As you know, I recently left Bristol and moved back to Taunton. I lived in Taunton for a few years around the time Belle was born and throughout my teens lived just down the road in Bridgwater, making Taunton my nearest town with non-crap shops.
Despite being sad to leave Bristol behind then, there is something quite nice about being back in Somerset; a feeling of coming home, the comfort of the familiar. Taunton has changed quite a lot since I left, and lots of new high street shops have appeared – big brands that although convenient, lack a little in the personality department. One part of Taunton though that has retained its character and charm since I was a girl is Bath Place.
Bath Place has held a special place in my heart for a long time. As a teenager it was Peaches in Bath Place that I would visit on a Saturday, having spent half my pocket money on the bus fare from Bridgwater, to buy little tubs of hair dye and gaze in awe at the stripey tights. At 16 I sported hair in a lovely shade of green. I never did have pocket money left over for the tights.
20 years later and Peaches is still exactly the same. Even the pots of hair dye are in the same place.
Some things have changed of course, but lots of my favourites are well-established now; Brendon Books, Ginger Fig, Jane Armour Trading – I’ve been shopping in these for years, my go to shops for lovely gifts and cards.
Even better, a new tea room – Jenny’s – has now opened in the empty building where there was a cafe for a long time, bringing Bath Place even closer to how I remember it. I can definitely recommend the flan.
If you’re in Taunton in the run up to Christmas do take the time to wander down Bath Place. You won’t regret it.
Do you have a favourite independent shop?