Britain’s Poshest Newsagent Has Its Own Chandelier And Sells Ciabatta Sandwiches And Prosecco

October 3, 2017 | by | 0 Comments
Rachel Twomey

Rachel Twomey

These pictures show Britain’s poshest newsagent which has a chandelier, antique Victorian wallpaper and sells ciabatta sandwiches and prosecco.

With it’s green-and-white painted shop front, cast iron features and old fashioned lettering, Darcy’s looks like a shop from another era – but it only opened last year.

Named in honour of it’s most famous neighbour, Jane Austen, who lived at number 25 Gay Street, Bath, the shop is at number 34 on the Regency road.

The “gourmet newsagents” opened last year when married couple Rachel and Matthew Twomey took over – nicknamed the Darcys by customers.

Rachel said: “My builder thought I was mad to put a chandelier in. I went against the grain and wanted to be a bit different, quirky.

“We get a lot of compliments about the way it looks.

“Tourists love it in particular. Five to six times a day people will stand outside and take photos of the shop.”

Darcy’s in Gay Street, Bath which one of Britain's poshest newsagent - with its own chandelier and on the same street as former home of Jane Austen.

Darcy’s in Gay Street, Bath which one of Britain’s poshest newsagent – with its own chandelier and on the same street as former home of Jane Austen.

While building work was being carried out on the shop, in a traditional townhouse, the new owners discovered a panel of Victorian wallpaper which they incorporated into the design.

To showcase the floral, hand printed wallpaper, the couple lined a wall of the shop with glass jars filled with sweet shop favourites.

Caroline Kay, chief executive of the Bath Preservation Trust, said: “My colleague thought it was most likely to be 19th century, perhaps around 1850- 1880.

“It looks roller printed as the engraved rollers allowed a more detailed definition and gave a more 3D effect of light and shade.

“Also, the flowers got increasingly big and opulent when roller printed and these are distinctly blooming.”

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Rachel added: “It’s very old and we’re very proud of it.

“It’s a lovely feature.

“Every single thing you see is new including the window. We did a big renovation.

“A lot of people tell us it’s unrecognisable.

“I wanted to give it a more upmarket Bath feel.”

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The shop stocks everything from local newspapers to international magazines, and 12 schoolchildren are employed to do the daily paper round.

But the family, who moved from South Africa to Bath to set up the shop, have to compete with services provided by chains such as WH Smith and have found ways to make their shop unique.

They stock bagels, ciabattas and baguettes, as well as locally produced ciders, prosecco and Malbec.

Even the takeaway coffee cups, which are compostable, have specially printed packaging matching the shopfront.

Sweets sold on shelves in front of 19th Century Victorian wallpaper.

Sweets sold on shelves in front of 19th Century Victorian wallpaper.

Rachel said: “We’ve become quite well known for the sausage rolls.

“We have to try to offer something different because it’s very hard for us to compete on price.

“I was looking around for a business to get involved in and saw this and thought it will be a challenge.”

Category: News

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