Sunday, July 24, 2011

UK Revisited 1: Cirencester

When we were in the UK I fell, hard, for Cirencester. It is a largish cathedral town in the Cotswolds and is oozing with charm and history. It is also still prosperous, with only a few empty shops in tucked away corners. In some towns we visited, up to a third of shops were empty. So sad.
Cirencester has an amazing cathedral, amazing shops, and predictably, no discernible decent coffee.
A shop that really captured my imagination was Cirencester Cupcakes. the lady who owns it set it up with her redundancy payout about three years ago - initially working from home. It was what she really wanted to do, and that was inspiring! She introduced me to the Giant Cupcake concept, which I intend to exploit further, and she was so happy! Clearly she works like a trooper, running a business by herself that covers so many points of sale, products etc. But she was happy.
I didn't get a photo of her or a decent one of the shop alas - we went off to have a (blah) coffee nearby and when I went back, she had nipped out. I am sure we will meet again :)

Tucked away in Swans Lane, you still cannot miss the hot pink fabulousness!
Where it all happens - a simple set up not unlike a domestic kitchen, but it works well.

My other favourite shop in Cirencester is Plum Boutique. Like a one off TCD, really, it stocks sizes 14-32, really gorgeous stuff from all over Europe (apparently Germany and Scandinavia make lovely larger size designs) where I bought a fab shirt and earrings. The owner was SO friendly and the prices, by our standards, pretty reasonable. The shirt I bought for 85GBP, but a shirt like it, had I been able to get one here anyway, would easily have been 400NZD, which is over twice the price. Hmm, maybe I ought to be importing such things into NZ!
Anyway, I love Cirencester. So much more to it than these two titbits. I have since found out that my unerring ability to spot the most expensive thing in a given space is still working - the area is among the dearest real estate in the UK. Weel, it's a decent-sized town, it has history and is gorgeous, it is in the Cotswolds - not surprising really!


  1. Ahh, what bliss. How were the cakes?

  2. Oh no, confession time! I love decorating cupcakes but I'm not that fond of them really, certainly not nough to PAY for one when I can make them myself hehe.

  3. Ah, just when I thought you were done with the 'making me super jealous with the stories of UK fabulosity' evilness you go back to it again!

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  5. Hello there...

    I have just stumbled across your blog post about my shop, Cirencester Cupcakes. Thank you for your lovely comments, and I am so sorry I had nipped out when you came back. The hazzards of running your own business, by yourself :o)

    I hope that next time you come back to you UK, you'll come back and say Hello!

    All the best


  6. Hi Louise!! *HUG* How fab you found us! I definitely will come see you again. I bought the most amazing black and white skinny candles from you and here I found little plastic chandeliers in hot pink and blck, and they look as cool together. Not on a cupckae mind, a bit too big hehe. And I found a giant cupcake tin, finally. You really are inspiring and I am thrilled I found your shop!

  7. I do love the Cotswolds. Its up there with Devon and Derbyshire for fave places to go on holiday.