10 of the best things about Winslow
PUBLISHED: 16:58 03 September 2015 | UPDATED: 17:13 03 September 2015
An ancient market town steeped in history yet radiating 21st century energy, Winslow has much to offer. Here's Sandra Smith's pick of some of its best features
Floral design school
This inviting shop in Market Square not only stocks a selection of beautifully presented faux flowers and foliage, Kate Healy and her team will also custom design an arrangement in your own vase or pot. There’s a selection of home-ware, too, from cushions to lamps, and jugs to throws, catering for vintage, contemporary and classic tastes. For anyone keen to learn the art of floristry, their Floral Design School runs workshops with tools, equipment and homemade cake supplied.
You don’t have to be star struck to join Winslow Players. This small amateur dramatic company meets on Wednesdays at 8pm in Jennie Wren’s Tea Rooms and performs two plays, plus a pantomime, every year. They are keen to encourage all manner of talent. So whether your creative skills extend to costume or set design, directing or dancing, there’s a contribution to be made. Alternatively you might prefer to be help out with refreshments.
The popularity of farmers markets makes them a regular destination for those seeking products not necessarily found on supermarket shelves. Here, on the first Sunday of the month over 20 stalls fill the Market Square with enthusiastic shoppers f locking to take their pick of all manner of foodstuffs, many from small scale producers and ranging from fresh meat to cupcakes. Ice cream, honey and condiments are also favoured, with cider and gin makers plying their trade in what is not only a shopping opportunity, but a valuable meeting point, too.
Anglo French Twinning Association
The 30 year connection between Winslow and Cours La Ville - situated in the Beaujolais region of France - has been so successful the French town includes a street and a square named after its English counterpart. Annual exchanges take place, enabling friendships between the communities to blossom. New members with an interest in Anglo French relations are encouraged to join and social events held between visits keep everyone in touch.
The town may be modest in size but the quality of its eateries is impressive. Deli Estrella at the lower end of the High Street has gained an enviable reputation with visitors and locals alike while, just around the corner, Harveys at No 2 tempts with hot filled baguettes. A more traditional tea room, Jennie Wren’s has pride of place in the heart of Market Square, and Toby’s restaurant, a short walk away, is the epitome of a modern-rustic environment serving an inviting selection of courses.
Winslow and District Art Society
For more than a quarter of a century artists have been supporting and encouraging each other at the Winslow and District Art Society. The group meets monthly in The Winslow Centre, their annual programme including talks and workshops covering a range of genres. Exhibitions open to the public take place during the year, providing an opportunity for members to sell their work. Outings to other exhibitions are a common feature of the group which welcomes artists over the age of 16.
Local designers are favoured at this boutique store where a colourfully eclectic range of clothes and jewellery exude contemporary chic. For those preferring a vintage look, a spiral staircase leads down to Hetty Spaghetty and the best choice of gorgeously tailored dresses imaginable. This welcoming shop stocks flattering, feminine outfits and has created the ideal balance between a friendly and helpful welcome without putting cus-tomers under pressure. Hardly surprising then, since its opening eight years ago, Beautifully Different has built up a loyal clientele.
History at every turn
From the magnificent Winslow Hall to the mediaeval St Laurence Church, which is twinned with St Paul’s in Winslow, Arizona, the town’s architecture reflects its long history. Quaint, rose covered cottages nestle behind the Market Square where it’s worth taking time to meander around the lanes. Bell Walk, The Walk and Horn Street evoke an aura of timelessness. To learn more, join a Wednesday (10am) walk from the Market Square, part of Winslow’s The Big Society initiative.
Lawn tennis club
This community-minded club welcomes players of any experience, with a professional coach on hand for those needing help to get started (including children over the age of five) or resurrect old skills. There are three floodlit courts at the Winslow Centre, available from dawn to 10pm all year. Membership entitles players to apply for Wimbledon tickets, but it also has a wider benefit. Tennis is a great way to keep fit, and when not on court there’s a lively social element to the club.
07831 110 789
Working to help others
From local good causes to global problems, Winslow District Rotary Club offers support wherever it is needed. Members meet informally each Tuesday evening at The Bell where, over a meal, they chat and plan future projects followed by presenta-tions and discussions on topical subjects. Guests are welcome to come along, the group being open to men and women who are willing to help others. Past fundraising events have included concerts, mid-night walks and even a trek to Kilimanjaro.
Winslow also has a very active Lions Club, founded in 1982, and recent fundraising has seen a defibrillator placed on the wall of the Fire Station for public use. They’ve also held collections for Marie Curie in Winslow and Buckingham. They meet twice a month at the Bell Hotel and will run the ‘Wheels of Winslow’ classic vehicle at the town’s annual show on 31 August.