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Everything Eton has to offer

PUBLISHED: 16:12 21 March 2014 | UPDATED: 16:12 21 March 2014

MAUREEN MCLEAN

Dominated by Eton College and Windsor Castle at either end, Eton High Street is a lovely place to stroll and pick up something interesting and individual, says Katy Eachus

Historic Eton is a delightful place to potter. A few steps from Windsor Castle across the pedestrianised bridge over the Thames, this Saxon town offers a vibrant and eclectic mix of shops, galleries and places to eat.

The land on which Eton now stands once formed part of the manor of Queen Edith, wife of Edward the Confessor. The place is, of course, best known for its world-famous school and the historic buildings of Eton College form a beautiful backdrop. In 1440, Henry VI chose Eton as a location to set up a school to provide free education to 70 poor boys (King’s Scholars) who would then go on to study at Kings College Cambridge. The public boys’ school has since built a worldwide reputation for academic excellence. David Cameron is the nineteenth British Prime Minister to have been educated there. It has a visitors centre and gift shop but due to building works the school is not open for public visits in 2014.

The college chapel made Eton a pilgrimage point so inns were established along the high street. The college leased plots of land to the village as an act of charity, leading to the construction of houses. In the 19th century the village was modernised and was the first in the country to have a post office and modern drainage system.

Today, Eton retains its historic charm with many delightful old buildings but is also a melting pot of ideas, with contemporary art and design rubbing shoulders with antiques. Treat yourself to a bespoke outfit or splash out on a piece of art or something for the home. Enjoy a meal at one of the cafes or restaurants or visit the theatre in Windsor.

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Bespoke Beauty

New to Eton is Bespoke Beauty by Emma Simmons. This salon has a relaxed, homely feel to it with a shabby chic vibe making it very welcoming to new clients, both male and female. Emma and her team are highly qualified Beauty Therapists, with nine years of experience. A wide range of treatments is available, including Waxing, Ellipse IPL skin treatment (intense pulsed light), facials, massage, shellac and much more. You will receive a 20% discount on your first appointment (excluding ipl).

Tel: 01753 852810

www.bespokebeautyeton.co.uk

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Ieva Poriete

Don’t miss the official opening of Ieva Poriete’s bespoke fashion shop on 20 March from 4.30pm at 79a High Street. There will be a live catwalk showcasing the latest creations from this talented young designer, together with accessories from neighbouring shops, and champagne and canapes will be served. Ieva hopes to make the show an annual event. Her passion for designing started as a child in Latvia, dressing dolls. “I used to watch my mother when she was making something,” she recalls. 
“I was so proud to be the only person in the world wearing the beautiful dress she had made for me.”

In 2008 she moved to England to do a fashion design degree and was offered the opportunity to take part in a business start-up course, which proved a huge success. “In the studio we help ladies who came back from shopping almost empty handed,” says Ieva. “Either they can’t find the style or size that suits them or it is a special occasion to dress for.” There is a made-to-measure collection or you can go bespoke and build an outfit from scratch. In two to three weeks a brand new made-to-measure outfit will be ready to be worn with pride. The shop is open Mon-Fri 10-6 and Sat 11-4. Call to book an appointment.

Tel: 01753 852706

www.ievaporiete.com

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Natures Purest

If you’re looking for that perfect gift for the baby in your life, or want to buy baby clothing, bedding, toys or nursery items, then Natures Purest is the place for you.

You’ll receive a warm welcome and excellent personal service, with a free local delivery option. Housed in a beautiful Tudor building, Natures Purest stocks baby essentials and gifts, with all products being produced with your baby’s sensitive skin and the environment in mind: many are made from organically-grown, naturally-coloured cotton and all at affordable prices. Pictured here: Nature’s Knits collection.

Tel: 01753 868724 www.naturespurest.co.uk

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JaM

A great place to buy gifts, JaM displays a wide range of original works of fine craft. Ceramics include figurative works, tableware and ceramic sculpture for the interior or garden. Studio glass includes sand-cast sculptural pieces and sets of free blown wineglasses. Over 60 jewellers are represented in an ever changing display.

Tel: 01753 622333 www.jam-eton.co.uk

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The Contemporary Fine Art Gallery

Loves of contemporary art should head straight for The Contemporary Fine Art Gallery. Established 20 years ago by Nicholas and Elizabeth Bayldon Pritchard, it specialises in Scottish and British painters and Zimbabwean Shona sculpture and represents a range of famous contemporary artists. Many of the artists have work in major UK public and private art collections.

Tel: 07831 822641 www.cfag.co.uk

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Lily Chic Ineriors

Add a dash of elegance and contemporary flair to any room with a visit to Lily Chic Ineriors. Affordable, lovable furniture and accessories are available to create interiors that are inspiring, eye-catching, exciting and chic. This family-run business has been trading for over 25 years and the friendly team is happy to style homes and source items to fit with a particular look. Open seven days a week.

Tel: 01753 865265 
www.lilychicinteriors.co.uk

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Knowles Antiques & Home Design Consultancy

Knowles Antiques & Home Design Consultancy, run by TV homes expert Nick Knowles and his wife Jessica, offers antique furniture as well as a specialist design consultancy.

“Our shop, with beautiful historic pieces for your home, and access to design legends Nina Campbell, Juliet Kendall, Gabrielle Blackman and landscape genius Chris Beardshaw, is an inspiring place to come, browse and chat about how to make the most of your home,” says Nick. Customers are encouraged to come in for an informal chat to enable Nick and Jessica to get a feel for what they are looking for. They can then be introduced to the most appropriate designer.

“Our ‘USP’ is that there is always a story behind our designs,” says Jessica. “While we don’t want a house to look like a museum, neither should it look like a show home so we like to incorporate occasional period pieces such as an antique chaise, mirror or chandelier. We do a lot of re-upholstering and playing around with fabrics. A customer might come in and say ‘I love the fabric on your wing chair but I’d like to have it on this sofa.’ And we can arrange that. We offer a complete package, from building your home to supplying antiques for a finishing touch.”

Tel: 01753 358957 www.knowlesantiques.com

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LUXE Flowers

Brighten your home or make someone feel special with flowers. LUXE Flowers moved into Eton High Street in January. Painting the shop a dusky pink colour was a bold decision but one that has been praised by visitors and residents alike.

Whether you know what you’re looking for or want some inspiration, owners Natalie and Sarah, are there to help. From a single hand-tied bouquet to styling for corporate events, the partners create arrangements which are perfect for the setting. With a range of vases, containers, silk flowers, plants and of course fresh flowers, they hope to bring a unique angle to floristry.

Founder Natalie trained at a top London floristry school and armed with her passion for flowers her dream was realised. Sarah’s passion has always been flowers. With 29 years experience in the industry there aren’t many tricks of the trade she doesn’t know!

Tel: 01753 853300 www.luxe-flowers.com

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Eton Brides

Choose the perfect wedding dress at Windsor and Eton Brides. This boutique offers over 100 bridal gowns in sizes 6 -16, ranging from £800 up to £3,000, as well as individually designed and handcrafted accessories. There are individual dressing rooms on each floor and dedicated Bridal Consultants on hand. It’s best to book an appointment to take advantage of the one-to-one service. Guests can relax in your own viewing area and not worry about being in people’s way. Appointments last just over an hour on busy days.

Tel: 01753 622 400 
www.windsorandetonbrides.com

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Wags

Where do all the best-dressed pets shop? Wags Pet Boutique of course. Occupying one of Eton’s oldest buildings, it’s home to gorgeous dog coats, jumpers and bandanas as well as cosy beds and fleecy blankets. Owners Hanna and Emily opened the shop last June because they were fed up with having to travel to London to buy stylish, quality products for their dogs. They stock the full range of Lily’s Kitchen Dog and Cat foods, healthy treats and have a homemade biscuit delivery every week. You can treat your dog to a mini pup cake or even order a Doggie Birthday Cake!

Tel: 01753 206068 
www.wagspetboutique.co.uk

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The Eton Fudge Shop

Treat yourself to some handmade fudge, as a reminder of your visit to historic Eton or as a present for friends and family. Heather Shelley’s The Eton Fudge Shop has fudge made on the premises in front of the customers, offering a wide range of delicious flavours, including Eton Mess, Peanut Butter, Strawberries and Cream and - everyone’s favourite - Clotted Cream Vanilla. Beside fudge, the shop is a stockist for Joe & Sephs gourmet popcorn and locally produced Moolicious ice cream.

Tel: 01753 869988 
www.etonfudgeshop.co.uk

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Eton Beauty Riverside Salon

Relax and be pampered at Eton Beauty Riverside Salon (next to Costa, facing the river). Established by Saj Fergusson, an ITEC qualified therapist with international experience, the salon offers exclusive, bespoke beauty treatments, using organically-certified products that are not tested on animals. The salon is a stockist for Colin Paris Resultime, Ila Spa and Jessica Nails. Treatments available include facials, skin analysis, Hollywood and Brazilian waxing, Jessica Geleration gel nails and massage. All treatments are carried out in a private and relaxed environment and they are so highly regarded people travel to the salon from as far away as Northampton.

Tel: 01753 860954 www.etonbeauty.com

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Rhubarb & Custard

Rhubarb & Custard is a boutique photography gallery, selling contemporary photography, from landscape and still life to portraiture and fine art. A number of services are on offer, including photography courses, portraits, family and wedding photography as well as traditional and digital printing services. Gift vouchers and greeting cards are available. You can sign up for monthly exhibition openings, and special deals on workshops and lessons.

Tel: 01753 676404

www.rhubarbandcustard.com

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Where to live

Brocas Street, Eton

Price £1.4m

A stunning three bedroom town house located in the heart of Eton that has been interior designed to a very high standard throughout.

***

Windsor Bridge Court, Brocas

Street, Eton

Price £3,750 PCM

An executive two bedroom two bathroom refurbished riverside apartment with stunning views towards Windsor Castle.

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Where to eat and stay

Gibley’s

A perfect place to meet for lunch, dinner or a drink at the bar, Gilbey’s is a favourite among theatre-goers as it’s only a five-minute walk from Windsor’s Theatre Royal. This family business is owned and run by direct descendants of the Gilbey’s Gin dynasty. The restaurant started out as the Eton Wine Bar. After 25 years of success, along with a top-to-toe refurbishment, the name was changed to Gilbeys in recognition of the fact that food had outgrown the original concept. The restaurant boasts a warm and cosy bar area in the front, a beautiful Lantern Room with a pretty Courtyard Garden for ‘al fresco’ dining. On the top floor there is a stunning and luxurious Studio

Guest room with rooftop views to Windsor Castle, ideal for an overnight stay.

Tel: 01753 854921 www.gilbeygroup.com

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Prince George

Refurbished in December, the 300-year-old Prince George Inn offers a warm environment with a mahogany bar and leather Chesterfield sofas and chairs. Freshly prepared, high quality food is served from its a la carte or bar menu, as well as separate Sunday Menu. The decked garden terrace has over 120 seats. Get there early in summer or you’ll be hard pushed to find a table. There is also The Prince George Stable Restaurant. Seating 40 people with potential for more in the attached marquee, this makes a great meeting room facility for a conference or a private dinner. If you want to extend your visit to Eton, the nine boutique

letting bedrooms will hopefully be ready in April.

Tel: 01753 861797 www.princegeorgeinneton.co.uk

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Cote Brasserie

Cote Brasserie occupies a spectacular position on the bridge with a fabulous view of the river and castle. As with other Cote restaurants, it offers a modern interpretation of the Paris bistro, serving dishes such as steak frites, moules marinieres, Brittany corn-fed chicken and Tuna Nicoise. Open every day for breakfast through to dinner.

Tel: 01753 868344 www.cote-restaurants.co.uk

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The Crown and Cushion

The Crown and Cushion is a delightful pub with eight en-suite rooms. It offers a full and varied menu and well stocked bar. Food is served 12pm-9pm Monday - Saturday and 12pm-6pm on Sundays. Parking is included in the room rate for staying guests. Continental breakfast is included in the price, upgrade to a full English for only £5 per person.

Tel: 01753 861531 www.thecrownandcushion.co.uk

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Ayoush

Ayoush adds a modern twist to the authentic flavours, dishes and atmosphere of North Africa and Morocco for a unique dining and drinking experience. It has a bright, fun interior, creative menus and a belly dancer at weekends.

Tel: 01753 865516 www.ayoush.com

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