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Muddy opinion: we must hit the shops

I'm itching to get into a real shop when they're given the green light to open on 15 Jun - here's why I think hitting our local high streets is a good thing.

Woman in shoppng trolley

As lockdown eases, retailers classed as non-essential are allowed to start reopening from next Monday (15 June) and I could not be happier at this news. I know some people will be very cautious about hitting their local high street just yet – obviously, there is still a virus out there and that threat shouldn’t be taken lightly – but my feeling is that if you feel safe, confident and able to do so, let’s show our favourite local shops our support. 

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that Muddy has always been about championing the plucky, diverse, brilliant independent retailers that proudly pepper the high streets of Berkshire’s villages and town – and they need us more than ever right now. Never has the phrase ‘use it or lose it’ been more pertinent.

The local business owners I’ve been talking to have been telling me about how hard they’ve been working hard to make their spaces safe for customers and staff. Fashion boutiques like Fifi & Moose in Newbury and Jax Jeans in Hungerford are offering appointments and more spontaneous shopping with lovely posh hand sanitiser to make the experience a more luxe. My local cafe The Pantry in Yattendon has a one-way system and only person at window counter at a time policy. 

So where I am heading this week? Well, I’m heading to The Blackbird Cafe in Chapel Row for a coffee and socially distant meet-up, before heading to B The Lifestyle Shop‘s new boutique on Bartholomew in Newbury and The Corner Shop in Woolhampton on Thu 18 Jun. But I’m actually really excited to pop into Caversham to have a nose at the spinky-spanky lifestyle shop and cafe The Collective and I’m also hoping to tiptoe my way to The Oracle in Reading just to enjoy the buzz! A pub or restaurant experience will have to wait another few weeks but that’s OK, I’m a patient woman. 

So where will be your first port of call and why? I’d love to hear your shout-outs for your local high street heroes – tell us in the comments box below. Don’t forget your face mask and hand sanitiser, along with your credit card!

Need a takeaway cuppa during your shopping trip, find out what cafe’s are open near you.

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