Hidden gems

Lorena Hodgson
Lorena Hodgson

In my last column I ran out of space describing the independent retailers in Wisbech town centre.

I wonder if the other Fenland towns can match the numbers? I will find out and report back in the New Year!

Next year I hope to cover each place, event or community project I come across in a little more depth each week. For now, a quick mention of two other independents in Wisbech – the long-standing shops of Etcetera and Evisons, both near the Clarkson Memorial and the Crescent. I love these places!

The buildings themselves are architecturally and historically interesting, and the shops are wonderfully traditional, in style, service and indeed some products – where else can one buy old-fashioned pegs for peg doll making but at Etcetera?

For more Christmas shopping – now you’ve got your gifts from the shops I’ve mentioned these past two weeks, the Yule Fayre on Monday and the others I’ve had to miss this time – you can still keep it local and independent for your Christmas food.

Go to Franks Butchers on the Market Place – always highly recommended for your meat and deli products – then to Brewers just off Union Street/Hill Street for vegetables.

Their (giant) sprout stalks are fantastic value, and you can buy any amount of anything you like – even just one mushroom, they tell me!

If you don’t want to go into town at this time of year, then try the Orchard Tea Rooms just off the A47 roundabout at the end of South Brink/Cromwell Road.

They sell local produce, including vegetables, eggs, and apple juice, all locally grown, much from their own land.

Then stop there for tea and cake...better than supermarket shopping!

Another farm shop my family have used for years is Tramways, in Outwell Road, Elm.

Great value, mostly local, though I suspect the delicious clementines are from somewhere with more sunshine per year than Fenland...

Have a lovely Christmas. My favourite gift this year? The Russian Doll sets (Matroyshkas) from Etcetera. What’s yours?