The best shops to visit in Dorchester
PUBLISHED: 10:42 05 July 2016 | UPDATED: 10:42 05 July 2016
Shop local and indulge in some retail therapy in Dorset’s vibrant county town
Dorchester’s busy high street is home to a wide range of independent businesses, so it’s well worth shopping here. Jordans Jeweller on Princes Street specialises in antique jewellery from Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian periods as well as distinctive Art Deco pieces. The owner Sandra Jordan is extremely knowledgeable and their valuation days are very popular.
If you are looking to sell, buy or exchange a special watch then pop in to see Michael Delage-Pandeli in The Mews in Durngate Street. This wonderful shop featured in the BBC’s Antiques Road Trip and is open Wednesday to Saturday. Duke’s auctioneers, now centrally located in Weymouth Avenue, should also be on your list.
Practical and luxury household items can also be found in Dorchester. The Panasonic Store in Trinity Street is owned by E.B Marsh & Son Ltd who also have shops in Sherborne and Sturminster Newton and is renowned for their customer care and knowledgeable staff. The team at Fusion Lighting, on High West Street, have been involved in the lighting industry for over 20 years, and offer an extensive range of lighting brands. Also on High West Street is Gesso Interiors - a stylish vintage living emporium run by Iona and James. There are lots of divine pieces of furniture to admire here and if you are into decorating they are also stockists of Annie Sloan Chalk Paints.
If all this shopping makes you thirsty The Old Tea House is where Thomas Hardy used to meet his friends and fellow writers Robert Louis Stevenson and George Bernard Shaw. Dating from 1635 during its 380 year history it has been the home of a merchant, a jail, a millenary shop and it is rumoured to be haunted. Pop in for the legendary Old Tea House Traditional High Tea or a homemade Sunday roast.
Perhaps the most unforgettable name on Dorchester’s High Street is The Horse with the Red Umbrella Tea Rooms. The owner John Fiori, who used to work at the Savoy Hotel and Claridges, has been researching the café’s history and discovered that is was once The Loyalty Theatre. The café’s unusual name was the name of the last production staged there in 1843. Find out more on the history board in the café as you tuck into one of their fabulous pasta dishes or try the Dorset Apple Syrup cake, homemade by John’s wife Franca.
Before you leave Dorchester take time to visit Brewery Square, the exciting new shopping and living quarter on the site of the former Eldridge Pope Brewery. Alongside high end brands such as Hobbs, Joules and Carluccio’s are independent shops like Morrish & Banham, Wine Merchant and Tasting Room on Pope Street.
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