News Wednesday, November 22nd

Vienna, Lisbon....Ledbury? Why the town was named one of the top spots for Xmas shopping by the Guardian

News Wednesday, November 22nd

Vienna, Lisbon....Ledbury? Why the town was named one of the top spots for Xmas shopping by the Guardian

So this week Ledbury – a town of just 9,000 people – and almost as many black and white buildings – was named by The Guardian as one of the best European destinations for a stocking-filling shopping trip.

For perhaps the first time in the town’s history, it sits on a list alongside the chocolate-box canalsides of Copenhagen, the handbags and hand-crafted nativities of Naples and the famed Munich German market (although I’d imagine over there, they just call it a ‘market’).

There's no doubting the Dickensian charm of Ledbury’s winding allies and stilted market house. Throw in a new wave of boutique shopping and fresh-from-the-field food and drink culture and you can see why it would hold the perfect combination of snowglobe nostalgia and motorway access that would tempt your average Guardian-reader out in to the sticks for a weekend drinking mulled cider beside roaring fires, shopping bags dumped in the corner of the room.

That said, it’s a huge acknowledgement. Ledbury is the only English town on the list. It’s the only town on the list, with the next smallest destination, Lille, some 25-times the size of the South Herefordshire bolthole.

And yet it has quietly become a cultural powerhouse. Long-known for hosting one of the top poetry festivals in the country, it has added several massive music festivals to its calendar over the last few years, while the growth of nearby Weston’s from regional cider-maker to national powerhouse has shone a spotlight on the wealth of other celebrated ciderists in its surrounding areas.

Admittedly, we are biased. So, why did Ledbury make the cut?

 

A post shared by Hus & Hem (@husandhem) on

According to the Guardian, it’s “a picturesque, stress-free option.” It’s also “in a lovely part of the country” for a winter walk. Which is something we wholeheartedly agree with.

The piece also picked out a few places to lay your head, or your fork, while visiting. Ledbury, and its surrounding villages, is not short of the kind of timber-framed cosy grandeur of the Seven Stars and the Talbot – two of places suggested in the article – but visitors might also want to check out some of AirBnB listings in and around the town, from equally timber-framed cottage rentals, to gorgeous converted stables.

As for the shopping side, shoutouts go to – among others – Scandi smorgasbord Hus & Hem, craft cider collective the Three Counties’ Cider Shop and the throwback graphic design of Tilley Printing.

Read the full article here.

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