Graham & Green

Anyone been noticing there’s some movement going on in Greenwich town centre streets in the last couple of weeks? I haven’t checked out Greenwich Boutique yet and I can’t check out that new place called Fresh-Something-Or-Other where the Organic Cafe used to be (it can’t, I gather, be a cafe, as that’s why the Organic Cafe reckon they got the boot, so I’m assuming it’s some kind of food store – either something along the lines of Fresh & Wild or, some dodgy mini-mart thing would be my guess.) The old dolls house and teddy bear shop gets ever-scruffier – it claims to be being turned into a china-painting place, though it’s certainly taking its time. Apostrophe is moving into the old Rococo store.

Warwick Leadlay left a big gap in Nelson Road. I know they’ve only moved next door, but it does tend to be a bit out-of-sight-out-of-mind for me these days. I miss their old shop.

The street-front store has become a sort of homewares-come-giftshop, hastily decorated for the Christmas crowd. Graham & Green is a chain – albeit a small one, with branches in the Kings Road, Notting Hill, Chalk Farm etc. Presumably it’s only chains that can afford the prices along Nelson Road these days. Still – it’s an open shop, and it’s not a multinational, and let’s face it – it looks very pretty – and makes the road look more lively.

It sells fancy mirrors and shiny nick-nacks – think a sort of grown-up Joy (another chain but our branch is really cute…) There are a lot of Christmas decorations in at the moment, and dainty stocking fillers to give girlfriends you don’t know very well. I liked the coloured glass tumblers with the silhouettes of mountainy-scenes, myself, and I may well be going back for some of the funky plastic wine glasses.

Downstairs they promise ‘bargains’ – and I guess that there was 20% off a load of stuff. Some nice homewares – a rather fab glass lamp and sundry soft furnishings, some occasional tables and screens, one or two items of clothing, door handles and soap dishes, candles and cushions; mainly in pink or white, it seems.

It’s good to see an empty shop filled – it goes a good way to making Nelson Road look halfway decent again (I note also that one of the few shops that didn’t actually need it, Pickwick Papers and Fabrics, have had a spruce up, which only leaves about a third of the street looking duff.) I’m not convinced that there is anything in Graham & Green I haven’t seen before – but sparkly stuff and bright lights – and, when I was in there, loads of customers – are the kind of thing I want to see in Greenwich rather than empty stores and ‘To Let’ signs.

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