St Giles Street in Northampton is easily one of my favourite streets to venture down when I visit the town centre.
Oddly, I never found myself navigating down this way. Often, my journey takes me to St John’s Multistorey carpark, where I walk up towards Royal & Derngate, take a left to get onto Guildhall Road and finally walk up towards The Guildhall itself.
Usually, I find I mainly navigate towards the left where the main ‘town centre’ is situated, which is often buzzing with people, the cheerful noises coming from the Market Square and people coming in and out of the Grosvenor from doing their shopping.
However, once you get to the Guildhall, take the second right up towards St Giles Street and it’s a completely different story.
I believe St Giles Street is a treasure trove that is filled with hidden gems, but not many people know what is up this street, which is often far quieter than the main town centre.
Those who do know it and those who often find themselves walking past will know what I’m on about. There is plenty to do, see, shop and eat down this small, but interesting street.
Now, when I do visit Northampton, I am more inclined to head down whether it’s browsing the different independent businesses or grabbing a bite to eat or a cup of coffee.
That’s why I thought this blog post, I would share the places I have visited down St Giles Street and why on your next trip to Northampton town centre, you should head down there:
- Magic Bean Emporium
- St Giles Cheese
- Vintage Guru
- The Bread & Butter Factory
- St Giles Ale House
- Abraxas Cookshop
- Gin & Temple
You can’t help but have a ‘mooch’ around this delightful gift shop…
MOOCH is a gorgeous, independent gift boutique that has two shops: one situated at Bell of Northampton and one on St Giles Street. I was first introduced to MOOCH when I hosted the Northamptonshire Christmas Event at Bell, but ever since I have been obsessed with their gifts and can’t help but go inside every time I visit Northampton.
What makes MOOCH unique is that it is filled with homemade gifts that have a Northamptonshire twist to them. From personalized Franklin’s Gardens and Sixfields Stadium pillows, Northampton postcards, art prints and more.
I also want every single coffee and tea mug they have in store when I finally get my own house because they have some beautiful antique ones that come with the saucers!
Go check out MOOCH on St Giles Street, Bell of Northampton, Towcester and Olney!
Magic Bean Emporium
I’ve already expressed my love for this quirky, magical coffee shop in my Coffee Shop Guide but I couldn’t write about St Giles Street without mentioning The Magic Bean Emporium.
Depending on whether you’re coming into St Giles Street from The Guildhall, you have to walk quite a bit up on the right-hand side, but once you arrive, it’ll be so worth it! The Magic Bean Emporium is a little coffee shop is a crest of celebration over all things magic, valiant tales and expressing creativity.
You can read books in there, drink fabulous coffee creations, eat yummy cake and escape from normality into a whole new world – you can even try their hot milkshake creations!
It’s ideal for kids, as they’ll be fascinated at the wonders that hold inside, but it’s also a place for adults to mesmerize over too.
St Giles Cheese
If you love good, homemade local produce, you need to head to St Giles Cheese.
St Giles Cheese was established in 2010 by husband and wife team, Steve and Caroline Ward. Whenever you walk in, you’re always greeted with the nicest and friendliest of smiles and chat! But what you go in there for, is all the amazing local produce that will make you hungry from just a look.
Some of my favourite treats that can be found in here are Hamm Tun Fine Foods, including the best cheeses in Northamptonshire: Cobble’s Nibble and Northamptonshire Blue. There is also lots of lovely pies, meats and scotch eggs, as well as chutney from Friar’s Farm and lots of other local foodie producers.
You will find it hard to not walk out without purchasing something.
A fairly new addition to St Giles Street, but a well worth visit if you love all things vintage!
Again, you have to walk up quite far to get here – but once you step inside, there are so many different layers to this unique shop and it has over 80 independent retailers inside and some outstanding window displays.
They have everything you could possibly want that’s vintage inside from clothing, quirky jewellery, cutlery, magnets, accessories, home decor and so much more! They post lots on their Facebook page about new stock coming in, plus they are super supportive to other businesses in Northampton.
You literally never know what surprises you’ll find in store.
The Bread & Butter Factory
Another great cafe you shouldn’t miss when walking down St Giles Street.
I actually stumbled upon this by accident, as this is right next door to The Magic Bean Emporium. But it couldn’t be more different!
The Bread and Butter Factory aims to deliver breakfast, lunch and brunch using local produce and ingredients, whilst being healthy and delicious.
The wooden tables and chairs, sunshine yellow walls and a big window overlooking St Giles Street make this cafe a very light and refreshing cafe to walk into.
There’s a variety of food options from bagels, salads, poached eggs and the yummiest avocado on toast I’ve had as it was so filling and the avocado was seasoned so well!
Again, it’s been featured in my Northamptonshire Brunch Guide, but The Bread & Butter Factory is a coffee shop is definitely a great spot if you’re someone that has a laptop and is looking for somewhere minimalistic to work in – there is free WiFi and fresh coffee too!
St Giles Ale House
Northampton’s first and only Micropub on St Giles Street specialising in high-quality real ale, traditional ciders and plenty of gin!
Though it’s small, it’s cosy, unique and if you manage to get a good seat by the window, you can watch the world go by with a glass of their available local and national ales.
Compared to most alehouses and pubs across the county, it doesn’t have any music, fruit machines or WiFi, it’s just a nice, quiet, ideal place to come and relax over a drink and a chat with friends – which I think sets this place apart from others.
The owner, Terry, is super friendly too and makes you feel very welcome.
If you own your own home, or just love kitchen decor, then you will LOVE Abraxas Cookshop!
You could literally spend a whole day (or I could) looking at all the baking, kitchen tools, pots & pans, tableware and all the tea and coffee products! Not only that, but you can even acquire services from them including knife sharpening and cake tin hire.
I’m always finding myself lost in looking at all the cooking books and Emma Bridgewater range too. I want to fill my house with everything from Abraxas Cookshop.
Not only can you browse the delights at the St Giles Shop, but they also have shops in Weedon, Northamptonshire, Rugby and Banbury.
Gin & Temple
One of the newest gin bars to land on St Giles Street: Gin & Temple!
You’ve seen me talk about Gin & Temple quite a bit on my blog, from sampling their BRAND NEW Afternoon Tea, to attending the GiNN Collection press event with Northants Life. It’s a thriving little bar with big personality.
Also known as G&T’s, it’s Northampton’s only dedicated Gin Bar and Lounge offering new flavours, new cocktail creations using the art of mixology and you can enjoy over 50 types of local and national gins.
The creativity behind the making of the gins is outstanding and the boys who run the bar know their stuff when it comes to matching gins, tonics and garnishes well.
G&T’s are available to book for private events, afternoon tea, mixology classes and you can join their Gin Club’s on Sunday’s where they have a local gin distiller come in to do a masterclass.
St Giles Street is a place I am now visiting much more often, so I am sure there will be new additions coming soon, but I wanted to write a post based on my own experience visiting these independent shops and cafes.
I hope to add to this post with other places I visit and discover, but I hope you get inspiration to look down some of these local streets in Northamptonshire.