The mercury’s rising, the roses are in bloom and the whiff of hot coals and cold beers is in the air. It’s that time of year when you want to squeeze something good out of every sunny moment. We’re located in some of the South East’s most beautiful market towns – Alresford, Haslemere, Stockbridge and Hungerford – and whether you’re lucky enough to live here or they’re places on your summer trip list – we’ve picked our local teams brains for some local knowledge on where to go, what to see and what do to in and around our stores this summer.

 ALRESFORD

View from The Globe, our Stockbridge windows, summer style, Eel House

Coffee and browsing sums up an almost perfect day and Georgian market town, Alresford is conveniently blessed with so many wonderful and inspiring independent shops. When you’ve had your fill, take a break from retail therapy for coffee at Caracoli and indulge in their stunning cakes and bakes, their weekend brunch is also hugely popular. If you’re more a lunch than brunch person, then work up an appetite with a walk through the towns famous watercress fields and along the River Arle towards the perfect lunch spot with its riverside garden and delicious local and seasonal menu. In the afternoon transport yourself to Provence at nearby Long Barn, a plant nursery and café surrounded by acres of organic lavender fields.

 Dates for the diary

The Alresford Show – 2 September. One of the biggest agricultural shows in the South East. Gorgeous animals, massive machinery displays, beer tents, falconry and horse shows – what’s not to love?  

Eel House open days – This Unique 19th Century house designed specifically for eel trapping and one of only two such buildings in the UK opens its doors on selected dates over the summer. Learn it’s secrets on 2 July, 28 August and 10 September. 

 STOCKBRIDGE

The Leckford Estate, summer style, Roxtons on the High Street, Toni Pons espadrilles, Echo New York bag, Roses at Mottisfont, Gant swim shorts, new summer handbags

The great thing about Stockbridge is you can indulge in some serious retail therapy, enjoy a fantastic lunch and manage to fit in a country walk all in just a few short hours. Located right on the River Test, Stockbridge High Street is a hop and a skip from some of the most beautiful riverside walks, even the Test’s famed trout like to venture to town on occasion – look out for them terrorising the ducks under the bridge on the High street.

For lunch, we recommend The Greyhound on the Test or for DIY pop to Thyme and Tides deli on the High Street where you can pick up the most perfect picnic lunch before taking a detour to the National Trust’s Mottisfont House. Go in June when the roses are in full bloom. They’ve also got a packed schedule of summer events including a visit from The Gruffalo – sure to keep the small people happy!

Sticking to the green-fingered theme, the Waitrose-owned Leckford estate is perfect for some horticultural inspiration. A great garden centre, farm shop and café.

In August the town goes bonkers for the annual Trout n’About festival a celebration of local food, produce and craft. 2nd August. 

 HASLEMERE

Farm Butcher Chef, Polo at Cowdray Park, Toni Pons, Sunny Life accessories, Asteca sunglasses

Just that little bit closer to London, Haslemere is a very stylish sort of a town. It’s also located deep in Polo Country. Cowdray Park is just a hop, skip and a jump away and the perfect place to enjoy a chukka or two. The highlight of the Cowdray Calendar is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup on the 23rd July. Pop to Roxtons to find the perfect polo watching outfit and pack a picnic for a quintessentially English summer day.

For eating and drinking your spoilt for choice in Haslemere with Hemingways in town and local pubs the 16th century Noah’s Ark Inn in Lurgashall and The Welldiggers Arms in Petworth well worth a detour. But top of the locals wish list is the newly opened Farmer Butcher Chef Restaurant and Bar on the Goodwood Estate. A celebration of local and seasonal produce in perfect surroundings.

Dates for the diary

Polo at Cowdray – Jaegar-LeCoultre Gold Cup final 23rd July

Festival of Speed at Goodwood 29th June – 2nd July

Glorious Goodwood Quatar Goodwood Festival 1st – 5th August

HUNGERFORD

Eliane, Canal at Hungerford, new French baskets, Roxtons on Bridge Street, Summer staples

Visit us on Bridge Street, affectionately known as the Bond Street of Berkshire, where you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to all things retail. A perfect coffee stop is at neighbouring Libby Blakey Designs , a treasure trove of interiors inspiration with a stunning coffee shop for cakes and light lunches in the conservatory or walled garden. The High street is a haven for antiques lovers, the Duchess of Cambridge has even been known to park up her Range Rover and pop in for a gift or two. It’s difficult not to stop and browse a while in our award-winning bookshop especially as it’s independent bookshop week 24 June – 1st July!

For lunch pop next door to Eliane – delicious and healthy! If you want to work up an appetite then a walk along the canal to Kintbury and the Dundas Arms. Back in Hungerford, don’t miss the towns newest addition – Barrs Yard where you’ll find Cricket Fine Art, Wendy Lewis Flowers and independent wine merchant, GrapeSmith.

Before you hit the M4 why not end the day at The Pheasant www.thepheasantinn.co.uk

the racing communities newest haunt near to Lambourn – new for summer and perfect to enjoy al fresco in the garden is their tasting tapas menu.

 www.roxtons.co.uk