeries, care homes, hospitals and other vital service providers. Please donate if you can to keep this supply going. He’s also offering buy-one-get-one-half-price on his gins – an essential service to us all.
Please share this feature – just forward using the top left icons next to the headline, and use the comment box to thank the businesses you love, or tell me the latest where you are. #inlovewithlocal #KOCorona