Welcome to the second instalment of our feature about the small business shopping scene in Market Harborough. In part one we put some of our favourite local shops under the spotlight. Being the fabulous town that it is for small independents, we had a rather long list of amazing businesses we wanted to include. Which is why we decided to split the feature into two parts.
So without further ado, let’s begin…
Best for brekkie
Most of the cafes in Market Harborough serve a decent breakfast. But our favourite, especially for a full English, is Milo’s Café, tucked away in Bennett’s Place, just off the High
Street. It’s a popular place with locals and can get particularly busy at weekends. So don’t be surprised if you have to wait for a table and/or food. Although rather small inside, they do have a lovely courtyard with outside seating. Staff are friendly, helpful and the food is plentiful. Milo’s Café is definitely another one of Market Harborough’s hidden gems. They are also known for serving up delicious cakes too.
Another place to get a yummy brekkie is Enigma Café Bar, on Coventry Road. Their full English breakfasts are delicious and very good value for money.
Best for a dinner date
Market Harborough isn’t exactly short of restaurants, cafes and cool places to grab a bite to eat. But if you’re looking for somewhere a bit special, where the food is as mouth-wateringly delicious to taste as it looks on the plate, our top choice is Ascough’s Bistro on St Mary’s Road. Offering a stylish and relaxed dining experience, whether you visit for lunch or in the evening, it’s one of the best restaurants in not just Market Harborough but Leicestershire. Check out the TripAdvisor reviews and you’ll see why this bistro is so beloved by locals and visitors alike.
As we said, Harborough has a lot of restaurants. There’s somewhere for all tastes and budgets. Another place worthy of a mention is The Waterfront Bar & Restaurant, not least because of its pretty water-side setting alongside the canal basin at Union Wharf. In the winter months you can even dine outside in an igloo… yes, an igloo! If that isn’t sure to impress your dinner date, we don’t know what will.
If yummy authentic Italian food is more your thing, we recommend heading to Vento on Manor Walk. Great service combined with reasonably priced food using fresh ingredients has made Vento a popular restaurant amongst locals. Some say their Tiramisu is the best on the planet.
Best for a pamper
Just like cafes and coffee shops, this is another category brimming with choice. Almost too much choice. Harborough certainly seems to have no shortage of hairdressers and beauty salons. We have an award-winning beauty salon called You Beauty Clinic in Manor Walk. It’s home to a friendly team of highly experienced beauty specialists. They offer a wide range of treatments including facials, massages and luxury manicures and pedicures. It’s so close to Respectacle that we have been known to pop in to get our nails done in our lunch hour.
You Beauty Clinic
If you’re looking for a professional and friendly hairdresser, Manor Walk is also home to The Attic Hair Studio. We love how they are trying to be as sustainable as possible. This is the place to go if you’re looking for a cut and colour or a complete new style. So pop by and check them out.
Other contenders for our favourite local beauty salon include The Retreat on St Mary’s Road and Aura Clinic on The Square. Celebrating their eighth birthday this year, Aura are specialists in hairdressing, beauty and aesthetic medicine.
Best for sweet treats
Randalls on Church Square is one of our favourite local independent retailers. Choc full (yes, pun intended!) of American confectionary, sodas and even breakfast cereal, Randalls is a sweet lovers dream. The shop also stocks a smaller selection of world foods, including our favourite Aussie chocolate biscuits, Tim Tams. If you’ve never tried a Tim Tam, what are you waiting for? They are a little bit like a Penguin but in the battle of the biscuits, Tim Tams win. But don’t just take our word for it; pop along to Randalls and pick up a packet for yourself!
Owner Jarrod is extremely enthusiastic about his American candy and once you visit don’t be surprised if you become a repeat customer. There’s no other confectionary shop quite like it in Market Harborough. You’ll find Randalls in Millers Yard, just off Church Street.
Best for a bit of bling
When we think of watches and jewellery, we immediately think of Steffans, who have a shop full of gorgeous things on The Square. Go inside and you’ll soon realise what a trove of treasures it is. Whenever we walk by their shop we always stop to browse their window displays. A little daydreaming never did anyone any harm.
On the opposite side of town is Ada Gallery. Here you will find stunning handcrafted jewellery in a beautiful little boutique style gallery. Aside from selling her own handmade jewellery, owner Ruth also showcases pieces from other British designers. Incidentally, Ruth’s work has appeared in numerous galleries throughout the UK, as well as in notable publications like GQ and Vogue. Ada Gallery is in the pretty courtyard of Bennett’s Place, opposite Milo’s Café.
Silverpot on Coventry Road sells costume and sterling silver jewellery, handmade by local silversmiths. In addition to their jewellery range, there’s also watches, handbags and scarfs. It’s full of affordable treasures, whether you’re after a gift for yourself or for family and friends.
If your idea of bling is a fancy handbag, you’ll love Armcandy Bag Co on Adam & Eve Street. This specialist shop sells preloved designer handbags and purses. We’re talking Mulberry, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Givenchy, to name just a few. We’re rather taken with a beautiful Hermès bag they have in stock. We just need a little lottery win to be able to afford it! Still, we can but dream.
Best for children’s toys and clothes
We don’t need to think too hard about this one, because directly opposite us we have The Growing Tree. This independent children’s boutique has been part of Harborough’s retail scene since opening its doors in 2016. The Growing Tree stocks a gorgeous range of baby and children’s clothing, as well as toys, and caters for newborns and children up to the age of eight. They partner with popular and well regarded brands such as Cath Kidston, Frugi, Hatley and Orange Tree Toys.
The Growing Tree
We really enjoyed writing about Harborough’s local independent shopping scene. If you haven’t done so already, have a read of part one of our guide to shopping local. We couldn’t possibly mention every single small business that calls Market Harborough home. So apologies if we didn’t include you on this occasion.
Don’t forget that if you’re looking for some stylish new eyewear, we’re here to take care of all your optical needs. We have a beautiful range of glasses and sunglasses from the best eyewear designers, both in the UK and Europe. You’ll find us tucked away in Manor Walk, opposite The Growing Tree.
Blog written by Respectacle Company, Market Harborough’s boutique optician and eyewear specialist. Visit our Manor Walk store for stylish and unique glasses and sunglasses. Images belong to individual businesses featured in this blog.