When I used to live in Berkshire I lived in a 500 year old cottage complete with low beams and gilded windows. It was old, full of character and attached to another cottage next door. At the time, that cottage was empty. Since we moved to Devon the empty cottage next door in the village of Woolhampton, West Berkshire, has been taken over by Claire and Nina and turned into an interiors-lovers paradise. The cottage is now The Corner Shop, a destination shop with a difference.
“We opened The Corner Shop in March in 2014,” says Claire. “Both of us had lived in the area for a while and were fed up of having nowehere nice to shop locally. We were forced to travel further afield to source interesting and unusual presents, so thought there was a gap in the market.”
The Corner Shop is a treasure trove of stylish accessories for the home, gift ideas and unusual pieces you won’t find anywhere else. From cushions to candles it’s the kind of place you can easily get lost in for a good hour.
“We try and source products that are unusual and not generally available on the high street,” explains Claire. “We’re constantly on the lookout for new products and ranges which means there’s always something new for our regular customers to see. This is very important as we’re a ‘destination shop’, not on a High Street, which has more passing trade.”
The destination of this quirky, beautiful shop is what makes it so special though. Set in a village on the A4 between Reading and Newbury, it has a friendly atmosphere and is, handily, two short minutes walk from a gorgeous country pub set right on the canal. You could happily spend an hour browsing in the shop before wandering down the road to the village pub or even going on a walk in the surrounding scenic countryside.
It’s not just a spot for a summer’s day though. It’s a great destination to visit leading up to Christmas too. “We offer a free wrapping service which is extremely popular, particularly with men at Christmas!” jokes Claire.
With a fully stocked kids’ range full of unique and quirky gift ideas, you could quite easily source presents for the whole family in one visit – before tootling along to the pub for a mulled wine afterwards.
It really is the perfect spot for a weekend wander.