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01.04.2019- On Loving Local Living

Up until about five years ago or so, I'd have said that my idea of a Saturday well spent would have been hopping in the train to London for a day of shopping (both window and real!) Regular trips to Oxford Street and the West End were also a staple of my weekends growing up (there's something almost rite-of-passage like about making the pilgrimage to the Oxford Circus Topshop as a teenager isn't there?), but now that I'm older and working in the centre of town full time, I tend to try and avoid heading to super busy spots at the weekend, and, over the last couple of years have been embracing local living by making the most of the shops and restaurants right on my doorstep, or at most a ten minute train journey away. There's something really lovely about supporting local businesses, and spending your money at home, particularly with independent retailers, is far more rewarding than being elbowed along a teeming central London shopping street. Over the last few years, I've discovered some real local gems, all of which are no more than twenty minutes or so from my house:

Quattro Rish, 9 Church Street, Reigate, RH2 0AA- This wonderful boutique is a total treasure, and home to some amazing brands, including Stine Goya, Veja and American Vintage. With constantly updated stock and a wealth of window displays delivering some serious style inspiration, it's a firm favourite of mine- particularly as they stock a lot of top Scandi brands. As well as up-to-the-minute fashion collections, they also offer a stunning selection of accessories. 

Luminis Beauty, 13 Church Street, Reigate, RH2 0AA- I posted about my visit to Luminis for a facial a little while ago, and the whole experience was so enjoyable that I'm well and truly converted now. Offering a whole host of treatments, from bespoke makeup masterclasses to regular relaxation options, I've got no doubt that I'll be visiting again soon, especially as it's so close and convenient. 

Willows Flowers, 77a High Street, Reigate, RH2 9AH- There are few things I love more than having a good old browse around a flower shop, and Willows is a destination in bloom all year round. At the bottom of the high street, it's well worth the walk down to explore which floral favourites they have in stock, from stunning succulents to beautiful bespoke bouquets. 

The Tea House, 17 Church Street, Reigate, RH2 0AA- This might very well be my favourite restaurant in the world, not least because I've been coming here for the best part of ten years, ever since I was a student at the college up the road, when tea and cake were the perfect balm with which to ease any exam-related angst. The team here is absolutely lovely too, and the menu is full of classics, including the most delicious fish finger sandwich, and a hot chocolate option which leaves all other contenders in the shade. 

Gerrards Fashion, 5 High Street, Reigate, RH2 9AA - Another expertly curated fashion destination, home to recognisable labels and independent designers alike. I'm particularly fond of the gorgeous jewellery which really makes this a destination well worth exploring, particularly if you're in the market for a special gift or are just looking to treat yourself to a one-of-a-kind buy.  

Everyman Reigate, Bancroft Road, Reigate, RH2 7RP- This might be a chain cinema, but it's such a refreshing experience compared to the mega multiplexes, especially as the staff really know their stuff and couldn't be more helpful. They also programme a really diverse range of pictures, and there are few more luxurious weekend pursuits than treating yourself to a Premium seat, some popcorn and a good movie. 

Priory Farm, Sandy Lane, Redhill, RH1 4EJ- Just over the road from the garden centre of the same name, this independent farm shop is a dream destination for food fans, especially as all of their produce is fresh as it comes. With a bakery, fruit and vegetable offering, deli and meat counter all under the same roof, a visit here always makes a wonderfully welcome change from another schlep around the supermarket. In the summer, they also have a host of pick-your-own fruit options, which is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. 

Which local haunts do you really treasure? 

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)


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