A recent BBC news report highlighted that 57% of businesses in Bedford are independent compared to the national average of 35.9%. Support our town and take a stroll around to enjoy some unique shopping over a coffee and lunch.
On Newnham Street, Lingers Butchers, Toucatelha Portuguese Restaurant and GCH Fishmongers are a must for foodies. Pop into St Cuthbert’s Arcade for a range of niche indie shops, or pop down the street to Odell’s shoe shop, one of Bedford’s oldest businesses – they also stock a great range of Loake’s shoes
We also have an excellent home appliance store with Michael R Peters who have provided excellent customer service since 1966 and they always go the extra mile.
To add some sparkle into your life, we have lots of independent jewellers stocking a wide range to suit all budgets. John Medhurst on Mill Street, Baker Bros and John Bull both on St Peter’s Street, Millmans in Church Arcade, John Cook Goldsmiths, Grove Place and Barovic on The Broadway.
If you’re after breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or drinks, check out Amici, the Blue Glass and the Third Place on St Peter’s Street, plus Herd, Roosters, Beerfly, Mimo’s, Bears & Tales, Rice Thai, Vanilla Tree and the Ship on St Cuthbert’s Street.
The Gallery (next to the Art Centre) on Howard Street shares its bakery with Companions Real Bread, a CIC working with former prisoners. They make amazing sourdough, sausage rolls and cakes, plus have a great brunch and lunch menu.
Bedford’s parks and Embankment are home to some excellent cafes, pubs and restaurants including the Pavilion at the Park (Bedford Park), the Kiosk (Russell Park), Fay’s at the Star Rowing Club, the Longholme, the Embankment, Corner 5 (at Box End Water Park) and the Swan Hotel’s newly opened brasserie, Pen & Cob.
The Cultural Quarter is not only home to the town’s three museums (Higgins Bedford, Panacea Museum and the John Bunyan Museum), but also our award-winning children’s bookshop, Rogan’s Books and menswear emporium, Boyd’s of Bedford. Castle Lane is also home to numerous indie restaurants including Decant cheese & wine bar, Quay, Baja, Thali + Tandoor and the FatCap Smokehouse. The newly opened Lotus oriental store is a welcome foodie addition.
Every Saturday the Charter Market sells fresh fruit and veg in St Paul’s Square and across the road at Made in Bedford @ Number 13 you can browse and buy locally designed and made products plus enjoy hand-made vegan and vegetarian fare.
Head to the Old Arcade on Bedford High Street for some of the best indies in town. The Magic Garden florist, Boutique Planet ladieswear, ArloArts craft shop, Gallone’s ice cream parlour, Slide Record Shop, Arcadia sweetshop and more.
For fashion along with Boutique Planet and Kean & Co in the old Arcade we also have Maysons and Funky Junction on the High Street and Michael Bailey, Harpur Street, who stock glamorous cocktail and evening ladies wear. Howorth’s Shoes on Mill Street is one of Bedford’s longest serving independents.
We know that Indies rules but in the town centre we also have Primark, next, New Look, TK Maxx, Debenhams & Beales (who both have many popular concessions), Miss Selfridge, River Island, Yours, Bon Marche, Clarks Shoes, Shoezone, DW Sports, JD Sports and Moss Bros
Don’t forget there’s two hours’ free parking in Bedford town centre every Saturday and it’s free all day on Sundays in all council run car parks.
There are many more we could mention, but we’d love you to come and explore for yourself. Let us know your favourite! #bedfordindies