Saturday, 11 February 2012

Some Little Gems Tucked Away Down Thame High Street!!

I have been told that in my old age, I have become a fussy old it takes a lot to impress me! And even though I have lived in Thame for over 24 years now (longest I have ever lived anywhere) I can categorically say that I still love this place as much as I did when we first moved here back in the '80s. It has a magical historic and some say "sleepy" atmosphere. However "sleepy" it definitely is not....we have all sorts happening in Thame including double murders, floods, fires, the lot ....and I don't mean just when they are filming Midsommer Murders (film crews are often seen around here)!
Thame Town Hall which is situated in Thame High Street

And then of course....there is The Thame Dolls House & Miniatures Fair.
Talking to customers recently, it seems that many of you who have visited the fair over the years....have never ventured up into the town....but you are missing a treat! So, I have decided to impart with you just a few of my favourite haunts in Thame (I don't mean the spooky kind although we have plenty of those too).

I can strongly recommend two cafes. The first can be found at No. 12 High Street called Time Out which is described as a tea and coffee shop that provides delicious homemade cakes and cookies (they are scrumptious actually) and light lunches. Robin my workshop colleague and I often have our "management meetings" there , when not down The Six Bells pub (which is rather nice too by the way). Jeremy the proprietor of the coffee shop is exceptionally friendly, as are all his staff and he even won the well deserved "Thame Service With A Smile Award" last year! He is very patient, very welcoming and yes, always smiley. There are comfy sofas to lounge around on and upstairs there is a wood burning stove which is rather lovely on a winter's day. Finally, if you are a coeliac sufferer (my hubby is) you will know how difficult eating out can be sometimes, but we can thoroughly recommend Jeremy's homemade gluten free chocolate brownies....they are second to none

The other cafe that I can recommend for their lovely cakes and food is The Coffee House which can be found at No.3 Buttermarket (to the side of the Town Hall which you can't miss as it stands majestically in the High Street). Robert Dowden is the proprietor and is such a real gent. He has supported The Thame Dolls House & Miniatures Fair right from the very first day back in 2004 when it was held in the Town Hall and which in those days was run by the local Thame dolls house club (our official name is Market Town Miniaturists but we call ourselves MTM for short these days). In fact, in his window this very moment is the model of The Coffee House that yours truly created as part of the club's very first project ....(we all had to make a model of a Thame shop front out of a box file)!
1/12th scale model of The Coffee House as it was in 2004 - the wooden stand at the front must be a more modern addition!

I have to say that considering the model is now 8 years old it is wearing well and I am still very proud of it. Actually the cafe's frontage has not changed hugely since 2004!!!  Every year, Robert kindly promotes the fair and the charity Breast Cancer Campaign...which for those of you who didn't know, this charity is a huge part of the Thame Fair which helps make it so special. In fact after the very first fair, Robert donated a considerable sum of money to the charity in order to purchase this model. As I said...he is such a gent!  He does not have a website but his wife does, who runs Ruby Moon  next door at No 4 - 5a Buttermarket. It is a rather lovely shop that sells all kinds ranging from leather handbags, candles and incense to chandeliers, antiques etc. Wonderful -well worth a visit!

And finally.....there are a number of brilliant gift shops in Thame....but this particular one ranks amongst my all time favourite. If you, like me,  are into all things vintage - particularly 1930s, 1940s & 50s will love Wallaces Home Boutique which can be found at No. 2 Cornmarket (opposite Sainsburys by the traffic lights).  John and Diane have an array of  home ware and gifts mixed in with real vintage items and whilst you are taking the time to peruse, you can often hear oldie music playing quietly in the background.
It is hard to describe what I like so much about the shop....but to me, as soon as I step inside, there is a very special and welcoming atmosphere.  I also find it very inspirational with my work and when I am sometimes lacking in creativity on a particular project, I sometimes visit certain local places that help to get the creativity flowing again......and this is one of those places! They have a website and deal by mail order if you are not able to come to Thame, you may enjoy perusing their website instead (see live link above where their name is highlighted).

Do take the time to check these all out when you visit Thame! Of course there are many more shops you will enjoy visiting including Greens Furnishings who have a brilliant haberdashery section & Piece Of Cake which are both situated in the Upper High Street.  Not forgetting some wonderful charity shops too including a magnificent Oxfam Book Shop . There are other super historic pubs, restaurants and even Thame Museum to see in the won't be disappointed.


Robin said...

I've only popped in to say..YES... it's a super place and can only endorse Celia's comments about the lovely establishments that are SO worth visiting....I feel another management meeting coming on!!

KT Miniatures said...

Haha...just name the day matey! Those pics were taken this morning....could not believe how cold it was....took loads of shots just to get some decent ones in focus....fingers nearly dropped off with frostbite. Was wonderful how people stopped and got out the way when I pointed the camera...such power!!!